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CalHFA Dream For All is Coming Back

CalHFA Dream For All is Coming Back

CalHFA Dream For All is coming back

Does this program truly help more people become homeowners?

by Alisa Johnson, January 2024

There is a question that has swirled around for a long time in my head. 
Do down payment assistance programs really help get more buyers into homes?  Would those buyers have been able to purchase without the assistance?  

Last year when CalHFA released $25 million in funds for the CalHFA Dream for All program the funds were gone in less than 11 days.  Did these funds actually go to first-time home buyers in need?  Or did they get dispersed to just about anyone who applied in those first 11 days?  I am not sure we will ever know the true answer to this but the program is on its way back but this time it has some adjustments to qualifications and a more controlled way to distribute funds.

Some of the qualifications for the new program release are as follows:
  • At least one applicant must be a California resident
  • At least one applicant must be a First-Generation Homebuyer – **this is a new requirement added with this release
    • A homebuyer who has not been on title, held an ownership interest, or has been named on a mortgage to a home (on permanent foundation and owned land) in the United States in the last 7 years, and
    • To the best of the homebuyer’s knowledge whose parents (biological or adoptive) do not have any present ownership interest in a home in the United States or if deceased whose parents did not have any ownership interest at the time of death in a home in the United States, or; PB.2023-03 Page 2 of 2 California Housing Finance Agency
    • An individual who has at any time been placed in foster care or institutional care (type of out-of-home residential care for large groups of children by non-related caregivers)
  • Income must be less than or equal to $178,000 in Nevada County, or $180,000 in Placer County
  • Maximum Shared Appreciation Loan amount is $150,000 or $20% of the sales price or appraised value, whichever is less. – Shared appreciation loan can be used for down payment and closing expenses!
  • Minimum Combined Loan-To-Value (CLTV) is 95.00%
  • 2/1, 1/1, and 1/0 temporary buydowns are permitted
These programs are created with the vision in mind to help more people become homeowners. 

The 1st $25 million(2023) did not have the same requirements and I fear that a lot of those funds helped people purchase homes with those funds that had other means to afford home ownership. 

So will 2024 be a better use of CalHFA Dream for all funds? 

I believe so.  If you are paying rent and spending over $2500 a month in rent then home ownership might be a great option for you and down payment assistance might be a great boost to get you there.  

Homeownership is costly and you should be prepared as it is likely the largest investment you will make in your lifetime. 

Some things that you can start now to prepare to be a homeowner are as follows.

Budgeting-Create a household budget.

Savings-Create a savings plan to have 6 mortgage payments in savings for emergencies.

Research– Gather information from your RE agent, lender, etc on costs you will incur in the buying process.


Homeownership is the best investment you can make so get educated, be prepared, and look into all options that will support you becoming a homeowner.
Shred Event 2023

Shred Event 2023

You’re invited to Johnson’s Sierra Lifestyle Team 2023 Shred Event

Do you ever feel like you are getting buried in all those papers, bills, etc with personal information? Do you worry about your personal data being out and about if paperwork is not properly shredded?
Shred Event is coming!!!
We started an annual community and customer appreciation shred event last year and it was such a great success we decided to do it again.
Shredding our personal documents that we no longer need will help protect us from personal information getting into the wrong hands.
How it works is a large truck with a huge shredder inside comes to our office located at 10076 Alta Sierra Dr Grass Valley. You bring down bags or boxes of paperwork. You can dump the paper into large trash can bins and then watch the monitor as it’s pulled up and dumped into the shredder and safely shredded. The shredded paper is then recycled into various products so as not to be placed in local landfills.
This is a great event and a great way to dispose of all that paperwork.
For more details on the Shred event feel free to give me a call at 530-559-4871.
The event is June 24, 2023
10am to 2pm
HomeSmart Realty, 10076 Alta Sierra Dr. Grass Valley, CA 95949
$5 per box/bag and $20 for up to 20 boxes/bags ALL proceeds go to helping local families during natural disasters or tragedies.
If you are a client of Johnson’s SIERRA Lifestyle Team this event is complimentary for you.
Consumers Still Overestimate Down Payment Requirements

Consumers Still Overestimate Down Payment Requirements


July 2021

The majority of consumers continue to mistakenly believe they need at least a 20% down payment to purchase a home,but the truth is the average down payment among all buyers is just 12%, according to National Association of REALTORS® data.

