The creative ways Floridians are working the frustrating housing market

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In today’s housing market cash is king, but not everyone has that kind of money. So how are families making their down payment on a new home? We talked with local experts to learn what people can do to move into the home of their dreams.Local real estate agent Mike Allende with Greater Orlando Realty USA has been in this industry 21 years. He combs the MLS daily helping his clients find their perfect home even when they have no money to put down and, in some cases, they may not even need a down payment.”I was able to utilize what is called the USDA rural program. If the home that you’re purchasing qualifies in a rural area, you are able to qualify for 100% financing, so you wouldn’t need a down payment at all,” Allende said.That program allowed Allende to find the home of his own dreams.”We bought it very easy. It’s a great program to utilize. You have VA loans for military veterans which are also zero down, however, the USDA rural allows anyone to qualify as long as it is in a rural area,” Allende said.There are other qualifications the buyer must meet to get the assistance, but you don’t have to move to the outskirts of the city to get help with your down payment.There are a lot of programs out there and the best real estate agents work with the best lenders who know what is available.”There might be a program that just came in yesterday that the realtor doesn’t even know about, so it’s important that you are communicating with your lender as well and you have that relationship and good connection and you are on the same page,” said Rose Kemp, Treasurer of the Orlando Regional Realtor Association.The Florida Housing Finance Corporation was developed 40 years ago by the state legislature to provide affordable housing for residents.They recently upped their down payment assistance from $7,500 to $10,000.New homebuyers just need to use an approved lender and meet their requirements.In 2021, they provided more than $38 million in assistance and provided 300 home loans.”We work with lending institutions, banks, credit unions and mortgage companies. We are an additional menu option specializing in the first-time homebuyer,” said Trey Price, executive director of the Florida Housing Finance Corporation.For those who do not qualify for anything, new homebuyers are getting more resourceful and relying on their inner circle.”One of the main things that I’ve seen recently is family members supporting family members and gifting their down payment,” Kemp said.That gift must be approved by the lender and follow their guidelines.For those who can’t come up with that kind of money and worry they just can’t compete with cash, Allende says don’t be. This is where your agent and lender go to bat.”The important thing is the lender provides a strong pre-approval letter stating the buyer is ready to go and has all their ducks in a row,” Allende said.It’s a true team effort. While cash may be king, in today’s market, a little patience and trust can prove to be a royal flush.

In today’s housing market cash is king, but not everyone has that kind of money. So how are families making their down payment on a new home? We talked with local experts to learn what people can do to move into the home of their dreams.

Local real estate agent Mike Allende with Greater Orlando Realty USA has been in this industry 21 years. He combs the MLS daily helping his clients find their perfect home even when they have no money to put down and, in some cases, they may not even need a down payment.

“I was able to utilize what is called the USDA rural program. If the home that you’re purchasing qualifies in a rural area, you are able to qualify for 100% financing, so you wouldn’t need a down payment at all,” Allende said.

That program allowed Allende to find the home of his own dreams.

“We bought it very easy. It’s a great program to utilize. You have VA loans for military veterans which are also zero down, however, the USDA rural allows anyone to qualify as long as it is in a rural area,” Allende said.

There are other qualifications the buyer must meet to get the assistance, but you don’t have to move to the outskirts of the city to get help with your down payment.

There are a lot of programs out there and the best real estate agents work with the best lenders who know what is available.

“There might be a program that just came in yesterday that the realtor doesn’t even know about, so it’s important that you are communicating with your lender as well and you have that relationship and good connection and you are on the same page,” said Rose Kemp, Treasurer of the Orlando Regional Realtor Association.

The Florida Housing Finance Corporation was developed 40 years ago by the state legislature to provide affordable housing for residents.

They recently upped their down payment assistance from $7,500 to $10,000.

New homebuyers just need to use an approved lender and meet their requirements.

In 2021, they provided more than $38 million in assistance and provided 300 home loans.

“We work with lending institutions, banks, credit unions and mortgage companies. We are an additional menu option specializing in the first-time homebuyer,” said Trey Price, executive director of the Florida Housing Finance Corporation.

For those who do not qualify for anything, new homebuyers are getting more resourceful and relying on their inner circle.

“One of the main things that I’ve seen recently is family members supporting family members and gifting their down payment,” Kemp said.

That gift must be approved by the lender and follow their guidelines.

For those who can’t come up with that kind of money and worry they just can’t compete with cash, Allende says don’t be. This is where your agent and lender go to bat.

“The important thing is the lender provides a strong pre-approval letter stating the buyer is ready to go and has all their ducks in a row,” Allende said.

It’s a true team effort. While cash may be king, in today’s market, a little patience and trust can prove to be a royal flush.



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