Phil Aitken
Phil Aitken
Owner/Broker

What are the Florida First-Time Homebuyer Programs for 2024?

Are you hoping to purchase your first home in Florida in 2024 but are struggling to save a large down payment? The good news is that the state offers several attractive programs designed to help first-time homebuyers overcome this common hurdle.  In this blog post, Phil Aitken and the experts at Your Home Loan and Your Home Sold Guaranteed Realty - Phil Aitken Home Team detail all the Florida first-time homebuyer programs for 2024, including an exclusive Jacksonville Boost Down Payment Assistance Program.

Key Takeaways

  • Florida offers several state and federal programs in 2024 to assist first-time homebuyers with down payments, closing costs, and low down payment options.
  • The definition of a first-time homebuyer is someone who has not owned a home in the last 3 years.
  • State programs include the Florida Housing loans, FL Assist 0% second mortgage, FL HLP 3% second mortgage, and forgivable second mortgage options. 
  • Federal programs available in Florida include FHA, VA, USDA, and conventional 97% loans which allow low down payments.
  • Learn what the Jacksonville Boost Down Payment Assistance Program is.

What is a First-Time Homebuyer?

Before diving into the programs, it’s important to understand the definition of a “first-time homebuyer.” In Florida, you are considered a first-time buyer if you have not owned a home in the last three years. This applies even if you have previously owned a home but sold it more than three years ago.

Florida State Programs 

The Florida Housing Finance Corporation oversees most of Florida’s first-time homebuyer programs. Here are some of the key initiatives for 2024:

1. Florida Housing Homebuyer Loan Program: This allows first-time buyers to secure a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FHA, VA, USDA, conventional) through approved state lenders. To qualify, you’ll need a minimum 640 credit score and must meet income and purchase price limits based on your county.

2. Florida Assist (FL Assist): A 0% interest second mortgage up to $10,000 to cover your down payment and closing costs. This loan is deferred and only due when you sell or refinance.

3. Florida Homeownership Loan Program (FL HLP): Similar to FL Assist but with a 3% interest rate, this offers up to $10,000 as a second mortgage over 15 years.

4. HFA Preferred and HFA Advantage PLUS: With these, you can get a 0% interest second mortgage for 3-5% of the loan amount that is forgivable at 20% per year if you remain in the home for 5 years.

Federal Programs Available in Florida

In addition to the state options, Florida first-time buyers can leverage several federal mortgage programs:

1. FHA Loans: These allow just a 3.5% down payment and are available through Florida Housing’s first mortgage program as well as private lenders.

2. VA Loans: Eligible military members and veterans can purchase with no down payment required when going through an approved Florida Housing or private lender.

3. USDA Loans: No money down is needed in eligible rural areas of Florida. These government-backed loans are offered by Florida Housing and traditional mortgage companies. 

4. Conventional 97 Loans: Though not government-backed, these conventional loans permit down payments as low as just 3%.

Don’t Forget Homebuyer Education

To participate in most of these down payment assistance programs, you’ll need to complete an approved homebuyer education course. This ensures you understand the obligations of homeownership before making such a big purchase.

Lender Requirements

Beyond the broad program guidelines, each participating lender will have its own specific requirements regarding credit score minimums, debt-to-income ratios, and more. Generally, you’ll need decent credit (640+ for most options) and sufficient, verifiable income.

City and County Programs

While this covers the major statewide programs for 2024, be sure to also investigate any down payment assistance options offered by your specific city or county. Many municipalities have their own first-time buyer incentives.

With home prices still rising, taking advantage of these federal and state programs can make a new home purchase much more achievable for Florida first-time buyers in 2024. Explore your options, get pre-approved, and you could be moving into your dream home sooner than you think!

What is the Jacksonville Boost Down Payment Assistance Program?

The Jacksonville Boost DPA program is a comprehensive initiative that provides financial assistance to eligible homebuyers, helping them secure the necessary funds for a down payment and closing costs. Here are some highlights that make this program stand out:

Special Down Payment Assistance (DPA): Don’t Have a Big Down Payment? Purchase Your Home With 1% Down. You put 1% down and your lender pays an additional 2% for a total of 3% down. Call or Text Phil Aitken at (904) 544-5252 To Learn More…

1. Refinancing Flexibility:

One of the standout features of the Boost DPA program is its refinancing flexibility. Homebuyers can refinance their mortgage just six months after the initial purchase, allowing them to take advantage of improved financial conditions or lower interest rates much sooner than with many other programs.

