As a result of growing demand, real estate costs and mortgage rates are fast rising in Bradford County and everywhere in the state. In addition, a lot of Floridians find it difficult to raise funds for closing expenses and down payments, thanks to poor incomes.
But with DPA schemes, you can qualify for a proper grant or a low-to-zero interest loan towards your down payment and closing costs.
Indeed, most lenders accept down payments and closing expenses funding via DPA schemes. Of course, with DPA grants, there are no payback obligations. In contrast, depending on the type, DPA loans can come with a monthly payment.
Deferred DPA loans are secondary mortgages with backdated payments that only become due following a sale, move, refinance, or change of title. Meanwhile, forgivable DPA loans are secondary mortgages. Still, they can be forgiven or deferred over a specified length of time, needing payments only if you intend to sell, move, transfer title, or refinance.
There are several different DPA programs available in Bradford County, Florida. The requirements for participation vary depending on the scheme. Most of them are aimed at first-time buyers who want to buy a primary house and demand a high FICO score.
But not every program follows the same design. Look at one of the best Bradford County DPA programs, the Chenoa Fund. It's a generous scheme and easy to qualify for.
What is the Chenoa Fund?
The Chenoa Fund is a downpayment assistance program that strives to make housing affordable for everyone. It's available nationwide, courtesy of the CBC Mortgage Agency. The fund helps people purchase homes by offering loans for down payments.
Even if you've already scrapped up cash for a down payment, you may still request this fund and keep your savings for later projects (we are talking about repairs and upgrades here).
The fund benefits first-time homebuyers, especially those with low-to-moderate incomes. These aren't the only individuals allowed to apply for the fund. Indeed, it's open to everyone, provided you meet its guidelines.
How much the Chenoa Fund provides DPA?
The Chenoa Fund contributes up to 5% of the appraised value toward the down payment and possibly closing costs for the home. The fund is offered as a second mortgage in the form of a forgivable or repayable loan.
This fund can be used with traditional Fannie Mae home loans and FHA mortgages. However, the DPA package for conventional loan holders is currently under permanent suspension.
To be eligible for the Chenoa Fund, borrowers must deal with a trusted mortgage provider. You'll have to select a lender from a database of program-approved mortgage companies.
But that means you'll only be dealing with one lender for your primary and secondary (DPA) mortgages, which is terrific news. Since lenders have the power to conduct underwriting, loan qualification and processing are straightforward and fast.
Borrowers who desire to set aside their down payment savings for future projects will find this helpful fund. Moreover, it can be paired with other incentives such as closing cost credits, seller concessions, etc.
What mortgage programs are compatible with the Chenoa Fund?
The Chenoa Fund is compatible with home loans from the FHA. You can apply and use the Chenoa Fund for a down payment if you meet program guidelines and have an FHA loan. Of course, FHA home loans are government-guaranteed mortgages offered to borrowers with low income and less than stellar credit profiles.
Simply put, you should consider applying for an FHA loan if you have trouble qualifying for standard mortgages, for instance, due to a high debt load, a low FICO score, previous bankruptcy troubles, or foreclosures.
If an FHA lender accepts your loan application, they'll cover around 96.5% of the property's appraised value; you'll be required to provide the final 3.5% as a down payment.
The Chenoa Fund thankfully contributes roughly the same sum toward this requirement. Therefore, the closing costs are the only expenses you'll be responsible for out of pocket.
The different Chenoa Fund DPA packages are shown here.
Chenoa Fund Rate Advantage program
The Rate Advantage loan package is the most well-liked and efficient Chenoa Fund DPA product. Prospective homeowners can utilize this program to lock in a competitive rate on their first mortgage and secure a second loan toward the down payment expense.
For this program, you must have a DTI of 50% or less and a FICO score of 620. The max income allowed under the program is 135% of the county's median income. It's a 10-year loan with an 8% interest rate.
Chenoa Fund, DPA Edge
This "soft second" mortgage is offered as a forgivable loan, meaning you may not have to repay it. It's a loan with no interest and monthly payments. You must make monthly payments on your first mortgage on time if you want the second to be forgiven. You'll need to make on-time payments for 36 months straight.
