First Florida Dwelling Purchaser: Packages and Grants for 2021

What You Should Know About Buying a Home in Florida

Buying your first home can seem like a daunting proposition at the beginning. But there are plenty of programs that can help if you are first buying a Florida home.

Better still, you may be able to get a loan or even a grant to add to your down payment savings. Help for home buyers in Florida is available nationwide and in major cities.

Knowing which programs to look for could help you settle into your new home much faster than you thought possible.

Confirm eligibility to buy a house (June 12, 2021)

In this article (continue to …)

Florida Home Buyer Summary

Every first time home buyer is a little different. The right house price and down payment for you will depend on your personal finances and the place you want to buy.

However, it helps to know what to expect. So here's a broad overview of the Florida real estate market right now:

Florida Home Buyer Summary

Average home sale price
$ 317,500 (Q1 2021)

Minimum deposit in Florida (3%)
$ 9,525

20% deposit in Florida
$ 63,500

Average Florida Credit Score 1

Maximum Grant for Home Buyers in Florida2
$ 40,000 (North Miami City)

Down payment amounts are based on the last available average home sale price in the state. A “minimum” down payment is assumed to be 3% less than a conventional mortgage with a minimum credit rating of 620.

If you are eligible for a VA loan (supported by the Department of Veterans Affairs) or a USDA loan (supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture), you may not need a down payment at all.

Confirm eligibility to buy a house (June 12, 2021)

Initial Loans For Home Buyers In Florida

If this is your first time shopping in Florida with a 20% down payment, you can get a conventional loan with a low interest rate. And you never have to pay for personal mortgage insurance (PMI). The same goes for buyers across the country.

Of course, few first-time buyers have saved a 20% deposit. But the good news is you don't need one.

Florida home buyers can often move into a new home at as little as 3% or even 0% with one of these mortgage programs:

Conventional 97 – From Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. 3% down payment and at least 620 credits. You can usually stop paying mortgage insurance after a few yearsFHA loans – Supported by the Federal Housing Administration. Down 3.5% and a credit score of at least 580. But you're looking for mortgage insurance until you refinance, move, or pay off your loan on a different type of mortgageVA loan – For veterans and service members only. A zero deposit is required. The minimum credit score varies by lender, but is often 620. No ongoing mortgage insurance upon completion. These are arguably the best mortgages available. So apply when you are eligibleUSDA loan – For low to middle income people who shop in designated rural areas. Zero deposit required. The creditworthiness requirements vary depending on the lender, but often 640. Low mortgage insurance rates

Depending on the loan program you choose, you may be able to get into a home with very little out of your pocket.

With these programs, you can even use free cash or down payment aids to help cover down payment and closing costs.

If you are unsure which program to choose for your first mortgage, your loan officer can help you find the right deal based on your finances and home buying goals.

Find the best first-time buyer loan for you (June 12, 2021)

Programs for first-time home buyers in Florida

There are many options for help for first time home buyers in Florida. But maybe you should start with Florida Housing Finance Corporation (FHFC).

Operating nationwide, the FHFC will help you find an approved lender who should hold your hand throughout the buying process. And it will connect you to a homebuyer education program.

You must take a Florida homebuyer training course to get help from the FHFC. But why don't you want to These programs provide very valuable information and can often be done online in a few hours.

You must also use one of the lenders on the company's approved list for maximum help – including deposit assistance – from the FHFC.

How To Qualify For Florida Home Buying Help

You must have a credit score of 640 or greater to get help from Florida Housing Finance Corporation.

In addition, your home purchase price and income must be below the limits set for each county.

How do you know if yours are down? Well there is a simple tool on the FHFC website. Let him know the number of people in your household and the county you want to shop in and he will tell you the limits.

The FHFC appears to be the only nationwide organization providing assistance to first-time home buyers in Florida. However, we do provide links below to others who operate at the city or county level.

Check out all the utilities you may be eligible for. And choose the one that best suits your needs.

Scholarships for first-time home buyers in Florida

FHFC offers a number of loans and grants that can help first time home buyers in Florida meet their down payment.

Eligibility for these programs is based on your FICO score (you need 640 or higher) as well as local income and purchase price limits.

