2018 Florida First Time Home Buyer Grant Programs!

Updated 7-16-2018

Programs & Grants for First Time Home Buyers that allow you to receive either grants of between $5000 to $15,000 or a 0%-zero-percent interest 2nd mortgage loan to purchase a home.

Below are some of the very best Florida First Time Home Buyer programs. Some of these programs don't have requirements for First Time Home Buyers. However some of the programs do require that you haven't owned a Principle Residence for the past 3 years. Typically, all these programs are called First Time Home Buyer Programs. 

This website is brought to you by your down payment assistance experts at                                                                  Mid Florida Realty

To be Pre-Qualified or discuss the individual programs for Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Lake, Polk, Orange, Osceola, Hernando, Seminole, Volusia, Duval, Clay, St Johns, Nassau, Putnam. Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Miami-Dade, Broward, St Lucie, and Palm Beach Counties please apply below or call 863-800-1011

At this time, telephone support is NOT offered for any other Florida counties.


Simple & Free! Click Here TO BE PRE-APPROVED

Did you know you can purchase a Florida home with as little as $2500 down? Call us we'll let you know! 

- $1500 Earnest money deposit
- $400 Professional home inspection
- $450 Lender's appraisal

2018 INCOME LIMITS & ACQUISITION LIMITS

2018 NON-HHF Conventional Income and Purchase Limits
2018 NON-HHF - FHA Income and Purchase Limits
2018 Pinellas - Pasco - Polk Income and Purchase Limits
2018 Own A Home Opportunity Grant Income Limits
2018 Sapphire - House 2 Home Income and Loan Limits

Currently serving the following counties with telephone support: 

Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Lake, Charlotte, Sarasota, Orange, Clay, Manatee, Hernando, Putnam, St Johns, Osceola, Duval, Flagler, Nassau, Volusia Counties, Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties.

100% Financing available for Teachers and all State and County School System Employees in the following Counties: Collier, Lee, Charlotte, Hillsborough, Desoto, Manatee, Sarasota, Polk, Pinellas, Hernando and Pasco Florida Counties.

  • 30-year first mortgage loans. Either 10 year, 15 year, 20 year, or 30 year fixed rate or 7/1 , 3/3 Adjustable Rate mortgages (No Balloon Payment necessary, 30 year amortization schedule even on adjustable rate mortgages.) 
  • The program is offered to all State of Florida school employees from Principle ot Custodian and who meet borrowers who meet income, purchase price and other program guidelines and can qualify for the mortgage loan. 
  • Finance 100% of the purchase price.
  • This program allows for higher borrower income limits.
  • This program can only used in the 21 approved Florida Counties.
  • Credit scores generally a minimum of 680 middle FICO score and above, some exceptions may be possible depending on particular mitigating circumstances.
  • Maximum LTV 100% up to a $250,000 loan. Homes that cost more than $250,000 would require the difference to be paid in cash or 97% LTV up to a $300,000 mortgage loan.  
  • 1 unit only - Single Family Residence, Townhouses & some Condos possible.
  • No household income limitation- Only Applicant income for qualification purposes.
  • NO mortgage insurance rates for Borrower with this Conventional type program.
  • Seller contribution 3% maximum towards Buyers closing costs.
  • Purchase only, no construction to permanent loans - no investment properties.
  • Owner Occupants only-No Investors.
  • Cannot own any FINANCED real estate at the time of application.
  • Good verifiable work history required.
  • No First Time Home Buyer requirement and No Buyers Education Classes required. 
  • Gift Funds allowed.
  • Buyer must have at least $1000 for Closing Costs in the transaction. The Earnest Money can be used for the $1000 requirement.
  • No cash back at closing.

First Responders 100% Financing available for Nurses, Military (Active & Inactive), Policemen, EMT's, and Firefighters in the following Counties: Collier, Lee, Charlotte, Desoto, Manatee, Sarasota, Hillsborough, Pinellas. Polk, Pasco and Hernando.

