New California Program For First Time Home Buyers
If you are looking to buy a home, but are finding the down payment requirements a little daunting, there may be some assistance available to you through a new program in California.
The California Housing Finance Agency (CalFHA) is offering a new fixed-rate mortgage program with no-interest down payment loans for first-time home buyers. The best thing about the loan is that you don’t have to pay it back till you either sell your house, refinance it or pay it off.
The loan is capped off at 3.5 percent, which is the minimum down payment amount for an FHA loan. Further assistance might be available through the California Homebuyer’s Down Payment Assistance Program, which can provide up to an additional 3 percent of the home’s value.
Still, with median home values in the Bay Area capping half a million dollars, first time home buyers might not be left with a lot of options.
But that doesn’t mean you’ll be out in the cold. As median real estate prices in San Francisco have now risen above $1 million, city renters are fleeing across the Bay where prices might not be that much cheaper, but you get more space for your buck.
Christine Englund and Dean Charlton migrated from the city to the East Bay because she got a dream job in San Ramon.
“Our house in West Portal is in one of the foggiest neighborhoods in town; 2 miles up from the ocean, you’re totally socked in for the summer,” Englund said. “It’s a two-bedroom one-bathroom, with a little yard, just 1,500 square feet.”
Listed at $799,000, the house got 12 offers and sold in late May for $1.025 million. “We hit just the right time,” Englund said. “Interest rates were still a bit lower than now and inventory was so tight in San Francisco.”
You can get even more bang for your buck if you move to less family-friendly, but economical parts of Richmond or Oakland.