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Hometown Heroes Loan Program: Learn How to Get up to a $25,000 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 $25,000 to military veterans, their legal spouses, first responders, medical professionals, teachers, and other public service providers.

You can use the grant fund toward your down payment and closing costs when purchasing or refinancing your current residence, as long as you meet the income criteria listed above. 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 occupations, 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 Manatee County government launched the Hometown Heroes Loan Program to offer qualified veterans, their families, first responders, and other professionals an interest-free loan in grant with very little paperwork and no fees or hidden costs. However, 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 $129,450 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.

There's no minimum credit score requirement for Hometown Heroes loans. However, good credit is beneficial since it demonstrates responsibility and helps lower interest rates on your original mortgage. 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 guide below shows the maximum loan amounts of FHA, USDA-RD, HFA Preferred, HFA Advantage, and VA you require to meet to qualify for up to a $25,000 grant from the Hometown Heroes Loan Program in Manatee County.

Hometown Heroes Loan Limits FHA and USDA-RD in Manatee County

The maximum loan amounts available under the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and the United States Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (USDA-RD) are determined by county median income. As a result, there's no specific limit to how much you can borrow with an FHA or USDA-RD loan; instead, it's determined by how much your area makes. The good news is that if you want to qualify for one of these loans, your property doesn't need to be in a high-income region.

However, if you want to qualify for up to a $25,000 grant from the Hometown Heroes Loan Program, your FHA or USDA-RD loan must not exceed $420,680. If your loan exceeds the eligibility requirement, you might not qualify for the grant program. Contact lender to determine how much grant you're eligible for under the heroes assistance program.

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

To qualify for a Hometown Heroes Grant of up to $25,000 or more in down payment assistance, you must be purchasing a home with less than $647,200 in loan limits from Housing Finance Agency (HFA) Preferred, HFA Advantage, and Veteran Affairs (VA). If your purchase price exceeds $647,200, you will not qualify for Hometown Heroes Loan Program.

For example, if your purchase price is $700,000, you'll not qualify for any grant. If your purchase price is below the loan limit requirement, the grant amount you'll receive depends on your loan amount and the required closing costs. The maximum grant available may depend on your income, occupation, credit score, and other requirements from your lender.

Qualified Occupations

  • Certified Paramedic and Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) under the FL Department of Health.

  • Certified Medical Assistant under FL Board of Nursing with FL Board of Medicine approval of certification course

  • Clinical Laboratory Personnel under the FL Board of Clinical Laboratory Personnel

  • 911 Public Safety Communicator under the FL Department of Health

  • Certified Basic X-Ray Machine, Operator, General Radiographer, Radiologic Technologist, Radiology Assistant, and Specialty Technologist under the FL Department of Health.

  • Firefighter under the FL Division of State Fire Marshal within the Department of Financial Services.

  • Clinical Social Worker, Marriage & Family Therapist, and Mental Health Counselor regulated by the FL Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage & Family & Mental Health Counseling

  • Dentist and Dental Hygienist under FL Board of Dentistry.
  • Electrologist under the FL Department of Health
  • Hearing Aid Specialist under the FL Board of Hearing Aid Specialists.

  • Juvenile Detention Officer and Juvenile Probation Officer under the FL Department of Juvenile Justice.

  • Certified Educator, Classroom Teacher, Career Specialist, Librarian/Media Specialist, School Counselor, Social Worker, and School Psychologist within the FL Department of Education.

  • Licensed Medical Physicist (X-Ray) under FL Department of Health

  • Licensed Dietician or Nutritionist regulated by the FL Department of Health, Commission on Dietetic Registration

  • Podiatric Physician under FL Board of Podiatric Medicine.
  • Pharmacist and Pharmacy Technician regulated by the FL Board of Pharmacy

  • Physical Therapist and Physical Therapist Assistant regulated by the FL Board of Physical Therapy

  • Athletic Trainer FL Board of Athletic Training.

  • Health Care practitioners, including Physicians, Physician Assistants, and Anesthesiologists within the FL Board of Medicine

  • Acupuncturist under FL Board of Acupuncture.
  • Certified Nurse and Midwife under FL Department of Health

  • Osteopathic Physician under FL Board of Osteopathic Medicine Osteopathic Physician regulated by FL Board of Osteopathic Medicine

  • Prosthetist Orthotist, Prosthetist, Orthotic Fitter, and Orthotic Fitter Assistant regulated by the FL Board of Orthotists & Prosthetists

  • Home Health Aide (employed by a LICENSED home health agency) regulated by the FL Agency for Health Care Administration.

  • Psychologist under the FL Board of Psychology.
  • Massage Therapist regulated by the FL Board of Massage Therapy
  • Optician by the FL Department of Opticianry.
  • Respiratory Therapist under FL Board of Respiratory Care.

  • Licensed Nutrition Counselor under FL Department of Health, Commission on Dietetic Registration

  • Licensed Childcare Operator (Owner of Childcare Facility) Childcare Instructor (employed by a LICENSED childcare facility, REGISTERED, or LICENSED home childcare provider) regulated by the FL Department of Children & Families

  • Nursing Home Administrator by the FL Board of Nursing Home Administrators.

  • Osteopathic Physician under FL Board of Osteopathic Medicine.

  • Occupational Therapist and Occupational Therapist Assistant regulated by the FL Board of Occupational Therapy Practice

  • Phlebotomist (employed as a full-time phlebotomist and has completed an accredited phlebotomy course) regulated by the FL Board of Clinical Laboratory Personnel

  • Sworn Law Enforcement Officer, Correctional Probation Officer, and Certified Correction Officer under the FL Department of Corrections.

  • Speech-Language Pathologist or Audiologist, Speech-Language Pathology Assistant, or Speech-Language Audiologist Assistant regulated by FL Board of Speech-Language, Pathology & Audiology

  • Veterinarian by the Florida Board of Veterinary Medicine.

  • Registered Nurse (RN), Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), and Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) under the Florida Board of Nursing.

  • Veterinarian Assistant or Technician (employed by a permanent or mobile veterinary practice) under the FL Board of Veterinary Medicine

  • Veterans - 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.

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

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

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

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, 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

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

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 heroes like you 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 $25,000 in grants to help fund the extra costs related to the home-buying transaction. The program has been set up to give eligible brave men and women a more leisurely time to achieve their homeownership dream. Its mission is to honor those who have served the country, including veterans, their spouses, and those currently serving, including first responders, law enforcement officers, healthcare providers, and other professionals. If you qualify under one of many qualified occupations, you may be eligible for this great offer from the Hometown Heroes Loan Program in Manatee County.

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