Information for the Bay County First Time Homebuyer’s Classes

Promotion of the First Time Homebuyer's Classes
What you need to know about home ownership and assistance programs you might qualify to receive.


(Apply to the county in which you plan to buy your home)          

Contact:    Bay County Housing Division, 850-215-2479, Tammy Harris, Housing Program Manager –

To register for First-time Home Buyer Class: Melanie Taylor, UF/IFAS Extension Bay County, Family & Consumer Sciences Extension Agent or 850-248-8091

  • Complete the SHIP Homebuyer Education Class. Registration is full for Bay County’s May and June classes. You can still register and you will be added to the Waiting List.  Click Here to Register  We are currently working to offer another class option in June. Those on the Waiting List will be invited to attend this new date. The new date will be posted in the near future.
  • You may take the class online as alternative, but there is a charge for this course. Click here for further information.
  • Get PRE-APPROVED for a mortgage loan by a lender.
  • Send pre-approval letter to Tammy Harris at and include lender information.
  • Complete the First-time Home Buyer Class.
  • Harris will provide you with a SHIP First Time Homebuyer application packet to complete and return to her office or you can apply online at
  • A County case manager will work with you to ensure the packet is fully completed and determine if you are eligible for the SHIP Purchase Assistance Program.
  • If you qualify, a county case manager will provide you with an Award Letter stating the maximum purchase price allowable.
  • Once you have found a home in your price range, the County will work with your lender to finalize the sale contract, and progress toward closing.

NOTE:   You must occupy your house for 15 years.  If you move, sell, or transfer the property title during that time, you must repay a prorated amount of your SHIP loan back to the county.  If you refinance during that time, you must contact Bay County Housing Services to arrange for a subordination of your SHIP loan.  A subordination is granted only if the refinancing is to obtain a lower interest rate or mortgage payment and you are not receiving any cash back or paying off debt at closing.  After 15 years, the loan is forgiven.


  • Manufactured (mobile) homes may be purchased through the SHIP program. The home must have been built after June 30, 1994 and be installed by a licensed installer. New mobile homes may be purchased from a dealer while using SHIP funds for down payment assistance, as long as the buyer can prove they own the land on which the home will be placed. Contact Bay County Housing Services to confirm the manufactured home qualifies under SHIP program guidelines before signing any paperwork.
  • Modular homes may be purchased through the SHIP program.
  • SHIP funds may be used for new home construction and down payment/closing cost and assistance with small repairs. Please contact Bay County Housing Services for more information.
  • The Homebuyer Education class is valid for three (3) years from date of completion. If you have not purchased your home within that time period, you will need to retake the Homebuyer Education class.                                                                                                                                            

*Program guidelines are subject to change so please contact Bay County Housing Services for the most current guidelines and for questions regarding your eligibility, application, allowable purchases, etc.

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Updated and distributed by Melanie Taylor, Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Agent, UF/IFAS Extension Bay County, revised 3/22.

Originally prepared and distributed by Judy Corbus, Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Agent, UF/IFAS Extension Washington and Holmes Counties, 11/21.


Posted: April 19, 2022

Category: Home Management, Money Matters, Work & Life
Tags: Home, Home Onership, Homebuyer's Classes, Homebuyers Class, Homeowner, Housing Assistance

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