Definition of a First-Time Home Buyer
It seems obvious that you are a first-time home buyer if you have never owned a home. But that’s not the only way you can qualify for these benefits. According to the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA), you can also qualify as a first-time home buyer if you have not owned and occupied your own home in the last 3 years. That means you can actually be a first-time home buyer more than once and take advantage of the special loan programs offered!
California First-Time Home Buyer Programs
CalHFA offers several programs to assist first-time home buyers. American Pacific Mortgage is a CalHFA-approved lender and our loan experts can help you take advantage of these programs. Here are the possible ways that can enable you to buy your first home:
First Mortgage Programs
- Conventional: A conventional loan with a fixed rate.
- CalPLUS Conventional: A conventional loan with a slightly higher fixed rate, but combined with the Zero Interest Program for closing costs.
- FHA: An FHA-insured loan with a fixed rate.
- CalPLUS FHA: An FHA-insured loan with a slightly higher fixed rate, but combined with the Zero Interest Program for closing costs.
Down Payment Assistance Programs
- MyHome Assistance Program: A deferred-payment down payment loan that can be up to 3.5% of the purchase price or appraised price of the home (whichever is less). Payments on this assistance can be deferred until the home is sold, refinanced, or the mortgage is paid in full.
- Extra Credit Teacher Home Purchase Program: A deferred-payment down payment loan for teachers, administrators, school district employees and staff members working for any California K-12 public school (including Charter & Continuation schools). The amount can be up to $7500 or 3.5% of the purchase price (up to $15,000 or 3.5% in high-cost areas). Payments on this assistance can be deferred until the home is sold, refinanced, or the mortgage is paid in full.
Mortgage Certificate Tax Credit Program
- Mortgage Credit Certificate Tax Credit Program: A federal credit that may enable first-time home buyers to convert part of the annual mortgage interest into a direct dollar for dollar tax credit on tax returns.
CalHFA offers several options for down payment and closing cost assistance.
- CalHFA Forgivable Equity Builder Loan Program
- CalHFA MyHome (Conventional)
- CalHFA MyHome (FHA)
- CalPLUS Conventional ZIP