Is Fishhawk Eligible for the USDA Mortgage?

Fishhawk in Lithia, FL WAS USDA Mortgage Eligible, but Now Is Not. However Some Parts of the Development Still Are.

Lithia, FL 's Fishhawk USDA Eligibility

Buying a home in Lithia, Florida 's Fishhawk development? Or, have you been on the fence for a while, watching for that perfect time in the market, and you thought "Great neighborhood, great amenities, AND I can use the USDA No Money Down Mortgage and purchase a home with no down payment!"? And then, perhaps sometime in 2011 you heard there was a change, and that Fishhawk is no longer USDA Guaranty Loan eligible? Well, the rumors are true...sort of. The reason I say that is because YES, Fishhawk WAS within the USDA Home Loan Eligible area. Then, at some point, USDA decided to redraw some maps, or at least the section of their map around Lithia, FL 's Fishhawk. If you look at USDA's map, it's almost humorous because it is evident the Fishhawk borders were purposefully altered to include the Fishhawk development into the metro Tampa's range of area NOT eligible for the USDA mortgage option.

The significance of this is that the USDA Guaranty Home Mortgage provides the most widely available Home Mortgage Loan product that requires No Down Payment. True, that applies also to the VA Mortgage, but of course the VA Home Loan Product is limited only to those who have served in the US Military.

Fishhawk Boulevard was previously the southern border of the USDA mortgage eligible area for that corner of Hillsborough County. Then, upon redrawing their maps, USDA decided to extend that non eligible area to include everything between Boyette Road and Fishhawk Boulevard. It literally resembles a letter "U", curving around the Fishhawk neighborhood and development.

Wait...SOME IS Eligible!

Ok I'll admit I don't know what technically constitutes the neighborhood/development of Fishhawk. But JUST outside of Boyette Road is Fishhawk Ranch. If you go down Fishhawk Trails Drive, or cross Lithia Pinecrest Road/County Road 640 down Fishhawk Trails Drive then you ARE in USDA ELIGIBLE area! It's a little crazy I know. Perhaps the development sprawled outside of the planned expansion of INeligible area after USDA swallowed Fishhawk proper up into it's non-rural boundaries. But for whatever reason, it's to your advantage Mr./Mrs. prospective Florida HomeBuyer to know what is what.

Fishhawk IS Eligible...

...for FHA mortgage financing. Yes, it does require a 3.5% down payment at minimum to qualify for an FHA Home loan.

FHA home loans still offer highly competitive mortgage interest rates and 3.5% is still a Low Down Payment compared with the 5% down payment required from a Conventional Loan option.

AND the FHA mortgage will have more relaxed underwriting standards than a Conventional Loan Mortgage (i.e. Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac's Mortgage programs). Any of these Home Loan options that we've discussed will require mortgage insurance, so plan on that. Whether the USDA Rural Guaranty, the FHA Home Loan, or Conventional Mortgage options, all involve their own forms of Mortgage Insurance that are calculated in different ways.

If I can help you in a more personal way, please contact me either via email at:

Taylor Ard: Mortgage Banker

Brandon, FL 33510


In Tampa, FL call 813-766-1048

in Florida statewide call: 888-330-7704

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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