Looking for a California Mortgage Program? Learn about CalHFA Mortgage Programs and Downpayment Assistance.
California has some really impressive programs to make the purchase of a home more approachable for working class families. The California Housing Finance Agency, or CalHFA, is one of the premier agencies providing assistance for first-time homebuyers.
What is CalHFA?
The California Housing Finance agency was established in 1975 as the State’s affordable housing bank to make low interest loans through the sale of tax-exempt bonds. CalHFA is a completely self-supporting State agency, and its bonds are repaid by revenues generated through mortgage loans, not taxpayer dollars. Loans are available for low to moderate income Californians.
What Programs Does CalHFA Offer?
CalHFA offers a few first mortgage programs for qualifying individuals. Ask your lender or visit www.calhfa.ca.gov for additional programs and eligibility.
CalHFA Conventional Loan Program
The CalHFA Conventional Program provides a fixed-rate, 30-year loan that is insured through private mortgage insurance on the conventional market.
CalPLUS Conventional Loan Program
The CalPLUS Conventional Program provides a fixed-rate, 30-year loan that is insured through private mortgage insurance on the conventional market. This program is combined with the CalHFA Zero Interest Program (ZIP), which is a deferred-payment junior loan to provide down payment assistance in the amount of 3% of the first mortgage loan.
Government Insured Loans
CalHFA FHA Loan Program
The CalHFA FHA Loan Program provides a fixed-rate, 30-year loan that is insured by the Federal Housing Administration.
CalPLUS FHA Loan Program
The CalPLUS FHA Loan Program provides a fixed-rate, 30-year loan that is insured by the Federal Housing Administration. This program is combined with the CalHFA Zero Interest Program (ZIP), which is a deferred-payment junior loan to provide down payment assistance in the amount of 3.5% of the first mortgage loan.
CalHFA has particular eligibility requirements for each of its mortgage programs, including requirements that may not be listed here. In most cases, the requirements are as follows:
- The borrower must occupy the property as a primary residence
- The borrower must complete an online homebuyer education counseling course and obtain a certificate
- The borrower must meet CalHFA income limits
- The sales price of the home cannot exceed CalHFA’s sales price limits established for the county in which the property is located
- The target property must be a single-family, one-unit residence, including approved condominiums (guest houses may be eligible)
Find Out if You Qualify
The best way to find out if you qualify for a CalHFA loan program is to get preapproved by your lender. Your loan officer will ask you for information and documentation to verify your income and eligibility. It may be wise to contact several lenders to find one that is the most familiar with a variety of mortgage assistance programs as not all lending institutions offer the same types of loans.
If you need a recommendation for a good lender with access to the CalHFA mortgages programs and more, contact your local licensed California real estate agent for a referral.