We hope you have plenty of things to be thankful for this week: family, friends, and of course plenty of food to eat and football to watch while you digest.
When you purchase your first home, you’ll have something new to be thankful for, as it’s one of the greatest experiences you can imagine. If you’re currently looking for a home, we’d love to help you have someplace to host the next big family meal. As part of that goal, we’ve assembled a list of Florida housing programs that new homebuyers can be thankful for.
The money you save thanks to these great opportunities may be the difference between getting into a home or vice-versa, or the money you save may allow you to buy yourself a bigger gift during the next big holiday!
The Florida Mortgage Credit Certificate Program
The Florida Mortgage Credit Certificate Program (MCC) is perhaps the best plan available for first-time homebuyers in Florida because it doesn’t just get you money back up front—it saves you money every year that you live in the home.
Under this program, a homeowner can claim up to 50 percent of their paid mortgage interest as a tax credit on their return. The credit is capped at $2,000 per year, however the remaining interest paid can still be applied toward the home mortgage interest deduction on your tax return.
Saving $2,000 on your taxes doesn’t sound too bad. Now multiply that by every year you live in the home. Live there for 30 years and you’re looking at up to $60,000 in total savings!
The Florida First Time Homebuyer Program
One of the toughest hurdles to get over when shopping for homes is income. Even responsible individuals with great credit can struggle to save up for a home if they have low or moderate income. The Florida First Time Homebuyer Program helps assist them with more affordable mortgage options.
This includes mortgages offering fixed rates that are lower than typical market rates. Much of the total cost for a 30-year mortgage is paid in interest, and the rates offered by the FFTH helps make a home affordable across that period. If you have a qualifying FICO score of 640, you can access this plan after partaking in a Homebuyer Education Class.
Mortgages aren’t the only area where Florida offers assistance to first-time homebuyers; there are also programs available to help with putting a down payment down on a home. The trick, however, is that these programs are also mortgages.
How does that work? Essentially, when you take part in Florida Assist, you take out a second mortgage on the property in order to cover the down payment on the home. The major difference is that this mortgage has a 0 percent interest rate, so you’ll only pay exactly what you borrowed as part of the program. You’ll won’t make any payments on this mortgage until you complete or refinance your first mortgage, or sell the home.
Homeownership Assist for Moderate Income Loan
Now, the Florida Assist program is only available to homebuyers who qualify as “low” income. However, there is a similar program for down payment assistance available for those with moderate income.
The Homeownership Assist for Moderate Income Loan (HAMI) works in a similar manner to Florida Assist. It’s a 10-year second mortgage, which features a fixed-rate and will be paid in monthly installments.
LEHRP and WAP
These are two programs offered by the Florida Association for Community Action, which are useful for those looking to make important improvements to their home.
The Low Income Housing Energy Assistance Program (LEHRP) offers assistance to households in need of repairs because of issues that threaten the health and safety of residents. These can include fixing structural issues, or repairing faulty wiring or plumbing. There is no set amount for how much assistance is given, but an average project usually brings in around $2,000.
The Weatherization Assistance Program is a program that aims to save low income households thousands of dollars by making home improvements, such as installing insulation, which use energy more efficiently and cut costs accordingly.
If you’d like any more information on any of the programs featured in this post, or would like help figuring out what you best route to homeownership is, be sure to contact a qualified mortgage lender.