This program allows veterans, military service members, their spouses, law enforcement officers, medical officers, teachers, and other frontline workers to obtain these no-interest grants without an up-front payment or monthly payment obligation.
Are you a hero, or do you know someone working in an occupation recognized as heroic in Lafayette County? Would you like to buy or help your hero buy a home? Then you may want to explore the Hometown Heroes Loan Program. Whether you're a first- or second-time homebuyer, 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, eligible occupations, 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 military service members, veterans, first responders, and other public service providers afford a home in their hometowns. The State of Florida will award qualified buyers who meet specific requirements with as much as $25,000 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. The key word here is "grant," which means you are not required to pay back any part of your funding from local governments. 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, not own or owe a mortgage for more than one residence, and have an income that does not exceed the limits set for Glades County. 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.
Veterans must meet all the Veterans Affairs (VA) home loan requirements, including having served on active duty in one of the branches of military service, including the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard. The veteran must have been discharged under honorable conditions and have received an honorable discharge from their branch of service. In addition, you're also eligible if you were discharged from active duty because of a service-connected disability or illness. Also, veterans who left active duty and reenlisted within 12 months or less are considered as if they had never left service.
To qualify for a Hometown Heroes loan program as active military personnel, you must be currently serving in any branch of active military service (Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, or Navy) or have served at least 90 days of honorable and active duty with any branch of active military service within one year before the date on which application is made. Other U.S. military personnel can include Commissioned Officers (with officer designations), Warrant Officers, and Enlisted Personnel currently serving as members of any branch of the U.S.
To qualify for a Hometown Heroes grant as a legal spouse, you must have been married for at least six months. In addition, you must be a U.S. citizen and permanent resident living in Florida, neither you nor your spouse can own more than one home, and you can't currently own another primary residence anywhere else in the U.S. You also need to participate in a VA first mortgage ONLY and provide a valid Certificate of Eligibility (COE) from the VA.
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 $25,000 grants from the Hometown Heroes Loan Program in Lafayette, your household income can't exceed $118,950. 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 and USDA-RD mortgage loan can't exceed $420,680. For HFA Advantage, HFA Preferred, and VA home mortgage, your loan limit can't exceed $647,200.
How Many People Qualify for this Grant Program in Lafayette?
Since the program began, many eligible applicants have received Hometown Heroes grants. As you might expect, more than 50% of these grants have gone to veterans, military personnel, and senior workers. A few grants have also been awarded directly to eligible but disabled public service workers around Lafayette County. But what about everyone else? Many grants are still left for civilians who meet all eligibility requirements.
In fact, during its first two years alone, nearly half of all loans were given to non-veterans. So if you're looking for help buying a new home or moving into your first place—you could be next. If you meet all the requirements—such as income level—you could be eligible for one of the different grant amounts. The grant amounts typically range from $2,500-$25,000, depending on your situation.
Unfortunately, everyone eligible applicant will benefit from this grant assistance. For example, if you already have an outstanding mortgage loan on your current home, you might miss receiving funding from Hometown Heroes even if you meet other requirements. In short, this program favors first-time buyers or applicants who haven't owned a property in three years.
List of Jobs That Qualify for the Hometown Heroes Grant
If you're one of the unsung heroes in Lafayette County, you should consider applying for the Hometown Heroes Grant Program. The good news is that the program isn't limited to just first responders and teachers. Many other occupations qualify as well. The following comprehensive list of occupations will help you learn whether your job qualifies so you can apply.
Top Reasons to Live in Lafayette County, FL
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 but aren't limited to Lafayette Elementary School, Lafayette High School, Lafayette Virtual Franchise, Columbia High School, Lafayette Virtual Instruction Course Offerings, Lafayette Virtual Instruction K-5 Full-time, and 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. 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.
- Mayo Junction
- Cooks Hammock
- San Pedro Junction
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 $25,000 grant from the Hometown Heroes Loan Program can help you qualify to buy your first home in Lafayette County, Florida. If you think your job occupation qualifies for the grant program, talk with your local lender about applying for Hometown Heroes assistance today.