  • 30-year first mortgage loans. Either 10 year, 15 year, 20 year, or 30 year fixed rate or 7/1 , 3/3 Adjustable Rate mortgages (No Balloon Payment necessary, 30 year amortization schedule even on adjustable rate mortgages.) 
  • The program is offered to all Nurses, (LPN, APN, NP, MSN, BSN), Firemen, EMT's, Police and all current and Veteran Military personnel who have been Honorably Discharged from the Military and who meet borrowers who meet income, purchase price and other program guidelines and can qualify for the mortgage loan.. 
  • No First Time Home Buyer requirement and No Buyers Education Classes required. 
  • Finance 100% of the purchase price.
  • Buyer must have at least $1000 for Closing Costs in the transaction. The Earnest Money can be used for the $1000 requirement. 
  • Gift Funds allowed.
  • This program allows for higher borrower income limits.
  • This program can only used in 21 approved Florida Counties.
  • Credit scores generally a minimum of 680 middle FICO score and above, some exceptions may be possible depending on particular mitigating circumstances.
  • Maximum LTV 100% up to a $250,000 loan. Homes that cost more than $250,000 would require the difference to be paid in cash or 97% LTV up to a $300,000 mortgage loan.  
  • No cash back at closing.
  • 1 unit only - Single Family Residence, Townhouses & some Condos possible.
  • No household income limitation- Only Applicant income for qualification purposes.
  • NO mortgage insurance rates for Borrower with this Conventional type program.
  • Seller contribution 3% maximum towards Buyers closing costs.
  • Purchase only, no construction to permanent loans - no investment properties.
  • Owner Occupants only-No Investors.
  • Cannot own any FINANCED real estate at the time of application.
  • Lender Credit not available.
  • Good verifiable work history required.

House 2 Home FHA Down Payment Assistance for ALL Florida Counties

  • Provides up to 4% in down payment assistance in ALL Florida Counties for FHA Loans.
  • Down Payment Assistance is forgiven at the Closing table. 
  • Buyer does not need to be first time Home Buyer.
  • Origination fee 1.75% for FHA and USDA. 1% Origination fee for VA Loans.Buyer cash or Seller credit must be provided at Closing.
  • Must be primary residence, no Investors. 
  • Stick built homes or manufactured homes allowed for Government Agency loans (FHA, VA and USDA. 
  • 1-4 Units allowed, SFR, Double Wide Mobile Homes, Duplexes, Triplexes, Quadraplexes.
  • Buyer may own other properties.
  • Non-Owner Occupant Co-Borrowers ARE allowed.
  • 30 year fixed term.
  • Competitive mortgage Interest rates.
  • Can be used with VA Mortgages (4%), FHA Mortgages (4%) and USDA Mortgages (3%)
  • Borrower must qualify for FHA, USDA or VA Loan.
  • Supplemental Alternative credit NOT allowed.
  • Maximum Income Limits set at 140% FHA, VA or USDA of Florida County the house is located.
  • Conventional version of this product limits Area Median Income (AMI) to 115%.
  • Income limit is based off Qualifying income reported on the 1003, regardless of household size.
  • Maximum loan amount of FHA limits in area purchased. Generally the lesser of $424,100 (not including MI) or maximum loan amounts permitted by HUD.
  • No Purchase price limits.
  • Home Buyer Education required.
  • Lender credit available not available.
  • Minimum middle FICO credit score is 620.
  • Maximum debt-to-income 45%-50% Depending on credit score and compensating factors..
  • No Prepayment Penalty Fee if loan is paid out early.
  • No cash back to Borrower/Buyer
  • All well water to be tested prior to Closing.
  • No flood zones
  • Seller can tribute up to 6% towards Buyers Closing Costs.
  • No 203k Renovation loans allowed.

2018 FHA - (HFA) Housing Finance Authority Home Sweet Home Down Payment Assistance program for Hillsborough County, Duval County, Jacksonville (city limits), Clay County and Brevard County. 

