FAQ for Realtors

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do you reach Escambia County Housing Finance Authority (ECHFA)?

PHONE: 800-388-1970 -OR- 850-432-7077
ADDRESS: 700 South Palafox St., Ste. 310, Pensacola, FL 32502
EMAIL: CONTACT US

2. How does ECHFA help realtors?

We help realtors sell homes. The Escambia County Housing Finance Authority (ECHFA) serves 19 counties across Florida by offering Homeownership Programs to first-time homebuyers and former in an effort to provide safe, decent and affordable housing. Currently homebuyers may select from either of two Down Payment Assistance and Closing Costs ("DPA") program options for the Governmental (FHA, VA, USDA-RD) Program Loans:

Governmental Classic DPA Program offers a 0% Non-Amortizing 30-Year Deferred Second Mortgage.  The Authority presently provides up to $7,500 Down Payment Assistance Loans that can only be used with a Governmental Classic Program First Mortgage type.  The Second Mortgage is not forgivable and becomes due when first mortgage is satisfied or upon sale, transfer or disposition of property.

Governmental Forgivable DPA Program offers a 5-Year Forgivable, 0% Non-Amortizing Second Mortgage Loan.  Depending upon availability, the DPA Loan may be offered in the amount of 3%, 4%, or 5% of the First Mortgage Loan amount.  The DPA Loan is fully forgiven on the anniversary date of the loan closing in the 5th year.  However, the full amount of the DPA Second Mortgage becomes due when first mortgage is satisfied or upon sale, transfer or disposition of property.

Realtors know that ECHFA’s down payment and closing costs assistance help solve many of the problems that typically arise in the countdown to closing a sale. 

Homebuyers are also exempt from certain closing costs by paying no intangible tax on the Second Mortgage.

3. Must the Second Mortgage be repaid?

It depends. Yes, if the the Classic Second Mortgage option used because is not forgiven and becomes due when first mortgage is satisfied (i.e. within 30 years) or upon sale, transfer, rental or disposition of property. 

No.  The 5-year Forgivable Second Mortgage DPA Loan is fully forgiven on the anniversary date of the loan closing in the 5th year.  However, the full amount of the DPA Second Mortgage becomes due when first mortgage is satisfied or upon sale, transfer or disposition of property.

4. What areas are served by ECHFA?

We serve a number of regions around Florida: the areas around Pensacola, Destin, Panama City, Apalachicola, Gainesville, Tallahassee, Brooksville, and Vero Beach. The 19 counties we serve are Alachua, Bay, Bradford, Escambia, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Hernando, Indian River, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Marion, Martin, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, St. Lucie, Walton and Wakulla. Check out Participating Counties Map to learn more.

5. Does ECHFA handle only low-income housing? realtors

No. We serve individuals with a wide range of income levels. Individuals of middle, moderate and low incomes are welcome to apply. Learn the income limits for each Participating County

6. Is ECHFA open only to people who have never owned homes?

No. ECHFA Homeownership Programs are available to not only first-time homebuyers, but also individuals who have not owned a home as their principal residence in the last 3 years. Plus, the first-time homebuyer restriction is waived for veterans who have received an honorable discharge and individuals who select a home in one of the Targeted Areas.

7. What is the minimum credit required of borrowers?

Borrowers must meet normal standards of credit worthiness and have a FICO score of 640 or higher.

8. What type of housing is eligible?

Single-family homes (both detached and attached), as well as condominiums, town homes and PUDs. Learn more details on what properties qualify.

9. How long has the ECHFA been in business?

ECHFA has been in business for more than 30 years and has helped many realtors close sales through its Homeownership Programs.

10. Who oversees the ECHFA?

ECHFA is under the oversight of a five-member board of citizens appointed by the Escambia County Board of County Commissioners. The Board, which meets monthly to review ECHFA’s progress, shares a passion for providing affordable housing. 

For more information call us at 800-388-1970 or 850-432-7077.

* Participating Lenders provide specific APR information as required by law.

Today's Interest Rates:


2.25

GOVERNMENTAL W/SHIP DPA

2.75

GOVERNMENTAL W/3 DPA

3.00

GOVERNMENTAL W/4 DPA

3.50

GOVERNMENTAL W/5

3.75

GOVERNMENTAL CLASSIC