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Exciting News for Gulf Coast Homebuyers: The Hometown Heroes Program is Back!

Hey Gulf Coast home buyers! As a proud local and member of the Setco Services team, I am thrilled to share some fantastic news that will make your dream of owning a home more attainable than ever through the Hometown Heroes Program. Buying a first home is an exciting milestone and this Florida program is here to make it even more attainable. Designed specifically for first-time homebuyers, this program offers incredible benefits like down payment and closing cost assistance, making the dream of owning a Florida house a reality.

What is the Hometown Heroes Program?

The Hometown Heroes Program is an incredible initiative offering financial assistance to help with down payments and closing costs. This program is a game-changer for those who have tirelessly served our community, including Teachers, Healthcare workers, Law enforcement officers, Firefighters, and other Essential Workers. It is a wonderful way of saying thank you for your service and dedication. Your hometown heroes.  

Key Benefits of the Hometown Heroes Program 

1. Downpayment and Closing Cost Assistance: Eligible homebuyers can receive up to 5% of the loan amount, ranging from $10,000 to $35,000, to help with Down Payments and Closing Costs. This assistance comes in the form of a 0%, non-amortizing, 30-year deferred second mortgage. This means no monthly payments on the second mortgage, and it is only due in full upon the sale, refinancing, or transfer of the property, or if the home is no longer your primary residence.  

2. Lower Mortgage Rates: The program offers lower-than-market interest rates on a variety of first mortgage options, including FHA, VA, RD, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac loans. This can significantly reduce the overall cost of homeownership, making it more accessible for those who qualify. 

3. Additional Special Benefits: The Hometown Heroes Program also provides several other benefits, such as reduced upfront fees, no origination points, and no discount points. These rewards help lower the initial costs associated with purchasing a home, smoothing the path to homeownership for eligible buyers. 

Are You Eligible?

To qualify for the Hometown Heroes Program, you must: 

    • Be employed full-time by a Florida-based employer and work a minimum of 35 hours per week. Self-employed homebuyers are also eligible, provided their 1099 or Schedule C reflects a Florida company
    • Be a first-time homebuyer or a veteran. 
    • Use the home as your primary residence. 

*Income and loan limits for the Hometown Heroes Program vary by county, ensuring the program is tailored to meet the specific economic conditions of different areas. To find out the specific limits for your county, you can refer to the detailed income and loan limits document provided by the program. 

How to Apply

1. Verify Eligibility: Ensure you meet the employment and income requirements for the Hometown Heroes Program. 

2. Gather Documentation: Collect necessary documents, including proof of employment, income verification, and tax returns if self-employed. 

3. Choose a Participating Lender: Select a lender that participates in the Hometown Heroes Program to guide you through the application process. 

4. Submit Your Application: Complete the application process with your chosen lender and provide all required documentation. 

5. Await Approval: Your lender will review your application and documentation. Once approved, you will receive details on your down payment and closing cost assistance. 

Required Documentation 

    • Proof of full-time employment with a Florida-based employer (pay stubs, employment verification letter). 
    • Income verification (W-2 forms, tax returns, 1099 forms, or Schedule C for self-employed individuals). 
    • Identification documents (driver’s license, social security card). 
    • Bank statements and other financial documents as requested by the lender. 

Timeline

    • Application Submission: The time it takes to gather documents and complete the application can vary but typically takes a few days to a week. 
    • Lender Review: The lender’s review and approval process will take a few weeks, depending on the completeness of your application and any additional information required. 
    • Approval and Assistance: Once approved, you will receive the assistance details and can proceed with purchasing your home. 

Connect with Setco and Our Partners 

Matthew Imel, Lead Mortgage Loan Originator at Tyndall Federal Credit Union, can be reached at 850-747-4167. Melissa Ingle, Vice President, and Loan Originator at Trustmark Bank, is available at 850-814-8146. They are both ready to connect & assist you with your home buying journey. 

Do not Miss Out! 

The Hometown Heroes Program is a limited-funded initiative, so it is crucial to apply as soon as you determine your eligibility. This is an incredible opportunity to achieve your homeownership dreams with substantial financial support and lower mortgage rates. Let’s make our area a place where our hometown heroes can proudly own their homes, do not miss out! 

We are excited to help you on your journey to homeownership! 

Taylor Williams, July 5th 2024

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