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DPA Advantage Program: What You Need to Know

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Most first-time homebuyers struggle to save for a down payment, not knowing that there are down payment assistance programs available for them. After reading this article, you'll learn the fundamental facts about the DPA Advantage Program and how it can help you.

What Is the DPA Advantage Program?

The DPA Advantage Program is a down payment assistance program given by an approved government entity. This program can be used in conjunction with most FHA programs such as FHA 203(b), FHA Repair Escrow, and FHA Standard 203(k).

The DPA Advantage Program provides eligible borrowers a completely forgivable grant equal to 2% or 3.5% of the purchase price. If the Borrower is approved for the 2% grant, the remaining 1.5% can be given as a gift, as long as it adheres to the FHA gift rules, or paid from the Borrower's own funds.

Since it's a forgivable grant, there will be no second lien on the property, and repayment is not required. Moreover, the DPA Advantage program allows a seller contribution of up to 6% of the purchase price, making it easier for homebuyers to cover the closing costs.

Who Is Eligible for the DPA Advantage Program?

For a borrower to be eligible for the DPA Advantage Program, they must first meet all FHA guidelines with minimum DU Approve or LP Accept finding. This means that DACA recipients are also eligible for the DPA Advantage Program.

 

In addition to that, the Borrower must also qualify for at least one of these three eligibility factors:

  • The Borrower's (including any non-occupying co-borrower) income should be less than or equal to 140% of the state or county Average Median Income regardless of the family size.

  • The Borrower is a current, retired, volunteer, or non-paid: 
    • First-responder (police officer, firefighter, paramedic, or similar);
    • Educator;
    • Medical personnel (doctor, nurse, hospital worker, or similar);
    • A civil servant in a Federal, state, or local municipality; or
    • Military personnel  

... of the community where the property is located. 

 

  • A first-time homebuyer who meets the following criteria: 
    • Does not own (sole or joint) a residential property for the past three years
    • Will live in the property as their principal residence

Eligible Properties

When applying for the DPA Advantage Program, the property you want to purchase is also a factor. This means that you cannot ask for down payment assistance and buy a mansion. Leaseholds are also not eligible. The property must be Fee Simple, meaning you have full ownership of the house. Here are the eligible properties for the DPA program:

  • 1-2 Unit Primary Residence 
  • Manufactured Housing (Single-width, Multi-width, MH Condo Projects) 
  • FHA/HRAP Approved Condos 
  • PUD (Planned Unit Development)

Additional DPA Advantage Requirements

  • 620 minimum FICO score
  • 680 FICO score needed for 50% DTI or greater
  • The Borrower must complete the Homebuyer Education course offered by an entity approved by the FHA. The Borrower will initially pay the cost of the course, but the Lender will credit it back to the closing costs as a lender credit.

Start benefiting from the DPA Advantage Program

The DPA Advantage Program provides an excellent homeownership opportunity to low-to-middle income borrowers. If you think it's the right option for you, or if you have questions or need clarifications, call our mortgage broker at (813) 284-4027.
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