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Chenoa Fund Down Payment Assistance Program in Hernando County, Florida

Becoming a homeowner can be pretty tricky at the height of the current housing crisis in Florida. The mortgage market in the Sunshine State is characterized mainly by high-interest rates and strict eligibility requirements from lenders. But, what if there's a way to avoid these obstacles to homeownership and find a home loan even with a low income?

The Chenoa Fund was established precisely for this purpose - to increase homeownership opportunities across the country with its down payment assistance products. When you sign up for this down payment assistance program, you may be able to get at least 3.5 percent of the price of the property you want to buy as a loan.

Navigating through the Chenoa Fund loan process isn't as daunting compared to the process involved with conventional home loans. As you consider getting a down payment assistance loan in Hernando County, Florida, here's everything you should know about the Chenoa Fund.

What is the Chenoa Fund?

To understand the Chenoa Fund better, you first need a background on the entity that set it up. CBC Mortgage Agency offers 100 percent financing for FHA-backed mortgages. Its mission is to enhance economic self-sufficiency across the country with offerings such as the Chenoa Fund.

CBC Mortgage Agency established the Chenoa Fund as a down payment assistance program targeted at low to moderate-income borrowers struggling to raise a down payment on an FHA-backed home loan. More homebuyers continue to benefit from this program as their lives change. CBC Mortgage Agency also partners with lenders nationwide to facilitate the down payment assistance loan.

One thing to note is that the Chenoa Fund is free of government backing from entities such as the VA, USDA, FHA, and FNMA. However, it offers down payment assistance on loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration.

Perks of the Chenoa Fund

Besides getting down payment assistance on your home loan, you also enjoy other benefits when enrolled in the Chenoa Fund program. To be precise, the program offers pre and post-purchase counseling aimed at helping first-time homebuyers get great value from a purchase. It also runs a Borrower Success Program to educate mortgage borrowers on home loans.

Even more, the Chenoa Fund has scheduled check-ins that you can use to seek clarity on any aspects related to your loan. Prompt feedback is provided by expert HUD-certified counselors to help you navigate the homeownership journey smoothly. You also have the advantage of choosing a mode of communication that works with your schedule.

Chenoa Fund sources 100 percent of its funds internally without assistance from the federal government. It continues to reinvest the finances into more loans that offer homebuyers with low to moderate-income financial assistance on their loan down payments.

The Chenoa Fund Products That You Should Know

The Chenoa Fund down payment program has three down payment assistance offerings that can help you reduce the time/effort needed to get a home loan. Each product is designed with different considerations and target borrowers in mind.

Here's everything you can learn about these loan products.

DPA for FHA Loans

You may want to consider the DPA for FHA Loans product if you want to take an FHA-backed loan with a down payment requirement of 3.5 percent of the property's price. It is usually available as a 30-year forgivable or 10-year repayable loan. With this Chenoa Fund product, you can clear the down payment amount and even settle some of the closing costs.

Lenders will only consider you for this loan if you are already qualified for an FHA-backed loan. You also have to satisfy the eligibility requirements for this product, such as having a credit score of 600 or higher.

One of the perks of the Chenoa Fund Down Payment Assistance for FHA loans is that it allows you to lock in a reasonable rate on the loan. You also get the opportunity of building home equity without having to save for a down payment in a mortgage market dominated by strict terms.

DPA Edge Repayable Second Product

As the name suggests, the DPA Edge Repayable Second Product doesn't have any loan forgivable aspect tied to it. Also, it doesn't require you to have an income within a specific median income range.

You can sign up for this loan as a repayable second loan at a 5 percent interest rate for ten years or a repayable second mortgage at a zero percent interest rate repayable in ten years. Your lender may allow you to clear the loan balance at your own pace without facing any late payment penalties.

DPA Edge

One thing that distinguishes the DPA Edge loan from other Chenoa Fund programs is its high credit score requirement (620). Lenders also expect your income to be 115 percent of your area's median income or less. And provided you meet their eligibility requirements, you'll be closer to realizing your homeownership dreams.

