home prices keep rising, so do the down payments,
keeping many San Diegans from taking that step toward
homeownership. The good news is that there are many
programs to help with a down payment and loan options
that donít require the traditional 20 percent down for
a look at whatís available:
Federal Housing Administration offers loans that require
as little as 3.5 percent down. And the down payment can
be a gift from a family member. Borrowers have to meet
some requirement such as a debt ratio of no more than 43
percent. The FHA also has lending limits, which is
$612,950 in San Diego County.
mortgages are also available with low down-payment
options. Guild Mortgage recently announced a 1 percent
down program, joining other lenders such as Quicken
Loans, Guaranteed Rate and United Wholesale Mortgage,
which all offer 1 percent down for qualified borrowers.
really exciting are the down-payment assistance programs
or DPAs that are available to help those that might be
able to make the payments but just arenít able to save
a down payment," said Matt Brady, corporate real
estate benefit director and sales manager at Skyline
Home Loans (
are available through the California Housing Finance
Agency (CalHFA) and are for first-time homebuyers only.
The program offers a deferred-payment loan of up to 3.5
percent, which can be used for the down payment or the
closing costs. The program must be combined with a
Ďsilent seconds,í as they are commonly known, will
have to be paid back when the home is sold or after 30
years, but they allow people to get into a home and
start to enjoy appreciation and the tax advantages of
owning," Brady said.
programs for military, teachers and first responders are
also available. Be sure to check with your lender to
discuss all the options, especially for the first-time
credit certificate programs, or MCCs, reduce potential
income tax liability, creating spendable income, which
can be used to help qualify as well as reduce mortgage
interest, dollar for dollar, as a tax credit on your
U.S. returns," Brady said.
should also be aware of some guideline changes that make
it easier to buy a home.
college graduates can qualify for loans using their
education as work history, so they donít have to wait
two years before they can purchase a home. Also
available are programs for professionals such as
attorneys and doctors who often work as interns or
residents. New guidelines allow them to qualify for
loans based on current salaries rather than a two-year
salary history. And many of these loans are available
for as little as 5 percent down.
new is that rental income from accessory dwelling units
(ADUs), such as granny flats, can be used to qualify for
a loan. Guidelines for credit history have also
expanded. Those with limited credit history can
establish a credit history using rent and cell-phone
bills in place of credit cards and traditional credit
dream of buying a home may be more obtainable than you
think. Check with a qualified lender to see how you can
qualify for a home loan.