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Chenoa Fund Down Payment Assistance Program in Citrus County, Florida

Citrus county has a lot to offer, from the perfect weather, breathtaking scenery, and fun attractions. All these features make it the best place to call home, but fulfilling this dream as a first-time homebuyer can be challenging. Saving for the down payment is one of the biggest challenges.

But you can benefit from down payment assistance and become a homeowner in no time. Chenoa Fund is a home buying program that offers you 3.5% of your home buying price, which pays for the entire down payment with an FHA loan. The DPA covers the closing costs and the down payment.

This down payment assistance requires you to meet requirements such as a minimum credit score of 620, adhere to the FHA guidelines, and specific income eligibility requirements. This guide closely examines Chenoa Fund, how it works with FHA, and the best spots in Citrus County to enjoy an acai bowl.

What is Chenoa Fund?

Chenoa Fund is an affordable housing program run by CBC Mortgage Agency (CBCMA), a government-chartered organization. The CBCMA seeks to promote sustainable and affordable homeownership, especially among low-income and creditworthy individuals. By offering down payment assistance under conventional and FHA guidelines.

Through CBCMA's correspondent lending program, qualified home buyers can obtain loans from reputable lenders. The Chenoa Fund offers several programs, such as the forgivable program, the Chenoa Loan Grant, and the Repayable Second. These programs are treated as the second mortgage to assist with down payments.

One of the best features of the Chenoa Fund is that it offers you a down payment for buying a home with no borrower requirements. It eliminates the challenge of raising the down payment required by a mortgage. Thus, the Chenoa Fund promotes a healthy balance between owning a home and other types of housing.

The Chenoa Fund provides 3.5% of your purchase price, and you get total financing with the 96.5% from FHA. In this way, you can begin building your home equity instead of waiting for years for a down payment at a time when house prices may be even higher.

Chenoa Fund Programs

Chenoa Fund allows you to purchase homes, provided you use one of the down payment assistance products. Chenoa Fund programs are unique and offer three options - the repayable second, the Forgivable program, and the Chenoa Loan Grant.

But you must pair these down DPA programs with FHA loans.

Forgivable Program

The Chenoa Fund forgivable program offers 3.5% of the home buying price as a down payment for an FHA first mortgage.

This DPA will be forgiven if you maintain your home for three years and make on-time payments. This forgivable program is accounted for and treated as a second mortgage with zero interest and no monthly payments.

The eligibility requirements for the forgivable program include:

  • Minimum FICO score of at least 640.

  • There is no minimum required for borrower funds.

  • Your county's median income determines your qualifying income.

  • Purchasing mortgage insurance.

The forgivable program lets you use up to 5% of your purchase price to cover the down payment on your FHA first mortgage. This loan is forgivable if you make timely payments on your first FHA mortgage for 120 consecutive months.

If you miss 60 days or more of payments, this forgiveness period is canceled, but the loan remains at a zero-interest, 30-year term.

Repayable Second

The Chenoa Repayable Second fund program allows you to borrow 3.5% of your buying price as a repayable second mortgage to assist in paying down your FHA loan.

As part of this program, you must repay this down payment loan since it has a lien. The lien will only be removed from the title upon full payment of the DPA.

To qualify for the Repayable Second, there are specific requirements, which include:

  • At least 620 on the FICO score.

  • More than 115% of the area median income for your county.

  • Meet the requirements of the FHA.

  • Income requirements are not necessary.

There are two repayment options available for the repayable second - the 5% interest repayment option for 30 years or a 0% interest repayment option for 10 years.

You will pay both the first and second mortgages, but the best part is that you can repay the second mortgage at any time without penalty.

Chenoa Loan Grant

First-time homebuyers or previous homeowners are eligible for this grant, which is forgiven in full shortly after closing. As a result, you receive instant equity on your house. It is necessary to meet the following criteria to qualify for the Chenoa Loan Grant:

  • You need a credit score of 620 to qualify.

  • There is no minimum borrower fund requirement.

  • Meet the requirements of the FHA.

