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

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 program options:

0%, 30 year Deferred Second Mortgage of up to $7,500* is available in connection with our 30-year fixed rate Governmental Option Loans. Lenders may charge a Discount/Origination Fee not exceeding 1.00% (combined) of the principal loan amount. The Governmental Program may be subject to Recapture Tax, view the Notice of Recapture Tax.  See Today's Interest Rates below.

0%, 5-year Forgivable Second Mortgage Loan* is available in connection with our 30-year fixed rate Conventional (Freddie Mac) Option Loans. Lenders may charge an Origination Fee not exceeding 1.00% of the principal loan amount.  See Today's Interest Rates below.

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?

Yes. The Second Mortgage 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.

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: