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Chenoa Fund Down Payment Assistance Program in Wakulla County, Florida

Have you been eyeing that dream home in Wakulla County, Florida, but can't afford to secure a suitable mortgage due to the down payment hurdle? The popular Chenoa Fund Down Payment Assistance (Chenoa Fund DPA) might be able to help you.

This program assists eligible low-income and moderate-income families who meet specific qualifications to secure their piece of the American dream by providing down payment assistance grants to purchase homes in Wakulla County.

This article will walk you through everything you need to know about the Chenoa Fund DPA to help you make an informed decision per your financial situation.

We'll discuss the basics of Chenoa Fund, available products, eligibility requirements, program benefits, how it operates with FHA loans, and the application process.

We'll also explore various places you can get a delicious Acai Bowl while living your dream in Wakulla County, Florida. Read on to discover more!

The Basics of Chenoa Fund DPA Program

The mission of the non-profit organization Chenoa Fund is to provide down payment assistance to low-income households and first-time homebuyers in Florida. When you're ready to move from renting to owning, you may be eligible for this down payment assistance program.

Qualifying participants may be eligible for up to $10,000 or more towards the down payment but not other closing costs. However, you must complete an application form to receive an initial determination of eligibility based on household size, gross monthly income, credit score, and debt-to-income (DTI) ratio.

If you're eligible, you'll work closely with your lender and homebuilder/developer to find a home that meets all requirements before receiving final approval.

You can get as low as 3% or as high as 5% from this assistance through either repayable or forgivable second mortgage loans, depending on the FHA loan program you choose. To find out what options and assistance amounts are best suited for your situation, it's best to contact your lender.

The Different Products Offered Through the Chenoa Fund

The Chenoa Fund offers different products, each with unique qualifications and options. Understanding these loan products is essential to ensure you get the assistance loan you need at a rate you can afford.

Read on to learn more about all available loan products and how they can benefit you, depending on your situation.

Chenoa Fund Edge Repayable Second Product

With this product, you can choose between a 10-year plan with an interest rate of 0% and a 30-year plan with a rate of 5%.

In this option, income limit requirements are not applicable, but you must have a minimum 620 credit score and a maximum DTI of 45%. However, the DTI requirement will increase if you have a higher credit score.

Chenoa Fund DPA Edge

A Chenoa Fund Down Payment Assistance Edge is a soft second mortgage option, preferred by many applicants with lower incomes because the cash obtained for a down payment is often forgiven. This means you do not have to pay the loan back.

To qualify, you must make on-time payments to your primary FHA mortgage (no more than 30 days late) to enjoy the loan forgiveness benefit. This interest-free DPA Edge loan is suitable if you have good or excellent credit, a steady income (at least 115% of the median income in Wakulla County), and a DTI of 45% or below.

Chenoa Fund Rate Advantage Program

Chenoa Fund Rate Advantage Program is the most prominent and successful product of the Chenoa Fund program. It lets you lock in a competitive interest rate on your original FHA mortgage and receive a 3.5% down payment assistance loan. This assistance loan offers a 10-year term with an 8% interest rate.

The program guidelines indicate that an applicant should have a debt-to-income ratio of at most 50%, a credit score of at least 640, and a salary of at least 135% of the median household income in Wakulla County.

Eligibility Requirements for Chenoa Fund DPA Program

If you want to be considered for the program, it's essential to ensure your situation matches the eligibility criteria to maximize your chances of getting this assistance funding.

So, if you meet the following eligibility requirements, you may qualify for the Chenoa Fund down payment assistance program.

The Credit Score Requirement

To qualify for a loan, you'll need a good credit score, typically defined as a FICO score of at least 620. If your credit history has been poor and below this level, you can do a few things to improve your score and increase your eligibility chances.

Start by paying off any outstanding debts that are maxed out. If possible, make on-time payments on unpaid bills before they are sent to collections or charged off. It's also a great idea to keep your credit card balance low (below 30% of the limit).

