The newly revised Florida Hometown Heroes housing mortgage is making homeownership easier for even more qualified Florida residents. Governor DeSantis recently announced the rollout of the Hometown Heroes Program, which helps in-state workers purchase their first home. As of July 2023, the program now includes ALL qualified working residents, not just frontline workers.
The program removes many barriers by allowing income-eligible borrowers to secure zero-interest loans to pay for their down payment and closing costs. The HTH program is expected to be funded with $100 million for the 2023–2024 fiscal year.
Florida’s median house price is nearly $390,000 today, that’s an increase of over 50% percent in the last 5 years. Despite the rapid increase in home prices, household income has remained nearly the same. This has proved to be challenging for many first-time buyers when they set off to purchase their first home.
Most conventional and government-backed mortgage programs today require a minimum 3.5%-5% down payment, PLUS an additional 2-4% on average for closing costs and pre-paid escrows. The initial down payment and move-in costs are often the primary obstacles that restrict many first-time buyers.
With the Florida Hometown Hero program, approved buyers can receive 5% of their total loan amount (not to exceed $35,000) in assistance. For a standard $350,000 home price, that’s $17,500 in down payment and closing cost assistance. Note, that there will also be a minimum draw amount of $10,000 for buyers purchasing a home less than $200,000.
Now let’s take a detailed look at all the eligibility and qualifying requirements for the Hometown Hero Program. Please note, that Hometown Heroes funds are limited each year by the state. Due to the popularity of the program, we are processing requests 7 days a week. Home buyers who have questions are encouraged to reach out to us by submitting the Info Request Form on this page.
Florida Hometown Heroes Household Income Limits:
The household must earn LESS than 150% of the area’s median income. The gross income caps start at $128,250 and go up to $162,750 in high-cost counties. Listed below are the 2023-2024 HomeTown Heroes income limits for the most popular locations throughout FL.
- Jacksonville: Duval, St. Johns, Clay, Nassau County = $132,750
- Miami: Dade County = $154,800
- Tampa: Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Pasco County = $130,350
- Orlando: Orange, Osceola, and Seminole County = $131,700
- Tallahassee: Leon County = $129,000
- Gainesville: Alachua County = $130,050
- Ocala: Marion County = $128,250
- West Palm Beach: Palm Beach County = $146,100
- Naples: Collier County = $149,700
- Key West: Monroe County = $162,750
Florida Hometown Heroes Eligibility Requirements:
- The program is only available to residents purchasing a home in the state of Florida. All borrower(s) must be employed full-time by a Florida-based employer or corporation and work full-time. Other than military veterans, all buyers must work 35 hours or more per week to qualify.
- All borrowers must be first-time home buyers (no home ownership in the previous three years)
- The loan can be used together with standard Conventional, FHA, VA, or USDA loans. This is a great way to obtain 100% FHA or 100% Conventional financing at low market interest rates.
- All borrowers must have a minimum 640 credit score.
- The program is only available for owner-occupied primary residences.
- Single-family residences, townhomes, and FHA-approved condos are eligible. *Lot and/or land loans are not permitted.
- Refinance transactions are not eligible.
- Borrower(s) must take an approved HUD homebuyer education course.
Additional Hometown Heroes Mortgage Details:
- The Florida Hometown Heroes loan is a non-amortizing, 30-year deferred second mortgage with 0% interest. The loan is non-forgivable regardless of how long the owner(s) occupy the home. The loan is deferred until the time the property is sold, transferred, or payoff of the first mortgage, or refinancing of the first mortgage. At this time the loan will become due and paid in full.
- In addition to the HTH eligibility requirements listed above, applicants must meet any lender, broker, or bank mortgage qualifying requirements, depending on the loan type chosen. This includes fully documenting income and assets, meeting debt-to-income ratio requirements, loan amount limits, etc. In Florida, the conforming Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae loan limits go up to $726,200, slightly higher for high-cost counties. FHA loan limits are $472,030 in most locations for a 1-unit property, slightly greater in high-cost counties like Monroe.
Please note the program funding is limited by the state each year and only offered by Hometown Heroes approved lenders in Florida. There are no upfront fees or costs for borrowers to apply for this or any other loan program. Buyers who want to get started are encouraged to connect with us by calling the number above, or just submit the Info Request Form on this page.