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July 23rd, 2009 11:41 AM by David W. Welch
If you are a first time home buyer, you may have looked into Orange county down payment assistance. Just checking the county website, you may believe that you might qualify for $20,000, $30,000 or even $35,000. Beginning back on June 23rd those numbers have been revised down to $5,000, $17,500 and $25,000. The amount of assistance is still based upon household income, but funding from the state has been slashed to balance the budget. That funding comes from a fund called the Sadowski fund, and it was formed by the state to provide assistance for affordable or "workforce" housing. This fund was established as a result of an increase in documentary stamps taxes on real estate transactions. When the market was really good this fund became quite big, so the state legislature put a cap on it and swept the excess into the general revenue fund. The Realtor association has been asking the state to "scrap for the cap" for years. Now in lean economic times it appears they have completely raided the fund to balance the budget. This has left downpayment assistance programs like Orange county's without funding. Assistance is still available, and there is even a state bond program providing down payment assistance.
Orlando Real Estate, David Welch Real Estate Optimist