Home Mortgage

Low Down Payment Common Mortgage Options in Florida: A Guide

We’ll walk you through the different programs offered by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, highlight eligibility requirements, and detail the benefits of each.

This way, you can make an informed decision and get closer to buying your home with a small initial investment.

Regular Low Payment Plans

Looking to buy a home with a low down payment? Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have programs that can help. Below, we’ll explore these options, show you what’s available and how they can make buying a home more affordable.

Fannie Mae HomeReady®

Fannie Mae’s HomeReady® program is designed for consumers looking for lower down payment options. Available for purchase or cash-out refinance (LCOR).

This program supports 1-unit primary residences, including eligible condos, co-ops, PUDs, and manufactured homes. It also allows primary residences of 2 to 4 units, although certain types of buildings such as condos, co-ops, or manufactured homes are excluded.

Key features include LTV limits of up to 95%-97%, with conditions such as DU approval for high LTV and specific consideration for manufactured homes.

Fannie Mae Standard 97

Like the HomeReady® program, Fannie Mae Standard 97 loans offer purchase financing options or LCOR with LTV ratios of 95%-97%. This program is intended for properties, including 1-unit primary residences.

It supports a variety of building types with the same restrictions and considerations as HomeReady®, especially regarding LTV limits, DU approval requirements, and specific conditions for manufactured homes.

Freddie Mac HomeOne®

Freddie Mac’s HomeOne® program focuses on the purchase, or refinance, with an emphasis on first-time homebuyers. It includes 1-unit residential properties, including PUDs and condos, but does not allow manufactured homes.

LTV limits for the HomeOne® program are also set at 95%—97%, with certain requirements to reach the maximum LTV and certain conditions for refinancing and manufactured housing.

Freddie Mac Home Possible®

The Home Possible® program from Freddie Mac offers flexible financing options for purchases or cash-out financing. Available in 1-4 unit primary residences, PUDs, condos, and manufactured homes, catering to a wider range of housing types than HomeOne®.

The program also has LTV limits of up to 95%-97%, with eligibility criteria including DU approval for high LTV and separate guidelines for manufactured homes and other building types.

Property Types and Areas Suitable for Down Payment Programs

When buying a home with a down payment, the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac programs offer flexibility in the types of properties and residences in them.

These projects typically cover a range of property types, including single-family homes, condos, planned unit developments (PUDs), co-ops, and manufactured homes.

Options range from 1-unit master homes to 4-unit master residences, offering opportunities for buyers interested in multi-family properties or looking to invest in home and income units.

Specifically, both Fannie Mae’s HomeReady® and Standard 97 programs and Freddie Mac’s Home Possible® program offer broad eligibility criteria that include different types of homes to suit the different needs of the home buyer.

Although the Freddie Mac HomeOne® program is a bit more restrictive, focusing primarily on single-unit primary residences and excluding manufactured homes, it still plays an important role in helping first-time homebuyers.

In all of these programs, the emphasis is on making home ownership more accessible, ensuring that buyers can find the right financing options regardless of the type of property they wish to purchase.

Loan-to-Value (LTV) Limits and Requirements

The loan-to-value (LTV) ratio is an important metric in real estate lending. It represents the percentage of the property value financed by the loan.

Basically, it measures the loan amount relative to the property’s appraised value or purchase price, whichever is lower.

A lower LTV ratio indicates more equity in the property, which is often viewed favorably by lenders as it means less risk.

Fannie Mae HomeReady® and Standard 97

Fannie Mae’s HomeReady® and Standard 97 programs allow LTV ratios typically between 95% and 97%. For buyers to qualify for the maximum 97% LTV ratio, Desktop Underwriter (DU) approval is required.

If the loan does not get DU approval, it must be written manually, and the maximum LTV is reduced to 95%.

Additionally, in the HomeReady® program, a limited cash flow loan (LCOR) is only available if the current loan is an existing Fannie Mae loan with LTVs between 95.01% and 97%.

Freddie Mac HomeOne®

The HomeOne® program from Freddie Mac also supports LTV limits within the 95%-97% range for purchases and financing.

Like Fannie Mae’s offerings, reaching the upper limit of the LTV range may require approval or certain conditions, emphasizing support for first-time homebuyers and easy refinancing options.

Freddie Mac Home Possible®

Freddie Mac’s Home Possible® program offers LTV limits of up to 95% for 2-unit properties and 3-4 unit properties, with an emphasis on providing flexible financing solutions.

For certain transactions, such as those involving manufactured homes or requiring secondary financing, the program allows the LTV rating to extend up to 105% Combined Loan-to-Value (CLTV) with eligible community secs, reflecting a wider range of financing for high value homes. or those who need additional financial assistance.

FAQ: Low Down Payment Plans

Understanding the low-payment financing options offered by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can be difficult.

This FAQ section addresses some of the most common questions related to income limits, first-time home buyer requirements, and other important aspects of these programs.

Are there any income restrictions or requirements for borrowers under these programs?

Yes, programs like Fannie Mae’s HomeReady® and Freddie Mac’s Home Possible® set borrowers’ income limits at or below 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI).

In contrast, some programs may not specify any income limits, offering more flexibility to applicants regardless of their income levels.

Is there a need for a first-time home buyer in any of these programs?

Indeed, some programs require at least one borrower to be a first-time home buyer. Definitions of a first-time home buyer vary but generally include people who have not owned a home in the past three years.

Can borrowers and non-residents be included in the loan application?

Including non-residential lenders is permitted under certain conditions, which may include LTV adjustments and occupancy requirements. This option allows borrowers who need additional income support to qualify for a loan.

Are there specific provisions for houses built under these schemes?

Specific guidelines are provided for financing manufactured homes, distinguishing between MH Advantage homes and standard manufactured homes.

These provisions include various LTV limits and other eligibility criteria to accommodate buyers interested in manufactured housing.

What are the financing options for renewal within these programs?

Renovation financing options, such as Fannie Mae’s HomeStyle® Renovation and Freddie Mac’s CHOICERenovation® programs, are available.

These options require lender approval and are designed to help borrowers with home financing and improvement costs.

What short term purchase options are available?

Short-term purchases, including 3-2-1 and 2-1 properties, are available in certain areas to help borrowers lower their interest rates and monthly payments during the early years of the loan. However, there are some restrictions on manufactured homes regarding this purchase.

What are the homeowner education course requirements under these programs?

Homeowner education courses are required for first-time homebuyers and under certain conditions within these programs.

At least one borrower should complete a course from a qualified provider to ensure they are well informed about the home ownership process and responsibilities.

The Bottom Line

Buying a home in Florida with a down payment is more accessible than many might think, thanks to various programs from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Our guide takes you through the basics of these programs, from property types and occupancy requirements to LTV limits, income requirements, and more, all designed to make homeownership more affordable.

Whether you are a first-time buyer, interested in manufactured homes, or looking at remodeling options, there is a way forward.

If you dream of owning a home in Florida but feel overwhelmed by the thought of a large down payment, there is good news. Contact MakeFloridaYourHome for personalized assistance and take the next step in making your dream a reality.


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