Low-income families get new home-buying option


home for saleSACRAMENTO — California families with low to moderate incomes no longer have to be a first-time home buyer to take advantage of a California Housing Finance Agency financing, the agency announced Tuesday.

“CalHFA’s mortgage loans will now provide more low to moderate income families across the state with affordable opportunities to purchase homes with fixed-rate mortgages and down payment assistance programs,” said CalHFA Executive Director Claudia Cappio.

It’s part of an effort to increase home ownership in California. The state’s homeownership rate is about 54.5 percent as of the end of the first quarter of this year, according to U.S. Census estimates. That’s 10 percentage points below the national homeownership rate. Before the recession, it was 60 percent.

According to CalHFA, the lending programs provide unique opportunities for families to purchase homes, including:

  • Offering a first mortgage for 97 percent of the value of the home, combined with a 3 percent built-in down payment second.
  • Access to no interest and low-interest down payment assistance loans that don’t have to be repaid until the home is sold, refinanced or the mortgage is paid off.
  • Combining with other CalHFA programs, including an energy efficiency grant for energy upgrades and federal tax credits that can reduce potential federal income tax liability.

All CalHFA lending programs require homebuyer education for future homeowners. Borrowers must also meet income and sales price limits that vary by county.



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