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Pasco program offers up to $8,000 loan for first-time home buyers

Thinking of buying your first house? You might qualify for up to $8,000 in a down payment loan from Pasco County.

More than $500,000 is now available through the new Florida Homebuyer Assistance Program. The money comes from the state.

The program, which expires Dec. 1, advances home buyers the amount they expect to get from a federal tax credit worth up to $8,000.

The idea is that recipients would repay the Pasco loan once they receive their first-time home buyer credit from the Internal Revenue Service.

Singles who make up to $75,000 a year and married couples who make up to $150,000 may qualify.

First-time home buyers are defined as those who haven't owned a home in the past three years.

The sale price of the home cannot exceed $240,000. Mobile homes and manufactured homes are not eligible.

Recipients who pay back the loan within three months won't pay interest. Otherwise, the interest rates will match those of the first mortgages.

The program, sponsored by Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, is intended to address the glut of housing around the state. At least for the current year, it replaced the traditional State Housing Initiatives Partnership, or SHIP, affordable housing programs for lower income residents.

Pasco community development manager George Romagnoli said he hopes the down payment assistance will make a difference for those thinking about filling up some of those empty homes around the county. "Real estate drives the economy in Pasco County," he said.

Jodie Tillman can be reached at jtillman@sptimes.com or (727) 869-6247.

Fast Facts

To learn more

Interested in the Florida Homebuyer Assistance Program? Residents should apply through one of the financial institutions that have already signed agreements with Pasco County.

That list is available on the county Web site: tinyurl.com/pascohousing.

Or call the county at (727) 834-3445, (352) 521-4274, ext. 3445 or (813) 996-7341.

Pasco program offers up to $8,000 loan for first-time home buyers 08/10/09 [Last modified: Monday, August 10, 2009 11:52pm]
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