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Bay Area Closing Cost Assistance Programs

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

With expensive home prices in the San Francisco Bay Area, many need financial help to purchase a home. Government and local agencies offer programs to help with down payment and other closing costs. Learn about programs that can help you purchase a home and the agency that administers them.

California Finance Housing Agency (CalHFA)

CalHFA offers first-time homebuyer assistance for those who have never owned a home or owned a home more than three years ago. Assistance is also available for those who are not first-time homebuyers if a veteran or purchasing in a federally designated targeted area (usually very low income areas). General program requirements are:

  • property must be single-family detached residence (other home types may be purchased depending on type of loan program)
  • home on less than five acres
  • purchase price must be less than the area sales price limits
  • property only used as primary residence

CalHFA has two down payment programs that are second or subordinate loans silent loans that don't have to be paid back until the house is sold, refinanced or paid in full cutting down on your mortgage payment. Only an approved mortgage loan officer may be used for these loans:

  1. 1. California Homebuyer's Downpayment Assistance Program (CHDAP) is a loan of 3 percent of the lesser of the purchase price or appraised value to use for downpayment and/or closing costs.
  2. Extra Credit Teacher Home Purchase Program (ECTP) offers teachers, administrators and other school employees 3 percent of the sales price not to exceed an amount figured by area for downpayment use.

Individual Development Account (IDA)

An IDA is a savings plan which matches the amount you have saved with as much as three times that amount, so if you save $2,000, it may be matched up to $6,000 giving you $8,000 to use for the purchase of a home. You will have to follow their program, which may include classes on budgeting and finance to get the match money, and the matching amount may be less in some programs. There are several IDA program administrators in the San Francisco Bay area, so choose one that works for your needs.

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About The Author

Elizabeth R. Elstien has worked in real estate for over 15 years as a real estate...

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