Florida Home Buyer Programs for 2015

Florida currently has 3 home buyer programs available;

  1. FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYER Program -Florida’s First-Time Homebuyer Program offers 30-year fixed rate loans through participating lenders and lending institutions. As with most first-time homebuyer programs, income and purchase price limits do apply. A borrower must have a minimum FICO credit score of 640 to qualify.
  2. Local SHIP Program – Low-to-moderate income borrowers across the state can inquire with their local county as to what down payment and closing cost assistance is available in their given area.
  3. Florida Housing Mortgage Credit Program – The Florida Housing Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) Program allows first-time homeowners to claim up to $2,000 each year as a tax credit on the mortgage interest paid. The MCC program cannot be combined with the first-time homebuyer program. Similarly to the first-time homebuyer program, income and purchase price limits will apply.
For more details on Florida Housing Finance Corporation details >>>>> CLICK HERE

Many Lenders Are Loosening Down Payment Requirements?

What does this mean for the Ocala Housing Market?

I personally think this is great news for the Ocala housing market. We have some of the lowest wages in the state of Florida and it can be
very difficult for a family to save for a large deposit. Many will argue that the recent mortgage troubles were brought on by the low, or zero, down loans, but I disagree. Many lenders were following the governments lead in offering such products as zero down and no income verification. That’s right, NO INCOME VERIFICATION! I saw it first back in the late 90’s to early 2000’s with Fannie Mae loan products tailored to meet the needs of workforce, or called “Workforce Housing.” The name sounds great and initially the program sounded like a great idea. Lets reach out to people who are teachers, nurses, law enforcement and on and on and on; they decided to make loan products to simplify the entire process. However, what started as a great idea kept growing to include too creative and too exotic of loan products. The banks and lending institutions really had no choice but start offering ALL of these products or miss the boat on profits from all of the newly qualified pool of buyers.

Just because the loan down payments are low does not mean the buyers will default. Since 2006 buyer have been experiencing very tight lending standards and it has been sidelining many potential buyers the last few years. “Lenders are putting more focus on purchase mortgages and are adjusting minimum requirements to attract borrowers,” says Doug Lebda, LendingTree founder and CEO. “With home values improving, the risk of borrowers defaulting on loans has decreased, giving lenders more confidence to lend with less cash down from qualified borrowers.”  The average down payment on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage fell 2.74 percent from the second quarter to 15.73 percent of the home’s value in the third quarter, according to a new report from LendingTree.

Many banks are now offering 5-percent down loan payments with Bank of America, Wells Fargo and TD Bank all jumping in, however many are still requiring PMI(Private Mortgage Insurance) until 20% equity is gained on the home. I firmly believe people are better to be homeowners than renters. It has traditionally been the greatest source of increased wealth in America. I know the last 6-7 years things have not went in the right direction, but it is still a better future investment to own a home instead of renting. Not to mention with rental rates increasing year over year, you can buy a home including taxes and rent for cheaper than you can rent a comparable property.