There are many more loan options for first time Homebuyers than the FHA. It can even vary from lender to lender.
But another really popular one is the USDA loan. It's a 0% down loan subsidized by the government. Your mortgage insurance is obviously a lot higher, but the interest rate is also extremely low if I'm remembering right.
To qualify you have to move to an area declared to be "rural" by the USDA. There are also some other restrictions like your annual income.
But all that to say...if you meet the qualifications it can be a really solid option depending on your situation.
@Trevor Lakin I'm not sure about on the national/federal level anymore. There used to be a grant like you're speaking on, but I thought it went away. @Brandon Moryl may know more on this. Also, different cities/states/counties have different programs and grants for home buyers. Find a good lender and loan officer to help with finding any of those you can use.
If it's no longer available at the federal level, check the state level. There's something called the "Welcome Home" grant in my home state, OH, which offers $5k towards your purchase. However, I believe the funding runs out pretty quick. There's a high demand for free money (obviously). Below are some details on Ohio's Welcome Home program.
Homebuyer Requirements for the Welcome Home Program
- Total household income must be at or below 80% of Mortgage Revenue Bond (MRB) income limits. The MRB limit for a household of 2 or less is $66,500 (80% $53,200) and for a larger household is $76,475 (80% $61,180). The income calculation will be based on the limits in place at the time the program opens.
- Homebuyers must contribute at least $500 of their own funds toward the down payment and closing costs, although 60% of these funds may be received as a gift.
- Funds received from sellers, nonprofit or other organizations, including state and local government agencies, for down payment assistance grants cannot be used to reduce the required contribution.
- Funds paid for costs outside of closing, such as hazard insurance, taxes, application fees, and other items related to the purchase, are considered part of the homebuyer’s required contribution.
- Applicants do not have to be first-time homebuyers. However, all first-time homebuyers must complete a homebuyer counseling program.
- The grant may be used in conjunction with other programs, such as FHA, VA, THDA, USDA/Rural Housing and Community Investment Cash Advance.
- Homebuyers may be required to pay back a prorated amount of the Welcome Home grant if the home is sold or refinanced during the 5-year retention period.
Property Requirements for the Welcome Home Program
- Property must be used as the homebuyer’s primary residence.
- Property may consist of 1 to 4 units. For any property with 2 or more units, 85% of the projected rent of the other units must be included in the homebuyer’s income. An appraisal or current lease must be submitted when the funds are reserved
- Some manufactured housing is eligible for Welcome Home assistance. Manufactured homes may be built in multi-sectional or single section units and must be installed on an FHA Title II permanent foundation system. The home and lot must be taxable together as real property. Single-section manufactured homes must be Energy Star-rated. Documentation is required.
- Mobile homes are not eligible for the Welcome Home Program.
- Modular homes are eligible for the Welcome Home Program.
- If more than $500 is to be escrowed for buyer repairs, the property is ineligible for Welcome Home funds without advance written approval of the FHLB prior to closing.
Florida does have a first time homebuyer grant.
And FHA may or may not be your best option. There are other low down payment options using Conventional financing, and even on 2-4 unit properties if you are a FTHB.
The best thing you can do is talk to a rockstar Loan Officer in FL that is familiar with all of the loan programs and local grants. If you need a referral to one, PM me I can can connect you.
Best of luck!