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Program Requirements

Florida is a great place to buy a home and live, but it can be difficult for people struggling financially or have a bad credit score.

Luckily, various mortgage programs provide resources and financial assistance to low-income Floridians looking to own a property. Some of these programs are federal government initiatives, while others are sponsored by Florida or local governments.

As Florida continues to grow, so does the need for affordable housing.

To live in one of these homes, you have to meet specific eligibility requirements, which are different for each program. If you're interested in finding out about housing program requirements in Florida, this post is for you.

We'll discuss the requirements for the available programs and how they affect you as a potential applicant. Keep reading to find out more.

Various Programs and Their Requirements

The Florida Housing Finance Corporation offers mortgage programs for homebuyers with low-to-moderate incomes, but the borrower must be eligible for the program.

So what are the eligibility requirements for these mortgage programs? This is a question that many people in this state have been asking lately.

Well, there's a wide range of diverse requirements to meet, depending on which program you're applying for. Some of the most popular programs include:

  • The First Mortgage Programs including government and conventional loans.

  • The Florida Assist Second Mortgage Program includes FHA, USDA-RD, VA, Fannie Mae Preferred, and Freddie MAC HFA Advantage loans.

Most people also don't realize that there are different categories of eligibility when applying for Florida housing mortgage programs. There are five main categories, including Income, Residence, Credit Score, Employment, and Exception.

The category with which you qualify will determine what type of program you can be approved for, as well as how much money you can borrow.

So let’s explore the overall program requirements encompassing the main categories.

First Time Homebuyer Requirement

The first-time homebuyer requirement is one of the most critical parts of the program because it defines who can take advantage of this opportunity.

The first-time homebuyer requirements vary depending on which county you're looking to buy and how much money you need for a down payment.

To qualify for the program, the borrower must meet one essential eligibility requirement - The homebuyer or spouse (if married) must not have had homeownership in a principal residence within three years before the time on which the loan is executed.

However, you may be exempt from this requirement if you meet one of the following exceptions:

Federally Designated Target Area Exception

The Federally Designated Targeted Areas are located on land that must be used for housing.

The government designates these areas, and they help the country meet its goal of providing decent living conditions for all people.

Borrowers looking to purchase a property in these areas are exempt from the First-time Homebuyer requirement.

Veterans Exception

The Veterans Exemption from First-Time Homebuyer Requirement is an exception for veterans.

To qualify, you must be a disabled veteran who is rated at 100% by VA or has served on active duty in the military during a war or other armed conflict and received an honorable discharge.

You can also be purchasing property with your spouse, who also meets this criterion. Below are two important things to keep in mind:

  • You can’t qualify if you were released under a dishonorable discharge.
  • Borrowers qualifying for this exception must verify they meet the Mortgagor Affidavit requirement.

Income Limit Requirement

When looking for a housing loan, it’s essential to know what your income limit is. Every state has different rules and regulations about how much money you can make and still be eligible for certain types of loans.

In Florida, three programs have an income limit: the FHA Loan Program, the VA Loan Program, and the USDA Rural Housing Loans.

The limits change depending on where in Florida you’re looking to buy a property. The borrower shouldn’t exceed the defined income limit requirement in the preferred county.

Purchase Price Limit Requirement

The Florida housing program sets limits on the purchase price for homes financed with the program’s funds.

There are also restrictions restricting how much money a family can borrow to buy their home. The borrower must not exceed the required purchase limit depending on the county.

Other Essential Requirements

For first-time homebuyers, the FICO score needs to be at least 660, with no recent bankruptcies or foreclosures within the last two years.

If it's lower than that, then one month of reserves will also need to be held for your application to go through, especially for FHA loans. Borrowers must also meet Agency requirements along with other specifications required by US Bank.

Below are two essential things to note:

  • For Veteran Affairs (VA) and the United States Development of Agriculture and Rural Development (USDA-RD) loans, the borrower a min FICO score of 640 or higher may get a maximum of 45% DTI ratio.

  • For Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae, borrowers with a 640-676 FICO score may have a maximum of 45% DTI ratio, and those with 680 or higher may have a 50% of DTI ratio.

Bottom Line

If you're looking to acquire a mortgage loan for a new property in the Sunshine State, you’ll need to understand the various housing program requirements before you apply.

These eligibility requirements can vary depending on what type of housing program you're looking into, your county, income, and exceptions.

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