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Great News For First Time Homebuyers In Florida Real Estate

First time hombuyer loan pictureJoe Manausa Real Estate held its weekly sales meeting yesterday at our office and we were visited by Karen Gillispie, a residential lending specialist, from Premier Bank in Tallahassee. The purpose of her visit was to update the staff on the various products and loan programs for first time hombuyers.

It is interesting to note that in these times of financial hardship for everyone that there seems to be an abundance of financial assistance programs out there for eligible homebuyers purchasing new or existing homes in Florida. I will address a few today, but I recommend that you actually talk to a specialist like Karen if you want to get the best advice on loans for first time homebuyers.

First Time Homebuyer Loan Programs

There are quite a few opportunities in the Florida real estate market for first time homebuyers. Premier Bank was kind enough to share their programs with us yesterday so I thought I would pass on a quick summary of what Premier Bank has to offer its first time homebuyers:

First Mortgage Programs:

  • Florida First: This program helps borrowers by offering a low 30-year fixed0rate loan. It is for borrowers that need the low rates to make tehir monthly payments more affordable.
  • Florida Advantage: This program offers a very low rate to households that have a disabled member. This program is offer to buyers purchasing in certain geographical areas. You will have to check with your lender to determine if the property you desire falls within the boundaries of this program.
  • Community Heroes: This program helps borrowers that are education professionals, sworn officers of the state of Florida, healthcare professionals, and all active duty military and veterans with a very low interest rate on a mortgage.

Down Payment Assistance Programs (DPA):

  • Florida Assist: Offers moderate-income borrowers up to $10,000 to assist with down payment & closing costs. This loan is offered at 0% & only must be repaid if the borrower sells or refinances the home (yes, read that as a loan that does not have payments!).
  • Homeownership Assistance for Moderate Income Loan (HAMI): Offers up to $5,000 to assist with down payment & closing costs. Borrowers have 10-years to repay this loan.
  • Tallahassee Lenders Consortium's State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) Funds: Up to $10,000 in down payment & closing costs assistance that my be paired with one of the above DPA programs. This loan is at 0% interest & must be repaid if the borrower sells or refinances the home (another no-payment loan!).
  • Homeownership Pool Program (HOP): Eligible homebuyers may receive a 0% deferred second mortgage loan, 25% of the purchase price of the home. HOP funds may be used with the Florida Housing DPA programs and the Tallahassee Lender Consortium SHIP funds.
  • Federal Home Loan Bank: Up to $10,000 in down payment, closing cost and prepaid assistance for first time buyers. This loan does require a 5 to 1 match. The loan is forgivable (no payment required) after 5 years.

I think it is obvious that there are various and plentiful programs out there for first time homebuyers. If you fall into this category (or wonder if you do), I would recommend that you contact your mortgage professional for advice. It could help you save thousands of dollar on your home purchase.


*Joe Manausa Real Estate is a brokerage company headquartered in Tallahassee, Florida. Its unique business model provides specialists to both home sellers and home buyers, and the results speak for themselves. JMRE has significantly more 5-star reviews on google than any other local competitor. Joe Manausa Real Estate is a leader in internet marketing and utilizes search engine optimization, email marketing, social media and data analytics to get their clients’ home sold faster and for more money than any other Tallahassee brokerage firm. For more information, visit or call us at (850) 366-8917.

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#1 By Joe Manausa at 7/11/2017 3:48 AM

1. Gavin Says:
November 25th, 2008 at 10:28 am e

The question is, do you have to use the one of the FTHB Mortgages in order to receive one of the FTHB DPAs? Or can you have a conventional or FHA mortgage and use the DPA assistance you qualify for?
2. Gavin Says:
November 25th, 2008 at 10:29 am e

Oooops. I posted this on the wrong blog entry. This was meant to go on the FTHB entry. My apologies.
3. Joe Manausa Says:
November 26th, 2008 at 7:27 am e

Gavin, I would recommend you call Karen Gillispie at Premier Bank with all of your specific questions. She provided me the basic information that I distributed but she knows much more about the loan programs than I do.

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2066 Thomasville Rd
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(850) 366-8917