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Florida Chenoa Fund FAQ and Changes in 2024

The Florida Chenoa Fund is an essential resource for many homebuyers in the state. As with many programs, updates and changes are periodically introduced to better serve its users.

In 2024, the Florida Chenoa Fund has seen several important modifications. This article offers a straightforward FAQ section to address these updates and help readers understand what they need to know.

Chenoa Fund Changes in 2024

Starting in 2023, the Chenoa Fund made a change regarding which types of loans it supports. Before this date, it was possible to use the Chenoa Fund with conventional loans.

However, now, the Chenoa Fund is only compatible with FHA loans. The program no longer supports conventional loans.

So far, according to the Chenoa Fund website, there are no changes announced for the Chenoa Fund in 2024. The program continues to offer down payment assistance to first-time homebuyers who purchase an FHA-insured home or a conventional loan with Fannie Mae.

However, the Chenoa Fund is a limited resource, and the program's funding levels can change from year to year. In addition, the Chenoa Fund eligibility criteria may be updated periodically to ensure that the program is meeting the needs of first-time homebuyers.

If you are considering using the Chenoa Fund to purchase a home in 2024, it is important to check with the Chenoa Fund website or contact a Chenoa Fund participating lender like MakeFloridaYourHome to confirm the program's availability and eligibility criteria.

Here are some additional things to keep in mind about the Chenoa Fund:

  • The Chenoa Fund is a second mortgage, and it must be repaid within 30 years of the purchase of the home.

  • The Chenoa Fund is not available to all first-time homebuyers. To be eligible, borrowers must meet certain income and credit requirements.

A house model and miniature home buyer figure on a pile of coins

Frequently Asked Questions About The Chenoa Fund in Florida

The Chenoa Fund plays a crucial role for numerous potential homeowners in Florida. To help you navigate its specifics in the state, we've assembled a list of frequently asked questions pertaining to the Chenoa Fund in Florida.

Is the Chenoa Fund a trustworthy program in Florida?

Yes, the Chenoa Fund is a legitimate program in Florida. It is managed by the CBC Mortgage Agency (CBCMA), which is a federally recognized government agency. This means it operates under the oversight and standards set by the federal government.

CBCMA's main area of expertise is offering financing that aligns with the guidelines set by both the FHA and Fannie Mae.

In Florida, they work closely with reputable mortgage lenders like MakeFloridaYourHome on a correspondent basis. This partnership ensures that the loans and assistance provided align with both state and federal standards.

What is the Chenoa Fund?

The Chenoa Fund is a program that offers help with down payments for homebuyers in Florida. It's run by CBC Mortgage Agency, which is an official agency recognized by the federal government.

This program was created to help families in Florida who can afford monthly house payments but have trouble saving for a down payment.

The Chenoa Fund works together with trusted mortgage lenders in Florida. They offer financial help for down payments through second mortgages to people who qualify.

To use this program, you need to meet certain credit score and income requirements. If you don't meet these, the Chenoa Fund might not be able to help directly, but its work still benefits many. By helping people buy homes, it also makes renting a bit more available and affordable for others.

Since starting in 2013, the Chenoa Fund has helped over 10,000 families in the U.S., including many in Florida, to buy their first home.

What % assistance is the Chenoa Fund?

The Chenoa Fund is a program available in Florida that assists homebuyers with their down payments. For those choosing an FHA loan, the Chenoa Fund provides two main options for assistance:

  • 3.5% Down Payment Assistance - This is a financial aid amounting to 3.5% of the home's purchase price.

  • 5% Down Payment Assistance - A higher assistance amount, this provides 5% of the home's purchase price.

These funds can be used in different ways. Homebuyers can apply the assistance directly to their down payment.

Alternatively, they can use it to cover closing costs or prepaid items, which are expenses you pay in advance, like homeowners insurance or property taxes.

In some cases, they might decide to split the assistance among these different expenses.

For Floridians considering a home purchase but finding the upfront costs daunting, the Chenoa Fund's down payment assistance can be a helpful tool.

It's designed to alleviate some of the initial financial burdens, making homeownership more attainable for many residents in the state.

What are the Chenoa Fund products available in Florida?

The Chenoa Fund offers different types of help for down payments in Florida. Here's a quick breakdown:

  • Rate Advantage - A specific type of product to help with down payments.

  • DPA Edge - This can be either a Repayable Second or a Soft Second type of assistance.

  • HomeReady - Another type of down payment assistance.

  • Standard Conventional - This can be paired with either a FNMA Standard Conventional loan that covers 90-95% of the home's value, or a Conventional 97 loan.

The Chenoa Fund's help for down payments can be used with a first mortgage that's either insured by the FHA or is a standard FNMA conventional loan. The main thing is that the first mortgage follows the right rules and guidelines.

For an FHA-insured mortgage, the Chenoa Fund offers either 3.5% or 5% of the lower amount between the buying price and the assessed value of the house.

If you're getting a conventional loan that covers 90-97% of the home's value, The Chenoa Fund will provide a second mortgage. This will be either 3% or 5% of the lesser amount between the purchase price and the assessed value.

