Florida's Lee County Housing Finance Authority provides first-time homebuyers down payment and closing cost assistance with the FirstPlus program. This program works on a first-come, first-served basis and is continuously funded. 

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FirstPlus Program

Financial Assistance for Homebuyers in Florida

With the FirstPlus program, the Lee County Housing Finance Authority provides first-time homebuyers down payment and closing cost assistance. This program works on a first-come, first-served basis and is continuously funded. 


Available Assistance 
Applicants of the FirstPlus program receive down payment assistance in the form of a second mortgage with a maximum amount of $10,000. This is a zero-interest, 30-year loan that is due upon sale, refinancing, transfer of title, or rental of the home if done within the first 30 years. 

This program comes with a competitive 30-year fixed mortgage rate and no asset limits for homebuyers. FHA, VA, and USDA-RD loans are all eligible. 


Eligibility Requirements 
The FirstPlus program is open to first-time homebuyers—borrowers and spouses (occupant or non-occupant) who have not owned a home in the previous three years—who are permanent residents of the U.S. Their household income must fall within the program’s maximum income limits, and their FICO score must be 640 or higher. The DTI requirement is 45%, and borrowers must meet normal FHA, VA, or USDA-RD underwriting requirements. Applicants are also required to complete a homebuyer education course. 


Property Guidelines 
Any property purchased with funds from the FirstPlus program must serve as the borrower’s primary residence and must be occupied within 60 days of closing. Eligible areas include Lee, Broward, Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hendry, Palm Beach, and Sarasota Counties in Florida. 


Note: This information was accurate at the time of publication and may no longer be current - visit the program website for updated information. 

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Down payment assistance programs and/or grants were researched by the team at FHA.com. Please note that all programs listed on this website may involve a second mortgage with payments that are forgiven, deferred, or subsidized in some manner until resale of the mortgaged property.

FHA.com's compilation is not a complete list, but it can serve as a starting point in your search for the down payment assistance program or grant for your situation. It is up to the consumer to contact these entities and find out the specifics of each program.

Down Payment Grants in Florida

Broward County recognizes that many individuals who can afford monthly mortgage payments don't have the required down payment for a home. The Broward County’s Homebuyer Purchase Assistance Program helps potential homebuyers overcome this hurdle by offering down payment assistance.

The program provides down payment and closing costs assistance to income-eligible applicants in the form of a zero-interest, deferred second mortgage, with the maximum loan amount being $7,500. This can be used in conjunction with the program’s 4 percent first mortgage exclusively.

 Florida's Lee County Housing Finance Authority provides first-time homebuyers down payment and closing cost assistance with the FirstPlus program. This program works on a first-come, first-served basis and is continuously funded. 

The Housing Finance Authority of Miami-Dade recognizes the high upfront costs of purchasing a home. To help offset this cost, the HFA offers a first mortgage as well down payment assistance to potential homebuyers. 

The Housing Finance Authority of Hillsborough County offers the Hillsborough First with Hardest Hit Fund (HHF) Down Payment Assistance Program. The program is meant to help first-time homebuyers who do not have enough money saved for hefty down payments and closing costs.

The Housing Finance Authority of Pinellas County’s First-time Homebuyer Program is designed to help potential borrowers purchase the home of their dreams. Along with a first mortgage, the program helps borrowers with down payment assistance via the Home Key Plus 2nd Mortgage.  

With their Home Ownership Program, the Housing Finance Authority of Manatee County offers homebuyers down payment assistance. In addition to a first mortgage, the program gives borrowers the chance to cover the down payment and/or closing costs as well. 

The Housing Finance Authority of Hillsborough County offers homebuyers the Home Sweet Home Hillsborough Program that helps applicants overcome the hurdle of expensive down payments. 

Florida residents in Orange County can take advantage the Down Payment Assistance Program, which provides funding to income-eligible first-time homebuyers to help them purchase a new or existing home. These funds are to be put toward paying qualified closing costs and the down payment associated with a mortgage transaction.

The City of Palm Bay in Florida established the HOME Down Payment Assistance Program, which is designed to help income-eligible applicants with down payment and closing cost assistance to purchase their first home, and rehabilitation, if needed. 

The State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) Program in Charlotte County provides income-eligible applicants up to 10 percent of the purchase price (a maximum award of $15,000), in the form of a zero-interest loan.

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