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Hometown Heroes Loan Program - Learn How to Get up to a $35,000 Grant in Lafayette County, Florida

If you're looking to buy a home in Lafayette County, Florida, Hometown Heroes Loan Program can help you achieve your homeownership dream. Through this program, specific homebuyers can receive up to a $35,000 grant toward the down payment and closing costs on their first home purchase.

This program allows first-time, income-qualified workers to obtain these no-interest grants without an up-front payment or monthly payment obligation.

Are you an eligible full-time workforce, employed by a Florida-based employer in Lafayette County, Florida? Would you like to buy a home? Then you may want to explore the Hometown Heroes Loan Program.

There are many benefits to purchasing a home as an owner-occupant than renting. So it's best to learn about this free grant opportunity before it's too late.

Keep reading for more information about this program, including how to qualify, income and loan limit requirements, involved lenders, eligible towns in Lafayette, and more essential things about this spectacular county in The Sunshine State.

An Overview of the Hometown Heroes Loan Program

The Hometown Heroes loan program is designed to help eligible full-time community workforce afford a home in their hometowns.

The State of Florida will award qualified buyers who meet specific requirements with as much as $35,000 toward a down payment and other costs related to home buying transactions.

This grant can be used for purchasing a single-family home, townhouse, condominium unit, manufactured housing unit, or cooperative unit within designated areas in Lafayette County.

This is why it's so essential that you contact your local or county government as soon as possible if you qualify. This could be one of your best chances to get into your own home with no money down.

How to Qualify

To qualify for a Hometown Heroes loan program, you must be at least 18 years old and have an income that is consistent with purchasing a home and be a legal resident of Lafayette County, be a first-time homebuyer, and have an income that does not exceed the limits set for Lafayette County, Florida.

You must complete an application form and submit it along with all the supporting documentation. You must also provide documentation such as employment history and proof of income.

The lenders participating in the Hometown Heroes Loan Program include FHA, USDA-RD, HFA Advantage, HFA Preferred, and VA. Your lender will help you determine if you qualify for their loans.

It's essential to do your research before choosing your lender because some are better than others when it comes to service and interest rates. You also need to meet the credit score and other requirements described by the lender you're using.

If you're a veteran with an honorable discharge, you might be exempt from the first-time homebuyer requirement and will only need to show proof of your honorable discharge. In this case, you must provide a valid DD-214 reflecting your military discharge status.

If you're active military personnel, you'll be exempt from the first-time homebuyer requirement, but you must provide a copy of your military ID.

If you're a surviving spouse and are eligible for VA mortgage loans, you will need to produce a valid Certificate of Eligibility (COE).

Income and Loan Limit Requirements

To be eligible, borrowers must meet income and loan limit requirements. So it's essential to understand these requirements and how they can affect your eligibility.

The maximum income limit requirement is based on Lafayette County. Loan limits vary depending on the lender you're using (FHA, USDA-RD, HFA Advantage, HFA Preferred, and VA.

Generally, if you need to qualify for up to $35,000 grants from the Hometown Heroes Loan Program in Lafayette, your household income can't exceed $128,250.

You meet the program's low-income requirements if you earn less than this maximum yearly limit (combined household income).

Maximum loan limits require that the contracted purchase price does not exceed the purchase price limits in the county where the property is being purchased.

In this case, if you want to qualify for the Hometown Heroes grant program, your FHA loan can't exceed $472,030. USDA-RD mortgage does not have a Cap on Loan Limit. For HFA Advantage, HFA Preferred, and VA home mortgage, your loan limit can't exceed $726,200.

Eligible Borrowers

Since the program began, many eligible applicants have received Hometown Heroes grants. So if you're looking for help buying a new home—you could be next.

If you meet all the requirements—such as income level—you could be eligible. The grant amounts typically range from $10,000 to $35,000, depending on your situation.

  • Borrower(s) must be employed full-time by a Florida-based employer and work 35 or more hours per week.

  • The property the borrower(s) is purchasing will be their primary residence and they will be a Florida resident.

  • The borrower(s) are first-time homebuyers which means, a borrower(s) must have had no present ownership Interest in a principal residence at any time during the three-year period prior to the date on which the Mortgage Loan is executed.

  • All Borrowers must have a minimum FICO of 640 and maximum DTI of 50%.

All borrowers are restricted to a one-time participation in FL Housing’s Homebuyer Loan Program. This includes all first and second mortgage programs.

Hometown Heroes Second Mortgage

Borrowers can receive up to 5% of the first mortgage loan amount (maximum of $35,000) in down payment and closing cost assistance.

There will also be a minimum floor set at $10,000 for those individuals able to purchase a home for less than $200,000.

Down payment and closing cost assistance is available in the form of a 0%, non-amortizing, 30-year deferred second mortgage.

However, if any of the following occur, the borrower(s) refinance, pay off the first mortgage, transfer deed or no longer occupy the property as their primary residence, any unpaid principal balance will be required to be repaid, in full.

Florida Tax Exemption Benefits

One of the top benefits of using the Hometown Heroes Program is tax exemption, saving you thousands of dollars.

Under Section 420.513(1) of the Florida Statutes, this program provides an exemption from documentary stamp tax and intangible tax for first and second mortgages and notes used to secure loans for housing financed through Florida Housing's Homebuyer Programs.