2018 Conventional Preferred Plus Down Payment Assistance

  • 30-year, fixed-rate first mortgage loans originated by trained and approved lenders throughout the State of Florida. The program is offered to all borrowers who meet income, purchase price and other program guidelines, and can otherwise qualify for a loan. 
  • First Time Home Buyer hasn't owned a primary residence in past 3 years.
  • 3% of the purchase price is in the form of a grant that does not require repayment by the borrower. (http://floridadownpaymentassistance.com/) This can be used for down payment, Buyers mortgage closing costs, or can also be used to "split pay" mortgage insurance premium to lower mortgage insurance cost or pay mortgage insurance completely off.
  • This program allows for higher borrower income limits.
  • This program can be used anywhere in the State of Florida.
  • Credit score 680 minimum for 95% LTV or less - 700 credit score required for 95%-97% LTV
  • Maximum LTV 97%- 105% CLTV
  • No cash back at closing, any excess funds will be used to pay down first mortgage.
  • 1 unit only - Single Family Residence, Townhouses & Condos with 95% LTV or below.
  • No household income limitation- Only Applicant income for qualification purposes.
  • 50% debt to income ratio or less.
  • Lower mortgage insurance rates for Borrower with this Conventional program.
  • Mortgage Insurance rates could be reduced or even paid off at Closing.
  • Seller contribution 3% maximum towards Buyers closing costs.
  • Purchase only, no construction to permanent loans - no investment properties.
  • Purchase price limits determined by county median income limits. See county Income Limits above.
  • Owner Occupants only-No Investors.
  • Lender Credit not available.
  • 2 hour Buyer education required or any HUD approved agency (online or in-person) or approved 1 hour mortgage insurance education class from MGIC or Genworth
  • Florida e-housing fee's $225 compliance fee + $300 US Bank funding fee + $85 tax service fee at closing to be deducted from the 3% Grant.
  • Fannie Mae guidelines apply.
  • Co-Signors not permitted.

Power Purchase Program Reduced Mortgage Insurance

  • Power Purchase Program that offer reduced Mortgage Insurance payments.
  • Competitively priced Conventional Loan. 
  • No First Time Home Buyer requirement.
  • Requires 1% down payment from the Home Buyer.
  • 2% Grant from Non-Profit + 1% Home Buyer Funds equals %3 equity with a 97% eligible conforming loan.
  • First mortgage must meet FHLMC Home Possible Advantage eligibility. 
  • 2% Grant funds will be provided by a Non-Profit Agency.
  • No additional subordinate financing allowed.
  • Conforming loan amounts only.
  • No manual underwrites allowed. LP decisions only.
  • Primary Residences only. No Investment properties.
  • Manufactured Housing NOT allowed.
  • The Income limits are based on 100% AMI except those high cost and under-served counties where higher income limits are allowed.
  • Benefit-Under-served counties and those High Cost Counties included. (Exceeding 100% counties) increased income limit for those counties.
  • No sales price limits.
  • Benefit-MI is lower 25% coverage on a 97% LTV.
  • Required minimum middle credit score 620-719
  • Score over 720 will have a lower MI factor vs. FHA products.
  • Co-Signors/Non-occupying Co-Borrowers not allowed.
  • Borrower may have an ownership interest in other under certain conditions. (Please discuss with Loan Originator).  
  • Home Buyer Education required before Closing.

Rent-To-Own Program

  • You pick the house in an approved subdivision. The subdivision must be in the upper 50% rating of school county districts. Subdivision must be approved by Institutional Investor
  • You secure the home with your first and last month's agreed upon rent and purchase price before the Investor purchases the home.
  • Institutional Investor purchases the home through Mid Florida Realty.
  • Build your credit over the next 12-24 months, or if you're just moving into the area and aren't sure where you want to live but don't want to live in an apartment. 
  • You can purchase the home using the appropriate Down Payment Assistance programs in the next 12 months OR you can rent the house for 24 months and obtain the 0% Down Payment option and use the Down Payment Assistance programs to pay for your Closing Costs. 0% program is based on the Freddie Mac Conventional guidelines.
  • New Homes may be eligible.
  • Minimum Rent-to Own FICO Score at the beginning of the process is 575 FICO.
  • Debt to Income ratio maximum is 45%.
  • Minimum Household verifiable income is $50,000 per year.
  • If you decide not to purchase the home at the end of your lease, and the property is in the same condition as when you started. You leave get your 1 month security deposit back.
  • There is a $75 application fee to begin the process.