Debt-to-Income Ratio (DTI)

The debt-to-income (DTI) ratio is calculated by dividing your total monthly debt payments by your gross monthly income (before taxes). Your DTI ratio must not exceed 45% to qualify for a Chenoa Fund assistance loan. The lower your DTI percentage, the higher the qualifying chances.

The higher your DTI, the less likely you're to qualify. A DTI of 50% or more will not be approved. This is because the Chenoa program is designed for homebuyers who need help but can maintain a decent standard of living and make mortgage payments on time.

Meet All FHA Loan Eligibility Requirements

You must also meet eligibility requirements outlined by the U.S. Federal Housing Administration to get pre-approved for an FHA mortgage and qualify for the Chenoa Fund DPA program.

There are five primary eligibility requirements for FHA loans, including:

  • Pay a down payment of 10% if your credit score is below 580 but not less than 500.

  • Pay a down payment of 3.5% if your credit score exceeds 580.

  • Your debt-to-income ratio (DTI) shouldn't exceed 50%.

  • Provide documented proof of employment and stable income.

  • You must not have had a foreclosure or bankruptcy in the last three years.

  • You must intend to occupy the subject home as your primary residence in Wakulla County.

Income Limits

There's no specific income limit for Chenoa Fund DPA program as long as you're a low- to moderate-income applicant and creditworthy to qualify for one of the FHA loan products.

However, you must make less than 115% of the median household income in Wakulla County, FL, or have a spouse making less than half the median household income in your area.

How Chenoa Fund DPA Works with FHA Loans

The mission of the Chenoa Fund DPA program is to help make homeownership more affordable, so if you're considering securing an FHA loan to finance your home purchase, this type of mortgage can be an excellent option. Read on for more information on the relationship between the Chenoa Fund DPA program and FHA loans.

The Chenoa Fund cash can be used with an FHA or conventional mortgage, but the Chenoa program is currently on hold for conventional loans. So, if you want assistance from the Chenoa Fund program, you must work with one of its "correspondent" lenders, in this case, an FHA-approved lender. Chenoa Fund products are available through these lenders since they're given delegated underwriting authority.

It's important to note that the Chenoa Fund grant can only be used for the FHA down payment, not your FHA mortgage closing costs. Chenoa Fund will cover your entire FHA down payment, leaving you to pay the mortgage closing costs out of pocket.

Generally, Chenoa Fund offers three different down assistance products for FHA loans, including:

  • Chenoa Fund Edge Repayable Second Product
  • Chenoa Fund Rate Advantage Program
  • Chenoa Fund DPA Edge

Down payment assistance form

Benefits of Using the Chenoa Fund DPA Program

The Chenoa Fund offers down payment assistance to families and individuals to make homeownership affordable, but does it deliver on its promise of financial aid?

The answer depends on several factors, including your financial situation, home type, and how much down payment assistance you receive through other programs.

Here are two main benefits of using the Chenoa Fund down payment assistance program:

  • The Chenoa Fund is entirely self-sustainable and doesn't lean on government subsidies. It has built enough budget for augmenting its down payment assistance program and other housing initiatives.

  • This program provides you with both pre-and post-purchase homebuyer counseling to secure your homeownership success. A team of supportive and knowledgeable HUD-approved counselors will check in monthly to help you as needed.

Applying for Chenoa Fund Down Payment Assistance

The amount of paperwork and number of forms you have to fill out can be overwhelming, mainly if this is your first time applying for a down payment assistance program.

The following step-by-step guide walks you through the application process from start to finish making the process as straightforward as possible:

  • Prequalify for an FHA loan in Wakulla County.

  • Determine how much you need for the FHA down payment.

  • Find out if you're qualified for the Chenoa Fund DPA program.

  • Assemble all the necessary documentation for your Chenoa Fund application.

  • Apply for the down payment assistance suitable for your situation.

  • Receive the down payment assistance fund and finance your FHA mortgage.

