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What is Down Payment Assistance?

As a home buyer in California the money you put for a down payment on your new home loan can be one of the largest hurdles for many first-time homebuyers in California. That's why the state of California offers several options for down payment and closing cost assistance. These type of down payment assistance programs are often called a second or subordinate loan. Most of California’s subordinate loans are "silent seconds", which means that payments on these loan are deferred so that the home buyer do not have to make a payment on this assistance until their home is sold, refinanced or paid in full, which helps you to keep your monthly mortgage payment affordable.

Top down payment assistance home loan programs in California

MyHome Assistance Program
This program is offered by CalHFA and it works to help home buyers reach a down payment for their mortgage loans. MyHome Assistance Program provides assistance with a federal credit that is available to first-time homebuyers. This tax credit allows buyers to convert a portion of their income into a dollar-for-dollar tax credit on their individual U.S. tax returns. While this is a federal program, the CalHFA can help you take advantage of this opportunity.

Borrower Requirements
  • Be a first-time homebuyer. See the definition of a first-time homebuyer.
  • Occupy the property as their primary residence, non-occupant co-borrowers are not allowed
  • CalHFA borrowers must complete homebuyer education counseling and obtain a certificate of completion through an eligible homebuyer counseling organization.
  • Meet CalHFA income limits for this program.
  • Meet the requirement of the lender and mortgage insurer / guarantor

Property Requirements
  • Sales price of the home cannot exceed CalHFA's sales price limits established for the county in which the property is located
  • Be a single-family, one-unit residence, including approved condominium/PUDs
  • Guest houses, granny units and in-law quarters may be eligible
  • Manufactured housing allowed when combined with a FHA first mortgage only and home must be on a permanent foundation

Brentwood Down Payment Assistance Program
The City of Brentwood offers first-time homebuyers the Down Payment Assistance Program (DAP), which provides funds that go toward the down payment and/or closing costs. Assistance comes in the form of a deferred payment loan program for first-time homebuyers. 

  • Borrower must be be a first-time homebuyers
  • Borrower must have an annual household income at or under 120 percent of the area median income
  • 3% of the down payment to be from the borrowers own funds

CalHome Program
The CalHome Program provides applicants up to 17 percent of the total property price for down payment assistance, and 4 percent (up to $10,000) in closing costs assistance. These funds come in the form of a loan with 3 percent simple interest per year, accrued annually.

  • Only available to first-time homebuyers
  • All applicants must have an annual gross household income at or under 80 percent of San Diego County’s area median income, as determined by HUD.
  • 3% of the down payment to be from the borrowers own funds.
  • The program’s occupancy ratio mandates that there be no more than two people per living space.

California Homebuyer's Downpayment Assistance
The California Homebuyer’s Downpayment Assistance Program is a deferred-payment junior loan that grants applicants up to 3% of the purchase price or appraised value of the property, which can be put towards the down payment and/or closing costs. 

  • They must be first-time homebuyers
  • They must occupy the home as their primary residence
  • They are required to successfully complete a homebuyer education counseling course
  • Homebuyers’ income must fall under certain CHDAP limits, depending on the type of mortgage they have
  • Applicants must meet the requirement of their lender and mortgage insurer

Downey First-time Homebuyer’s Program
The City of Downey has partnered with the local housing non-profit organization Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS) to provide down payment assistance in the form of a $60,000 loan, via the Downey First-time Homebuyer’s Program.

  • First-time Homebuyer Only
  • You must meet income and purchase prices restrictions set by the program as well. 
  • Primary residence only
Emeryville First Time Homebuyer Loan Program
?The First Time Homebuyer Loan Program that was established by the City of Emeryville  provides down payment assistance to households at or below moderate income. This initiative gets individuals out of the renter’s trap by helping them to pay the heavy, upfront costs of purchasing a home.

  • Are single individuals or single parents who previously owned a house within the past three years with a previous spouse,
  • Are employees of the City of Emeryville
  • Are employees in the Emery Unified School District, or
  • Who previously owned a house with a domestic partner within the past three years but the domestic partnership has been terminated.

Extra Credit Teacher Home Purchase Program
The Extra Credit Teacher Home Purchase Program (ECTP) grants eligible applicants a deferred junior loan ranging between $7,500 and $15,000, which can only be combined with an eligible first mortgage loan from the California Housing Finance Agency.

  • First-time homebuyers only
  • Employed in a county/continuation or high priority school in California 
  • Applicants must intend to continue work for three years continuously from the date of the loan in the school.
  • Borrowers are required to successfully complete a homebuyer education counseling course.

First Home Mortgage Program
Under the First Home Mortgage Program, applicants can receive up to 4 percent of the total first mortgage amount to be put toward paying the down payment and closing cost assistance. This assistance comes in the form of a grant, which has no repayment terms.

  • First Home Mortgage Only. 
  • They must fall under the program’s income limits
  • Have a minimum FICO credit score of 640
  • Debt-to-income ratio not exceeding 45%. 
  • All applicants must attend a homebuyer education course, with certificates of completion dated 12 months prior to the closing of escrow.

GSFA Platinum Program
California’s Golden State Finance Authority (GSFA) created the Platinum Program, which provides low-to-moderate income California homebuyers with down payment and/or closing cost assistance to help them achieve their goals of purchasing a home.

  • Primary residence only
  • All applicants must fall under the Program’s Income Limits
  • Have a credit score of at least 640
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio of 50 percent
  • No requirement for applicants to be first-time homebuyers.
Down Payment Assistance Home Loan Programs in California

Monterey County Down Payment Assistance Program
The FTHB Program provides down payment assistance in the form of a loan, the maximum amount of which may not exceed the lesser of the maximum HOME subsidy limit, 20 percent of the purchase price, or the amount needed as determined by underwriting criteria. The maximum loan amount will never exceed the amount of the primary loan.

  • Applicants must be residents of Monterey County
  • First-time homebuyers only?Annual household income falls at or under 80 percent of the area median income for Monterey County
  • All borrowers must be able to contribute at least 3.5 percent of the purchase price from their own funds toward the down payment.

Riverside Down Payment Assistance Program
CalHome Grant in order to help individuals achieve their dreams of homeownership. This program funds the Riverside Down Payment Assistance Program, which provides first-time homebuyers up to $50,000 to help pay the hefty, upfront costs on their new homes.

  • First-time home buyers only
  • They must have a combined household income that falls under 80 percent of the area median income for Riverside County
  • FICO Score of at least 580
  • Must be able to contribute at least 1 percent of the purchase price toward the down payment from their own liquid assets.

Santa Ana Downpayment Assistance Program
Santa Ana’s Downpayment Assistance Loan Program provides eligible applicants up to $40,000 to be put toward the down payment on their new home. These funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis, in the form of a zero-interest loan.

  • First-time homebuyers only
  • Must have acceptable credit history
  • An applicant’s household annual income must fall at or below 80 percent of area median income

I know its a lot of information, but don’t worry, Nathan Rufty a specialist in Down Payment Assistance programs in California offers a free consultation, CALL NOW: (909) 503-5600
Posted by Nathan Rufty on July 30th, 2018 2:54 PM



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