Buying Your 1st Home in California With The CalHFA Program

First time buyers signing mortgage documentsAs of September 2010 buying a home in California got a little more interesting for some people – first time buyers. And, a first time buyer in California for the purposes of what I’m writing about today is if you have not owned and occupied a home in the past 3 years.

If you find yourself in the category of being a first time home buyer who does not have VA loan eligibility, then you should keep reading. If you are a Vet then you should probably talk to a VA lender about getting a VA loan because of the record low VA rates. Also, in my opinion in most cases the VA loan is a superior mortgage program on the market today, including the one that I’m getting ready to present below.

California first time home buyers can once again take advantage of the CalHFA FHA Loan Program. The CalHFA FHA loan program is solely designed to build homeownership opportunities and home affordability for first time home buyers. The program offers a low fixed interest rate mortgage to those first time buyers who meet certain specified income and home sales price guidelines and qualify for FHA financing. Unlike VA loans – which allow an eligible home buyers to buy a home with 100% financing, FHA loans require home buyers to have a down payment of 3.5%. The CalHFA FHA loan program is no different.

However, what makes this program unique and a good deal for first time home buyers in California is that it can be coupled with the California Homebuyer’s Downpayment Assistance Program (CHDAP). The CHDAP provides eligible and qualified first time buyers a payment deferred “junior” mortgage (small second mortgage) of up to 3% of the sales price that can be applied to the home buyer’s 3.5% down payment requirement when getting an FHA mortgage. site down domain data . I was talking about one person who had recently bought a house in Riverside (by the way Riverside home loans are available for this program now as well as virtually any other area of California) and used the program.

Some notes about this program – use can only use it to buy either a new or existing single family home or condo which means you cannot use it to buy investment properties, manufactured homes, or multi family homes. You also are limited in the amount of income you can make and the home price that you can purchase is capped. The income and home price caps are determined by the county where the property being purchased is located.

You will have to work with a CalHFA approved lender to get access to the program. Learn more about this program at the CalHFA website (California Housing Finance Agency).

How To Refinance If You Are Underwater

Few people know about the HARP program – the Home Affordable Refinance Program. HARP was enacted over the past couple of years to provide a way for upside-down homeowners to refinance their mortgage. Upside-down means that you owe more on your mortgage than your home is worth. In normal housing market circumstances, most people have some equity in their homes which can allow them to refinance as long as the homeowner meets whatever loan program they are looking to get into. But, since about 2008, many homeowners have had their equity worn away by the deteriorating housing market such that many homeowners have either no equity or even negative equity thus preventing them from an opportunity to refinance under normal loan guidelines.

With this as the case, HARP was enacted by the US federal government to provide a refinancing program allowing some upside-down homeowners an opportunity to refinance their mortgage. Unfortunately, if you have a VA loan and want to take advantage of the streamline low VA rates or a FHA loan and their low rates you will not be able to use the HARP program for your refinance. The HARP is only for those homeowners with a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac insured/backed mortgage. Below you will find some additional requirements of HARP to help you determine whether you qualify.

  • You must have not missed or been more than 30 days late with your mortgage payment over the past 12 months.
  • You must be current with your mortgage payment.
  • Using the HARP program must put you in a better more stable financial situation like lowering your monthly payment or converting a more risky adjustable rate mortgage or an interest only mortgage into a fixed rate mortgage.
  • You must have no equity in your home and not have your mortgage balance be more than 125% of the value of your home.
  • You must have sufficient income and proof of the financial means to repay your new mortgage payment

With these simple requirements in mind, you may or may not think that you can qualify for HARP. The best advice is the call a mortgage lender to find out. You can call your current mortgage company first and then call a few other companies to see what kind of answers you get. seo competition discovery . You ought to call several companies anyway to give you a range of offers to compare. At the very least, you’ll know where you stand with a refinance if you are upsidedown.