FLORIDA HAS 231 PROGRAMS HELP LOW-INCOME BUYERS


© 2016 Florida Realtors®
ATLANTA, Ga., Feb. 19, 2016 – Atlanta-based Down Payment Resource, a databank for homebuyer programs, released its fourth quarter 2015 Homeownership Program Index (HPI). According to the company, The U.S. has 2,406 homeownership programs available to help prospective homebuyers, and 84 percent currently have funds available – a one percent drop quarter-to-quarter.

The numbers are even stronger in Florida, however. The state has 231 buyer-aid programs administered by 113 agencies. And while 13 programs are not currently funded, 94.4% have money available to help prospective homebuyers.

The HPI found that 63 percent of buyer-help programs include a first-time homebuyer requirement, which they define as a buyer who has not owned a home in the past three years.

In 15 percent of homeownership programs, specific incentives are available for community heroes, such as special benefits for veterans, educators, protectors, firefighters, healthcare workers and disabled homebuyers.

“Renter surveys reveal the lack of understanding among consumers about downpayments and current requirements,” says Rob Chrane, CEO of Down Payment Resource. “It’s important for prospective buyers to research their home loan and downpayment options.”

One Florida agency, the Florida Housing Finance Corporation, acts as a state clearinghouse for many programs funded by government resources. However, specific programs and rules can vary by state, county and city.

Types of programs

  • Downpayment and closing cost programs make up 70 percent. One common example: A second mortgage with a very-low or no interest rate, in which the payment may be deferred or forgiven incrementally for each year the buyer remains in the home.
  • Mortgage Credit Certificates (MCC) make up 8 percent of programs. An MCC reduces the amount of federal income tax a homebuyer pays each year, and it’s good for the life of the loan. It’s a tax credit, not a deduction, so it directly reduces taxes owed, up to $2,000 annually.
  • First mortgage loans make up 9 percent of programs. These home loans may feature below-market interest rates, lower or no mortgage insurance, or 100 percent financing. Issued by housing finance agencies, these loans can be even more affordable than other first mortgage products, and buyers may be able to layer them with other grants or downpayment programs.
  • Additional programs make up 13 percent of programs. These may include employer assisted housing (EAH) programs offered by employers in certain markets and Individual Development Accounts that provide a matching downpayment savings program. Programs are often designed to meet the specific needs of a community.

© 2016 Florida Realtors®


About Brian Heafy

After a 30 year career in the information technology/professional services industry Brian began his second career as a real estate professional in 2012. Brian began his career in 1982 with the United States Marine Corps as a systems analyst providing software project management and implementation services to Marine Corps Aviation Logistics Squadrons in Iwakuni, Japan and later as a defense contractor assigned as lead technical program manager to the Navy Management Systems Support Office in San Diego. Brian went on to serve as technology manager for the City of Coral Springs, then joined a publicly traded government (ERP) software and professional services provider in Lake Mary, Florida as VP of the company's Public Safety & Justice Systems group where he and his teams supported over 450 small, medium and large Police, Fire, Courts and EMS agencies across the U.S. and Caribbean. Brian also served in technology management positions supporting commercial off the shelf software enterprise resource management systems finance and administration application software and public safety and justice systems application software projects for the City of Orlando and Orange County Clerk of Courts. Brian's in-depth understanding of governmental operations and contract management is a benefit to his real estate clients, so much of what gets accomplished in today's real estate industry deals with understanding government databases, brokerage disclosures, banking and governmental regulations each with their own set of established procedures - at all levels of government (local, county, state, federal). Brian holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Barry University. A Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker and member of the Greater Orlando Regional Realtors Association, member of the Marine Corps Association and former Web Sergeant for the United States Marine Corps League in Orlando, Florida. A native Floridian Brian and his wife Yoshiko have been married over 32 years and have two grown children.