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. Let’s talk about the facts – First, property values in Florida have decreased (in some FL locations) back down to the levels of 10 years ago. Homes are on sale in Florida and cheap! In most cases the cost to buy versus the cost to rent favors buying. Second, FHA interest rates are right near historic all-time lows. The cost to borrow money is extremely cheap right now. Most experts agree that home prices in Florida and interest rates can’t really go down much lower than they are now.
So about the FHA home loan – is your credit good enough? What about your employment history? And of course the scariest thing of all… down payment. Well, there is hope. Thankfully Florida 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 a 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 payment, student loans, etc. And speaking of student loans, remember, you must be current on all Federal loans to be able to qualify 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.
See, things are starting to seem much easier, aren’t they? So, let’s talk about the required FHA loan down payment. If you were to use a Conventional loan you would need around 10% minimum down payment. On a $100k loan that’s $10,000 PLUS your closing costs! Who has that kind of money right now? With FHA you only need to put 3.5% down or $3,500. Not to mention that your FHA loan down payment could 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%)
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 by calling 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 week! FHA Home Loan Mortgage Requirements can be found at our web site.
Located in a rural location of Florida? Be sure to check into the 100% USDA Mortgage by clicking here.
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