The Dream For All lottery opens Wednesday

Jim Porter

Solano Real Estate Scene: Jim Porter

Article By: Jim Porter – March 29, 2024

Well, it is finally here, the new California Dream for All down payment assistance program for first generation homebuyers opens April 3 for applicants to enter their names and loan approval letters into the lottery.

Last year, the $300 million sold out in five or six business days, and only helped lucky first time homebuyers that already had a home picked out and 80% of them already had an offer accepted on a home.

This year is different.

No. 1: The buyer must be a first-generation homebuyer. I would be willing to wager that 90% of the folks that used the greatest down payment program in history last year were not first generation and most of the funds went to down payments for high-end, first-time homebuyers in coastal cities of California.

No. 2: There was no limit on the amount last year other than the 20% of sales price, which meant smart Google and Apple engineers could buy a home for $1 million and get $200,000 interest free for 30 years and bring in $80,000 out of their savings account to buy their first home with NO PMI.

This year the maximum loan amount is 20% of the sale price or $150,000, whichever is less, and the buyer can only bring in a maximum of 5% of the sales price out of their pocket.

No. 3: The income limits were higher in 2023 than this year’s version of the program.

No. 4: Last year was first-come first-serve and this year qualified applicants will be given more than three weeks to enter the lottery. The California Housing Finance Agency folks are estimating that 1,800 lucky winners will be picked at the end of April and then given a couple months to find a house and get an offer accepted. CalHFA has $200 million this year for what I call the second greatest down payment assistance program in history, with last year being the GOAT.

This Dream for All program will only help a tiny percentage of our population. This is just a guess, but I think there will be at least 10,000 lottery entrants and some think it will be closer to 18,000.

Next week, I will write about Invest America, Brad Gerstner’s idea on how to solve the wealth gap and keep free market capitalism and the American Dream alive and help a lot more than 1,800 people in California learn how to fish.

Jim Porter, NMLS No. 276412, is the branch manager of Solano Mortgage, NMLS No. 1515497, a division of American Pacific Mortgage Corporation, NMLS No. 1850, licensed in California by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the CRMLA / Equal Housing Opportunity. Jim can be reached at 707-449-4777.

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