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Tips for First Time Home Buyers in South Florida

by Lori Madden 05/24/2020

 Photo by Tumisu via Pixabay

For first time home buyers, it can seem that buying a home is just something that only the rich people get to enjoy. But the truth of the situation is that owning a home has never been easier if you know what is available for you. For first time home buyers in the state of Florida, several options are available to you to help you buy your first home. Here are a few of the options that you will have to choose from when buying your first home.

Consider the Conventional Mortgage

A conventional mortgage is what is generally offered first to home buyers. They are usually 15 to 30 years in length and usually require a 20 percent minimum down payment. In some cases, a first-time homebuyer may see a three percent down payment but that depends on the Florida lender that is being used. The lender will look at your credit score to help them determine which interest rate they can offer you for the loan.

The Mighty FHA

FHA's loans are good for people with low credit scores or high income-to-debit ratio. Florida first time home buyers can offer a three percent down payment. However, if your credit score is extremely low, you could end up having to come up with 10 percent. The FHA loan is backed by the United States government which is one reason why they are easy to obtain.

The Honored VA Loan

The VA loan is a national program that helps military families get into their first home. The loan is issued through the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. The interest rates are highly competitive and in many cases, the down payment can be zeroed out to help those that have served in the armed forces to get their lives established while serving or after their service is finished. In some cases, a credit check will not have to be done. 

The Florida Housing Highlights and Eligibility 

This is a 30-year mortgage that is offered to Florida residents that are buying their first home. All 67 counties in the state participate in the program. It is an assistance program that can be used as the down payment or for closing costs. It also has mortgage tax credit available. This program is unique to Florida residents and has helped many people get their first home. It is a way for the first time homeowner to come up with the money they need to buy a home.

The state of Florida has a lot to offer people seeking to move to the area. There are more programs available to people seeking to buy a home than some other states. Florida is the third-largest state in the country, and it continues to grow at an alarming rate. To buy all you have to do is know your options, and you can get the best rate and the right home for you and your family.

About the Author

Lori Madden

As a Florida native growing up in Sarasota, I have seen my hometown grow from a sleepy coastal town to a highly sought-after destination along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. After working in Chicago for 5 years, I returned to Sarasota and saw it through a new lens and really began to appreciate what makes Sarasota so desirable, including temperatures that allow for year round outdoor activities including tennis (a personal favorite), golf, boating, kayaking, fishing, paddle boarding, or just relaxing and/or shelling on our pristine sandy shores, including Dr. Beach’s #1 beach in the United States for 2017, Siesta Key! Sarasota’s cultural amenities are many and diverse, appealing to a wide range of arts lovers. Downtown Sarasota has become a destination in itself, drawing many new developments for those who want to be within walking distance of Main Street's offerings and the picturesque bayfront and marina. Foodies will find an eclectic mix of locally owned and operated restaurants offering something for everyone, and there are now Farmers Markets every day of the week in various locations throughout Sarasota, but the Saturday morning Farmers Market in downtown Sarasota draws the biggest crowds. Since 1988, my passion has been selling real estate, representing both buyers and sellers. I have been recognized by my clients and customers for an uncompromising work ethic and dedication to helping them achieve their real estate goals. Relying on my experience as a real estate paralegal and being highly organized, I am able to help make the transition between contract and closing a smooth one for my clients. With an eye for interior and landscape design, I've been known to pitch in and help Sellers minimize and/or reorganize their belongings in order to stage their home to maximize its sale potential. I specialize in out of state buyers looking for their piece of paradise along the Gulf Coast and make it a priority to keep them up to date on our quickly changing local real estate market. I welcome the opportunity to share with you all Sarasota and her surrounding islands have to offer!