Florida and Solar Batteries: A Cost-Benefit Analysis for Residents
So, you’ve decided to put down roots in Florida—the land of eternal sunshine, swaying palm trees, and breathtaking shorelines. Let’s not forget, that Florida also boasts relatively low property taxes and an average home value of $390,000, which is just slightly above the national average of $348,000. Yes, buying a home here is definitely alluring but it does come with its share of financial hurdles. Luckily, Florida offers a variety of programs to make your first home purchase a little less daunting. Here’s a closer look at the top three programs designed to help first-time homebuyers like you.
1. Boost Your Savings with Florida Assist
What’s the Deal? Florida Assist offers a second mortgage of up to $10,000 for first-time homebuyers. The best part? This loan comes with a 0% interest rate and can be used on a variety of mortgage types including conventional, FHA, VA, and USDA.
Why It’s a Win With an interest-free loan, Florida Assist adds some serious muscle to your purchasing power. Use the $10,000 to defray closing costs or to plump up your down payment.
Who Benefits? If you’re teetering on the edge of qualifying for a mortgage, this program could be the financial leg-up you need. The loan amount needs to be repaid when you sell your house, refinance, or pay off your first mortgage, but the 0% interest rate ensures you pay back exactly what you borrow, not a cent more.
2. Stretch Your Dollars with Florida Homeownership Loan Program (FL HLP)
What’s the Deal? This program provides up to $10,000 as a second mortgage but with a 15-year term and a 3% interest rate.
Why It’s a Win Like the Florida Assist, FL HLP can help you afford a home that might have been just out of reach. While you do have to pay interest, the rate of 3% is still quite competitive, especially in today’s high-rate environment.
Who Benefits? First-time homebuyers who can manage the additional monthly payments will find this program quite handy. Since these payments could affect your debt-to-income ratio, make sure to factor them in when calculating your mortgage eligibility.
3. Honor the Heroes with the Florida Hometown Heroes Housing Program
What’s the Deal? This is a special program for frontline community workers. It offers up to 5% of the first mortgage amount (capped at $35,000) as a 30-year, interest-free second mortgage.
Why It’s a Win Not only do you get a generous loan amount, but you also qualify for reduced mortgage fees and lower interest rates on your first mortgage.
Who Benefits? If you’re a law enforcement officer, firefighter, teacher, healthcare worker, active military member, or a veteran, this program is tailor-made for you. Keep in mind that there are income restrictions based on your county.
More Ways to Secure Your Dream Home
Although Florida’s programs may not be as lavish as some other states (New York, we’re looking at you!), there are other avenues to explore. Federal first-time homebuyer grants can offer additional down payment assistance, and specialized mortgages like FHA, VA, and USDA can help you get in the door with little to no down payment. Also, don’t rule out the possibility of purchasing a foreclosed home at a substantial discount through HUD.
Intrigued? Ready to make that leap into homeownership? Dive into our list of the best mortgage lenders to find the right fit for you.