The loan is beneficial if you are a first-time home buyer who does not have the time to save a large amount of money for your down payment or if you are working out of recent financial difficulties.
Although the Federal Housing Administration guarantees your home loan, you do not apply directly to the FHA for the facility; instead, you apply for the mortgage from a lender approved to offer FHA loans.
Are you a Hometown Hero? Find out your eligibility for the Hometown Heroes Loan Program in St. Lucie County, Florida.
How An FHA Loan Works
An FHA is insured by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Federal Housing Authority and issued by approved lenders like banks or credit unions. FHA loans ensure that borrowers with lower credit scores or limited savings can access financing for their homes.
These loans are federally insured credit facilities, so the lenders have protection in case you default on your monthly payment. As a result, you get more favorable lending terms and affordable interest rates on a home loan that you may otherwise not have access to.
You can use this loan to purchase or refinance a single-family or multi-family home of up to four units, condos, and certain types of mobile homes. You may also apply for an FHA-backed loan to build a new home or finance the renovation of your existing home.
You will find lenders offering several types of loans under the FHA's administration, including:
Traditional Mortgages - This type of mortgage is possibly what immediately comes to mind when considering an FHA-backed loan. This credit facility is a mortgage on your single-family primary or multi-family home. Depending on the lender, you may choose between the adjustable or fixed interest rate on the loan.
Construction to Permanent Loan - You may consider this facility if you want to build a home.
Home Equity Conversion Mortgage - An Equity Conversion Mortgage is an FHA-backed home loan primarily targeting older homeowners looking to tap into the value of their home to receive cash.
203(k) Rehab Mortgage - With the 203(k) rehab mortgage facility, you get a single loan that includes a mortgage and money to make any improvements needed on your home.
Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM) - The Energy Efficient Mortgage allows you to roll over the costs of making your home more energy efficient without incurring a larger down payment. In addition, this credit facility lets you improve items like insulation, thermostat systems, or a furnace.
Title I Property Improvement Loan - If you want to make essential upgrades to certain aspects of your home, you may apply for a Title I Property Improvement Loan.
- Graduated Mortgage Payment Program / Section 245(a) Mortgage - A Section 254(a) FHA-insured loan targets borrowers who have moderate to low income. The facility allows you to start by making low payments that increase as your monthly income rises.
Before a lender grants you an FHA loan in St. Lucie County, Florida, you must meet the following qualification criteria:
Down Payment and Credit Score
If you have a credit score higher than 580, you only require 3.5% of the property value as a down payment. On the other hand, if your credit score falls between 500 and 579, you will have to pay 10% of the home's value.
Debt-To-Income Ratio (DTI)
Your Debt-To-Income Ratio ratio is the total debt repayments you make every month divided by your monthly income. To receive a loan from an approved lender, you should have a DTI below 43%.
You may apply for an FHA to pay for a single-family unit or a multi-family home to house up to four families. An FHA loan could also go towards buying a manufactured home or condo.
There are restrictions on how much financing you can receive as an FHA loan. The key determinant is where you live and the type of property you want to buy. The CY2022 basic standard mortgage limits for FHA insured loans in St. Lucie are:
- Single family - $420,680.00
- Two family - $538,650.00
- Three family - $651,050.00
- Four family - $809,150.00
You may use this loan to purchase a home with normal wear and tear, but the facility cannot go towards a building with significant safety or structural issues. As a result, an FHA-approved appraiser must inspect the property to ensure it meets the necessary standards.
For instance, you cannot use the loan to buy a home located next to a hazardous waste disposal facility or one with a damaged roof. What's more, the home you want to buy cannot be in an area that's subject to noise pollution, like next to a high-traffic highway.
Benefits Of FHA Loans
FHA Loans offer several advantages over conventional home financing options. They include:
Ease Of Access
FHA offers mortgage programs with less stringent requirements than traditional home loans. Accordingly, it is often easier to qualify for financing, even if you have a low credit score or a questionable credit history.
FHA provides competitive interest rates to help you afford your monthly housing payment. Lower interest rates are a great benefit, particularly when compared to the charges on subprime mortgages.
Foreclosure / Bankruptcy
If you've had a foreclosure or bankruptcy within the past few years, you may still be able to apply for an FHA loan. However, you must have a solid payment history and re-establish good credit to satisfy the FHA requirements.
Determination Of Credit History
FHA-approved lenders have many ways to assess your credit history and examine your credit card usage. In addition, any payment, including rents, utilities, or student loans, can reflect a pattern of reliability on your part.
Issues That Could Negatively Affect Your Application
When underwriting your loan, the lender reviews your previous credit history. A track record of on-time debt payments will improve your chances of approval for an FHA loan.
With that in mind, there are additional credit-related items that could negatively affect your eligibility for a loan:
No Bank Account
When applying for an FHA loan, "cash under the mattress" is not an option. Your mortgage lender will require at least two months' statements from your savings or checking accounts holding readily available funds.
Like any other credit facility, the lender has to be sure that you do not have any existing loans that may affect your ability to pay. To maximize your chances of approval, open a bank account, deposit money into it, and ensure a positive balance for at least 60 days before applying for the loan.
No Credit History
Your credit history is one of the main factors when applying for an FHA loan. The extra work required to determine your credit worthiness may make some lenders unwilling to consider your application. If you do not use traditional credit or have not established a credit history, the lender may have to develop a merged credit history from non-traditional sources.
Fortunately, bankruptcy does not automatically disqualify you from accessing an FHA-backed mortgage. However, you should be aware that following a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must wait for at least two years before applying. Therefore, it would be best if you also took this time to re-establish your credit and avoid any significant new obligations.
