When making a down payment, the rule of thumb is to make a minimum of 20 percent of the purchase. However, if you can’t afford it, that doesn’t mean you have to postpone the dream. In fact, a down payment assistance program is one of the best and most feasible ways to start your homeownership journey.
This program has strict guidelines and qualification requirements. However it’s worth looking into this option, especially if a lack of cash may be stopping you from home buying.
Down Payment Assistance Program- What is it?
A DPA (Down Payment Assistance Program) is designed to help home buyers with grants and loans. In other words, it lowers the amount that you may need to save for a down payment. With this, you can receive a low-or-no interest loan or grant if you qualify for a DPA.
DPA- How Does it Work?
The down payment assistance program can be administered by:
- State or local housing authority;
- By the lender directly; and,
- A non-profit organization.
It works by giving a set amount of cash to eligible homebuyers. This money can be used to cover the closing cost or down payment. You might have to agree to reside in the home if your DPA is treated as a grant. Moreover, you also use that home as a primary residence for a specific timeframe to avoid repaying the money.
But, if it is treated as a loan, you may have to pay it in full. This is true if you decide to sell it or make your mortgage payments.
What is the Eligibility Requirement for a DPA?
In general, qualification requirements are based on the home buyers’ income and the worth of the home they plan to purchase. Other requirements may include:
- Purchase in an approved location; and,
- Take a home-buyer education course.
In addition, most DPAs are made for first-time homebuyers only. Thus, those who already have homes may not qualify to these.
However, it is essential to note that requirements vary from state to state. So, here’s an overview of some of the top-down payment assistance programs in California:
CalPLUS w/ ZIP
This is a premiere assistance program. It provides down payment assistance between 3 percent and 4.5 percent and reduces mortgage insurance premiums. It is offered in both conventional and FHA financing. However, qualified buyers can’t exceed the county income limit.
CalHFA MyHome Assistance Program
This program offers $10,000, or 3.5 percent of the sales price, whichever is less in closing cost or down payment assistance. This program is offered to first-time homebuyers.
GSFA HFA Platinum Grant
The Golden State Finance Authority provides this grant. It provides three to five percent assistance to the homebuyer in a non-repayable grant. Hence, it makes financing affordable for the residents of California. The GSFA grant works with FHA, VA, and Conventional loans.
Contact us for more information or assistance with finding the best down payment assistance program. Our experts can help navigate and evaluate your options and help you make an informed selection.