CalHFA – California Housing Finance Agency

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Program Overview

California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA)

The State of California Housing Finance Agency, CalHFA, supports the needs of renters and home buyers by providing financing and housing programs to low to moderate income Californians.

CalHFA home buyer programs include first mortgages, as well as low to no interest rate silent seconds mortgage programs that will assist low to moderate income home buyer with down payment, closing costs, and even tax credits.

California's home buyer assistance programs are designed to help first time buyers, however, many of these mortgage programs do not require that you be a first time home buyer to qualify for the assistance.

Home buyers are required to use a CalHFA first mortgage when using down payment or closing cost assistance programs.

CalHFA First Mortgage Programs

Conventional Mortgage

The CalHFA Conventional first mortgage program uses Fannie Mae's HomeReady expanded underwriting guidelines to offer a lower down payment and closing costs for borrowers with less-than-perfect credit scores.  You are not required to be a first time home buyer to use this mortgage.

CalPLUS Conventional Mortgage

The CalPLUS Conventional mortgage offers a slightly higher interest than the standard CalHFA Conventional program and is combined with the CalHFA Zero Interest Program (ZIP) down payment and closing cost assistance program.  You are not required to be a first time home buyer to use this mortgage.

CalHFA Conventional Qualifying Basics

FHA Mortgage

The CalHFA FHA first mortgage program offers 30 year fixed FHA first mortgage to California home buyers.  You are not required to be a first time buyer to use this program.

CalPLUS FHA Mortgage

The CalPLUSSM FHA loan program is a fully amortized thirty 30-year fixed interest rate FHA first mortgage. This loan is combined with the CalHFA Zero Interest Program (ZIP) for closing cost and/or prepaid items only.

The FHA ZIP second loan is only available with CalPLUS and is a silent second loan for either 3.00% or 4.00% of the CalHFA FHA total first mortgage loan amount, including Up Front Mortgage Insurance Premium (UFMIP).

The interest rate is zero percent (0.00%) and the payment(s) are deferred for the life of the first mortgage or until the property is transferred or the first mortgage loan is refinanced. The CalPLUS loan is not subject to Recapture Tax.  You must be a first time home buyer to use this program.

Cal-EEM Mortgage + Grant

The CalHFA Energy Efficient Mortgage (Cal-EEM + Grant) loan program combines an FHA-insured first mortgage (Cal-EEM) loan with an additional grant (EEM Grant), allowing energy efficient improvements over and above the FHA maximum allowable EEM loan amount.

The EEM Grant is only available with the Cal-EEM first mortgage. The Grant is for up to 4% of the first mortgage total loan amount, including Up Front Mortgage Insurance Premium (UFMIP).

The Grant can be used towards the HERS Report neutrality rating and may allow more borrowers to use the FHA EEM program without additional funds out of their pocket.

The Cal-EEM + Grant can be combined with the MyHome Assistance Program (MyHome) or Extra Credit Teacher Purchase Program (ECTP).

The Cal-EEM first mortgage loan is not subject to Recapture Tax.

CalHFA FHA Qualifying Basics

CalHFA Down Payment Assistance Programs

MyHome Assistance Program

The CalPLUSSM FHA loan program is a fully amortized thirty 30-year fixed interest rate FHA-insured first mortgage. This loan is combined with the CalHFA Zero Interest Program (ZIP) for closing cost and/or prepaid items only.

The FHA ZIP second loan is only available with CalPLUS and is a silent second loan for either 3.00% or 4.00% of the CalHFA FHA total first mortgage loan amount, including Up Front Mortgage Insurance Premium (UFMIP).

The interest rate is zero percent (0.00%) and the payment(s) are deferred for the life of the first mortgage or until the property is transferred or the first mortgage loan is refinanced. The CalPLUS loan is not subject to Recapture Tax.

Extra Credit Teacher Home Purchase Program (ECTP)

The CalPLUSSM FHA loan program is a fully amortized thirty 30-year fixed interest rate FHA-insured first mortgage. This loan is combined with the CalHFA Zero Interest Program (ZIP) for closing cost and/or prepaid items only.

The FHA ZIP second loan is only available with CalPLUS and is a silent second loan for either 3.00% or 4.00% of the CalHFA FHA total first mortgage loan amount, including Up Front Mortgage Insurance Premium (UFMIP).

The interest rate is zero percent (0.00%) and the payment(s) are deferred for the life of the first mortgage or until the property is transferred or the first mortgage loan is refinanced. The CalPLUS loan is not subject to Recapture Tax.

CalHFA Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) Tax Credit Program

A Mortgage Credit Certificate is a federal credit which can reduce potential federal income tax liability, creating additional net spendable income which borrowers may use toward your monthly mortgage payment.

This MCC Tax Credit program may enable first-time homebuyers to convert a portion of their annual mortgage interest into a direct dollar for dollar tax credit on your U.S. individual income tax returns.

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