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

You may need to buy a home for many reasons, but the process doesn't have to be expensive or complicated. The Hometown Heroes Program makes it easy to get started with obtaining the funding you need to buy your next home in Pasco County, Florida.

It comes with up to $35,000 in grant money from the State of Florida to help you get settled into your new home and avoid costly fees associated with buying a home.

The Hometown Heroes Loan Program was created to help an eligible full-time workforce, employed by a Florida-based employer, purchase homes in Florida.

Through this program, income-qualified homebuyers can receive a loan in grant money for the down payment, closing costs, and other transaction-related costs when purchasing a home.

This article will discuss everything you need to know about the Hometown Heroes Loan Program, including the income limits, maximum loan limits, how it's like to live in Pasco County, and more.

Keep reading to discover more!

Hometown Heroes Loan Program Requirements

What Are the Hometown Heroes Loan Program Requirements in Pasco County, Florida?

What are the income limits? How much can you borrow? What other lending institutions work with this program? What About Credit Requirements And Qualifications? Who Is Eligible?

These are the top questions you must answer before exploring your loan options.

Most first-time home buyers don't understand the requirements they need to fulfill to qualify for financing.

The Hometown Heroes program in Pasco County can be incredibly beneficial if you're a qualified applicant. However, it can also be confusing and hard to navigate if you aren't familiar with it.

Here are some basic requirements you'll need to meet before applying for this loan program and getting into your new home.

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.

There will no longer be an occupational requirement.

  • 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.

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 veteran with an honorable discharge, you'll be exempted from the first-time homebuyer requirement, but you must provide a valid DD-214 reflecting discharge.

If you're a surviving spouse, you may partake in a Veterans Affair (VA) first mortgage but must provide a valid Certificate of Eligibility (COE).

Credit Score and DTI Ratios

All Borrowers must have a minimum FICO of 640. DU blended FICOs are not permitted. Manufactured housing and manual underwrites require a minimum 660.

You need a maximum 50% DTI and maximum DTI with manufactured housing is 45%.

Income Requirement

Before you begin applying, you must understand that your income is a crucial determinant of whether you qualify for the Hometown Heroes Loan Program.

The program has specific requirements regarding how much money you make and your debt. The maximum annual income varies by county but can't exceed 150 percent of area median income (AMI).

In Pasco County, eligible applicants can earn no more than $130,350 per year.

The household income requirement will depend on how many people live in your home and their ages, but it can't exceed the maximum amount. You will likely be ineligible if your household makes more than these amounts.

It's also worth noting that these limits do not include nontaxable income sources like child support payments or social security benefits.

However, since there are always exceptions, you can speak with a lender directly about how your situation fits into these guidelines.

Loan Limit Requirement

If you're looking to buy your first home, there are many factors to consider in addition to the location and price of the home itself.

One of these factors is the amount of money you can borrow from the lender, called a loan limit requirement.

While the size of the mortgage will depend on your income and credit score, all first-time homebuyers must meet the loan limit requirements established by specific housing programs.

Several lenders have taken advantage of Hometown Heroes program to offer qualified applicants competitive, low-interest mortgage loans.

The program has been extended to include the following mortgage loan types - VA loans, USDA-RD, HFA Preferred, HFA Advantage, and FHA loans.

The loan limit requirement for Hometown Heroes Program in Pasco County, Florida will depend on the lender you're using.

The following guide will outline how much you can borrow when using FHA, USDA-RD, HFA Preferred, HFA Advantage, and VA loan limits.

Hometown Heroes Loan Limits FHA & USDA-RD

Hometown Heroes Loan Limit under the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is $472,030 in Pasco County. US Department of Agriculture Rural Development (USDA-RD) does not have a Cap on Loan Limit.

This limit applies to single-family homes, condos, and other properties that meet FHA and USDA-RD requirements. The loan limit can be used by first-time home buyers purchasing a home anywhere in Pasco County.

If you have been considering buying your first home, then you're probably aware of the FHA and USDA-RD mortgage programs. These government-backed loans are reserved for low to moderate-income buyers in specific areas across the country.

However, due to these loan programs, borrowers aren't eligible for as much money as they might get with a conventional bank mortgage.

Hometown Heroes Loan Limits HFA Preferred, HFA Advantage, and VA

Hometown Heroes Loan Limit under the Housing Finance Agency (HFA) Preferred, HFA Advantage, and Veteran Affairs (VA) is $726,200 in Pasco County, Florida.

This loan limit applies only to single-family homes and other eligible properties approved by HFA and VA with no restrictions based on property type or location.

As long as your home value does not exceed that amount, you are qualified for a Hometown Heroes Loan through these agencies.

Florida Hometown Heroes Second Mortgage

The Hometown Heroes Loan Program, offered by the Florida Housing Finance Authority, provides low-interest loans to first-time, income-qualified homebuyers who qualify under the program's requirements.