Any foreclosures in your past do not necessarily prevent you from applying for and obtaining an FHA home loan, though it may be a factor in certain circumstances.
Late / Delinquent Payments
The best time to submit your FHA loan application is after accumulating at least one year of timely payments of all your financial obligations.
Federal Debt, Judgments, And Collections
Generally, the FHA home loan rules require your lender to ensure the resolution or payment of any judgments affecting you before closing.
FHA Loan Insurance
Because of the relaxed credit score requirements of an FHA loan compared to a conventional facility, the loan is subject to one of two types of mortgage insurance.
Once approved, the first type of premium is due in total upfront, or you may pay it as part of the mortgage. The second kind is payable monthly.
Upfront mortgage insurance premium (UFMIP)
As its name suggests, this premium is a one-time payment made upfront. The UFMIP requires you to pay a premium that is 1.75% of the value of your home loan, no matter what your credit score. You get the option to pay this premium when you close as part of your settlement charges, or you could opt to roll it into the mortgage payments.
Annual Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP)
Although the MIP is named a yearly premium, it is a monthly charge that the lender figures into your mortgage payments. The amount you pay as the MIP is a percentage of your loan and depends on the length of the loan and your loan-to-value (LTV) ratio.
FHA Loan Relief
When you receive an FHA loan to buy a house in St. Lucie, you could be eligible to get loan relief if you experience a legitimate financial setback, such as an unexpected increase in living expenses or a loss of income.
In addition, the FHA has a Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) that could permanently lower the monthly mortgage payments to a level you can afford.
To fully participate in the program, you should complete a three-month trial payment plan at a lower, modified amount.
Why Buying A Home In St. Lucie, Florida With Your FHA Loan Is A Good Idea
Located approximately halfway between Orlando and Miami is the scenic port city of St. Lucie, Florida. Although it is Florida's eighth-largest city and the third-largest metropolitan area in South Florida, the town has retained its "Old Florida" flavor and small-town feel.
The roughly 200,000 residents enjoy a unique, laid-back, relaxed atmosphere but still enjoy all the big-city amenities you expect. The locale offers the perfect blend of proximity and convenience in serene surroundings.
Are you considering using your FHA-backed loan to buy a house for your family? Here's why moving to St. Lucie is a great idea:
A Choice of Great Neighborhoods
St. Lucie has an array of charming neighborhoods which provide ideal locations for you to build or buy the home of your dreams in St. Lucie, Florida. They include:
Gatlin Pines - This is a family-friendly neighborhood with convenient access to employment opportunities, shops, and restaurants.
Bayshore Heights - A peaceful, beautiful neighborhood. A great community where you can get to know your neighbors and your kids can make new friends.
Woodland Trails - An up-and-coming community with commercial areas and churches within walking distance. Woodland Trails also has charter schools and dog parks.
Torino - Another area popular with new homeowners, this neighborhood is a commuter's dream. Living in Torino is within reach of Interstate 95 but is tucked away from the busy main roads.
Canal Pointe - A family-friendly St. Lucie neighborhood where residents enjoy a laid-back lifestyle and conveniently access the Intercoastal Waterway and C-24 Canal Park.
Cashmere Cove - The Cove is a conveniently located neighborhood with quick access to Crosstown turnpike and Parkway. Residents love Cashmere Cove for its Turtle Run Park, which stretches over 10 acres. The park has open spaces for football and soccer, a kids' playground, a large pavilion, and picnic spaces.
- Floresta Pointe - This neighborhood is an excellent choice if peace is your top priority. The best beaches in the state are only a short drive away from Floresta Pointe, while the turnpike and I-95 are within easy reach if you need more hustle and bustle.
You cannot take your family's safety or the security of your valued possessions for granted. Luckily, St. Lucie, Florida, is known as one of the safest cities of its size in the U.S., according to multiple studies, including a report by the FBI.
St. Lucie has an excellent public school system with strong language, STEM, and enrichment programs. Moreover, the city has excellent local colleges and several universities, so you can start or continue your education.
Job And Employment Opportunities
Living in St. Lucie places you close to the much larger cities of Orlando and Miami. St. Lucie has a healthy job market and business opportunities, but its proximity to these extensive metropolitan areas helps to expand your options.
Entertainment Opportunities for Your Entire Family
When you buy or build a home in St. Lucie, you're always just a stone's throw away from some of the biggest kids' attractions like Legoland, Marlins Park, and Disney World. You can also find opportunities to fish, cruise, and explore with one of the chartered expeditions available at Fort Pierce Marina.
Other attractions to check out include:
- First Data Field
- Rivergate Veterans Park
- Treasure Coast Model Railroad Club
- Savannas Preserve State Park
- Port St Lucie Botanical Gardens
The city is teeming with great restaurants serving dishes from all over the world. When in St. Lucie, the West End Grill and St. Lucie Draft House serve the favorite local dishes. Are you craving some Latin fare instead? You can grab delicious Mexican food at Pueblo Viejo or Zapata's.
Get A Florida Housing Home Loan Today
Are you ready to own your dream home in St. Lucie County, Florida? Florida Housing's FHA-backed home loans make it possible, even with a low credit score. Florida Housing provides 30-year fixed-rate mortgages for first-time homeowners in collaboration with a network of participating lending institutions in the state.
With Florida Assist, you can apply up to $10,000 in down-payment assistance on an FHA loan on your first mortgage. Additionally, you could be eligible for one of the non-amortizing 0% rated deferred second mortgage programs.
Contact us today to learn more about the available home loan solutions and the Florida Assist program available to residents of St. Lucie County, Florida.