To get this help, you must follow the rules set for the specific Fannie Mae™ program you're using (like HomeReady®, Standard Conventional, or Conventional 97).

Is getting help with a down payment a smart choice for buying a home in Florida?

Many people in Florida want to buy a home but can't because of the down payment. In a 2017 study by the Urban Institute and the Federal Reserve, over half of the renters said they rented homes because they couldn't afford the down payment to buy one.

Another study found that help with down payments is becoming more important for the housing market's health. This kind of help is especially important for minority groups.

A lot of them don't have family members who can help with buying a first home, so without assistance, they might never become homeowners.

The Chenoa Fund offers this kind of help in Florida. If you meet the rules, you can get a second mortgage to help with the down payment when buying a home with an FHA-insured or FNMA conventional loan.

By assisting buyers, the Chenoa Fund helps create a balance in Florida communities between homeowners and renters. Owning a home is a big way families can grow their money and wealth.

The Chenoa Fund makes sure they follow all the FHA's strict rules. Every loan they give is checked carefully to make sure the homebuyer will be successful. After buying, all homebuyers get advice and support to make sure they settle into their new homes well.

What's the highest debt to income ratio allowed for the Chenoa Fund in Florida?

For the Chenoa Fund in Florida, the highest debt to income ratio (DTI) you can have is 45%.

However, if you currently have housing payments and they are much higher than what you're used to, or if your DTI is more than the usual rules, there might be other ways for you to qualify.

But it's important to remember, no matter what, your DTI can't go over 50%.

Are there counseling requirements for using the Chenoa Fund?

In Florida, the Chenoa Fund provides more than just financial help for homebuyers. They are committed to making sure homebuyers not only buy a house but also succeed in keeping it long-term.

Before buying, homebuyers who need extra guidance can get special counseling. After buying a home, every Chenoa Fund user gets support and advice for the first year and a half.

This helps many Floridians, especially those owning a home for the first time, handle any challenges they might face.

Is it risky to use the Chenoa Fund in Florida?

Using the Chenoa Fund in Florida is considered safe if followed correctly, though like any loan, there's some risk. The organization behind the Chenoa Fund, CBC Mortgage Agency, is officially approved and sticks strictly to FHA rules.

The Chenoa Fund helps those who are ready and able to own a home. To use it, you need a certain credit score, which is set higher than what the FHA usually requires.

To reduce risks further, the Chenoa Fund offers classes on buying a home for those who might need it. Also, after buying, everyone gets guidance and support for the first year and a half.

This means homebuyers can use their savings for unexpected expenses, making the first few years of owning a home smoother.

What credit score is required for Chenoa Fund's down payment assistance in Florida?

In Florida, if you're looking into the Chenoa Fund for help with your home down payment, there are specific requirements you need to meet.

One of the main requirements is related to your credit score.

For this program, the minimum credit score you should have is 600. This means if your score is 600 or above, you can apply for the assistance.

Apart from the credit score, there's another important factor - your income.

To be eligible, your earnings shouldn't exceed 115% of the median income of the county where you intend to buy your home. This requirement ensures that the program assists those who might need it most, based on local income averages.

Do you need to show tax returns for the Chenoa Fund?

In Florida, the Chenoa Fund has specific guidelines about providing tax returns. Here's what you need to know.

If you work for yourself (meaning you're self-employed), you'll need to show your tax returns when applying for the Chenoa Fund. This helps to confirm your income since self-employed individuals might have varying earnings from year to year.

But if you're not self-employed and earn a regular salary or hourly wage (often evidenced by W2 forms), the Chenoa Fund generally doesn't ask for tax returns.

There's one exception - if you're involved in a transaction where the buyer and seller have a relationship (known as an "identity-of-interest" transaction) or if there are other quality control concerns, then tax transcripts might be required to validate your W2 income.

Is the Chenoa Fund available for conventional loans in Florida?

No, in 2023, if you're looking to use the Chenoa Fund in Florida, it's essential to know that it's no longer available for conventional loans. The program has made a change, and now the Chenoa Fund can only be used in conjunction with FHA loans.

If you were considering a conventional loan and hoped to use the Chenoa Fund for down payment assistance, you would need to explore other options or consider an FHA loan instead.

Always stay updated with current program guidelines and consult with local housing or loan experts in Florida for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Bottom Line

The Florida Chenoa Fund is a program designed to assist homebuyers with down payments, making homeownership more attainable.

In 2023, an important change occurred - the Chenoa Fund stopped supporting conventional loans and now exclusively supports FHA loans.

If you're considering this program, you should have a credit score of at least 600. The maximum debt to income ratio allowed is 45%, and there are income limits based on the median income of the county where you intend to purchase.

Self-employed individuals will need to provide tax returns to confirm income. For others, tax returns might not be typically required, but certain situations may necessitate them.

It's essential to frequently check the Chenoa Fund website or consult with participating lenders like MakeFloridaYourHome for the latest information, ensuring you're well-informed and prepared for your homebuying journey.

With over 50 years of mortgage industry experience, we are here to help you achieve the American dream of owning a home. We strive to provide the best education before, during, and after you buy a home. Our advice is based on experience with Phil Ganz and Team closing over One billion dollars and helping countless families.

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