If you live in Palm Beach County and don’t have money to put down on a home, you may be eligible for the Florida Own a Home Opportunity Grant Program. The program combines a first mortgage with down payment assistance to make it possible for you to own a home.
Who is Eligible?
Eligibility for the Florida Own a Home Opportunity Grant Program is simple. First, you must be a permanent resident of the United States. You must also prove that you will live in the property full-time (as your primary residence). You have up to 60 days after the closing to occupy the residence.
In order to obtain the down payment/closing cost assistance, you must be eligible for the first mortgage through the Own a Home Opportunity Grant Program. The first mortgage must be a 30-year loan but it can be from any of the standard loan programs including government-backed FHA, VA, or USDA programs as well as conventional Freddie Mac programs.
In addition, you must have a credit score of at least 660 to qualify. You must also have a maximum debt ratio of 45%. This includes all of your debts, such as:
- Credit card debt
- Installment loans
- The new mortgage (including taxes and insurance)
- Personal loans
- Student loans
The debt ratio doesn’t include debts, such as your utilities, car insurance, groceries, medical bills, or tuition. It only includes debts that report on your credit report.
Your household must also qualify with their income. For the program, all household members must disclose their income, as this is the figure used to qualify you for the program. All household members over the age of 18 must disclose their income. Your total household income cannot exceed $114,450 regardless of your family’s size.
How it Works
The down payment/closing cost assistance is in the form of a second mortgage. The second mortgage is deferred and has a 0% interest rate. This means that you don’t pay interest and you also don’t make payments on the mortgage. This is unlike your first mortgage, which you must make monthly payments on in order to stay current.
The amount you receive depends on your qualifications. You can receive up to 5% of the purchase price of the home, but borrowers may receive 3%, 4%, or 5%. The amount you receive depends on your credit score and the type of loan you receive.
The type of property you can purchase is rather flexible for this program. You can purchase a new or existing home as long as it’s your primary residence. The property can be one to four units. It can be a single-family property or an attached unit, such as a condominium or townhome.
The purchase price of the property must not exceed $317,646. This includes all grant money or any other money provided to the borrower for the purchase of the home.
Required Homebuyer Education
Anyone that is on the loan (deed) must participate in homebuyer education. This course is 8 hours of homebuyer education. The course can be face-to-face or online. You must have a certificate of completion that is good for one year from the day that you complete it.
The course must come from an approved source. It cannot come from the lender itself. The approved courses are as follows:
The course also cannot take place over the phone – only face-to-face or online education is allowed.
The Florida Own a Home Opportunity Grant Program is a great way to become a homeowner despite not having the money to put down on the home. The program is for those in the Palm County area that meet the income, credit score, and debt ratio guidelines of the program. The loan must be repaid, but it is deferred at the start of homeownership. Many residents of the Palm County area are eligible for this lucrative assistance program.