Uncover the Benefits of the Florida Hometown Heroes Program
Imagine owning your dream home while serving the community you love through the Hometown Heroes Program. The Florida Hometown Heroes Housing Program makes this possible for eligible law enforcement, military, healthcare and other frontline workers, offering financial assistance and support to turn that dream into reality. Let’s uncover the benefits and see how you can take advantage of this life-changing opportunity with this mortgage program!
The Florida Hometown Heroes Program helps eligible home buyers buy a home with little to no money down by offering a 0% interest, 30-year second mortgage loan of up to $35,000
Eligible occupations used to include first responders, military personnel, healthcare workers and teachers who meet the income criteria but have now been opened up to include all Florida residents who are first-time home buyers
The program also offers homebuyer education courses & financial workshops for participants to get the most out of their benefits
Understanding the Florida Hometown Heroes Housing Program
The Florida Hometown Heroes Housing Program is a fantastic initiative that provides financial assistance to eligible frontline workers, including down payment and closing cost assistance through the Florida Hometown Heroes Loan.
By participating in this program, local Florida heroes such as law enforcement officers, military professionals, healthcare professionals, teachers, first responders and other eligible workers can achieve their homeownership dreams and can receive closing cost assistance to purchase their primary home.
What’s more – beginning on July 1, 2023, the eligibility requirements for this program have been expanded to include any first-time home buyer looking to purchase a primary house in Florida. The Hometown Heroes Loan Program is a great way to show appreciation for the hard work and dedication of these frontline workers. It is also an excellent opportunity for them to build wealth and security for their families.
Key Features of the Program
The Hometown Heroes Program provides home buyers with a simultaneous second mortgage to cover the down payment and closing costs of purchasing a home. This loan program can be used by qualified homebuyers to purchase a primary residence house, townhouse, condo or manufactured mobile home anywhere in Florida.
The second mortgage is providing zero interest loans (0% interest rate) for a 30-year second mortgage for up to $35,000 (effective July 1, 2023) to be used for closing costs, while the first mortgage loan amount covers the remaining cost to purchase the home. The first mortgage can be a FHA, VA, USDA or conventional loan .
The second mortgage loan provided by the Hometown Heroes Program has no monthly payments and is designed to make homeownership more accessible for eligible frontline workers. With this financial assistance, eligible borrowers who are Florida residents can utilize the closing cost assistance in various ways such as:
Using some or all of the funds for the down payment of the first mortgage
Paying for various third party fees such as title fees and county transfer taxes on the first mortgage
Initial funding of the escrow accounts for homeowner insurance and property taxes associated with the first mortgage
Details of the Mortgage Loan for the Hometown Heroes Program
As with most mortgage programs offering down payment assistance, the Florida Hometown Heroes Program has requirements for prospective homebuyers and other essential workers looking to take advantage of this FL housing incentive.
Qualified homebuyers for the hometown hero housing program will need to meet the following requirements to be eligible for the second mortgage:
They need to be first time homebuyers (or not been on title for a home for last 3 years)
They need to have a minimum credit score of 640 or higher to purchase a home, townhome or condo
They need to have a minimum credit score of 660 or higher to purchase a manufactured home
They need to use the property as their primary residence (no second homes or investments)
They cannot exceed the income threshold defined for the county where the house is located
They cannot have a purchase price of the house that exceed the limits defined for the county where the house is located
They must meet all of the credit requirements of the first mortgage and interest rates
Active military personnel and veterans who were honorably discharged are exempt from the first time home buyer requirement and may use this Florida housing program to purchase their next primary residence home, regardless of duration of ownership.
In addition to the eligibility requirements, there are some stipulations regarding the amount of funding and repayment circumstances that accompany this down payment assistance programs.
The minimum amount of funding available with this second mortgage loans is $10,000, regardless of loan amount. For first mortgage loan amounts over $200,000, the maximum available assistance is capped at 5% of the purchase price of the home. For example, a police officer purchasing a house for $300,000 would be eligible to get a second mortgage loan of $15,000 (5% of $300k).
In addition, this non-amortizing loan has no monthly payment obligation – but will be required to be repaid upon the sale, refinancing, or transfer of the deed to the home.
The Hometown Heroes Program was initially tailored only for first responders, military personnel, healthcare workers, and teachers. However, recent changes to the program in July 2023 now allow for any Florida resident who is a first-time home buyer to utilize this down payment assistance program.
Regardless, to qualify, you must be employed full-time (35+ hours a week) in one of the eligible occupations and provide a Verification of Employment (VOE) to confirm your employment. Additionally, you’ll need to fill out the Borrower Attestation Form to show your eligible occupation and complete counseling for first-time homebuyers.
How to Apply for the Hometown Heroes Program
Applying for the Hometown Heroes Program requires meeting eligibility criteria, providing necessary documents, and working with a participating loan officer. The application process can be completed either online or in person, ensuring that every eligible frontline worker has the opportunity to take advantage of this beneficial program.
By understanding eligibility criteria, gathering the required documents, and collaborating with a participating loan officer, you’ll be well on your way to securing financial assistance and achieving your homeownership goals through the Florida Hometown Heroes Housing Program.
To be eligible for the Hometown Heroes Program, you must be a first-time homebuyer (excluding active military service members and veterans) and meet the qualifying income requirements stipulated by the Florida Housing Finance Corporation. The program is available to homebuyers with an income of up to 150% of the state or local median income at the time of the loan.
Working in an eligible occupation is no longer a requirement after July 3, 2023. The Florida Hometown Heroes Program will be eligible for any Florida resident who is a First-Time Home Buyer.