Younger buyers tend to put down the least: For example, those between the ages of 22 and 30 put down an average of 6%, and those between the ages of 31 and 40 make an average 10% down payment.

Financial experts often say a 20% down payment is ideal because it helps borrowers qualify for a mortgage and avoid the extra costs of private mortgage insurance.

But it’s not always practical advice, especially as affordability dwindles. For example, a 20% down payment on an entry-level single-family home in the Los Angeles area could be between $200,000 and $400,000.

Several conventional lenders allow buyers to purchase a home with a down payment as low as 3%, while some government-backed programs like through the VA issue loans with no money down.

Borrowers may find such options through FHA, USDA, or VA loans as well as down payment assistance programs.

5 Mortgage Trends to Watch


Young adults, in particular, may be missing out on key information to move forward in the housing market.

Two out of three recently surveyed say they are waiting for lower mortgage rates before starting the homebuying process, according to a survey of 1,000 millennials (ages 25 to 40) conducted by Lombardo Homes. However, economists have largely predicted that mortgage rates will edge upwards in the coming weeks. Further, one in four millennials underestimated their buying potential by $150,000 or more, the study finds.

Also, 59% of consumers say they did not know that the seller pays the real estate agents’ commission, the Lombardo Homes survey shows. Respondents also expressed confusion about many real estate terms, such as earnest money, FRM (fixed-rate mortgage), and PITI (principal, interest, taxes, and insurance).

Real estate pros can educate buyers on common terms and financing resources.

After all, home buyers of all ages are more likely to contact a real estate agent before a mortgage lender when they begin the homebuying process, according to NAR’s 2021 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends report.

Source: Most Would-Be Home Buyers Are Wrong About the Down Payment They’ll Need,” The Ascent/Motley Fool (July 11, 2021)


Don’t hesitate to call the Sierra Lifestyle Team for evaluations of your home’s value or to tour homes on the market you have interest in. We are here for you, and Alisa (almost) always answers her cell phone, 530-559-4871.

Nevada County Market Update

Nevada County Market Update

Nevada County Market Update -August 2021

July 2021 was a Seller’s market*

Home For Sale in July 2021: 212 units.

• Up 7.1% compared to last month
• Down 26.9% compared to last year

Home Closed in July 2021: 190 units.

• Up 6.7% compared to last month
• Down 10.8% compared to last year

Home Placed under Contract in July 2021: 150 units.

• Down 18.9% compared to last month
• Down 31.2% compared to last year

*Buyer’s market: more than 6 months of inventory based on closed sales
 Seller’s market: less than 3 months of inventory based on closed sales
 Neutral market: 3 – 6 months of inventory based on closed sales

July 2021 Average For Sale Price is Neutral*

Average For Sale Price (in thousand) in July 2021:$784 

• Down 2% compared to last month
• Up 10.1% compared to last year

July 2021 Average Sold Price is Appreciating*

Average Sold Price (in thousand) in July 2021: $662 

• Up 3.6% compared to last month
• Up 18.2% compared to last year

*Based on 6 month trend – Appreciating/Depreciating/Neutral


The schools that serve your neighborhood can have a significant impact on your home’s market value.

You may already be familiar with the schools in your immediate area. The map in the link below will spell it all out for you as a quick reference.

For bonus points, click the info button next to each listing. You will find the number of students and staff, expenditures per student, and more.

Does your community make the grade?

A person smiling for the camera Description automatically generated with medium confidence

Heidi Seavers
Loan Officer | NMLS # 724359

(530) 798-6200


Movement Mortgage
1744 E Main St | Grass Valley, CA 95945

Value Of A Good Agent?… Accurate Information!!

Market Minute


August 9, 2021

The economy posted strong signs of further improvement last week with just shy of 1 million new jobs created in July and the lowest level of unemployment since the onset of the pandemic.

