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Start your homebuying journey with Atlantic Mortgage & Finance. We guide first-time buyers through the mortgage process with ease, offering personalized support and expertise in Florida’s market. Begin your path to homeownership with confidence.

What is a First-Time Homebuyer Loan?

A first-time homebuyer loan is a mortgage specifically designed to assist individuals buying their first home. These loans often come with benefits that make homeownership more accessible and affordable for first-time buyers. Key features and benefits include:
  • Lower Down Payments: Many first-time homebuyer programs allow buyers to make smaller down payments compared to traditional loans, sometimes as low as 3% or even 0%.
  • Reduced Interest Rates: Some programs offer reduced interest rates to lower monthly payments for first-time buyers.
  • Government Backing: Loans like FHA (Federal Housing Administration), USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), and VA (Veterans Affairs) loans are backed by the government, offering lenders the assurance to offer more favorable terms.
  • Closing Cost Assistance: Many first-time homebuyer programs provide assistance with closing costs or offer grants to cover these expenses.
  • Flexible Credit Requirements: These loans often have more lenient credit score requirements, making it easier for first-time buyers with less-than-perfect credit to qualify.
  • Educational Resources: Some programs require buyers to complete educational courses on homeownership, preparing them for the responsibilities of owning and maintaining a home.

To qualify for a first-time homebuyer loan, applicants typically must not have owned a home in the past three years, meet income and credit requirements, and intend to use the purchased property as their primary residence. Different programs have their own specific criteria and benefits, so it’s important for potential buyers to research and consult with mortgage professionals to find the best option for their needs.

What are the Different types of First-time Home Buyer Loans?

First-time homebuyer programs vary by location and are designed to help individuals and families purchase their first home by offering benefits such as down payment assistance, reduced interest rates, and assistance with closing costs. These programs can be federal, state, or locally administered. Here’s an overview of some of the primary national programs and resources available to first-time homebuyers in the United States:


FHA Loans

  • Administered by: Federal Housing Administration
  • Features: Lower down payment requirements (as low as 3.5%) and more lenient credit score criteria.

USDA Loans

  • Administered by: U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • Features: Aimed at rural home buyers, these loans require no down payment.

VA Loans

  • Administered by: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Features: Available to veterans, active-duty service members, and certain members of the National Guard and Reserves. VA loans offer benefits like no down payment and no private mortgage insurance (PMI).

Good Neighbor Next Door

  • Administered by: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
  • Features: Offers a discount of 50% off the list price of homes in revitalization areas to law enforcement officers, teachers, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians.

Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac

  • Administered by: Government-sponsored enterprises
  • Features: Conventional loans that require lower down payments (as low as 3%) and are available to first-time homebuyers.

HomePath Ready Buyer Program

  • Administered by: Fannie Mae
  • Features: Offers up to 3% in closing cost assistance to first-time homebuyers who complete an educational course and purchase a HomePath property.

Energy-Efficient Mortgage (EEM)

  • Administered by: Federal government
  • Features: Allows homebuyers to finance energy-efficient improvements with their mortgage.

State and Local Programs

  • Many states, counties, and cities offer their own first-time homebuyer programs, which can provide additional assistance such as grants, interest-free loans, and financial education. These programs often have specific eligibility requirements based on income, location, and the price of the home.

What Are Down Payment Assistance Programs?

Down Payment Assistance programs are designed to help first-time homebuyers with one of the biggest hurdles in purchasing a home: the down payment. Through grants, loans, and other financial aids, these programs reduce the upfront costs of buying a home, making it more accessible for everyone.

Florida Housing DPA Programs

We are proud to offer the Florida Housing DPA programs, a cornerstone of our assistance efforts for first-time homebuyers in Florida. These programs provide a variety of options to fit your unique financial needs, including:

  • Florida Assist (FL Assist): Offers up to $10,000 in a deferred second mortgage, which can be used toward down payment and closing costs. This loan is deferred for the life of the primary mortgage, making it an attractive option for many buyers.
  • Florida Homeownership Loan Program (FL HLP): Provides up to $10,000 in a second mortgage with a 15-year term, offering low monthly payments to assist with down payment and closing costs.
  • HFA Preferred & HFA Advantage Grants: These grants offer up to 3% or 4% of the purchase price towards your down payment and closing costs, making them a gift that does not need to be repaid.

Are You Eligible?

Eligibility for Florida Housing DPA programs typically depends on factors like:

  • First-time homebuyer status (or buying in a designated area)
  • Income and purchase price limits specific to the Florida Housing program
  • Credit score requirements
  • Completion of a homebuyer education course

We at Atlantic Mortgage & Finance are here to help you navigate these requirements to find the best fit for your situation.

Contact us to learn more or get started today!

Why Choose Us?

With our extensive 20 plus years of experience in mortgage financing, we excel in delivering financing options tailored to suit our customers’ needs. Discover why people love working with us by exploring our outstanding reviews.

By collaborating with a wide range of investors and lenders, we proudly offer a diverse range of loan programs. Our utmost aim is to provide borrowers with the most optimal financing solutions available.