First-time home buyers have questions regarding their credit worthiness: “can I overcome little, no or bad credit conditions? How much personal info is required and why must I get pre-approved or pre-qualified for the purchase? How much of a down payment do I need?”
The California Association of Realtors has a finance hotline for Realtors whose clients have hit snags in loan approval. However, new on the scene is an app that helps REALTOR members of CAR access some 420 unique home buyer assistance programs for low to moderate income individuals and families administered by 240 federal, state and local agencies.
CAR has developed the Down Payment Resource Directory. It is a searchable data base that matches home buyers with a laundry list of available programs based upon a number of variables. First-time home buyer programs are also for boomerang buyers who have not owned a home in the last 3 years.
This is an awesome tool for Realtors. You simply answer questions like how many people in your household? What is your annual income? Are you or a co-borrower a Veteran or Native American? Do you or a co-borrower work in education, law enforcement, or as a fire fighter or health care worker? ETC. The program instantly compiles a comprehensive list of available programs along with website links for more info on qualifications, loan and income limits, etc. all in real time.
Best known of these programs is through the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA). Founded in 1975 to help low to moderate income borrowers, CalHFA has offered more than $19.5 billion in assistance to our citizens.
CalHFA’s MyHome Assistance Program was launched last October and includes a 5% down payment assistance, low interest rates and deferred payments to first-time, employed buyers with good credit.
There is also the opportunity to combine available programs to serve the first-time home buyer. For example, you can obtain a CalHFA Energy Efficient Mortgage which could be a bonanza for home sellers who are having difficulty selling a home that needs new windows or a central heating system. This is a way of getting buyers into a home for little or nothing down plus free energy efficiency upgrades.
There are 7 million American homeowners who lost their homes during the Great Recession and a large number of Millennials forming households. They need a little help from their friends to get started on the road to home ownership. REALTORS are part of the solution. Reach out to us. We can help.