The City of St. Petersburg offers financial assistance to first time home buyers who purchase and occupy a new or existing eligible residential property located within the city's municipal boundaries and have not received prior financial assistance from the City of St. Petersburg. Second mortgage loans are available to assist the home buyer with closing costs, down payment and/or to reduce or "buy-down" the first mortgage interest rate. Down payment and closing cost assistance loans are provided to income-eligible applicants at a zero percent (0%) interest rate. Loan amounts are determined by the sales price of the home.
Home Ownership Assistance Loan Guidelines
Individual loans, not exceeding $20,000, shall be made available to eligible first-time home buyers. For those home buyers whose total household income does not exceed 80 % of the area Median Family Income (MFI) as defined by the US Department of Housing and Community Development, the following loan terms would apply. The loan amount shall be based on the purchase price of the home, the first mortgage loan amount and the cost of closing the purchase transaction:
- An amount equal to ten percent (10%) of the purchase price shall be attributed to the down-payment;
- An amount equal to one percent (1%) of the first mortgagee's loan amount shall be allocated to fund the up-front cost of the FHA Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP) or the conventional Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) premium.
- A maximum of $5,000 shall be provided to fund standard closing costs. However, should the borrower's required one percent (1%) contribution to the transaction be insufficient to pay all additional and necessary prepaid items, the City shall consider funding those prepaid items in an amount over and above the standard closing costs. In no case shall the total assistance exceed $20,000.
Monthly payments shall be amortized at an interest rate of zero percent (0%) for a term of 240 months. After 120 payments have been made and the balance of the loan has been reduced by fifty percent (50%), the remaining principal balance or fifty percent (50%) of the loan balance shall be forgiven.
Home buyers purchasing a home within the city’s Community Redevelopment Area (CRA) and whose total household income exceeds 80% MFI (but less than 120% MFI) may apply for a $10,000, zero percent (0%), 10-year amortizing loan with monthly payments of $83.33.
An Eligible Residential Property is a single-family residence, a condominium, a townhome or a cooperative housing unit with a maximum purchase price of $253,000 for existing homes and $253,000 for new constructions.
Are you ready to be a homeowner?
The process of purchasing a home begins with a first mortgage lender, which could be a bank, credit union, savings thrift or mortgage broker. The best place to start might be with the institution where the buyer maintains a checking and savings account. The City of St. Petersburg participates with many Lending Partners. To determine if a lender is a participating lender please call (727) 892-5572. We recommend that a home buyer contact as many lenders as possible to obtain the most favorable first mortgage rate and terms, beginning with the bank, savings thrift or credit union where checking and savings accounts are maintained.
Based on the buyer's income, expenses and credit history, a first mortgage lender will "pre-qualify" the buyer to determine the first mortgage loan amount for which he or she may be approved. A "pre-qualification" is NOT a commitment by the lender. It will provide an estimate of the maximum loan amount for which a buyer may be qualified if the buyer's mortgage loan application meets the lender's underwriting requirements. It is important for the lender to know that a buyer may be a candidate for down payment and closing cost assistance. Should the lender have questions regarding the City's program do not hesitate to ask the lender to telephone the city at (727) 892-5572.
Home Buyer Education
As a benefit of receiving a second mortgage down payment and closing cost assistance loan, buyers are required to attend an eight hour Home Buyer Education class and receive a Certificate of Completion from a HUD approved Counseling agency prior to closing the home purchase transaction.
Family Budgeting and Financial Fitness classes are also highly recommended and should be taken within six months of closing the home purchase transaction
Community Service Foundation offers Family Budgeting Classes. Please visit CSF at the web-address below or telephone to register
- (727) 461-0618 www.csfhome.org
Home Buyer Education Classes are available with the following HUD approved providers:
- Tampa Bay Community Development Corporation (TBCDC) (727) 442-7075 http://www.tampabaycdc.org/
- St. Petersburg Neighborhood Home Solutions (727) 821-6897 http://www.nhsfl.org
- Catholic Charities Housing Counseling Service (727) 893-1313 X 223 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Bright Community Trust (727) 475 -1366 www.brightcommunitytrust.org
Having been "pre-qualified" with a first mortgage lender ensures a seller that he or she can be secure in selling their home to buyers who will quickly and efficiently close the sale. A realtor can be assured that he or she may negotiate an equitable "deal" on behalf of the buyer, knowing the transaction will close and not be delayed or compromised by financing issues. Once the educational component and "pre-qualification" process has been completed the first time home buyer would then contact a realtor to begin the home selection process leading to making the first time home buyer's dream of home ownership a reality. Time spent on education and "pre-qualification" is a valuable tool in the home buying process and empowers the buyer with knowledge to make the right informed decisions that protect his or her investment in a home.
Median Family Income (MFI) is annually defined by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD). HUD establishes the MFI specific to the geographic area it applies to and adjusts the MFI for the number of occupants, related or not, that occupy the home. The chart below lists the maximum annual gross household income for the City of St. Petersburg for the 80% MFI groups, adjusted for household size. View the MFI Income Chart below.Your specific income or household size may vary and will be calculated at time of application.
Household median income is calculated by adding all sources of income from all adult occupants of the household, related or not, including, but not limited to, social security, child support, alimony, public assistance, interest income, pensions, income from other assets and employment income.
NSP - Home Purchase AssistanceWhen NSP Homes for Sale become available the City of St. Petersburg Housing and Community Development Department will provide loans to financially assist income eligible first time home buyers with the down payment and closing costs associated with the purchase of home offered for sale through the City's Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP).
The city's Home Buyer Assistance Program provides 0% second mortgage loans, the amount of which is determined by the sales price of the home.
All eligible home buyers purchasing a home offered through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) whose total household income does not exceed 80% of the Median Family Income (MFI) may be eligible for additional NSP purchase assistance that is forgiven after 15 years of residency. Should the homeowner vacate the property during the 15-year term and no longer reside in the home, the entire principal amount of the assistance loan will then become due and payable to the city of St. Petersburg and no forgiveness will occur.
Assistance is available to home buyers purchasing an NSP home, whose Household income exceeds 80% MFI but is less than 120% MFI: All eligible home buyers purchasing an NSP home, whose total income is at or below 120%, but more than 80% MFI may apply for up to a $16,000 10-year amortizing loan with monthly payments of $133.33 depending on loan amount.
Median Family Income (MFI) is annually defined by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD). HUD establishes the MFI specific to the geographic area it applies to and adjusts the MFI for the number of occupants, related or not, that occupy the home. The chart below lists the maximum annual gross household income for the City of St. Petersburg for 80% MFI and 120% groups, adjusted for household size.
CLEARWATER, ST. PETERSBURG, AND TAMPA AREA MEDIAN = $63,900
FY 2018 INCOME LIMITS
Effective April 1, 2018
|Household Size||80% MFI||120% MFI|
Home Buyer FAQs