What is CalHFA and How Can I Benefit From It?
Have you heard of the CalHFA loan program? Unless you’re an approved mortgage lender you probably haven’t. The CalHFA loan program was developed by the California Housing Finance Agency which provides lending guidelines mortgage lenders follow to assist lower to middle income buyers buy and finance their very own home. While many of CalHFA borrowers are first time home buyers, being a first time buyer is not a requirement.
Lenders can approve either a conventional CalHFA loan or an FHA-insured CalHFA loan. With a conventional loan, the maximum loan limit is $424,100 and the FHA loan maximum is subject to local FHA limits for the area in which the property is located. The interest rates on either are fixed rate loans amortized over a 30 year period. The loan can only be used to finance a primary residence and the property can be a single family home as well as in an approved condominium project.
There are certain income limitations that borrowers on the application can have based upon different factors which an experienced loan officer can provide. The sales price of the property is also limited based upon where the property is located. It’s important also to note this special loan program does not allow non-occupant coborrowers such as a parent or relative or a cosigner.
CalHFA borrowers must also complete a homebuyer education course either online or in person with an approved agency. The online course is an eight-hour session that does not have to be completed in one sitting. CalHFA also works with NeighborWorks America as well as with any HUD-approved Housing Counseling Agency. The cost for the online course is $99 but it’s important to note that only one first time buyer on the loan application needs to complete the course. You can the locations for these resources online or you can simply ask your loan officer who can help guide the way.
CalHFA also accepts down payment assistance programs from approved sources in the form of a grant. The grant is filed as a second lien but does not have to be paid back as long as the borrowers own the property for at least three years. If you’re searching for home buying assistance and want a competitive loan requiring as little money at the closing table as possible, as your loan officer about the CalHFA program.
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