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

There's no doubt that purchasing a home can be difficult with all the loan pre-qualification, paperwork requirements, down payment, and other closing costs. Fortunately, if you're looking to buy a home in Manatee County, some assistance may be available through the Hometown Heroes Loan Program.

The program offers grants up to $35,000 to income-qualified full-time workforce, employed by a Florida-based employer.

You can use the grant fund toward your down payment and closing costs when purchasing a primary residence, as long as you meet the income criteria.

This article will walk you through crucial information you need to understand about the Hometown Heroes Loan Program.

From the program's income requirements, loan limit requirements, the involved lenders, eligible cities in Manatee County, and other essential things you need to know about this beautiful county. Read to learn more.

Understand the Program Requirements

The Hometown Heroes Loan Program offer eligible community workforce an interest-free loan in grant with very little paperwork and no fees or hidden costs.

5% of the TOTAL loan amount capped at $35,000, with a minimum of $10,000, in down payment and closing cost assistance offered as a 0%, non-amortizing, 30-year, repayable 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.

To benefit from this program, you must meet the income requirement for Manatee County applicants and loan limit requirements under the involved mortgage lender.

The following guide will explain these eligibility requirements and limitations to help you determine if you qualify to apply for the grant program.

Income Requirement

As an applicant, you must have a steady income and a history of managing your bills responsibly. The program's guidelines specify that your household income can't exceed $137,100 per year to qualify for the grant fund.

You must also provide documentation of your income and employment history when applying. You should expect to submit at least two years' worth of tax returns or pay stubs to verify your income.

If you're a veteran or eligible spouse, you must first meet all the eligibility requirements for Veteran Affairs (VA) Home loan. This includes serving at least 90 days on active duty during wartime or 180 days during peacetime.

After you've met these requirements, VA will certify your eligibility to receive benefits such as home loans from private lenders. For spouses, you must provide the certificate of eligibility from the VA.

However, there might be income requirement exceptions for disabled veterans and other qualified applicants with dependents, so contact your lender to determine if your situation is qualified for exceptions.

Loan Limit Requirements

To qualify for the Hometown Heroes Loan Program, first, you must qualify for a home mortgage loan with an FHA, USDA-RD, HFA Preferred, HFA Advantage, or VA lending institution.

Your acquired mortgage should not exceed the loan limits described for each of these involved lenders. If your loan exceeds the limit, you might not be eligible for the home financing assistance from the Hometown Heroes Loan Program.

The maximum loan amounts available under the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is $506,000. United States Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (USDA-RD) does not have a Cap on Loan Limit.

For Housing Finance Agency (HFA) Preferred, HFA Advantage, and Veteran Affairs (VA), the maximum loan limits is $726,200.

Eligible Borrowers

To get started, homebuyers must connect with one of Florida Housing’s participating loan officers, have a minimum credit score of 640, be a first-time homebuyer, and earn less than 150% of the area median income, according to their local county data.

  • 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%. For manufactured housing, minimum FICO is 660 and maximum DTI is 45%.

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).

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.

Sunny lookout at end of shaded boardwalk at Emerson Point Preserve along Manatee River in west central Florida

Essential Things to Know About Manatee County, Florida

Manatee County, Florida, can be a fantastic place to live, work, and raise a family.

Manatee County offers everything from beautiful beaches and lakes to award-winning schools, unique cultural events, and plenty of entertainment options.

If you are planning to move to Manatee county, there are certain things you need to know to ensure your transition goes smoothly.

Regardless of where you are moving from or what type of lifestyle you have led, there will be an adjustment period when you move into this new environment.

As you move forward with your plans to settle down in Manatee County, remember the following essential things about the county to make your transition as smooth as possible.

Cost of Living

Manatee County is an excellent choice if you're looking for a place to stretch your dollar. In terms of cost of living, the county is known for being a reasonably affordable place to live in Florida.

The median household income here is $59,963 per year, which is well below the United States national average.

That means you'll be able to enjoy your living standard without spending too much money on housing or necessities like food and utilities.

