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First-time Homebuyer Programs for 2020

rise financial pathways cdc cdfi homeownership first time homebuyer blog

Homeownership is heralded as a part of the American Dream for many Angelinos, but rising costs have priced out much of the population. The following is a *list we’ve compiled of resources for first-time homebuyers that helps close the affordability gap for many cash-strapped and credit-compromised borrowers.

 


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FHA loans

The Federal Housing Authority insures the loan, which comes with additional benefits such as a low downpayment and more affordable homes. FHA loans can also be bundled with other programs designed for first-time homebuyers.

Key features

  1. Low down payments

  2. Low closing costs

  3. Easy credit qualifying

  4. Must work with a qualified lender

Key links

 


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CalHFA

The California Housing Authority offers first and junior loan options for low to moderate-income families, including low to zero interest rate down payment assistance loans. As with FHA loans, CalHFA is not a direct lender and thus requires working with a CalHFA-approved lender to obtain financing.

Key features

  1. “Silent second” loans to ease downpayment and closing costs

  2. Fixed and favorable interest rates

  3. Borrower and property eligibility requirements

  4. HUD-approved homebuyer education workshop requirement

Conventional Loans

CalHFA Conventional Loan Program A first mortgage loan insured through private mortgage insurance. Interest rates are fixed for the duration of the 30-year term.

CalPLUS Conventional Loan Program A conventional first mortgage with a slightly higher 30 year fixed interest rate than a CalHFA Conventional loan. This program is combined with the CalHFA Zero Interest Program (ZIP) for closing costs.

Government Loans

CalHFA VA Loan Program A VA-insured loan featuring a CalHFA fixed interest rate first mortgage with a 30-year term.

Downpayment Assistance

MyHome Assistance Program When bundled with an FHA Conventional loan, MyHome Assistance Program offers a deferred-payment junior loan of an amount up to the lesser of 3.5% of the purchase price or appraised value to assist with down payment and/or closing costs.

When bundled with a CalHFA VA, USDA, Conventional: Offers a deferred-payment junior loan of an amount up to the lesser of 3% of the purchase price or appraised value to assist with down payment and/or closing costs.

School Teacher and Employee Assistance Program (School Program) A program for teachers, administrators, school district employees and staff members working for any California K-12 public school, including Charter schools and county/continuation schools. Applicants must be first-time homebuyers. The program offers junior loans up to 4% of the purchase price, and can only be combined with an eligible CalHFA first mortgage loan. School Program subordinate loans can only be used for down payment assistance and/or closing costs.

Key links

 

Southern California Home Financing Authority (SCHFA)

The SCHFA offers a competitive 30-year fixed-rate loan and a grant for downpayment and closing costs assistance.

Key features

  1. Fixed and favorable interest rates

  2. Minimum 640 FICO score and a maximum 45% debt-to-income (DTI) ratio

  3. Up to 4% of the first loan amount for down payment and closing cost assistance in the form of a grant

  4. HUD-approved homebuyer education workshop requirement


Home Ownership Program (HOP)


Provides loans of up to 20% of the purchase price for down payment and closing costs assistance not to exceed $75,000. Each loan is a second Trust Deed loan provided at 0% interest with all payments deferred until sale, transfer, refinancing, no longer owner-occupied, or full repayment of the first mortgage. HOP loans are available to first-time homebuyers in the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County and cities participating in the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Urban County Program.

Key links

 


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City of LA First-time Homebuyers

The City of LA supports two first-time homebuyer programs that offer up to $90,000 as a deferred loan for low-income borrowers and up to $60,000 as a deferred loan for moderate-income borrowers.

Key features

  1. Fixed and favorable interest rates

  2. Shared Appreciation component

  3. Borrower and property eligibility requirements

Key links

 

NeighborhoodLIFT

Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS) of Los Angeles County, in collaboration with Wells Fargo and NeighborWorks® America, launched a program to provide eligible homebuyers with $25,000 in down payment assistance on qualified properties.

Key features

  1. Borrower and property eligibility requirements

  2. Not limited to first-time buyers

Key links

 


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Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) Program


The MCC Program offers qualified first-time homebuyers a federal income tax credit.  The federal credit can reduce potential federal income tax liability, creating additional net spendable income for qualified first-time homebuyers to possibly use toward their monthly mortgage payment. This MCC Program enables qualified first-time homebuyers to convert a portion of their annual mortgage interest into a direct dollar for dollar tax credit on their U.S. individual income tax returns. The qualified homebuyer is awarded a tax credit of up to 20% of the annual interest paid on the mortgage loan. The remaining 80% of the mortgage interest will continue to qualify as an itemized tax deduction.

 

*Everything subject to availability of funding

**Information is taken directly from respective sources, at times, verbatim.

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