If you are a
very low, low or moderate household
interested in owning a home, we may be able to help you. Buying a home is a
major investment, involving a great deal of time, money, and quite possibly,
confusion. Keystone can work with you to help make the process easier and
In order to buy a home, two things
need to happen:
- You will need to qualify for a first mortgage
- You will need money for a down payment and
closing costs associated with getting a mortgage loan.
Saving money for a down payment and closing
costs is an obstacle for many homebuyers, but even more difficult if you are a
low or moderate income household. Fortunately, there are programs designed to
help, so you can own a home!
Keystone works primarily with a state of Florida
program, the SHIP program, which stands for State Housing Initiatives
Partnership. Every time there is a real estate transaction in the state of
Florida, a tax is collected by the state. The money from the tax is then
distributed to local governments to help low and moderate income homebuyers.
Like any government program, there are of course, rules and regulations
including qualifying income limits. We may also also work with other government
sponsored programs that provide assistance for down payments and /or closing
Keystone is a partner with the three local
governments receiving SHIP or other assistance funds in Polk County. We work with the City of Winter
Haven, the City of Lakeland, and Polk County governments. Our role is to
provide the actual hands on assistance to homebuyers. Keystone will work
directly with you and we will:
- Educate you about the home buying process.
- Work with you and your mortgage lender to
arrange for the assistance.
- Provide the necessary paperwork and
documentation to the local governments so they will assist you!
Your First Step
We recommend that before you begin the
process of actually searching for and contracting to buy a home, you take the
Attend our Homebuyer Education Class.
Contact a mortgage lender
to be pre-qualified for first mortgage financing.
If you attend a Homebuyer Education class
first, you will be better prepared for the process. After taking the
class, you can then talk to Keystone or another mortgage lender to make sure you
are qualified to buy. You will also know what sales price range to look
for and have a better idea of what your monthly mortgage payment will be and how
much it will cost you to obtain a mortgage. ALSO, you will be able to tell
real estate agents and sellers that you are pre-qualified, increasing your
chances of having your contract accepted when you find the home that is right
What If I Have Already
Found a Home and a Lender?
If you are just now finding out about Keystone,
and have already started the process of buying your new home, that's okay. Talk
to your lender and make sure they have information about our Gap Lender Program
and will reserve down payment /closing cost assistance funds for you (if
register for a Homebuyer Education Class
as soon as possible.
What Are the Basic
To see if your household may qualify for down
payment and closing cost assistance, click here
Program Income Limits.
To see if your household may qualify for a first
mortgage loan, click here
Qualifying for a Mortgage Loan.
applicants are expected to attend a Homebuyer Education Class. For more