The Top 5 Places to Get an Acai Bowl in Wakulla County, Florida

Acai bowls have become increasingly popular over the past couple of years as people look for new ways to eat healthily without sacrificing flavor or quality. For this reason, you'll see acai bowls popping up in cafes and shops all over Wakulla County, FL, making finding the best acai bowl a bit tricky.

To make things easier, we've compiled a list of the top 5 places to get an acai bowl in Wakulla County. Each site has qualities that make it unique, so be sure to read through the list to know what to expect from each location.

Posey's Up the Creek Steam Room

Posey's offers one-of-a-kind dishes and cocktails like their signature acai bowl with a shot of espresso. The staff is amicable and energetic. It also has a clean and welcoming atmosphere.

It's also close to Mash Island Beach, where you can enjoy swimming and other activities before stopping by the restaurant for lunch or dinner. Posey's offers other food options ideal for those looking for something lighter than the typical acai bowl.

Below are more items on their extensive menu:

  • Key Lime Pies
  • Fried Pork Chops
  • Fried prawns, oysters, and soft-shell crabs
  • Fried Chicken Rice and Gravy Baby Green Limas Collards

Tropical Trader Shrimp Co.

Tropical Trader Shrimp Co. is a favorite amongst locals for its delicious acai bowls. Their house-made strawberry acai mix is made from organic strawberries sourced from local farms grown without pesticides or other chemicals.

Whether you're craving some sushi rolls or poke bowls (a Hawaiian dish), they have it all. The staff members are accommodating and can help you with your decision process. The restaurant has a beautiful atmosphere for any time of day.

Check out the following more popular items on their menu:

  • Steak
  • Shrimp
  • Fresh Fish
  • Plates of pasta
  • Salads & Soups
  • Seafood Platters
  • Family-Style Fish Cooking

The Seineyard Rock Landing

The Seineyard Rock Landing is perfect for those who want to enjoy a delicious acai bowl with a view. Located by the pier at 99 Rock Landing Rd, this delightful eatery offers tasty treats like the classic strawberry banana acai bowl, among others.

In addition to these delicacies, they also offer smoothies to satisfy your thirst, desserts to satisfy your sweet tooth, and something lighter for the whole family.

Below are more treats on their extensive menu:

  • Hamburger
  • Cheeseburger
  • Shrimp Wraps
  • Coconut Crème
  • Fried Mushrooms
  • Chicken Sandwich
  • Grouper Sandwich
  • Fried Green Tomatoes

The Sugar Fix • Authentic Shave Ice

At The Sugar Fix • Authentic Shave Ice, you'll find a variety of sweet treats, including cakes, cookies, and pies. Their acai bowl is topped with fresh bananas and granola for a healthy start to your day.

They also have smoothies and a variety of cold-pressed juices. For the most unique shaved ice experience in town, stop by Authentic Shave Ice.

The following are more items on their daily menu:

  • Vanilla ice cream
  • Authentic Hawaiian Shave Ice
  • Chocolate ice cream
  • Red Velvet Cake


If you're looking for an authentic acai bowl in Wakulla County, Florida, look no further than Winn-Dixie. Whether you enjoy a bowl as breakfast or a snack before going on your run, Winn-Dixie has the perfect blend of fruit and granola for your taste.

They have various flavors ranging from banana chocolate chip to blueberry vanilla. What's even better about this store is that they have gluten-free options available.

Below are more delicious items on their extensive food menu:

  • Key Lime Pie
  • Italian Sausage Pizza
  • Four Cheese Pizza
  • Eggo Waffles
  • Family Fries
  • Wings

Bottom Line

Fulfilling the American Dream of homeownership used to be much easier than it currently is; however, many people out there are finding it difficult to save money for a down payment while keeping up with their current bills and expenses.

Thankfully, the Chenoa Fund Down Payment Assistance Program can offer sizeable down payment assistance loans on new homes financed by FHA mortgages throughout Wakulla County, Florida. This program can give you the boost you need to get into your ideal home and begin living your dream.

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