Chenoa Fund Down Payment Assistance Program Guidelines

The Chenoa Fund can be distinguished from other down payment assistance programs with its unique guidelines. For starters, its down payment assistance loans only target homebuyers across the US apart from New York. They also offer assistance to the extent of 3 percent, 3.5 percent, or 5 percent of the property's price.

Processes such as loan underwriting, appraisal, loan origination, and credit review are usually done by an approved lender before or after closing. Even more, the loan can only help you make a down payment for properties such as PUDs, SFRs, attached/detached modular homes, condos, and townhomes.

The only multiple-unit properties allowed in the Chenoa Fund are two-unit properties. If you want to make a down payment for one, consider a Chenoa Fund DPA for FHA Loans for funding. The program won't consider any property that exceeds two units.

Eligibility Requirements for the Chenoa Fund DPA Program

A credit score ranging from 600 to 620 or higher can improve your chances of qualifying for any Chenoa Fund products. It's also essential to review the lender-specific loan requirements as you consider signing up for this loan program. For instance, most lenders expect your DTI (debt-to-income) ratio to be 45 percent or less.

It's way more affordable to sign up for the Chenoa Fund down payment assistance program than to continue renting a house. As the program continues to increase homeownership opportunities nationwide with its attractive products, a good credit and income level within the program's limits can help you get qualified.

A person holding home model

Understanding the Down Payment Assistance Amount

Once a lender qualifies you for a Chenoa Fund DPA loan product, you may receive the down payment assistance loan that equals 3.5 percent of the property's price. The loan may also take the form of a repayable or forgivable second mortgage concerning the kind of loan product you are taking.

The down payment assistance offered by the Chenoa Fund works better with FHA-insured loans instead of Fannie Mae's conventional home loans. An approved lender of your choosing offers it. This means you can go through the program's list of approved lenders and choose the one you prefer.

There's also an opportunity to pair the loan with seller concessions to cover the closing costs. For this to be possible, the seller concessions must satisfy FHA guidelines.

The Chenoa Fund and FHA loans

Here are the Chenoa Fund programs and how they interact with FHA loans. The Chenoa Fund down payment assistance program pairs with FHA loans in various ways, depending on the loan product. This is largely because FHA-backed loans require a down payment of 3.5 percent of the property's price.

DPA Edge

DPA Edge from the Chenoa Fund is an excellent second mortgage product for low-income borrowers looking to buy a home. It is available as a forgivable mortgage without the requirement of making payments. However, for the forgivability aspect to apply to your case, you need an income of 115 percent of your area's average income.

Other requirements for the DPA Edge loan include a FICO score of 620 and a DTI ratio of 45 percent. You can use the loan to pay the down payment on an FHA-insured loan, with the chance of getting the lender to adjust the DTI requirement if your credit score is good.

Your loan will only be forgiven once you make 36-month payments without missing a single payment. If you miss any monthly payment, the entire timeline will be reset. The good thing is that you still have a chance to have the mortgage forgiven though it may take longer to achieve this.

Rate Advantage

The Rate Advantage loan product from the Chenoa Fund is in high demand due to its countless perks. For starters, it makes it easier to lock in a rate on your loan and offers down payment assistance equal to 3.5 percent of the property's buying price. This is the aspect that makes it favorable for FHA-backed loans.

The loan comes with an 8 percent interest rate second mortgage payable in 10 years. However, the Rate Advantage loan requires a DTI ratio of 50 percent provided you have a credit score of 640. You also need an income that is below 135 percent of your area's median income.

Edge Repayable Second Product

If meeting your area's median income requirement is an issue, you should consider signing up for the Edge Repayable Second product.

When used to pay the down payment on an FHA loan, this second mortgage can be paid in ten years with zero interest or 30 years with 5 percent interest. However, your DTI ratio needs to be 45 percent, while your credit score needs to be 620 to increase your chances of qualifying.

