Low-income homebuyers in San Joaquin County can get help from CalHFA
Affordability remains an issue for many first-time low- and middle-income home buyers. The average price of a home for sale in Stockton on Friday was $ 420,000, according to the Central Valley Association of Realtors. A 6% to 20% deposit on this price would be between $ 25,200 and $ 84,000.
A program to resolve these issues is available through the California Housing Finance Agency.
Middle-class homebuyers could see increasing competition for local housing – especially if the proliferation of teleworking enables high-income professionals to move permanently to San Joaquin County, said Jeffrey Michael, professor of public policy at the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law Pacific. In addition, the pandemic recession has made it difficult for many low-income people to stay housed at all.
CalHFA’s Homebuyers Program offers both down payment and mortgage assistance to home buyers earning up to $ 148,000 per year. In order to access the program, homebuyers must first verify that they are eligible. If so, they should contact one of the loan officers in the CalHFA network.
“One of the biggest hurdles people face is that down payment,” said Eric Johnson, a CalHFA spokesman.
Through CalHFA’s programs, homebuyers require a 3% to 3.5% down payment, and the agency will help them get it with a low-interest loan that will be repaid when the loan is refinanced or the home is sold, Johnson said.
CalHFA can also help fund the purchase price with a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with an interest rate of 3.625%, he said.
Apple Inc. funded part of the homebuyer program by purchasing home loans from CalHFA, which will then use the proceeds to help fund down payments. The Apple funds are part of an initiative to support affordable housing worth $ 1 billion, announced by the Silicon Valley-based technology company on Wednesday.
The money from Apple has funded 323 loans worth approximately $ 109.3 million for families in San Joaquin County, Johnson said.
About two-thirds of the homebuyer program participants are Hispanic, Black, Asian, Pacific Islander, or Native American, and the program offers additional benefits for teachers, veterans, and firefighters, according to Apple’s press release.
Even with the help of utility programs, it can be difficult for low-income homebuyers to compete with homebuyers who can afford to sell more than the asking price, make conditional offers, or even pay full price, Pete Diryawush, president of the president Central Valley Association of Realtors said.
It’s important to remember, however, that the market won’t be this crowded forever, Diryawush said. Lately, sellers have brought more homes to market, which has eased some of the pressure buyers felt at the start of the pandemic.
“Everyone’s gone crazy since the pandemic … everyone automatically wanted to buy a house,” he said.
Diryawush recommended that homebuyers “be open-minded when it comes to homes,” and that homebuyers look at homes priced slightly below their budget in case they need the difference to get a competitive offer.
Education is key to helping people not only afford their home but stay in it too, Johnson said.
“As we saw in the early 2000s, it’s really easy to get anyone you want into a home,” but much more difficult to keep them in their home, he said. All CalHFA loans include a mandatory six-hour educational course that applicants must take prior to signing their loan agreements, as well as optional post-loan courses, he added.
For more information on interest rates, who is eligible for Cal HFA loans, and where to find a San Joaquin County lender, visit the agency’s website at https://www.calhfa.ca.gov/homebuyer/index.htm .
Record reporter Aaron Leathley covers business, housing and land use. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @LeathleyAaron. To support local news, subscribe to The Stockton Record at recendet.com/subscribenow.