Because everything from transportation to healthcare costs less here than in other parts of Florida, it's easier for you to save up for more significant purchases like homes and cars.

You'll find it easy to make ends meet even if you don't have high-paying jobs.

Those who do work higher-paying jobs tend to be able to afford larger homes with more space than they would otherwise get in more expensive areas because there's less competition among buyers.

Best Areas to Purchase Your Home in Manatee County, Florida

If you're considering purchasing a home in Manatee County, you'll find many excellent areas to choose from.

The county is known for its quiet neighborhoods with beautiful homes, and each area has unique characteristics that make it a great place to live. Whether you want to live near the beach or away, there are plenty of options.

The best way to learn more about each area is by talking with local real estate agents to tell you more about what life is like in each location.

However, some of the best places to purchase your home in Manatee County include but aren't limited to Whitfield, Ellenton, Bradenton, Palmetto, Bradenton Beach, Anna Maria, Holmes Beach, Parrish, Longboat Key, and Lakewood Ranch.

Best Public and Private Schools

Elementary and middle schools in Manatee County are among Florida's top-rated public schools. Students can choose from various private and charter options if they prefer not to attend a public school.

The county also has several magnet programs that allow students to focus on specific areas, such as languages, art, math, science, etc. There's no shortage of excellent educational opportunities for children in Manatee County.

Some of the top-rated public schools in Manatee include but aren't limited to B D Gullett Elementary School, Sea Breeze Elementary School, Palmetto Charter School, Annie Lucy Williams Elementary School, Gilbert W McNeal Elementary School, Manatee School for the Arts, Southeast High School, and Palmetto High School.

Best private schools include Bradenton Christian School, Saint Stephen's Episcopal School, IMG Academy, Saint Stephen's Episcopal School, Bradenton Christian School, Pinnacle Academy, Ami Kids Manatee, and Tabernacle Christian School.

A Family-Friendly Place

Manatee County is one of America's top places to raise a family. The county's low crime rate, good schools, and affordable housing make it an ideal place for families to live and grow.

The area also has many activities for kids and teens, including parks, museums, theaters, sports leagues, and more.

Families in Manatee County also have access to excellent medical care, with several hospitals located throughout the county.

Plus, there are many great restaurants and shopping centers nearby if you want to get out of town on weekends or evenings.

Benefits to Young Professionals

Manatee County is one of America's best places for young professionals interested in starting their businesses.

As a young professional, you'll enjoy plenty of employment opportunities, a solid public school system, and affordable housing options.

And if you're looking for a way to give back while building your career, there are plenty of volunteer opportunities in your community.

Generally, a career in Manatee County is exciting and fulfilling. If you're getting started, you'll join an active community of young professionals who enjoy living and working in Florida.

Plus, with several well-known colleges in town (including Stetson University), young adults can easily get involved in student life or find work after graduation.

Cities Qualified for Hometown Heroes Loan Program in Manatee County, Florida

Finding quality housing in the right location can be challenging, especially if you're moving to a new town.

Fortunately, the Hometown Heroes Loan Program in Manatee County is there to help full-time workers afford the home of your dream through their grant program.

So, if you're looking to buy a home in Manatee, you might wonder which cities qualify for this home financing assistance.

Here's a list of cities and census-designated areas in Manatee County that qualify for the Hometown Heroes Loan Program.

  • Bradenton
  • Palmetto
  • Lakewood Ranch
  • Ellenton
  • Holmes Beach
  • Anna Maria
  • Bradenton Beach
  • Cortez
  • West Bradenton
  • Bayshore Gardens
  • South Bradenton
  • Samoset
  • Whitfield
  • West Samoset
  • Memphis

Bottom Line

The Hometown Heroes Grant Program offers first-time homebuyers in Manatee County up to $35,000 in grants to help fund the extra costs related to the home-buying transaction.

The program makes homeownership affordable for eligible community workforce. If you qualify, you may be eligible for this great offer from the Hometown Heroes Loan Program in Manatee County, Florida.

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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