When applying for the Hometown Heroes Program, you’ll need to provide verification of employment, which is a document that confirms your current employment status. Additionally, you’ll need to fill out the borrower attestation form, verifying your identity and confirming your eligibility for the program.
Another crucial requirement is the completion of a HUD-approved homebuyer education course. This course provides a comprehensive overview of the home buying process, budgeting, and other related topics, ensuring that you’re well-prepared for homeownership.
Working with a Participating Loan Officer
Collaborating with a participating loan officer is key to a smooth application process and accessing the benefits of the Hometown Heroes Program. Great loan officers like those at The Wholesale Mortgage Firm can help you understand the eligibility criteria, provide guidance on the documents you need, and ensure that your application process goes smoothly.
Moreover, participating loan officers can offer valuable advice on how to make the most of the Hometown Heroes Program by combining different programs and incentives. Their expertise and guidance can significantly contribute to your success in securing financial assistance and achieving homeownership.
Maximizing Your Benefits: Combining Programs and Incentives
The Hometown Heroes Program is designed to be combined with other assistance programs and incentives, maximizing benefits for eligible homebuyers. By taking advantage of additional programs and incentives, you can further reduce the financial burden of homeownership and make your dream of owning a home even more attainable.
Some of the available payment assistance programs include matched savings programs and Housing Choice Vouchers (HCVs). Additionally, property tax exemptions are available for eligible Hometown Heroes Program participants in law enforcement and military, further reducing the cost of homeownership.
Available Assistance Programs
There are numerous assistance programs available that can be combined with the Hometown Heroes Program to maximize the benefits for eligible homebuyers. The Broward County Homebuyer Purchase Assistance Program is a great opportunity for eligible homebuyers. It offers up to $80,000 towards down payment assistance.
By researching and taking advantage of down payment assistance programs and other additional assistance options, you can further reduce the financial burden of homeownership and make your dream of owning a home in the community you serve more attainable.
Property Tax Exemptions
Property tax exemptions are another way to maximize the benefits of the Hometown Heroes Program. For example, resident Florida veterans with a VA certified service-connected disability of 10 percent or greater are entitled to a property tax exemption. In some cases and depending on the county, the tax exemption can be as high as $5,000.
By leveraging these property tax exemptions, eligible Hometown Heroes Program participants can further reduce the cost of homeownership and make it more accessible for those who serve our communities.
Homebuyer Education and Financial Workshops
Homebuyer education and financial workshops are essential components of the Hometown Heroes Program, ensuring participants are well-prepared for homeownership. These educational resources provide valuable information and support, helping you navigate the home buying process and make informed decisions about your financial future.
By participating in homebuyer education courses and financial workshops, you can gain a comprehensive understanding of the home buying process, budgeting, and other related topics. This knowledge empowers you to make informed and confident decisions as you embark on your journey to homeownership through the Hometown Heroes Program.
Success Stories: Real-Life Examples of Hometown Heroes Benefiting from the Program
The Florida Hometown Heroes Housing Program positively impacted the lives of thousands of frontline community workers, helping them become homeowners with affordable housing. These real-life success stories showcase the program’s effectiveness and the significant difference it can make for those who serve our communities.
For example, a police officer in Lakeland, Florida was able to purchase her first home with nearly $0 required out of her pocket for closing costs. She was able to combine the program’s benefits with a local down payment assistance program, further reducing her upfront costs and making her dream of homeownership a reality.
These success stories illustrate the transformative power of the Hometown Heroes Program and its impact on the lives of Florida’s eligible frontline community workers.
Hometown Heroes Program | Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the income limit for the Florida Hometown Heroes program?
If you’re a qualified Florida resident looking to purchase your first home, you may be eligible for the Florida Hometown Heroes Program. This program has an income limit of $118,950 to $146,250 depending on the county you are in, and provides qualifying buyers with down payment assistance.
So make sure you check and see if you qualify for this great program! For more information on the income limit for your county, contact a loan officer at The Wholesale Mortgage Firm.
Who is eligible for Florida Hometown Heroes Housing Program?
As of July 1, any Florida resident who is employed full-time (35+ hours per week) and is considered to be a first time homebuyer may be eligible for the Hometown Heroes Housing Program if they meet the program requirements!
When did Hometown Heroes program start in Florida?
The Hometown Heroes Program in Florida officially started in June 2022, with Governor DeSantis announcing it as part of his commitment to help those who serve and protect. Since its launch, the program has provided assistance to over 6,753 veterans, active-duty military members, nurses, teachers, and law enforcement officers in purchasing their homes.
Who originally qualified as a hometown hero in Florida?
Originally, the Florida Hometown Heroes Housing Program was designed to provide benefits and assistance needed for affordable homeownership to specific occupations and trades associated with caring for our communities during the time of COVID. Eligible occupations include firefighters, educators, nurses, and other healthcare professionals, law enforcement officers, and child care employees.
A complete list of professional that were eligibly under this program can be found by clicking here.
What is the Florida Hometown Heroes Program?
The Florida Hometown Heroes Program is an invaluable initiative that helps frontline workers and first-time home buyers purchase their first home by providing them with down payment and closing cost assistance.
Once a an eligible borrower is approved with a mortgage to purchase a home, the Florida Hometown Heroes provide that borrower with a second, $0 cost and $0 payment mortgage to be used towards the closing costs of purchasing the house.
It’s a great way for the state of Florida to honor our heroes for their commitment and dedication.