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CalHFA bumps up income limits to help more first-time buyers

CalHFA bumps up income limits to help more first-time buyers

By Ron Trujillo/

California is a pricey place to live, especially when it comes to buying a home.

But Californians who earn what may seem like a hefty paycheck, at least on paper, could be eligible for down payment assistance through a state program for low- to moderate-income residents.

The California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) offers first mortgage loans, down payment assistance and closing cost assistance programs, making the dream of homeownership a reality.

In fact, Bay Area consumers who earn up to $228,300 could qualify for assistance. While that may seems like a healthy income, the median-home price in San Francisco is more than $1.5 million. Orange County’s income limit for assistance is $174,200, while Sacramento County is $150,650. Check here for county-by-county income limits. The income limit is based on a household, regardless of family size.

CalHFA helped finance $2 billion in first mortgages, a record for the state agency, helping 7,400 first-time homebuyers in the 2017-18 fiscal year. The agency considers a “first-time” homebuyer as someone who has not owned a home during the past three years.

Learn more about borrower requirements, which includes an in-person or online homebuyer education and counseling course.

“It is incredibly important for homebuyers to be educated about the full financial implications of taking on a mortgage,” says Tia Boatman Patterson (photo, left), executive director of CalHFA. “When you add one-on-one counseling to the comprehensive homebuyer education, it results in sustainable homeownership.”

Photo of San Jose homes by Vladislav Gurfinkel/Shutterstock

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