The Best Loan Programs For First-Time Home Buyers
For first-time buyers, the entire process of purchasing a home can feel overwhelming. And it is!
But luckily for first-timers, there are loan programs available designed to make this process easier when it comes to financing your home.
Some specialized loan programs come with specific requirements, while others are open to anyone who qualifies. And the best part? Some of these programs will help you get into a home with no money down.
For most of these programs, you’ll apply through an approved lender, typically a local bank or other institution. See what loan programs you qualify for, and get one step closer to the house of your dreams.
Federal Housing Authority (FHA) loans are designed for first-time buyers and those who have had credit problems. You could qualify for a down payment as low as 3.5% of the property’s purchase price, as the FHA is guaranteeing your loans to help protect your lender’s investment. With FHA loans you will be responsible for mortgage insurance premiums tied into your overall loan to cover this guarantee.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers loans in areas designates as “rural,” and these often require absolutely no down payment. If you live in Southern California and you’ve stopped reading after rural, know that many of the USDA properties are actually quite close to major areas – including right outside Corona and Riverside County.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers loans to veterans, active service members, and surviving spouses. VA loans will require no down payment or mortgage insurance.
California Loan Programs
The state of California offers loan programs to residents in conjunction with many of the federally-sponsored programs above. These programs tend to require certain income levels and will often mandate that you live in the property until it is sold.
- CalHFA Conventional Program offers access to a fixed-rate 30-year loan, and if you qualify for other state programs, you may be able to offset additional costs.
- CalPLUS Conventional Program also offers a fixed-rate 30-year term, but rates are typically slightly higher than on CalHFA loans as the program is combined with another state program that assists with closing costs.