However, if you don't achieve the forgiveness requirement due to a late payment, the time frame resets, giving you another chance to work for it. You must be eligible for a DTI of 45% or less and a FICO score of 620 or higher.
It's a preferred choice for homebuyers with limited funds. The max income acceptable under the program is 115% of the county's median income.
Chenoa Fund Edge Repayable Second Product
This product is offered as a 30-year loan with 5% interest or a 10-year loan with no interest. There is no income requirement. However, you'll need a DTI of 45% or less and a FICO score of 620 or above.
Is there a Chenoa Fund DPA product for holders of conventional mortgages?
Unfortunately, the Chenoa Fund DPA product for conventional mortgages is currently on indefinite hold. However, when it comes back, it might either run as before (DPA up to 3% of the appraised value of the home) or with some changes.
Holders of the standard 97% LTV mortgage and HomeReady mortgages from Fannie Mae might be allowed to apply for the fund.
Chenoa Fund Guidelines
FHA loan holders can choose between forgivable and repayable Chenoa Fund DPA loan options. Both demand a FICO rating of 620 or higher.
The repayable loan type is a 10-year second mortgage with an interest rate set 2% higher than the rate on the first mortgage. It requires regular payments.
In comparison, the forgivable loan type is a 30-year zero-interest second mortgage. It has no monthly payment responsibilities. But it'll only be forgiven if you make timely payments on the first mortgage. The loan size and forgiveness vary as follows:
3.5% DPA - The second loan may be forgiven if you make on-time payments on your first mortgage for 36 months straight. However, the loan forgiveness window resets if you don't meet this expectation, allowing you another chance to work towards it. As a result, you have the entire loan duration to try and get it forgiven, and even if you don't achieve the requirement by the loan's expiration date, it may still be forgiven.
- 5% DPA - The second loan may be forgiven if you make 120 consecutive on-time payments on your primary mortgage. However, if you delay making payments even once, you lose the forgiveness guarantee, meaning you end up with a 30-year repayable zero-interest loan.
In all cases, you may still be forgiven if you don't achieve the forgiveness criteria by the loan's expiration date. However, all outstanding payments will be required if you decide to refinance, sell or transfer ownership of the property before the loan is forgiven.
Who is eligible for the DPA from the Chenoa Fund?
To be eligible for Chenoa Fund DPA products, FHA loan holders must fulfill these requirements:
- A 620+ FICO score.
- 45% or lower DTI.
- Satisfy the income requirements for the DPA product you choose.
When the Chenoa Fund DPA for conventional mortgages, those who wish to benefit must:
- Have a credit score of 620 plus.
- Have a 50% or lower DTI.
Are there income criteria for the Chenoa Fund DPA products?
Holders of conventional loans are eligible to apply for the Chenoa Fund without meeting any income requirements. However, this does not negate the significance of income.
Before granting you a loan, lenders will surely want to verify that you'll be able to make the monthly payments. However, you can seek the Chenoa Fund DPA package (if it's resumed operations) once you've obtained your first mortgage.
On the other hand, the Advantage Rate and DPA Edge products are for applicants making below 135% and 115% of the county's median income, respectively.
What are additional services available from the Chenoa Fund program?
To promote successful homeownership, The Chenoa Fund has a pre-and post-purchase homebuyer education program. This entails routine check-ins and counseling from knowledgeable and kind program counselors.
The fund is self-sufficient, of course. That means it's not reliant on government dollars. It generates enough income to fund itself and additional efforts to promote home ownership.
It's also recently partnered with UHOUSI to address the widening homeownership gap between whites and the black community.
Pros of the Chenoa Fund
It offers DPA up to 5% of a home's appraised price.
Any homebuyer who meets the qualifying criteria can use it.
It is compatible with conventional and FHA mortgages.
It offers pre-and post-purchase homeownership counseling.
It has several projects aimed at increasing homeownership in minority communities.
- Available in both forgivable and repayable loan packages.
How to apply for the Chenoa Fund
The Chenoa Fund is accessible through program-approved lenders. Many borrowers appreciate dealing with just one lender. That's guaranteed here.
It simplifies the application procedure and enables clients to secure primary and secondary (DPA) mortgages from the same lender. Call 866-563-3507 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to speak with a professional and obtain a list of program-approved financiers.