Applying for the Chenoa Fund

With the Chenoa Fund DPA program, you won't have to go through the vigorous loan process that most conventional home loans require. You can start shopping around for approved lenders if you know what you want and meet the lender-specific requirements. As you narrow your searches to one lender, learn more about their loan process.

You must gather supporting documents that portray you as a creditworthy borrower to a lender. Be sure to fill out any application forms needed and submit the supporting documents as required. Expect some back and forth throughout the process.

If your application satisfies most of the lender-specific requirements, you may be approved for the Chenoa Fund loan product you applied for. Depending on the lender's loan origination policies, loan processing may take days or weeks to complete. And once the process is over, funds will be transferred to your account, allowing you to make a down payment for a home loan.

More information on the loan processes and approval guidelines of the program's DPA products is available on the Chenoa Fund website. You can also inquire about approved lenders in your city by emailing

Top 5 Places in Hernando County, Florida to Enjoy a Good Meal

With its convenient location along the west central coast of the Sunshine State, Hernando County is a bubbly coastal area. Spring Hill is its largest community, while Brooksville is its county seat.

If you are looking for great food joints to enjoy a meal and relaxation at the same time, you may want to consider the following options:

Juicey's Juice Bar (Spring Hill, FL)

At the heart of Spring Hill, Fl lies Juicey's Juice Bar which is known for its fruit bowls, acai bowl, and Pitaya.

This juice bar is a great joint to visit if you want to enjoy the refreshing taste of fresh fruit with friends or family members. It offers excellent value for money and the perfect atmosphere for relaxing and catching up with loved ones.

Bonefish Grill (Brooksville, FL)

Bonefish Grill is a contemporary grill chain offering a seafood-centric menu with cocktails and steaks. The joint is known for fantastic flavors, and various menu items, from Grom pineapple glazed shrimp to garlic whipped mashed potatoes and crab cake; there's something for everyone.

Bonefish Grill also offers seasonal specials which reflect their chef's commitment to sourcing fresh fish from local fishermen. Their watermelon Martini is a summertime favorite featuring house-infused English cucumber vodka and hand-muddled watermelon. Other exciting menu items include house-baked cookies, fresh bread, pesto, and salad.

Hernando Beach Tropical Grille (Hernando Beach, FL)

When looking for a convenient place to relax and enjoy a wide range of seafood together with steaks, wins, fajitas, sandwiches, and burgers, you may want to check out Hernando Beach Tropical Grille. The joint has excellent access to a boat ramp and parking space. It also prides itself on using the finest ingredients to make dishes from scratch.

To make things more fun, check out the restaurant's tiki bar at the rear of the Hernando Beach Marina. The whole place is fitted with furniture and decor that bring out a family-friendly vibe.

Chipotle Mexican Grill (Brooksville, FL)

Chipotle Mexican Grill operates as a fast-food chain that offers a broad range of Mexican dishes, including custom-made bowls, tacos, and burritos. Their hand-smashed guacamole, fresh tomato salsa, and grilled Adobo chicken are served on a neat bed of fresh green lettuce. You can also try the keto salad bowl if you want something lightweight.

In terms of service and ambiance, the restaurant scores pretty well. The staff members are pretty fast at processing customers' orders too.

Upper Deck (Spring Hill, FL)

As an informal waterfront bar and grill, Upper Deck boasts a spacious deck and serves different American cuisine, including seafood. The food is pretty good while the surrounding atmosphere is quite inviting to a group of friends and family members.

Upper Deck also has an excellent view for memorable dining experiences. From a shrimp po'boy to dinner salad and crab cakes, you can find something to enjoy at the joint, served with courteous and friendly staff.

Summing up

With its attractive down payment assistance products, the Chenoa Fund continues to give hope to low-income borrowers who previously couldn't raise a down payment on a home loan.

As a result, more people realize their homeownership dreams with loans despite the high-interest rates and strict loan requirements in the current mortgage market. Be sure to check if you qualify for a Chenoa Fund loan to kickstart your homeownership journey

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