The Chenoa Fund Grant requires you to be eligible for an FHA first mortgage. As soon as you're ready to close, the Chenoa Loan Grant offers you a 3.5% gift or grant of your home's buying price. In most cases, this will cover the entire down payment.

Coins stack in front of model home on wooden table

How Chenoa Funds Work with FHA Loans

It is common for people to save for a down payment over the years to purchase a home, but the rising home prices and the low wages make it challenging.

The Chenoa fund assists qualified homebuyers in meeting the requirement of the minimum down payment needed to qualify for a mortgage.

By working alongside an FHA first mortgage, the Chenoa Fund offers you up to 3.5% toward the purchase price of a home. By doing this, you are effectively covering the FHA loan's 3.5% required down payment. Your only out-of-pocket expense will be the closing costs.

To qualify, you need to meet the following requirements:

  • You need at least a FICO score of 620, and your debt ratio can go up to the maximum allowed by FHA.

  • Your maximum credit qualifying income is 115% of Area Median Income for a silent second mortgage forgiven after 36 months. If you exceed 115% of AMI, repayment terms will apply to the second.

  • To qualify for this program, you cannot own another home though you don't need to be a first-time buyer.

  • The standard FHA loan requirements, such as sufficient income and down payment, are considered.

An FHA 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is combined with a repayable second mortgage to cover the down payment and, as a result, offers 100% financing. The first mortgage should comply with FHA guidelines.

In contrast, the second mortgage requirements for down payment assistance depend on your qualifying income and the Area Median Income (AMI) requirement set by HUD.

Chenoa Fund Edge Program

The Chenoa Fund Edge Program provides a 30-year loan with a 0% interest rate and will not pay for a second mortgage.

This mortgage is forgiven if you make 36 consecutive timely payments on your first FHA mortgage. You must have a credit score of at least 620 and a household income no higher than 115% of your county's median income.

This 30-year loan has a zero percent interest rate. There is a lien on the property until the loan is forgiven, and this lien serves as the second mortgage.

You, however, do not have to pay anything on the second mortgage since the second mortgage can be 100% forgiven if you pay the first FHA mortgage on time for 36 consecutive months.

Chenoa Fund Repayable Second Program

The Chenoa Fund repayable second program has no income requirements and two options. You can choose between 10 years with 0% interest or 30 years with 5% repayable second.

To qualify for this down payment assistance program, you must fulfill specific criteria, which include:

  • A credit score of at least 620.

  • Complies with FHA requirements.

  • The borrower's income must exceed 115% of the area median income of the county where they live.

Since the Chenoa Fund Repayable Second Program is repayable, you must make payments for both the first and second mortgages. But the second mortgage is repayable anytime without penalty during the loan term.

Chenoa Fund Rate Advantage Program

The Chenoa Fund Rate Advantage Program allows you to secure a competitive interest rate on your first mortgage.

You must have a FICO score of 620 or higher, a DTI of no more than 50%, and a gross income of 115% or less of the county median income. The mortgage assistance repays over 10 years at an interest rate of 8%.

How Chenoa Funds Work with Traditional Loans

By helping credit-worthy families to buy homes, the down payment assistance specializes in lending to home buyers under the guidelines of the Federal Housing Administration. Chenoa Fund also partners with Fannie Mae and other reputable mortgage lenders based on correspondent lending.

This initiative, referred to as the Conventional Loan Program offers a 3.5% loan covering the 3% required down payment and closing costs for the 97% loan-to-value conventional loan program. This DPA is available through the HomeReady program by Fannie Mae.

On the first mortgage, you will receive a competitive interest rate and repay the Down Payment Assistance over 10 years using an affordable second mortgage at an interest rate of 8%. To be eligible for the Chenoa Fund Conventional Loan Program, applicants must meet specific requirements, which include:

  • The FICO score must be at least 640.

  • Income limits do not apply to low-income census areas, but 100% of area median income (AMI) applies to all other properties.

  • A 97% LTV program has no income limits.

The HomeReady program is suitable for low to moderate-income borrowers, including homes in low-income neighborhoods. If you don't meet the HomeReady requirements and can't afford a larger down payment for a home purchase, you can apply for Fannie Mae's Standard 97% loan-to-value program.