Start Florida Rent-to-Own Process NOW

Power Purchase Plus Program NO Mortgage Insurance

  • Power Purchase Plus Program that requires No Mortgage Insurance. 
  • Competitively priced Conventional Loan. 
  • No First Time Home Buyer requirement.
  • Requires 1% down payment from the Home Buyer.
  • 2% Grant from Non-Profit + 1% Home Buyer Funds equals %3 equity with a 97% eligible conforming loan.
  • First mortgage must meet FHLMC Home Possible Advantage eligibility. 
  • 2% Grant funds will be provided by a Non-Profit Agency.
  • No additional subordinate financing allowed.
  • Conforming loan amounts only.
  • No manual underwrites allowed. LP decisions only.
  • Primary Residences only. No Investment properties. No 2-4 units.
  • Manufactured Housing NOT allowed.
  • The Income limits are based on 100% AMI except those high cost and under-served counties where higher income limits are allowed.
  • Benefit-Under-served counties and those High Cost Counties included. (Exceeding 100% counties) increased income limit for those counties.
  • No sales price limits.
  • Required minimum middle credit score 640
  • Co-Signors/Non-occupying Co-Borrowers not allowed.
  • Borrower may have an ownership interest in other under certain conditions. (Please discuss with Loan Originator).  
  • Home Buyer Education required before Closing.

2018 FHA Manatee County Florida Key Ownership Program Homebuyer Down Payment Assistance Bond Program

2018 FHA - Housing Finance Authority Home Key Down Payment Assistance program for First Time Home Buyers - Pinellas County - Pasco County - Polk County

2018 Florida FHA State Bond Preferred Down Payment Assistance Program for All Florida Counties including Orange County, Osceola County, Lake County, Hernando County, Putnam County and Nassau County.

2018 OWN A HOME OPPORTUNITY
(Volusia, Broward, Lee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, St Johns & Palm Beach Counties only)

USDA / Rural Development Loans

VA Loans

Federal Home Loan Bank Down Payment Assistance Grant

2018 Polk County Keystone Challenge Fund for Polk County      State Housing Initiatives Partnership Program for Moderate Income residents. 

  • Borrower does not make monthly payments towards the differed down payment assistance loan. 0% Interest is charged.
  • First Time Home Buyer hasn't owned a property for at least 3 years.
  • $2000 Grant towards Closing Costs may also be obtained from Polk County as part of the down payment assistance program.
  • Down Payment Assistance comes in the form of a $7,000 0% interest 2nd mortgage loan. This loan is forgiven after 7 years.The down payment assistance can be used for the down payment, Buyers mortgage closing costs, or split pay mortgage insurance premium to lower mortgage insurance cost.
  • Must be primary residence.
  • Credit score 660 Minimum for 97% LTV for Conventional and 640 Minimum for 96.5% for FHA  - Maximum LTV 104.99% CLTV.
  • No cash back at closing, any excess funds will be used as principle reduction.
  • 1 unit only - Single Family Residence, Townhouses, Condos, Modular Homes bearing the State of Florida Department of Community Affairs Seal are eligible, but No Manufactured Homes
  • No in-ground Swimming pools.
  • A Home Inspection will be required on all existing homes. Existing units must meet Section 8 Housing Quality Standards as established by HUD. These HQS standards are summarized as Appendix B for your reference. The home inspection must include, at a minimum, the completion of a Housing Quality Checklist (HUD Form 52580), available on our web site at www.keystonechallenge.org/lenders/  using the link for Lenders. The Housing Quality Checklist can be completed by a state licensed appraiser or home inspector only. All homes must include a stove and refrigerator, and a permanent source of heat.
  • Aggregate income included in Income calculation of all (Adult means 18 years old in the current year or older) Adults to determine Household Income qualification or disqualification. However, full time adult students income will not be used for disqualification purposes as long as that Adult is not the Head of Household. Child support will be included in income calculations provided the funds have been given to the Borrower.
  • 44.9% debt to income ratio or less, unless pre-approved by Polk County.
  • Lower mortgage insurance rates for Borrower on FHA program.
  • Allows up to 3% Seller contribution maximum towards Buyers closing costs.
  • Purchase only, No Construction to Perm loans, no investment purchases, no refi's.
  • Purchase price limits are $258,691
  • Income Limits determined by 120% of HUD county median income limits. 
  • 1 person household income limit = $44,160, $50,400 for 2 person households, $56,760 for 3 person households, $63,000 for 4 person households, $68,040 for 5 person households, $73,080 for 6 person households $78,120 for 7 person households, $83,160 for 8 person households 
  • Owner Occupants only, must occupy within 60 days.
  • To receive assistance, whomever will be listed on the Deed must attend a Keystone Homebuyer Education Class or receive equivalent homebuyer education. Education classes are provided by Keystone on a regular basis. Clients may register on-line for classes. View the available class schedule at http://keystonechallenge.org/class-registration/
  • This program can be linked to an FHA, Conventional, VA or USDA 1st Mortgage Loan.
  • Non-Occupant Co-Signors are permitted for credit only, Income cannot be used for qualification purposes only credit and not in the City of Lakeland nor City of Winterhaven.
  • Lender Credit not available.
  •  Interest rate buy-downs of up to 2% may be allowable if applicant has been qualified at highest rate and lender obtains advance approval from Keystone.
  • This program can only be used in Polk County Florida and excluded for the City of Lakeland or City of Winterhaven.
  • Other restrictions may affect the availability of funds. The SHIP program we work with requires that funds be distributed across income categories, so it is possible that at various times we may not be able to serve a particular income category. 

