Category Archives: First Time Buyers

Down Payment Assistance for First Time Buyers

Down Payment Assistance with Zip Extra Program

Down payment assistance for first time buyers is now easier than ever thanks to California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA).

The Agency has made buying a home even easier for California home buyers.  Since a down payment is usually the biggest factor in preventing people from becoming homeowners, CalHFA has come out with a new program for first time buyers.  The program offers down payment assistance in the form of a silent second loan with deferred payments.

Qualified first time buyers may apply for the CalPlUS loan (97% LTV Conventional financing, or a 96.5% FHA loan) combined with the Zip Extra down payment assistance (3% of the first loan plus $6,500 for conventional loans or 3.5% of the first loan plus $6,500 for FHA loans).

CalPLUS loans are fixed rated mortgage loans amortized over 30 years, so the payments are the same over the life of the loan and  they will never adjust upward.  The Zip Extra down payment assistance is a silent second mortgage with zero percent interest.  Payments are deferred on the Zip Extra loan, so there are no payments until the home is transferred, sold, or in some cases refinanced.

For even greater benefits, the  CalPLUS with ZIP Extra can also be combined with: Š

  • California Homebuyer’s Downpayment Assistance Program (CHDAP) – deferred payment junior loan of 3% of the purchase price for down payment and/or closing costs  Š
  • Extra Credit Teacher Program (ECTP) – up to $15,000 in a deferred payment loan for teachers and staff serving high priority schools Š
  • Mortgage Credit Certificate Program (MCC) – federal income tax credit that may lower your taxes and increase disposable income
How to buy a house

Click the Image for More Info

First time home buyers can also benefit by the new book How to Buy a Home and Walk Away a Winner by California Real Estate Broker Dawn Anderson.   The highly recommended book is a step by step guide to buying a home and gives great tips on checking out your credit and choosing a loan officer before buying the home.  It’s available at for about the price of a coffee.  You can click on the photo to learn more.  When choosing a loan officer, make sure you ask about the CalPLUS program to take advantage of the down payment assistance for which you may qualify.


First Time Buyers Achieve Success with the Right Mortgage

First Time Buyers

First Time Buyers understand that owning your own home is one of the cornerstones of the American dream. Indeed, low interest rates over the past decade have meant that more Americans than ever before have become first time home buyers. Yet, as anyone following the news knows, the subprime lending market of the past has created a number of repercussions, including many homes foreclosing due to the inability of owners to make their house payments.

With foreclosures increasing and the hot housing market cooling, the asking prices for homes are dropping. This is great news for first time buyers who are seeking to buy a heartland home in places like Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska. Indeed, mortgages in Burnsville MN – as well as purchase and refinance mortgages in MN – are readily available for first time home buyers MN.

first time buyersWhat to Look for in a Lending Company

When it comes to mortgages in California- it’s important to find the right lending company. For example, a company that is locally owned and operated, as opposed to a national chain, is more likely to have quality lending products and a staff that is experienced in every area of lending. First time buyers may find the local company may be better able to find the type of mortgage that is right for you and your family, whether you’re seeking to buy a new home or refinance your existing home. In addition, local companies usually pride themselves on their customer service, so your experience with them will be more personalized.

What if Your Credit is Less than Ideal?

Before you go to a lender, you should check your credit rating. Federal law requires that each of the three major credit reporting agencies provide you with a free annual credit report. Reviewing these reports will not only provide you with your credit rating, but will alert you to any misinformation or errors contained in your report.

Bad credit mortgages come with higher interest rates, so it pays to clean up your credit before actually buying a home. A good lending company will offer credit improvement services to help you repair your credit prior to obtaining a loan. This may involve setting up payment plans to existing creditors, challenging bad reports that are on your record in error, and so forth. Having someone to help you navigate through the maze of credit reporting is extremely useful, so find a lender who can help guide you. Keep in mind, though, that even if your credit isn’t pristine, you can still obtain a mortgage.

Fulfilling Your Dreams

With the right mortgage, first time home buyers can truly own a piece of the American dream. It’s enormously satisfying to pay a mortgage payment instead of rent every month, knowing that you’re slowly and surely building equity. That equity lays a foundation for your financial future and that of your children that will truly make you rest easier.

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