What programs are available for downpayment assistance?

Asked by Diane, Sarasota, FL Mon Jul 20, 2009

I make 30K and am a first time homebuyer.

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Debbie Judge, , Sarasota, FL
Wed Aug 5, 2009
Hi Diane! The best thing you could do is to contact a mortgage professional. They take into consideration your "whole financial picture" and can advise you regarding downpayment assistance. An additional benefit is that a mortgage pro can give you ideas on getting help from the seller, getting your interest rate lowered, etc.
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Randy Schwei…, , Sarasota, FL
Tue Jul 21, 2009
Hi Diane,
The timing is great for you to consider buying a home. Low interest rates, $8,000 tax credit for 1st time homebuyer program, and a reasonable inventory of homes for which you would qualify. In many cases, todays prices are equal to the 2000-2002 time period. After 3 months of increasing sales and pending sales, sales activity is approaching the the 2005 period.

As one mentioned, I would suggest you go through the process of a a pre-approval with a lender or mortgage broker who can best explain in our market all aspects of your question. If you work with a national firm like Coldwell Banker, we have an in-house affiliate, Sunbelt Lending, where you can apply online, by email, or over the phone.

Downpayment Assistance----Assuming you are looking a single family residence, you can find out if you qualify for either VA or FHA financing. The latter as mentioned is 3 1/2% down. VA is 0% down. Neither of these programs are available for the purchase of a condo, townhouse, or villa unfortunately. The $8,000 Obama tax credit is the major incentive for buyers today, since it doesn't have to be repaid if you hold your new home for 3 years. You would receive a total refund of your taxes due and deducting that from the $8k, the IRS would issue you a check for the difference. Since May 2009, in many states you can apply for an advance loan equaling the $8k;however, I would need to research in our area which non-profit government agency you would contact. That is one of the main reason, I suggest speaking to a lender to clarify.

Other Options for Your Downpayment----A buyer has closing costs to consider as well as perhaps a minimum of 3 1/2% down. (lender or a good realtor can itemize and estimate for you). Now your buyer agent realtor should discuss the option of asking the seller or perhaps the bank to contribute up to 6% of the contract price to you at close.

Reason to Act Soon----at the moment, the $8k credit expires Nov 30, 2009. Once you and a seller have a signed contract, it is more common today to take 30-45 days because of significant increase in activity and delays getting appraisals. Over 50% of our sales today are short sales or REO (bank-owned). Buyers and agents often are afraid of short sales, but there are excellent values to choose from. Banks are getting better and my last 3 short sales closed in less than 3 months; but remember you have to close before November 30. This is why it is critical to interview or find a well-trained short sale/REO realtor who has lots of experience in the area as well as obtaining answers to your questions.

I wish you the best in your search for a dream home. When one considers that home ownership is often approximately the same as today's rents before tax benefits, it is an excellent time to be looking. If I can help, please feel free to contact me.

Randy Schweitzer, Coldwell Banker, Downtown Sarasota
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David Levent…, , Sarasota, FL
Tue Jul 21, 2009
FHA has available to get buyer's up to 6% from seller to help and the list goes on. Talk to a lender, if you need one let me know and will pass you on to serveral, but start w/your local bank you deal with, people you already trust. Any good lender can work with you and help you go over everything, also, make sure you get pre-approved 1st it really helps in the process and moves it along alot quicker when you do find a home you like
David Leventhal
The Leventhal team
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Bob Bronston, Agent, Lakewood Ranch, FL
Mon Jul 20, 2009
Hi Diane,
The most significant program for first time buyers right now is the government tax credit of up to $8000. You can see information on the tax credit at:

You can also find some information on programs in Florida at:

If you haven't talked with a lender yet, that should be your next step. There are FHA loans that require 3.5% down but there are still programs that allow up to 100% financing under certain circumstances. Your credit scores will impact the rate they give you.

If you don't have a lender you feel comfortable talking with, please feel free to contact me and I will give you a few names and numbers of people I know.
Web Reference:  http://www.BobBronston.com
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