2. Buydown Options:

The program supports interest rate buydowns, including 1/0 and 2/1 buydowns. This feature means that homebuyers can enjoy lower initial monthly payments, making homeownership more accessible from the start.

3. Repayable and Forgivable Options:

The Boost DPA program offers two distinct options for down payment assistance:

– Repayable Option: This option provides down payment assistance that can be repaid over 15 years, offering a structured repayment plan without immediate financial burden.

– Forgivable Option: With this option, the down payment assistance converts into a grant that does not need to be repaid if the borrower stays in the home and continues to meet certain conditions over a specified period.

4. Seller and Builder Concessions:

The program allows for seller or builder concessions, which can be used to cover closing costs or buydowns, further reducing the initial amount that a buyer needs to bring to closing.

5. Wide Property Eligibility:

Eligible properties under the Boost DPA program include 1-4 unit homes, condos, townhomes, and even double-wide manufactured homes. This inclusivity ensures a broad range of housing options for applicants.

6. No First-Time Homebuyer Requirement:

Unlike some other down payment assistance programs, the Boost DPA is available to both first-time and repeat buyers, making it an excellent option for anyone looking to purchase a home in Jacksonville, regardless of their previous homeownership status.

7. Comprehensive Underwriting Flexibility:

While adhering to FHA and USDA guidelines, the Boost DPA offers added flexibility in underwriting, making it easier for borrowers with unique financial backgrounds to qualify.

8. Low Minimum Credit Score Requirement:

With a minimum credit score requirement as low as 580 for FHA loans, the Boost DPA program is accessible to a wider audience, especially those working on building their credit.

9. No Income Restrictions:

There are no strict income restrictions, allowing individuals and families with varying income levels to potentially qualify for the program, provided they meet other financial criteria.

By leveraging the Boost DPA program, Jacksonville residents can overcome one of the most significant barriers to homeownership – the down payment. With its flexible options, comprehensive eligibility criteria, and financial assistance, this program empowers more individuals and families to make their homeownership dreams a reality.

Call Phil Aitken to get Down Payment Assistance

Your Home Sold Guaranteed Realty - Phil Aitken Home Team. What are the Florida First-Time Homebuyer Programs for 2024?
Phil Aitken

If you’re a prospective homebuyer in Jacksonville and interested in exploring the Boost DPA program, it’s recommended to consult with a qualified mortgage professional with extensive real estate experience, such as Phil Aitken, who can guide you through the mortgage loan application process and ensure you take advantage of all the available benefits.

With access to over 220 lenders that have hundreds of loan products, these lenders compete for your business. This includes down payment assistance programs.

Faster, Cheaper, and Easier Mortgage Loan Process:

You can confidently take the first step toward owning your dream home. 

Faster

  • Get pre-approved in minutes.
  • Closings on average in 20 days or less.

Cheaper

  • 1% and 3% down options.
  • Borrower Assistance Programs
  • Savings that average over $9,400 versus large banks and retail lenders

Easier

  • User-friendly technology allows you to track the status of your loan throughout the process

Call or text Phil Aitken today at (904) 544-5252 and discover how the Boost DPA program can unlock the door to homeownership in Jacksonville. Phil’s team of professionals will guide you through every step, ensuring a seamless and stress-free mortgage loan process and experience. Don’t wait – call now and start building your future as a proud homeowner in the vibrant city of Jacksonville.

To Discuss Your Home Sale or Purchase, Call or Text Today and Start Packing!

Phil Aitken, Owner/Broker
Phil Aitken is the Owner/Broker with Your Home Sold Guaranteed Realty - Phil Aitken Home Team and has over 13 years of Real Estate experience. Phil’s faith and desire for his family’s continued security fuel his business growth and leadership. The Phil Aitken Home Team continues to profoundly impact the people of Jacksonville via supporting several faith-based organizations. Phil gives back a portion of every real estate transaction to The Tim Tebow Foundation and Rethreaded. Find Phil's full story here.