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The Major First-Time Homebuyer Financial
Assistance Programs in San Diego County

1st Mortgage Programs
CalHFA 1st Mortgages
MCC (Mortgage Credit Certificate)

Home Opportunities Program
CalHFA Down Payment & Closing Cost Assistance Programs

All Other Down Payment & Closing Cost Assistance Programs
San Diego County Program
Entire City Of San Diego Program
Downtown San Diego Program
El Cajon Programs
American Dream Program
California Dream Program
Escondido Programs
HELP Program
HOME Program
Santee Program
Chula Vista Program
Vista Program

La Mesa Program
City Heights Programs
Home In The Heights
Community Housing Works CASH Closing Cost Assistance Program
Teacher Programs
CalHFA ECTP (Extra Credit Teacher Program)



Each financial assistance program listed above can be generally classified by the following characteristics:

  1. Whether the particular program is a 1st mortgage or will be in a subordinate position (2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 5th mortgage - Yes, I've put together loan packages for first-time buyers that combined 5 different first-time homebuyer financial assistance programs. It saved the buyers a lot of money) to whatever first mortgage is in place.
  2. What region the program is valid in - Some programs are used nationwide, some can be used anywhere in California, some are useable only in certain areas of San Diego County, others can only be used within the City of San Diego limits, some are only good within the 11 districts that comprise downtown San Diego, while other programs can only be used with in the boundaries of certain incorporated cities, such as El Cajon or Santee.
  3. What is the maximum allowable income for each program - Most of the programs are limited to either 80% or 120% of the San Diego County Area Median Income (AMI) for a particular household size. The first mortgage assistance programs generally have much higher household income limits than the subordinate mortgage programs.
  4. Depending on the program. the household income used to qualify is calculated either by adding the incomes of only those who will be on the loan or by adding the incomes of all income earners who will live in the household regardless of whether they will be on the loan.
  5. Whether the program can be applied toward down payment, or closing costs, or both.
  6. The subordinate mortgage financial assistance programs can categorized by which first mortgages they can be combined with.
  7. Some of the programs required that all borrowers take an eight-hour HUD-approved course before applying for the program
  8. A number of the programs have possibility of payment of some part of the capital gain upon the sale of the property. In some cases, this is mandated by the program. In other cases, there is a small possibility of recapture but it is a very rare occurrence. Call me for an explanation about that.
  9. Some of the programs are available only to certain professions.
  10. A few programs are only available in-house from a few select lenders. These programs will not be covered here.

Contact Me If You Have Any Questions. I Know All Of The Programs Listed Above.




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Brought To You By
Mark Harmon, Realtor

CalHFA Preferred Loan Officer
USA Realty and Loans

Brokerage Main Office
3994 Carson St.
San Diego, CA 92117