This means that when you purchase a home through these programs, you won't have to pay the documentary stamp tax and intangible tax on your mortgage, saving you a substantial amount of money.

The Florida documentary stamp tax is a real estate transfer tax levied at a rate of $0.70 per $100 paid for the property in most counties, except Miami Dade, where it is $0.60 per $100.

With the Hometown Heroes Program, you can exclude this tax when you meet the program's criteria. Additionally, the Florida intangible tax, which is calculated at 2 mills per dollar of the note's just value secured by the mortgage, is also exempted.

For each $100,000 of your home purchase price, this exemption can potentially save you approximately $2,000 in documentary stamp tax and intangible tax.

Miniature tiny home and money on wooden floor

Top Reasons to Live in Lafayette County, Florida

What's so intriguing about Lafayette County, Florida? If you haven't heard about this gem in the panhandle of Florida, it's time to learn why so many people are moving here.

This county offers many intriguing reasons to live there, the top being its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico. The area has been named Florida's most family-friendly community and ranks among the best places to live in America.

Here are some additional intriguing reasons to move to Lafayette County, Florida, and make it your home.

Low Taxes and Cost of Living

The average tax rate for Lafayette County, Florida, is lower than most other counties in America. The median home value is only $265,000. These factors make Lafayette County a great place to start a new business or relocate your family.

If you're tired of paying high taxes and living paycheck-to-paycheck in your current location, it may be time for a change.

A low cost of living means that everyday items like groceries and clothing are less expensive here than in places with higher living costs.

There's a wide range of educational options for residents of Lafayette County. You can choose from several post-secondary institutions and public schools that offer education at an affordable price.

This means you'll not spend too much on your children's education if you decide to move here. Not only that but there are also plenty of affordable healthcare options should you or your loved ones require medical attention.

Generally, it's easy to save money while enjoying all that Lafayette County offers.

Great Neighborhoods to Buy a Home

Are you on a budget but not ready to compromise on location or size? You're probably searching for a good deal regarding real estate.

Lafayette County has plenty of affordable neighborhoods with quality homes available within your price range.

Whether you want a starter home or an investment property, numerous communities will fit your needs and offer great value.

The top areas in Lafayette County that stand out as prime locations for home buyers who want more bang for their buck are Alton, Buckville, Chancey, Cooks Hammock, Grady, Hatchbend, Mayo Junction, and Midway.

Excellent Public and Private Schools

One reason why so many people choose to live in Lafayette is because of its outstanding public and private schools.

High school students can access many vocational opportunities via Advanced Placement courses and dual enrollment programs.

If you're looking for small-town education but with a big-city feel, settle down with your family in one of the spectacular towns in Lafayette.

Best Public schools in Lafayette County, FL, include:

  • Lafayette Elementary School
  • Lafayette High School
  • Lafayette Virtual Franchise
  • Columbia High School
  • Lafayette Virtual Instruction Course Offerings
  • Lafayette Virtual Instruction K-5 Full-time
  • Lafayette Virtual Instruction Program

The best private school is Mayo's Lighthouse Christian Academy.

Safety and Family Friendliness

Lafayette is an idyllic setting for families. With excellent schools and plenty of green space, residents don't have to look further for a family-friendly place.

The county has some great state parks which are easily accessible and provide plenty of opportunities for hiking, water sports, and other family-friendly fun activities.

Low crime rates mean you can let your kids roam at will without worrying about their safety.

If you like to shop, there are many boutiques with unique clothing and accessories—or if you prefer bigger department stores, nearby general stores offer all kinds of shopping options.

There are also many restaurants and hotels for good food, meaning you'll always find your family's favorite meal in one of the local eateries.

There's also a popular farmers' market where you can buy fresh produce from local farms and sample delicious prepared foods.

Home prices here tend to be reasonable, so most people can afford to buy a home with enough room for their growing family.

Benefits to Young Professionals

Young professionals who choose to relocate here will enjoy a low cost of living and plentiful employment opportunities within various industries.

Young professionals can stay within budget while remaining close to nature and develop deeper relationships with family and friends.

Most towns have well-suited social scenes for mingling and networking, where many communities offer plenty of events geared toward younger people.

And thanks to its central location, Lafayette County is an easy commute from some major cities. So you'll always have something fun and interesting going on.

Cities/Towns Qualified for Hometown Heroes Grant Program

One of the main requirements of the Hometown Heroes Grant Program is that you must be a qualifying applicant living and working in Lafayette County, Florida.

So if you're planning to buy a home in Lafayette County, and are eligible for the program, here's the list of cities/towns where you can apply for the grant and purchase your home under the program's provisions.

  • Alton
  • Buckville
  • Chancey
  • Grady
  • Midway
  • Townsend
  • Peterson
  • Hatchbend
  • Mayo Junction
  • Cooks Hammock
  • San Pedro Junction

Bottom Line

Purchasing your first home can be exciting and intimidating if you're a first-time homebuyer.

Not only do you need to consider how much you have to spend on the down payment and other closing costs and how you'll afford your monthly mortgage payment, but you also have to consider the options available to help make the process easier.

Fortunately, a $35,000 grant from the Hometown Heroes Loan Program can help you buy your first home in Lafayette County, Florida.

If you meet the program requirements for the grant program, talk with your local lender about applying for Hometown Heroes assistance today.

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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