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FHA Loan Approval w/ Zero down pmt? - Tampa, FL

I am an interested first-time home buyer along with my girlfriend of 7 years. Currently we own a mobile home in Tampa, FL, of which we are planning to sell. Although we missed the opportunity to get in on the $8K home owners credit, we are still interested in purchasing our first home being that the market is filled with good deals. I have read of no $ down loans, I've read on FHA loans. Is there really such a thing in this market with credit which isn't perfect?  I've seen a few homes on the market now, which we are interested in, however, the uncertainty and lengthy process of getting approved for one of these loans, have forced us to pass on them. Is the correct way to go about it is to get the loan approved first and then shop for the home? Any suggestions advice in the local Tampa area market is appreciated.
  • June 24 2010 - Tampa
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Answers (6)

The only way to buy with very little money $500-$1000 is to use a loan product called USDA rural. USDA has a zero down payment and allows the seller to pay all loan closing costs and prepaids. If the seller is not willing to pay all the closing costs USDA allows the costs to be rolled into your loan up to the appraised value. Meaning a zero Move in cost. However, the seller most likely will want an earnest money deposit (good faith deposit) to take the home off the market. In many cases your agent can negotiate a $500-$1000 deposit that will be returned to you at closing. In addition your lender will require an application fee and/or appraisal money upfront from $200-400. I know of a lender that requires just $200. That money is also refunded at closing. So the reality is somewhere between $700 and $1200 upfront that will be returned to you if the deal is structured correctly. Yes there are downpayment assistance programs but they also require the upfront money and are full of red tape. Minimum credit score is 620 on USDA. as low as 580 with mitigating circumstances. But that really never happens. 620 is the reality.
  • January 04 2011
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You should get a preapproval first. This way you know what mortgage you qualify for. When you find a house the process to closing is much faster. There are some 0% down mortgages (VA & USDA) but you still need some money for closing. If you have not saved any money, you should not think of buying a home since you need money for house expenses that are not in the mortgage.
  • July 28 2010
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Mark-just a heads up...this post is almost 1 month old and you are breaking Zillow rules by having your contact info in the post.

If the OP wants to contact you they can do so through your profile.
  • July 28 2010
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Hi! I work with a great mortgage professional that can assist you in obtaining down payment assistance if you are looking at purchasing in Hillsborough County. Please feel free to contact me anytime and we can set up a meeting to go over your options.

Thanks!!
Mark Bachman
Exit Extreme Realty
[contact info removed by moderator]
  • July 28 2010
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USDA (if available in your area) is one of the only 100% down programs out there.  Inquire if available with your lender.

Some banks (BB&T??) offer some programs with a minimum investment of $500. 
  • June 29 2010
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FHA requires 3.5% down. VA is 0% down but you would have to be a veteran to qualify. The days of 0% down on FHA and Conventional are pretty much over.
  • June 25 2010
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