The Standard 97% loan-to-value program allows you to put only a 3% down payment on a conventional mortgage loan. Once you make the down payment, the lender finances 97% of the home's value. The Standard 97% loan-to-value program provides an alternative to FHA loans' 3.5% down payment.

How to Apply for Chenoa Fund

Correspondent lenders offer Chenoa Fund, and the CBC Mortgage Agency approves these lenders to assist with down payments.

Find an approved lender by checking the Chenoa Fund website or emailing The loan process is straightforward and smooth since you deal only with one line of contact.

Get in touch with a Chenoa Fund loan officer who will explain the Chenoa Fund in detail and answer all your questions.

They will then refer you to an approved lender who will help you with your homeownership goals and offer you the down payment assistance option that best suits your needs provided you meet the necessary qualifications.

Other benefits of the Chenoa Fund

The main goal of the Chenoa Fund is to assist you in your first year of homeownership. So, you will receive in-depth counseling to ensure the program is successful.

Chenoa carries out regular monthly follow-ups with you to answer any questions or address any arising issue that calls for assistance.

The best part about this down payment assistance is that you directly deal with Chenoa because entirely self-sufficient and not government-sponsored.

But the CBC Mortgage Agency is accountable to the FHA and operates under its guidelines. Chenoa ensures that each loan meets FHA guidelines by carefully reviewing it and taking all the necessary steps.

5 Best Places to Get Acai Bowls in Citrus County, Florida

Apart from the attractions, one of the best parts of living in Citrus County is its abundance of healthy juice, smoothie bars, and specialty acai bowls. If you're health-conscious and looking for a healthy treat for your sweet tooth, then an acai bowl is the best choice.

Here are the top five spots in Citrus County to enjoy this superfood.

  • Tropical Smoothie Cafe - The cafe is known for its highly nutritious Detox Island Green Smoothie, but it's not your average juice bar. It offers endless acai bowls options from the wide selection of nuts, fruits, seeds, and nuts they offer. You'll be spoilt for choice because of the variety of proteins and other healthy choices they serve, such as vegetarian and gluten-free.

  • Cinnamon Sticks - The Cinnamon Sticks is famous for its Earth Acai bowls, fresh fruit smoothies, and overnight oats. Enjoy a nutritious bowl of unique earth acai loaded with ripe mangos, pineapples, bananas, strawberries, shredded coconut, and local honey. Get ready to be swept away into paradise with this earth bowl. This spot also has a grab-n-go section if you're on the move.

  • The Prickly Palm - This is the perfect little find for a quick stop, serving food, coffee, and smoothies. Their Acai bowl is fantastic and sprinkles with fresh fruits and granola, which is refreshing. You can sit inside or outside as you take in the breathtaking views. The Prickly Palm is one of the best relaxing spots in Citrus County to enjoy your acai bowl.

  • Nekter Juice Bar - Nekter introduced Acai bowls as a total menu item for the first juice and smoothie concept. This juice bar chain specializes in health-conscious drinks and snacks, serving natural handcrafted smoothies, juices, and acai bowls full of the freshest and most nutritious ingredients.

  • Clean Juice - The menu features cold-pressed juices, acai bowls, smoothies, coffee, nut milk, specialty toasts, and oat bowls. Their acai bowl is incredible and bursts with flavor and nutrition. The acai bowl is full of organic ingredients, and you can choose from a blend of nut butter, fruits, and vegetables topped with granola, fresh strawberries, chia seeds, and coconut chips.

Bottom Line - Take advantage of Chenoa Fund Today

Many low- and moderate-income Floridians are taking advantage of the Chenoa Fund for affordable housing. The Chenoa Fund makes it easier to become a homeowner with the three programs available to help with down payments. You only require stellar credit and fulfill the FHA guidelines.

If you are interested in purchasing a house in Citrus County, Chenoa Fund offers you a unique opportunity of getting the home of your dreams without exhausting your savings. You'll be able to deal directly with Chenoa after closing if there are any issues. Get in touch with an approved lender today, and start your homeownership journey.

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