Is Bradford County, Florida, an excellent place to live?
Bradford County is a calm, sleepy, and marshy area between Jacksonville and Gainesville, Florida. The county was founded on December 31, 1859. Its original name was New River County. But it was later renamed after Confederate Civil War officer Richard Bradford, who is thought to be the first general to lose his life during the bloody conflict.
He perished at the Battle of Santa Rosa Island. The county has over 28,000 inhabitants and covers 294 sq. miles. It's thus the 3rd smallest county in the state regarding the land area.
Residents here tend to be conservative, as you've probably already figured, so if your political views align with that, you'll fit in just fine. That is not to imply that liberals ought to shy away.
This is a small county with a tight-knit population, a low crime rate, an average level of education, and wetlands all around it. Residents here enjoy peaceful country life in locations frequently used for films portraying military training.
It has been the significant shooting location for the TV program Boot Camp and Tigerland and Basic films. The Osceola National Forest lies here, too, and is renowned for its beautiful hiking routes, bays, horseback riding, camping, fishing, hunting, and boating opportunities.
The Olustee Battlefield Trail, a Civil War battle site, is sure to delight history buffs. Every year, the fight is reenacted over the Presidents' Day celebrations.
The construction, retail, and transportation sectors are the main drivers of the regional economy. The number of jobs has consistently increased in the past few years, and employment rates have fallen below the national average. Vis-à-vis the national average, the cost of living here is 14% lower. The median home price is $88,200, while the median income for households is $33,410.
There're also many restaurants and snack bars nearby with delicious culinary alternatives for individuals who want healthy farm-to-table meals. For instance, the following are some top locations to visit if you're in the mood for acai bowls.
Vibez Juice Bar - This Gainesville juice bar is located at 2122 SW 34th St. and provides a wide variety of smoothies, juice mixes, açai bowls, and other beverages. Everything is freshly prepared upon request. Although it's fascinating to observe them prepare your order, they also provide Jenga, chess, and other small table games to help keep you occupied.
The Jungle Bowl - If you are near the Northside of Jacksonville, check out this place for vegetarian breakfast choices, including smoothies, juices, fruits, and acai bowls. Although the space is limited, there are a handful of seats where you may relax and enjoy your order.
Vale Food Co - Vale Food Co. is a wholesome, whole-foods restaurant located at 3841 SW Archer Rd Ste B in Gainesville. They provide catering services, meal plans, beer, cold press juices, tea, wine, Lucky Goat, Nitro Cold Brew, and Kombucha.
GoJuice - GoJuice Kiosk, located at 2022 1st Ave, Fernandina Beach, FL, serves fresh, natural, and healthy ingredients. Everything is prepared fresh to order and contains no artificial flavors or sweeteners. There are numerous Acai bowl, drink, and smoothie options available.
- Juice Tap - If you ever find yourself close to Pkwy in Jacksonville, Florida, stop by for bowls and fresh, all-natural juices. Their bowls can be customized to a fair extent. Pick your base and toppings. They'll even give you some recommendations if you are new to some ingredients.
Is it a good idea to participate in the Chenoa Fund DPA program?
The Chenoa Fund is a fantastic DPA initiative. It provides two options for down payment assistance - a forgivable 30-year loan with no interest or a 10-year repayable loan that's 2% more expensive (interest-rate wise) than your primary mortgage. Unlike the latter, the former doesn't have a monthly payment requirement.
But keep in mind that the county also offers several DPA initiatives in addition to the Chenoa Fund. There is no obligation to select a repayable Chenoa Fund package if you are qualified for an express DPA grant or forgivable loan from a different DPA scheme.
There are various specialized DPA programs throughout the county. Speak with your loan officer or real estate agent for guidance.
But we must also insist that you might not find a simple and generous DPA program like the Chenoa Fund. Most DPA programs provide less than 3% of a home's appraised value towards a down payment. If your down payment requirement is more significant, you might not get enough to cover it.
On the other hand, the Chenoa Fund provides up to 5% in DPA. So even if the loan you get through the program isn't forgivable, it might still be your best alternative. Even so, you should still conduct some research. Look into other DPA initiatives in the county to weigh your options.