As a leading mortgage broker, The McDonald Mortgage Team is proud to offer the Florida Hometown Heroes Housing Program to eligible front-line workers in the state of Florida. This program is designed to make homeownership more affordable for those who serve our communities every day, including law enforcement officers, firefighters, educators, healthcare professionals, childcare employees, and active military or veterans.
Here’s what you need to know about the Florida Hometown Heroes program:
- Borrowers must not exceed the maximum income limit requirements for the county where the property is being purchased.
- All borrowers must be considered first-time homebuyers.
- At least one borrower must be employed in an approved occupation, and must provide verification of full-time employment of 35 hours or more per week.
- Veterans and active-duty military members are exempt from all first-time homebuyer requirements unless participating in the HFA Preferred Heroes program.
- First-time homebuyer counseling is required for all borrowers utilizing income from an approved occupation.
- Conventional loans: HFA Preferred Heroes (Fannie Mae) and HFA Advantage Heroes (Freddie Mac) offer eligible borrowers a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage. Borrowers with income below 80% of the area median income (AMI) may qualify for reduced private mortgage insurance (PMI) premiums.
- FHA, USDA, and VA loans: AMI does not impact the MI rate.
- Florida ONLY.
- 30-year fixed Conventional, FHA, USDA, and VA loan types.
- Primary purchases ONLY: 1-unit single-family residences and PUDs, 2-4 units.
- Borrower must occupy 1 unit as their primary residence and the property must be at least 5 years old.
- Condos and manufactured homes must follow agency requirements.
- No more than 15% of a property can be used for business purposes and must follow agency requirements.
- Minimum FICO score of 640 (660 for manufactured homes).
- Maximum debt-to-income (DTI) ratio of 50% with Approve/Eligible findings (45% for manufactured homes).
- Borrower(s) cannot own any other properties (excluding veterans or active military members).
- Conforming loan limits ONLY – no High-Balance.
- Loan must be originated in the broker channel – no correspondent.
- No non-occupying co-borrowers or co-signors.
- No escrow waivers.
- No co-ops, single-wide manufactured homes, or land trusts.
- No temporary rate buydowns.
- No standalone or piggyback HELOCs.
WHAT WE OFFER:
- Borrowers can receive up to 5% of the loan amount (capped at $25,000) in down payment and closing cost assistance.
- Down payment and closing cost assistance is available in the form of a 0% interest, non-amortizing, 30-year repayable second mortgage.
- The down payment and closing cost assistance can be used to satisfy the borrower’s down payment, any down payment exceeding the minimum borrower requirement, and reasonable and customary closing costs.
- The Florida Hometown Heroes loan is not forgivable and becomes due and payable in full upon sale of the property, refinancing of the first mortgage, transfer of deed, or if the homeowner no longer occupies the property as their primary residence.
At The McDonald Mortgage Team, we are committed to helping eligible front-line workers obtain the Florida Hometown Heroes loan to make homeownership more affordable. If you are interested in this program or have any questions, please contact us to get started.