For qualified borrowers, initial Florida home ownership assistance includes:

Florida Assist – A loan of up to $ 7,500 at 0% interest and with no monthly payments. You will need to repay the full $ 7,500 when you refinance the property or when you stop living in the propertyHFA secondary mortgages – Take up to 3%, 4% or 5% of the loan amount as a second mortgage with 0% interest and no monthly payments. The loan is waived every year at an interest rate of 20% so after five years you will no longer owe anythingFlorida home loan program – Loans of up to $ 10,000 at 3% interest paid back in monthly installments over 15 years. If you refinance, prepay, sell, or otherwise transfer the loan, you will need to repay the remaining amount in full

The second of these sounds the most attractive. You never have to repay the loan provided you stay in your home address for at least five years.

Confirm eligibility to buy a house (June 12, 2021)

Buy a home in one of Florida's major cities

Buying a home in one of Florida's major cities can be more difficult than buying in a rural area. Home prices could be steeper and the competition hotter.

However, that doesn't mean that first-time home buyers can't get into the market. It just means that you have to be strategic.

Here's What You Should Know About Buying a Home in Florida's Biggest Cities: Jacksonville, Miami, and Tampa.

Jacksonville First Time Home Buyers

The average Jacksonville property price was $ 235,900 in April 2021, according to That was 11% more than in the previous year.

At today's property prices, a down payment in Jacksonville, FL can cost:

$ 7,080 – Minimum deposit of 3%$ 47,180 – Maximum deposit of 20%

The City of Jacksonville and the Duval County Government normally have the Head Start to HOME Ownership Program (H2H). However, at the time the website was accessed, no new applications were accepted. Even so, if you read this, it may accept you again. So check.

The H2H website states: "Any newly built or existing single-family unit (including terrace houses, townhouses and condos) in the consolidated city of Jacksonville is eligible, with the exception of mobile homes or prefabricated homes."

That sounds like a loan that is granted when you stay in residence for five years. But the details on the website are sparse. So call (904) 255-8231 for more information.

First time home buyer in Miami

The average property price in Miami was $ 425,000 in April 2021, according to That is up 12% year-on-year.

Based on current property prices in Miami, a down payment in the city can cost:

$ 12,750 – Minimum deposit of 3%$ 85,000 – Maximum deposit of 20%

Miami has several potential sources for down payment support. For example, the city of North Miami has one, as does Miami Dade County. The former says you can borrow up to $ 40,000 through the HOME program, but funding is limited.

First time home buyer in Tampa

The average property price in Tampa was $ 329,900 in April 2021, according to That is up 12% year-on-year.

That means a down payment in Tampa, FL at today's house prices could cost:

$ 9,900 – Minimum 3% deposit $ 65,980 – Maximum 20% deposit

The City of Tampa is running the Dare to Own the Dream program to support the down payment. This has income limits based on the citywide median income. And it offers a loan with a 0% interest rate and no monthly payments.

Note that if the house is no longer your primary residence, or if you refinance, sell, or pay off the loan, you will have to repay the amount borrowed.

Where can I find help buying a home in Florida

All of the organizations listed above should provide free advice to any first time home buyer in the state of Florida.

If you are using a homebuyer assistance program, choose from a list of participating lenders. Your mortgage lender will then assign a loan officer to assist you through the rest of the transaction.

Just because you choose an approved lender first doesn't mean you have to stick with it. You should still be looking for your best mortgage rate and overall deal. Because doing so could save you thousands.

Unless you are using a down payment support program, you can choose from any mortgage lender you want. Compare offers from at least 3-5 lenders to find the best deal.

In addition to our selections, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offers a list of city- and county-specific programs across Florida. These are as follows:

First Time Home Buyer Resources by County in FL

How Much Are The Mortgage Rates In Florida Today?

Check out the current average Florida mortgage rates here. Or you can use the link below to get a customized interest rate quote on your new loan.

Remember that interest rates vary depending on the borrower. Your own mortgage rate will depend on factors like your credit rating, your loan program, your down payment, and more.

Compare mortgage loan offers from at least three different lenders to ensure you are getting the lowest interest rate and upfront fees.

Borrowers who do this often save thousands of dollars on their home loans.

And don't forget to ask your lender for down payment and closing allowance. These programs could significantly lower the hurdle to buying your first home.

Confirm your new price (June 12, 2021)

1 Source: 2021 study on 2020 data

2Based on a review of available state DPA grants at the time of this writing

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