Eligible community workforce can receive lower than market interest rates on an FHA, VA, RD, Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac first mortgage, reduced upfront fees, no origination points or discount points and down payment and closing cost assistance.

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.

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.

Crews Lake Wilderness Park in Pasco County Florida

The Top Things You Need to Know About Pasco County, Florida

Pasco County has been around since 1887, when it was created through an act of the Florida Legislature.

Over the years, Pasco has grown to cover over 868 square miles of land on the west-central coast of the US state of Florida, making it one of the larger counties in the state.

If you're new to the area or looking to move here, below are some crucial things you need to know about Pasco County and its vibrant community.

The Cost of Living

The price of homes in Pasco County rose 30.4% last April, reaching a median cost of $345K. On average, Pasco County homes take seven days to sell on the market compared to 10 days last year.

However, remember that all properties carry some price tag, even if it's just property taxes. Rent in Pasco County can be affordable, especially if you don't mind living outside the city center.

It's easy enough to find an apartment for around $900, which won't break your budget! If you want to spend more, you can often find housing options up to $1853 a month.

The cost of buying, owning, and maintaining real estate can vary greatly depending on where you live in Pasco.

And unless you're living rent-free at your parents' place, the chances are that your monthly rent or mortgage payments will make up a significant portion of your budget.

When looking at different parts of Pasco, it's essential to consider property taxes and costs for goods and services—all take up a hefty chunk of change each month (and year).

But generally, the cost of living in this beautiful county is more affordable than in most areas in Florida.

Best Areas to Purchase a Home

With more than 159 subdivisions and developments in Pasco County, there are many great places to buy a home.

Some of the best cities to purchase a home include but aren't limited to Crystal Springs, Lacoochee, Shady Hills, Dade City, Jasmine Estates, Holiday, Land O Lakes, Hudson, and New Port Richey.

These communities offer various housing options, from condos to single-family homes. In addition, most areas have active community associations with multiple fun activities throughout the year.

Best Public and Private Schools

Pasco County has a total of 103 public schools and 25 private schools.

Some top-rated public schools in Pasco include Sanders Memorial Elementary School, Corbett Preparatory School of IDS, Sanders Memorial Elementary School, Odessa Elementary School, and Longleaf Elementary School.

Top private schools include Palm Harbor Montessori Academy, Montessori House Day School - Carrollwood, Land O' Lakes Christian School, Millennium Academy, and Elfers Christian School.

The county is home to four major institutions of higher learning - Pasco-Hernando State College, Pasco-Hernando State College East Campus, Marchman Technical College, and Rasmussen University - Central Pasco.

There are also several career centers located in Pasco. It's important to note that not all private schools are accredited or licensed by their state or local governing body.

Family Friendliness

Many residents and visitors praise how safe Pasco County is.

The area's wide-open spaces and natural beauty have helped encourage a family-friendly culture, with many people choosing to live here because of their children.

If you have kids or are planning on starting a family, there are many great neighborhoods in Pasco where they can enjoy outdoor activities safely.

Whether you want to hike through one of our parks or spend time at one of the nature centers, plenty of options are available.

When it comes to entertainment, you don't need to go far; several local movie theaters offer discounted tickets on certain days and ongoing discounts for military members and senior citizens!

There are also plenty of things for families to do together in Pasco County, Florida.

Benefits for Young Professionals

This is an excellent place for young professionals looking for an affordable town in the US. Expect great job opportunities, affordable housing, and places to hang out and have fun.

With over a dozen colleges and universities in Pasco County, you'll find no shortage of young people looking for things to do.

Many bars and clubs cater to younger crowds if you're single and want to meet other singles.

Cities Qualified for Hometown Heroes Loans in Pasco County, Florida

Every qualified resident in Pasco County is eligible for Hometown Heroes Loan Program.

All you need is to meet the income limit, property, and other eligibility requirements depending on your lender.

If you live or looking to move to one of the following communities in Pasco County, you might be eligible for a Hometown Heroes Loan:

  • Port Richey
  • Dade City
  • Beacon Square
  • Lacoochee
  • Saint Leo
  • Pasadena Hills
  • Zephyrhills
  • Trinity
  • Bayonet Point
  • San Antonio
  • Crystal Springs
  • Dade City North
  • Hudson
  • River Ridge
  • Holiday
  • Land O' Lakes
  • Wesley Chapel
  • Odessa
  • New Port Richey.

Bottom Line

Are you an eligible full-time workforce, employed by a Florida-based employer? If so, the Florida Housing Finance Corporation (FHFC) may be able to help you buy your very own home with little to zero money down!

The Pasco County Hometown Heroes program gives qualified community workers access to grant funding to help them purchase one of the multiple available homes throughout the county.

With that in mind, it's essential to research and learn more about this excellent home financing program to make the application process quicker and straightforward.

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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