It’s still the American dream for a whole lot of people . . . owning your own home. The problem for many of us, though, is that we just can’t come up with that big chunk of cash it takes in the beginning. Traditional mortgages require a pretty hefty down payment and have some fairly stringent qualifying criteria. But there are other ways to achieve homeownership, including these 5 first time buyer programs in California.
1. USDA Loan
Most people aren’t aware that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has a home-buyer assistance program as one of the viable first-time buyer programs in California. Although this program’s emphasis is on homes in specific rural areas, you don’t have to be a farmer or rancher to be eligible.
The USDA guarantees the loan, so if you qualify, you may not need a down payment, and payments will be fixed. You may have to mee certain credit-score requirements, and there are certain income limitations.
2. FHA Loan
With this kind of loan, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insures the mortgage, which provides protection for the lender. And that, in turn, makes it easier for you to get a smaller down payment, better interest rates, and lower closing costs than you would with a traditional mortgage.
With a credit score of at least 580, you may be eligible for a loan that requires a down payment of only 3.5% of sale price. Even if your credit score is lower than 580, you can still qualify for an FHA loan, but with a slightly higher down payment.
3. Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are government-sponsored entities with the purpose of collaborating with local lenders to help low- and moderate-income families obtain mortgage loans. With Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac backing, lenders are able to offer loans requiring low down payments (as low as 3%) and competitive interest rates.
4. National Homebuyers Fund
This is another of the relatively little known first-time buyer programs in California and is one that offers down payment assistance. The National Homebuyers Fund (NHF) offers help with down payments in the form of a non-repayable grant up to 5% of the amount of the loan. The key word here is non-repayable – if you qualify, you don’t have to pay back anything on the grant you received for the down payment.
The NHF’s two down payment assistance options are both designed to help low- and moderate-income home buyers. The NHF Sapphire program is available in many states and has a low credit score requirement. The Platinum program, offered only in California, has a credit score threshold of 640.
5. VA Loan
The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) offers home buying assistance to active-duty military, veterans, and surviving spouses of veterans. f you’re a veteran, then, you’ll certainly want to check into this opportunity regarding first-time buyer programs in California.
With this program, the VA guarantees a portion of the mortgage loan so that lenders can offer you several advantages. These include loans requiring no down payment and with lower interest rates. In addition, there is no minimum credit score requirement, and you don’t have to pay for private mortgage insurance.
So don’t give up on the dream just yet. You most likely can own your own home if you look into these first-time buyer programs in California. And keep in mind that there are alternative routes to home ownership. And that’s where we can help. If you’d like to discover more about how we can help you own your own home, call us today at (866) 593 7012 or fill out the form.