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  • Writer's pictureFranny Yen

CalHFA Down Payment Assistance Program to be Relaunched in 2024

CalHFA will soon be relaunching its down payment assistance program. This time, the maximum loan amount under this program is either $150k or 20% of the sales price or appraised value, whichever is lower. 


If you have friends or family members interested in trying, please have them contact me. 


Some of the highlights of the CalHFA program this time are:


1. This is a state-funded down payment assistance program offered by CalHFA to first-time homebuyers. To apply, we must complete the lender's pre-qualification sheet when available. 


2. The maximum loan amount CalHFA can lend is $150k or 20% of the sales price or appraised value, whichever is less.


3. The borrower's eligibilities are:

  • A first-time home buyer, which means no homeownership interest in the US in the last seven years, including parents

  • Must be a California resident

  • Follow the income limit for each County, such as $234k for Alameda and $287k for Santa Clara.

  • Register and complete two online courses through the following websites ASAP, as they fill up quickly. If you took those courses before, check the expiration date on the certificates. 

CalHFA homebuyer education specifically for Shared Appreciation loans:


4. Estimate timeline:

  • When lenders begin accepting the pre-qualification sheet, potentially in the coming month, I will submit it on behalf of the borrower. 

  •  After the lender's pre-approval is received, I will forward it to the borrower.

  • The borrowers need to upload the pre-approval themselves when CalHFA's pre-approval portal becomes accessible, which is anticipated to be in March. 

  • CalHFA will undertake the selection process during April or May. Borrowers will be chosen through a random selection method and will be granted a 90-day eligibility period for this program.

5. When to pay back? 

  • Transfer of title

  • Sale of the property

  • Pay off of the first loan

  • Payoff of the subordinate loan principal balance

  • Refinance for the second time

  • Default on the loan

6. How will it be repaid during any of the above occurrences?

  • For borrower income less than or equal to 80% AMI using Homeready Lookup Took, the payback amount is the principal amount plus 15% of any appreciation in the value. 

  • It's the principal amount plus 20% of the appreciation for others. 

7. My advice:


Both the first and second loans will need to go through CalHFA. Keep in mind that their rates and fees are typically slightly higher, and they only allow one refinance through their program. Before opting for this program, consider it carefully, as we might encounter a sequence of refinances later this year. 

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