In addition, interest rates fell back below 2.8% last week and recently released construction data shows that California is on track to build at least 30% more homes this year than it did in 2020. However, the public health numbers in the state continue to deteriorate at a rapid pace. In addition, buyers continue to become discouraged about housing even as new listings finally start to come online so hard work remains the mantra as the market continues to normalize.

Strong Jobs Report Despite COVID Rebound: Although California will not report on July jobs for several weeks, we can be optimistic because the U.S. jobs recovery last month accelerated with 943,000 new jobs and a post-crisis low for unemployment of 5.4%. That was the strongest month for job creation since last August and marks the second consecutive month with more than 900,000 new jobs. However, rising Coronavirus cases are likely to stifle growth in coming months and California has had two weeks in a row with over 100,000 new unemployment claims filed so the recovery still has a long way to go.

Interest Rates Fall a Bit More: Freddie Mac reported that the typical rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 2.77% last week from 2.80% the previous week. This follows the 10-year Treasury, which also declined to 1.21% last week. Overall, rates are now back to their lowest levels since February and are likely to remain relatively subdued as the effects of rising COVID cases are likely to bolster demand for Treasuries while also causing the Fed to be more cautious about taking too aggressive an approach to monetary policy on what may ultimately prove to be transitory inflation pressures.

California Building Permits Up 32% Through June: So far, California has permitted nearly 60,000 new residential units through the first 6 months of this year. Single-family permits are leading with a 36% increase, but multi-family units are rising by 27% on a year-to-date basis as well. Despite supply chain disruptions and significant increases in the cost of building materials, strong housing demand, Proposition 19, and a renewed passion for homeownership have lured builders back into the market to increase production after a relatively lackluster year in 2020.

Buyer Fatigue Intensifies in July: The number of California consumers that felt it was a good time to purchase a home fell to an all-time low of just 17% last month. This coincides with a new all-time high price in California of almost $820,000 and demonstrates the downside of having a market where new listings cannot keep pace with home sales for such a prolonged period. Rising prices, fierce competition for available homes, and most transactions closing above asking price continues to take its toll on would-be homebuyers in California. Combined with a modest uptick in new inventory and the pressure on each individual listing has also helped to normalize the market—45% of members had 3 or fewer offers on their last sale compared to less than 30% of REALTORS® back in May.

Mortgage Applications Down for 11th Consecutive Week: The number of new purchase applications ended July down 18% from the same week last year. This marks the 11th decline in a row on a year-to-year basis. However, at a value of 273, the index is only slightly behind the 2020 average of 283 and still well ahead of the 2019 annual average of 255. Low rates are helping to maintain demand at relatively high levels, but growth has clearly decelerated.

COVID Numbers Continue to Deteriorate in California: The number of new COVID-19 cases in California rose above 14,000 on Friday as the pace of infection rises. The positivity rate hit its highest level since February with nearly 7% of tests resulting in a positive result while the number of tests is also rising. Hospitalizations are also at their highest levels since early this year. Meanwhile, vaccinations in the state continue to hover in the low-60% range after an initial surge during the spring. Many parts of the state have re-implemented mask mandates and we expect the guidance to continue to evolve over the near term as the situation changes.


Don’t hesitate to call the Sierra Lifestyle Team for evaluations of your home’s value or to tour homes on the market you have an interest in. We are here for you, and Alisa (almost) always answers her cell phone, 530-559-4871.


Thursday night market is back in Grass Valley! ~ by Alisa Johnson, Keller Williams Realty.

Thursday night market has been a Nevada County staple for the past 5 years. It goes from 6pm to 10pm, and Keller Williams Realty will be open and available during those hours if you would like a free bottle of water, or more information about the area. Come visit us, and see what Nevada County has to offer. Our local artisans are known for fabulous wines from our local wineries in Grass Valley, Penn Valley and Rough and Ready, and there are many other vendors selling goods as well. Nevada County offers a rich and diverse community of artists, musicians, and theater groups. Come check us out!


If you would like to view available properties for sale in Nevada County (which includes Grass Valley, Nevada City, Penn Valley, Rough and Ready and outlying areas like Alta Sierra and Lake Wildwood) please don’t hesitate to contact us! We look forward to assisting you with you real estate needs.