Whenever we listen to the media all we hear about is how the economy is in the dumps. It can be very uneasy for a Florida first-time home buyer. The truth is, now is a great time to purchase a home in Florida. This is especially true if you are a first-time home buyer and do not already have a home that you need to sell.
Homes for sale in Florida are still pretty cheap when compared to many other states in the north or out west. In most cases the cost to buy versus the cost to rent favors buying. Second, FHA interest rates are still relatively low, and purchasing often has advantages over renting.
So about the FHA home loan – is your credit good enough? What about your employment history? And of course, the scariest thing of all is the down payment. Well, there is hope. Thankfully FHA Mortgage Loans are still readily available in Florida.
Even though Florida FHA guidelines don’t state a minimum score requirement, most lenders require your middle score to be at least 620. There are also additional requirements in place for any FHA borrowers that may have had a bankruptcy, short sale or forecloses within the last 5 years.
Other than that, the only other thing FHA requires is 2 open trade lines showing that you have paid on time for at least 12 months. Open trade lines could be credit cards, car payments, student loans, etc. And speaking of student loans, you want to ensure you are current on all Federal loans to be eligible for an FHA mortgage.
Now that we got the basics out of the way, let’s talk about employment history. FHA isn’t all that strict about it. Let’s say you just started your new marketing job last month. That would probably mean you can’t get your FHA mortgage approved, right? Nope! As long as you have been in the same line of work for at least 2 years (without any large gaps in employment) then you should be ok for FHA financing.
Now you can’t go from working as a waitress to a secretary and count that as the same line of work of course unless you were in college at the time and now you are working in the field you went to school for.
Let’s talk about the required FHA loan down payment. If you were to use a Conventional loan you would need around 5-10% minimum down payment. On a $200k loan that’s $10,000 PLUS your closing costs! With FHA loans you only need to put 3.5% down or $7,000.
In addition, your FHA loan down payment can be gifted by a relative, or you borrow it from your 401k. The only place it can’t come from is the seller, but that’s no big deal since FHA allows the seller to pay up to 6% for closing costs (and closing costs are usually never more than about 5%)
Florida FHA Loan Highlights Include:
- Low 3.5% down payment
- Lower mortgage insurance costs recently announced
- Lower credit scores permitted
- Seller permitted to pay home buyers closing costs
- Loan limits of $472,030 (1-unit property) in Florida for 2023 *Monroe County & The Keys are slightly higher
- Low fixed interest rates, 15-yr and 30-yr terms
- Not limited to first-time home buyers – move-up buyers are welcome
- Flexible refinance options
So now that you know you have real options, feel free to contact us to get your Florida FHA pre approval letter. We can pre-qualify you in minutes and tell you exactly how much you can afford. With that letter, you are set to start house hunting!
Contact us 7 days a week by calling Ph: 800-743-7556 or just submit the Information Request Form on this page.
FHA Mortgage Source is Florida’s FHA loan leader – Serving all of Florida (Jacksonville FL, Orlando FL, Tampa FL, West Palm Beach FL, Clearwater FL, St. Petersburg FL, Pensacola FL, and Tallahassee FL) 7 days a week! FHA Home Loan Mortgage Requirements can be found on our website.
Located in a rural location in Florida? Be sure to check into the 100% USDA Mortgage by clicking here.
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