CALHFA Down Payment Assistance Helps First Time Home Buyers in California

The California Housing Finance Agency or CALHFA provides first-time home buyers with different grants for buying a home in California. Only CALHFA lenders that are participating members of this program can offer this type of down payment assistance in California to qualifying home buyers. The CHDAP or California Homebuyers Down Payment Assistance Program provides financial assistance to those individuals who can qualify for the program.


It's no secret that many renters are unable to meet the lending requirements of homeownership. Many potential first time buyers are unable to qualify for home financing because their credit history does not meet the 2018 standards for buying a house in California. We can connect you with CALHFA lenders that offer mortgages for new home buyers. The second reason renters choose not to participate in the house buying process is the mere fact that they are unable to save enough money for the down-payment requirements. This is why people speak so highly of CALHFA for a down-payment, assistance on first time home buying in California.

home buying requirements

About the CHDAP Loan

The CHDAP is classified as a "junior" loan program with a deferred payment schedule. It provides individuals with funds in the amount of 3.5% of the appraised value or purchase price of the home (whichever is less). The funds can be applied to either the closing costs or the down-payment on this CALHFA loan, or if needed, can be applied to both. The funds can also be used in conjunction with other first-time mortgage loans whether they are CalHFA or non-CalHFA in nature. This type of down-payment assistance program offers California consumers the opportunity to secure truly affordable zero-down home loans.

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Eligibility Requirements for The CALHFA First-Time Homebuyer Loan

According to the 2018 CALHFA guidelines, there are certain eligibility requirements that must be met by the borrower as well as the property in question. These requirements can be found on pages 1 and 2 of the CALHFA guidelines .pdf file entitled "California Homebuyer's Down Payment Assistance Program (CHDAP)." Basically, the borrower must be a first-time home buyer and must use the property as their principal residence.

Additionally, their income must fall below the allowable limits of conventional, FHA, USDA, or VA first-time mortgage loans. As far as the property requirements are concerned, the structure must be a one-unit, single family residence and the price cannot exceed the CALHFA-established limits. Be aware that participating lenders will go with the more restrictive guidelines if there are any conflicting issues.

There are some other CALHFA Down Payment Assistance in California program property guidelines that need to be considered. For instance, if the property is a condominium, the buyer must meet any applicable first mortgage guidelines in order to qualify for assistance. Furthermore, manufactured housing does not qualify for the CALHFA program nor are co-ops, land trusts, and leaseholds permitted. Finally, the property size cannot exceed 5 acres.

This is not a "bad credit home loan" per se, but the credit and income guidelines are considered very reasonable by mortgage underwriting standards.

The San Diego Union Tribune published an article on how the down payment assistance programs work and how to obtain them through the California Housing Finance Agency. This exclusive CALHFA loan offer is unique to new home buyers in California. The CalHFA loan program extends a deferred-payment mortgage up to 3.5%, which can be used for lending fees, closing costs and of course the down-payment. Read more of the SD Union Tribune article.

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FHA Mortgage for Bad Credit HistoryIf you have not established credit or may have had credit problems in the past, then FHA is a wonderful place to start.

Mortgage Loans for First-Time Home BuyersCheck with lenders about special unique programs for 1st time house buyers.

FHA Loan Limits in CaliforniaCheck with HUD in regard to loan limits in your regions.

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Please note that this is not an advertisement for credit. Nothing on this site contains an offer to make a specific mortgage for any purpose with any specific terms. Interest rates, guidelines and requirements for first time home buyers in California are subject to change. This website has no affiliation with the California Housing Finance Agency (CALHFA) or the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). is a website and cannot make CALHFA loans or approve down-payment assistance.

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