                    2018 City of Lakeland Keystone Challenge Fund       State Housing Initiatives Partnership Program for Moderate Income residents. 

  • Borrower does not make monthly payments towards the differed down payment assistance loan. 0% Interest is charged
  • Not a current Home Owner - does not require that Buyer is a First Time Home Buyer
  • $2000 differed second lien towards Closing Costs may also be obtained from City of Lakeland as part of the down payment assistance program.
  • Down Payment Assistance comes in the form of a $7,000 0% interest 2nd mortgage loan. This loan is forgiven after 30 years.The down payment assistance can be used for the down payment, Buyers mortgage closing costs, or split pay mortgage insurance premium to lower mortgage insurance cost.
  • Must be primary residence.
  • Credit score 660 Minimum for 97% LTV for Conventional and 640 Minimum for 96.5% for FHA  - Maximum LTV 104.99% CLTV.
  • No cash back at closing, any excess funds will be used as principle reduction.
  • 1 unit only - Single Family Residence, Townhouses, Condos, Modular Homes bearing the State of Florida Department of Community Affairs Seal are eligible, but No Manufactured Homes
  • No in-ground Swimming pools.
  • A Home Inspection will be required on all existing homes. Existing units must meet Section 8 Housing Quality Standards as established by HUD. These HQS standards are summarized as Appendix B for your reference. The home inspection must include, at a minimum, the completion of a Housing Quality Checklist (HUD Form 52580), available on our web site at www.keystonechallenge.org/lenders/  using the link for Lenders. The Housing Quality Checklist can be completed by a state licensed appraiser or home inspector only. All homes must include a stove and refrigerator, and a permanent source of heat.
  • Aggregate income included in Income calculation of all (Adult means 18 years old in the current year or older) Adults to determine Household Income qualification or disqualification. However, full time adult students income will not be used for disqualification purposes as long as that Adult is not the Head of Household. Child support will be included in income calculations provided the funds have been given to the Borrower.
  • 44.9% debt to income ratio or less, unless pre-approved by Polk County.
  • Lower mortgage insurance rates for Borrower on FHA program.
  • Allows up to 3% Seller contribution maximum towards Buyers closing costs.
  • Purchase only, No Construction to Perm loans, no investment purchases, no refi's.
  • Purchase price limits are $258,691
  • Income Limits determined by 120% of HUD county median income limits. 
  • 1 person household income limit = $44,160, $50,400 for 2 person households, $56,760 for 3 person households, $63,000 for 4 person households, $68,040 for 5 person households, $73,080 for 6 person households $78,120 for 7 person households, $83,160 for 8 person households. 
  • Owner Occupants only, must occupy within 60 days.
  • To receive assistance, whomever will be listed on the Deed must attend a Keystone Homebuyer Education Class or receive equivalent homebuyer education. Education classes are provided by Keystone on a regular basis. Clients may register on-line for classes. View the available class schedule at http://keystonechallenge.org/class-registration/
  • This program can be linked to an FHA, Conventional, VA or USDA 1st Mortgage Loan.
  • Non-Occupant Co-Signors are Not permitted in the City of Lakeland program.
  • Lender Credit not available.
  •  Interest rate buy-downs of up to 2% may be allowable if applicant has been qualified at highest rate and lender obtains advance approval from Keystone.
  • This program can only be used in Lakeland, Florida and excluded for the Polk County and/or the City of Winterhaven.
  • Other restrictions may affect the availability of funds. The SHIP program we work with requires that funds be distributed across income categories, so it is possible that at various times we may not be able to serve a particular income category. 

