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Under the First Home Mortgage Program, applicants can receive up to 4 percent of the total first mortgage amount to be put toward paying the down payment and closing cost assistance. This assistance comes in the form of a grant, which has no repayment terms.

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FHA.com is a privately owned website, is not a government agency, and does not make loans.

Los Angeles First-Time Home Mortgage Program

The Southern California Home Financing Authority (SCHFA) is a joint powers authority between Los Angeles and Orange Counties, established to create first-time homebuyer programs for low- to moderate-income households. One of these programs is the First Home Mortgage Program. In addition to a 30-year, fixed rate mortgage with competitive interest rates, the program provides individuals with down payment and closing costs assistance.

Available Assistance
Under the First Home Mortgage Program, applicants can receive up to 4 percent of the total first mortgage amount to be put toward paying the down payment and closing cost assistance. This assistance comes in the form of a grant, which has no repayment terms. The program is overseen by the Los Angeles County Community Development Commission (CDC) and the Public Finance Division of the County of Orange. It can be used in conjunction with the CDC's Home Ownership Program (HOP) and the Mortgage Credit Certificate Program (MCC), with the most restrictive program guidelines applied. Homebuyers do not receive assistance funds from the SCHFA; they must work directly with a participating lender.

Eligibility Requirements
All applicants must meet certain requirements to be eligible for assistance under the First Home Mortgage Program. They must fall under the program’s income limits (shown below), have a minimum FICO credit score of 640, and a debt-to-income ratio not exceeding 45 percent. It is required that all applicants attend a homebuyer education course, with certificates of completion dated 12 months prior to the closing of escrow.


Under the program, applicants can purchase new or existing homes within the purchase price limits in the following eligible areas. All unincorporated areas and incorporated cities in Los Angeles County (except the City of Los Angeles), and all unincorporated areas and incorporated cities in Orange County.
 
Non-Targeted Areas Existing Homes: $585,713
Non-Targeted Areas New Homes: $585,713

Targeted Areas Existing Homes: $715,872
Targeted Areas New Homes: $715, 872
 
Income Limits
Household income is defined as all income received by household members (18 years or older) who will be living in the home, even if they are not on the mortgage.

Los Angeles County
1 or 2 person household: $108,120
3 or more person household: $126,140

Orange County
1 or 2 person household: $125,160
3 or more person household: $146,020

(Note: These figures were accurate at the time of publication and may no longer be current - visit the program website for updated information.)

First-Time Home Buyer Programs in California

The City of Oakland offers low- to moderate-income first-time homebuyers the Mortgage Assistance Program. Program applicants receive assistance funds in order to help offset the costs of purchasing a new home.

In order to help low- and moderate-income first-time homebuyers, the San Diego Housing Commission administered the County of San Diego's First-Time Homebuyer Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance Program.

Under the First Home Mortgage Program, applicants can receive up to 4 percent of the total first mortgage amount to be put toward paying the down payment and closing cost assistance. This assistance comes in the form of a grant, which has no repayment terms.

California’s Fresno County offers the 1st Time Homebuyer Program in an effort to help eligible low- and moderate-income families purchase their first home in the unincorporated area and partner cities.

The San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) First-Time Homebuyer Program can assist eligible buyers with the purchase of single-family homes, townhomes, or condominiums.

The City of Fremont offers first-time homebuyers assistance with its Below Market Price Homes program to help residents afford and purchase their first-home.

The City of Norwalk's First Time Home Buyer program helps low-income families the opportunity to affordably purchase their first home.

The Moderate Income Purchase Assistance Program helps first-time, moderate income homebuyers purchase homes by providing loans to cover the down payment, acquisition, and closing costs.

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First-time homebuyer assistance programs and/or grants were researched by the team at FHA.com. Please note that all programs listed on this website may involve a second mortgage with payments that are forgiven, deferred, or subsidized in some manner until resale of the mortgaged property.

FHA.com's compilation is not a complete list, but it can serve as a starting point in your search for the down payment assistance program or grant for your situation. It is up to the consumer to contact these entities and find out the specifics of each program.

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