People looking for their first home in the State of Florida may have the option of applying for a Florida Housing Finance Agency (FL HFA) Preferred Conventional Loan. Many first-time buyers don’t consider conventional loans because they believe conventional loans are difficult to qualify for and require more up-front cash. However, the FL HFA Preferred Conventional Loan Program offers qualified buyers help with those initial costs and can provide some long-term savings.

These loans consist of 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage loans offered to all borrowers who meet the program’s guidelines. These standards include:

  • The buyer must be a first-time home buyer or not have owned property for at least three years or be a qualified veteran.
  • The buyer must occupy the property as his or her primary residence within 60 days of closing.
  • The property must be a single-family home or townhouse. Condominiums with a 95 percent or lower loan-to-value ratio may also qualify.
  • The buyer must fall within certain income limits that vary by county and household size.
  • The home’s purchase price must fall within certain limits that vary by county.
  • The buyer must take an eight-hour buyer education program, either online or in-person.

Help with your down payment

Buyers who qualify for the FL HFA Preferred Conventional Loan program also qualify to receive down-payment assistance. The down-payment assistance comes in the form of a $10,000, 30-year, zero percent second mortgage. That means you don’t have to make payments on this loan until your home is sold, refinanced or paid in full. None of this cash will be given to the borrower at closing; any leftover amounts after the down payment and closing costs will be applied to the principal of the first mortgage.

Lower mortgage insurance

Because these are conventional loans, they require less expensive mortgage insurance than government-backed loans. That means borrowers will typically get lower mortgage insurance rates and lower monthly or upfront mortgage insurance costs. In addition, private mortgage insurance (PMI) payments do not last throughout the entire life of the mortgage. PMI can be ended by the borrower as soon as the loan balance hits 80 percent of the home’s purchase (or appraised) price. This could save borrowers thousands of dollars over the life of the mortgage.

Find out if you qualify

If you think you could benefit from a FL HFA Preferred Conventional Loan, contact Embrace Home Loans today at 800-333-3004, extension 3560 or visit our website. We’ll review your financial situation and help you become a homeowner in Florida.

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