San Diego County Down Payment / CalHome Program
Financial Assistance for Homebuyers in California
The CalHome Program provides applicants up to 17 percent of the total property price for down payment assistance, and 4 percent (up to $10,000) in closing costs assistance. These funds come in the form of a loan with 3 percent simple interest per year, accrued annually. No monthly payments are required on this loan, as it is deferred until the home is refinanced (not including an FHA Streamline Refinance), sold, paid off, or no longer serving as the borrower’s primary residence. The loan repayment will be one payment of the original principle loan amount plus any accrued interest.
The CalHome Program is only available to first-time homebuyers; those who have owned a home or been on the title for one within the previous three years cannot qualify for assistance. All applicants must have an annual gross household income at or under 80 percent of San Diego County’s area median income, as determined by HUD. They must also be able to contribute at least three percent of the purchase price from their own cash assets, and receive the maximum first mortgage loan for which they qualify. The program’s occupancy ratio mandates that there be no more than two people per living space, which includes bedrooms, living room, family room, den/study.
Borrowers are also required to complete a HUD/CalHome-approved homebuyer education class to qualify for the program.
Under the CalHome Program, any property purchased must serve as the borrower’s primary residence. This home must be located within the CalHome jurisdictional boundaries, which include unincorporated areas of the County of San Diego and the cities of: Carlsbad, Coronado, Del Mar, Encinitas, Imperial Beach, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, Poway, San Marcos, Santee, Solana Beach and Vista.
The property types eligible are a new or resale single-family detached units, condominiums, townhouses or a manufactured homes on a permanent foundation. Applicants must also make sure that their home does not exceed the program’s maximum purchase prices: $383,800 for new or existing properties, and $517,750 for attached townhomes or a condominiums and $517,750 for a single-family residence (subject to periodic adjustments).
The home being purchased must be deemed free from any health and safety defects and lead-based paint hazards, via a Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspection. Proof of initial building permit issuance must be provided. Applicants must also obtain flood insurance if the property is located in a flood plain.
Down payment assistance programs and/or grants were researched by the team at FHA.com. Please note that all programs listed on this website may involve a second mortgage with payments that are forgiven, deferred, or subsidized in some manner until resale of the mortgaged property.
FHA.com's compilation is not a complete list, but it can serve as a starting point in your search for the down payment assistance program or grant for your situation. It is up to the consumer to contact these entities and find out the specifics of each program.
Down Payment Grants in California
The City of Brentwood offers first-time homebuyers the Down Payment Assistance Program (DAP), which provides funds that go toward the down payment and/or closing costs. Assistance comes in the form of a deferred payment loan program for first-time homebuyers.
The CalHFA MyHome Assistance Program offers applicants a deferred-payment junior loan up to 3% of the purchase price/appraised value of the mortgaged property in order to help make the down payment or pay the closing costs.
The First Time Homebuyer Loan Program that was established by the City of Emeryville provides down payment assistance to households at or below moderate income. This initiative gets individuals out of the renter’s trap by helping them to pay the heavy, upfront costs of purchasing a home.
The California Golden State Finance Authority (GSFA) created the Platinum Program, which provides low-to-moderate income California homebuyers with down payment and/or closing cost assistance to help them achieve their goals of purchasing a home.
The Los Angeles County Development Authority (LACDA) provides low- and moderate- income households with down payment assistance via the Affordable Homeownership Program.
The FTHB Program provides down payment assistance in the form of a loan, the maximum amount of which may not exceed the lesser of the maximum HOME subsidy limit, 20 percent of the purchase price, or the amount needed as determined by underwriting criteria. The maximum loan amount will never exceed the amount of the primary loan.
The Orange County Housing and Development Mortgage Assistance Program provides down payment assistance loans to assist low-income first-time homebuyers.
The San Diego County Down Payment / CalHome Program provides applicants up to 17 percent of the total property price for down payment assistance, and 4 percent (up to $10,000) in closing costs assistance. These funds come in the form of a loan with 3 percent simple interest per year, accrued annually.
Santa Ana’s Downpayment Assistance Loan Program provides eligible applicants up to $40,000 to be put toward the down payment on their new home. These funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis, in the form of a zero-interest loan.
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