FIRST-TIME HOME BUYER APPLICATIONS NOW ACCEPTED
First-time homebuyers have never seen a better time to buy the home of their dreams. Now low- to moderate-income homebuyers can receive government-backed down payment assistance as well as subsidized mortgage payments through a unique non-profit partnership.
Florida Home Partnership, a 501(c) 3 organization, is working with the United States Department of Agriculture and Pasco County and Florida Home Partnership to offer affordable homes especially for first-time buyers in Sunset Hills, its newest community in Dade City.
According to Executive Director Earl Pfeiffer, Florida Home Partnership has served over 400 families over the past 15 years. “Sunset Hills is our first community in Pasco County,” Pfeiffer said. “We’re excited to be able to offer attractive, affordable single-family homes in the Dade City area.”
Homes in Sunset Hills range from 1160 to 1584 square feet, and feature three or four bedrooms, porches and garages. Located on Locke Street, Sunset Hills offers 64 home sites with dramatic views and lots of trees. The homes there will be “green-built” and Energy Star-certified, offering savings and energy efficiency for their owners.
“Even though we’re a non-profit builder, we strive to build communities that mirror those offered by other retail developers and homebuilders,” Pfeiffer said. “Most people who visit are surprised and pleased with the community’s appearance.”
The program began 41 years ago, and mirrors the "barn raisings" of the Quakers, with neighbors helping neighbors. The Self-Help Housing program allows clients to contribute labor, or "sweat equity," to the construction of a new home in exchange for the down payment. Backed by the USDA Rural Housing Program, clients must meet income limits in order to qualify.
According to Loan Specialist II Mary Bernardino, “One of the best things about Self-Help housing is that you work within a group to complete your sweat-equity hours. We all help each other, and in the process we develop a true community from “day one.” When you move in, you have instant friends.”
Bernardino continued, “If you’re a first-time buyer and want to own a home, we can help you make it a reality. We often can help clients with credit or other issues to help make their dream of homeownership come true.”
Contact Mary Bernardino at 352-521-0686.