Two options come to mind.
1.) Florida S.H.I.P. (State Housing Investment Partnership) provides grants to municipalities and counties to provide down payment and closing costs assistance for home buyers. Each jurisdiction writes its own rules. City of Tampa info can be found here:
HUD American Dream Grants also provide down payment assistance. You can learn more here:
When comparing properties, be sure you do not assume that what the current owner is paying for property tax will be the amount you will pay. If the current owner has owned the property for many years and has filed for homestead exemption, the property taxes may be considerably less than you will ultimately pay. You can get an estimate of what "your" property tax will be at http://www.HillsTax.org .
I have a client who received $50k in free money that she will never have to repay to buy a townhouse for $180k. She had 2 dependents and was in lower income bracket based on her family size.
If you buy a home before October 1st, you can still buy a house with no money down via the Ameridream program and an FHA mortgage. Also when you file your tax return you can also get a $7,500 interest free tax credit loan from the IRS. You have to pay back the $7,500 but with no interest and at only $500 per year for 15 years.
It may not be worth waiting for a downpayment assistance grant--especially if you are not in the "highest" need category.
You may want to reconsider your area and go with a fixer upper (or short sale or bank owned) smaller property in the Plant High School district. There will always be a demand for homes within those boundaries.
I'd be happy to help you in your search. I'm currently accepting qualified buyer clients, please call or email if you'd like my assistance.
All my best,
Alma Rose Kee, P.A.
Real Estate Consultant
Charles Rutenberg Realty, Inc.
Pretty Dog Realty
I work in the Tampa area and have an idea of what is available. The best option is going away at the end of September, but we could probably still get you in a house if we move quickly. Ybor City is a great area as is Seminole Heights----close to Downtown and South Tampa, great area with some wonderful, charming older homes. Also the Port Tampa area may have some things for you as well. Please feel free to call me at (813) 810-4663 or e-mail me at KWDawn1@aol.com amd I can get you more details. Thanks for your time!
Keller Williams SouthShore
I have a house in the Port Tampa area that may meet your needs. It is a 4/3 with a two car garage. My Icon is a picture of the house. The house is in ready to move in condition with all the little extras that make a house a home. Asking price is $285,000.
If you are handy we have a 2/1 with one car carport in Bayshore Beautiful area. Asking price is $265,000.
We could work a deal on either house that may suit your needs. Please e-mail me so we could arrange a showing.
A. J. Sanchez