FHA Loans in Florida
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) provides FHA loans in Florida to new and low-income buyers. FHA loans are federally backed loans offered to qualifying applicants who would like to purchase a home. Applicants must meet the FHA loan eligibility requirements in order to receive these advantageous mortgages. The advantages of FHA loans include lenient credit standards and reduced down payments. Interested homeowners in Florida can discover more about homeownership assistance by clicking here and downloading our free guide. To find out how to get an FHA loan in Florida, refer to the following topics:
- Florida FHA loan eligibility
- How to apply for an FHA loan in Florida
- Advantages of FHA loans in Florida
Florida FHA Loan Eligibility
Potential homebuyers interested in how to get an FHA loan, will need to meet the program's criteria and requirements in order to be eligible. To meet FHA loan eligibility standards, applicants cannot have declared bankruptcy within the last two years or have a history of foreclosure or short sale within the last three years. FHA loans in Florida require that the homebuyer have a credit score of at least 580, but this is subject to change. Applicants with lower credit scores may still be able to enroll in the program but will have a higher down payment percentage.
FHA loan eligibility in Florida also requires that the total monthly obligation for a potential buyer cannot exceed 55 percent of his or her gross monthly income. While the down payment will be lower than standard loan requirements, the homebuyer must still put down at least 3.5 percent of the asking price of the home. In order to qualify for an FHA loan, the applicant can receive up to six percent assistance from family members, but the actual buyer must produce the 3.5 percent down payment. There are many programs in Florida to counsel potential homeowners on how to save for down payments as well as how to choose homes that meets FHA requirements.
How to Apply for an FHA Loan in Florida
The federal government does not fund FHA loans in Florida directly, but rather insures loans from approved lenders. The first step in how to get an FHA loan is to select an FHA-approved lender, which most traditional banks are. When completing applications for an FHA loan in Florida, applicants will need to gather a large number of documents. The most often requested documents for an FHA loan include:
- Tax returns for last two to three years
- Most recent pay stubs
- Bank statements
- A list of all assets, including retirement accounts
- Personal identification
To determine FHA loan eligibility, officials will review certain information on these documents. The lender will assign the FHA loan a case number that identifies the buyer and property. At this point in the process of how to apply for an FHA loan, the lender may pre-approve the applicant. The next step in the FHA loan application process is to have the home and property appraised. The FHA-approved appraiser will confirm that the property meets HUD standards, health and safety regulations as will at valuate the property's value.
Lenders of Florida FHA loans will send an underwriter if the potential purchase passes appraisal. The underwriter's job is to look over the FHA loan application and determine whether the potential buyer has the ability to make the mortgage payments. If the underwriter believes the buyer is a good risk, then he or she will approve the buyer to close. Applicants may need to undergo housing counseling to understand the process and select an affordable home. The applicants will then sign the final documents at the closing.
Advantages of FHA Loans in Florida
FHA loans in Florida have distinct advantages over other types of loans on the market. While the process of how to get an FHA loan may require more steps, persons with low income or poor credit have a higher propensity for qualifying for FHA loans than standard mortgages. Since FHA loans are government backed, banks are more likely to approve riskier applicants such as Section 8 enrollees looking to purchase a home. FHA loan eligibility also removes many of the stringent regulations and requirements that otherwise would have been asked of the potential homebuyers.
FHA loans also require lower down payments and have less closing costs (often none). FHA loans in Florida typically have lower mortgage rates as compared to the traditional conventional home loans. Unlike their conventional counterparts, FHA loans can become assumable. This means that if the buyer determines that they want to sell their home after several years, the existing Florida FHA loan is available to the new buyer. This assists the new buyer with keeping interest rates lower than the current rate might be. For more information on the advantages of FHA loans, download our comprehensive Florida guide here.