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Homebuyers can still find down payment assistance

 

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – April 25, 2014 – Homebuyers still have access to down payment assistance grants, interest-free second mortgages and other special home loan programs, provided they have decent credit and documented income.

However, many borrowers don’t realize that home buying aid isn’t reserved for just low-income individuals, and money available through state and local housing agencies often goes unused.

Some down payment assistance programs “are for working people who make a decent income but don’t have enough to save for a down payment,” says loan specialist Deborah Holloway of Melbourne, Fla.-based Shelter Mortgage Co.

Some buyers qualify for down payment assistance even though they earn upwards of 120 percent to 140 percent of the median area income. Buyers should check the websites of the housing authority in their state for a list of programs and participating lenders.

Meanwhile, some lenders – like TD Bank Group – have created their own loan initiatives for first-time buyers with low down payments, and buyers also have access to Fannie Mae’s HomePath program, which requires only 5 percent down.

A first step for Floridians checking to see if help is out there: The Florida Housing Finance Corporation. It’s the state window for funneling money from federal and state programs into the hands of prospective homeowners.