2018 Polk County Keystone Challenge Fund for Polk County      State Housing Initiatives Partnership Program for Moderate Income residents. 

  • Borrower does not make monthly payments towards the differed down payment assistance loan. 0% Interest is charged forgiven after 20 years.
  • Not a current Home Owner, No First Time Home Buyer requirement.
  • $2000 Grant towards Closing Costs may also be obtained from The City of Winterhaven as part of the down payment assistance program.
  • Down Payment Assistance comes in the form of a $7,000 0% interest 2nd mortgage loan. This loan is forgiven after 20 years.The down payment assistance can be used for the down payment, Buyers mortgage closing costs, or split pay mortgage insurance premium to lower mortgage insurance cost.
  • Must be primary residence.
  • Credit score 660 Minimum for 97% LTV for Conventional and 640 Minimum for 96.5% for FHA  - Maximum LTV 104.99% CLTV.
  • No cash back at closing, any excess funds will be used as principle reduction.
  • 1 unit only - Single Family Residence, Townhouses, Condos, Modular Homes bearing the State of Florida Department of Community Affairs Seal are eligible, but No Manufactured Homes
  • No in-ground Swimming pools.
  • A Home Inspection will be required on all existing homes. Existing units must meet Section 8 Housing Quality Standards as established by HUD. These HQS standards are summarized as Appendix B for your reference. The home inspection must include, at a minimum, the completion of a Housing Quality Checklist (HUD Form 52580), available on our web site at www.keystonechallenge.org/lenders/  using the link for Lenders. The Housing Quality Checklist can be completed by a state licensed appraiser or home inspector only. All homes must include a stove and refrigerator, and a permanent source of heat.
  • Aggregate income included in Income calculation of all (Adult means 18 years old in the current year or older) Adults to determine Household Income qualification or disqualification. However, full time adult students income will not be used for disqualification purposes as long as that Adult is not the Head of Household. Child support will be included in income calculations provided the funds have been given to the Borrower.
  • 44.9% debt to income ratio or less, unless pre-approved by the City of Winterhaven.
  • Allows up to 3% Seller contribution maximum towards Buyers closing costs.
  • Purchase only, No Construction to Perm loans, no investment purchases, no refi's.
  • Purchase price limits are $258,691
  • Income Limits determined by 120% of HUD county median income limits. 
  • 1 person household income limit = $44,160, $50,400 for 2 person households, $56,760 for 3 person households, $63,000 for 4 person households, $68,040 for 5 person households, $73,080 for 6 person households $78,120 for 7 person households, $83,160 for 8 person households 
  • Owner Occupants only, must occupy within 60 days.
  • To receive assistance, whomever will be listed on the Deed must attend a Keystone Homebuyer Education Class or receive equivalent homebuyer education. Education classes are provided by Keystone on a regular basis. Clients may register on-line for classes. View the available class schedule at http://keystonechallenge.org/class-registration/
  • This program can be linked to an FHA, Conventional, VA or USDA 1st Mortgage Loan.
  • Non-Occupant Co-Signors are permitted for credit only, Income cannot be used for qualification purposes only credit and not in the City of Lakeland nor City of Winterhaven.
  • Lender Credit not available.
  •  Interest rate buy-downs of up to 2% may be allowable if applicant has been qualified at highest rate and lender obtains advance approval from Keystone.
  • This program can only be used in the City of Winterhaven Florida and excluded for the City of Lakeland or Polk County (unless located inside the city limits of Winterhaven).
  • Other restrictions may affect the availability of funds. The SHIP program we work with requires that funds be distributed across income categories, so it is possible that at various times we may not be able to serve a particular income category. 

Simple & Free! Click Here to be Pre-Approved

Many of these programs are available throughout the entire State of Florida. This website is sponsored by Mid Florida Realty

NOTICE: This is not a commitment to lend or extend credit. Restrictions may apply. Information and/or data is subject to change without notice. All loans are subject to credit approval. Not all loans or products are available in all states/counties.This website has no affiliation with the State of Florida.