Down Payment Assistance

Florida down payment assistance programs are now available!

Saving for a down payment can be difficult. Let's face it, you have a lot of bills every month, so putting away something extra for a future down payment is a stretch to say the least. Your rent keeps going up, and you see home prices continue to rise as well. You know buying a home is a good investment, but it just seems out of reach.

You are not alone if you are struggling to save for a down payment. But the good news is, there is help! There are many organizations in Florida who help home owners with down payment assistance and grants, and there are even 100% financing programs still available such as USDA and VA loans. You can become a home owner right now and start building equity for your future!

Down Payment Assistance (DPA) Second Mortgage Loan Terms

  • The down payment assistance is up to $10,000

  • DPA is a lien secured by a second mortgage

  • May be applied to closing costs, prepaids, down payment, upfront funding fee, or other related program and mortgage loan fees and expenses

  • 30-year second mortgage at 0% interest, non-amortizing, and deferred with zero monthly payment

  • Lien is NOT forgivable:

    - Repayment is deferred until the event of the sale, transfer of deed, refinancing, satisfaction of the first mortgage, or when the mortgagor ceases to occupy the property

Product Highlights

30-year fixed rate first mortgage loan

  • 0% down for VA

  • 3% down Conventional or 5% down with a non-occupying co-signer

  • 3.5% down for FHA

Primary residence only

Purchase transactions only

Property must be located in Florida

Must be able to permanently reside in the US

Must occupy the home within 60 days

Property types:

  • 1-unit Single Family/PUDs (includes townhomes)

  • Condominiums must be agency warrantable

  • 2–4-unit properties are restricted to 95% LTV (conventional must attend landlord training) and property must be at least 5 years old

  • Mixed use property -  maximum 15% can be used for business or a trade

  • Repair Escrows are not permitted

  • Manufactured home properties are not eligible at SMP

Minimum 640 credit score

  • Borrowers must generate at least 2 credit scores

Maximum debt-to-income (DTI) maximum DTI 50%

All borrowers must be a first-time homebuyer (FTH) unless they have an exemption status:

  • Have not owned nor occupied a primary residence within the last 3 years

  • Do not claim their mobile home as real property (ok if it is located on a rental lot / land)

  • The borrower can own ONE other residential property at the time of closing in addition to the subject property, but this other residential property cannot have been a primary residence.

  • Veterans with a DD214 are exempt from the FTH requirement (not active duty)

  • Homes purchased in a HUD targeted area are exempt from the FTH requirement

First time homebuyer verification:

  • CONVENTIONAL = FTH is determined from the application declarations on 1003
  • VA and FHA = FTH is determined from 3 years of the tax returns including all schedules
    • FHA and VA:  Spouse is also included in FTH verification
    • FHA:  Non-occupying co signor is not included in FTH verification

Purchase price limits vary by county and for Duval, Clay, and St Johns County they are:

  • CONVENTIONAL = $449,269
  • VA and FHA = $536,906

Loan amount restrictions

  • Minimum loan amount is $60,000

Income limits vary by county


  • Duval, Clay, and St Johns County are $101,775 for 1-2 members and $106,200 for 3+
  • Income eligibility is determined by the income used in underwriting
  • Only income reflected on the loan application is considered
  • Household income is NOT used

VA and FHA

  • Duval, Clay, and St Johns County are $96,325 for 1-2 members and $110,774 for 3+
  • Total household income IS used for calculating income limit which includes income from the borrower, spouse, non purchasing spouse, and anyone 18 years or older who will occupy the property
  • All income including bonus, overtime, alimony, child support, and social security
  • All income is current income and then annualized for the year

Non-occupying co signer is where the co-signer signs the note but they do not sign the mortgage, title, nor deed:

  • CONV: Non-occupying co-signer income is included in the income calculation

  • FHA: Non-occupying co-signer income is not included in the income calculation

  • VA:  Spouse only so not allowed

Minimum borrower contribution varies as follows:

  • 1-unit property - no minimum borrower contribution
  • 2-4-unit property- 3% minimum borrower contribution

Cash back from DPA Funds is not permitted

  • The borrower cannot be reimbursed for anything paid prior to closing including EMD
  • Any potential cash back should be applied as principal reduction to the 1st mortgage
  • The maximum principal amount allowed is $1,000, if exceeded the loan amount must be reduced      
  • Cannot be used for an appraisal gap, but the borrower can use their own funds
  • Cannot be used to pay for a realtor’s commission, but the borrower may use their own
  • Cannot be used to pay off borrower debt, but the borrower may use their own funds
  • Excess gift funds used on the transaction is not considered cash back and is permitted

Homebuyer education

  • Is required by at least one borrower
  • The certificate is acceptable for 2 years from date of completion

All borrowers are restricted to a one-time participation in Florida Housing’s Homeowner program

Recapture Tax

  • CONVENTIONAL: Does not apply

  • VA and FHA:  The borrower may be subject to a recapture tax upon the resale if there is a gain resulting from the sale or disposition of the property purchased under this program within the first 9 years of ownership and the initial qualifying annual household income increases above the specified levels at the time of sale or disposition of the residence

All loan types are exempt from paying the document stamps and intangible tax Fl state fees

All loan types are exempt from paying discount points

Power of attorneys are allowed on all loan types

How do I find out more information?

For more information on the down payment assistance programs, call Kristine Kennedy at 904-514-6969 today!

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