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.
GET RID OF THOSE PESKY PAPERS SAFELY!
We are inviting all of our clients and community members to our 1st Shred-It event.
Saturday May 21, 2022
10am to 1pm
HomeSmart Realty office 10076 Alta Sierra Dr Grass Valley, CA 95949
Any questions please reach out to Alisa Johnson, 530-559-4871.
First Shred-It event put on by Johnson’s SIERRA Lifestyle Team
One of my favorite parts about working in real estate is that it allows our team to provide support to our community through community service. I host several yearly events/drives to support local schools, children in need, victims of recent natural disasters, and much more.
You are invited to my first Shred-It event on May 21, 2022. This event is a time for you to gather up all that paperwork with private or sensitive information and have it shredded (remove any staples, paperclips, etc.). I will have the Shred-It truck available from 10am to 1pm on May 21st at my office, HomeSmart Realty 10076 Alta Sierra Dr Grass Valley, CA 95949. The location is less than 1 block off Hwy 49 below the gas station.
If you are a client of Johnson’s SIERRA Lifestyle team this event is complimentary for you.
If you have not yet had the opportunity to buy, sell or refer to our team, we are asking for 5.00 for your first box/bag (any size) or $10.00 for up to 10 boxes/bags.
All proceeds from this event will go to support residents during/after natural disasters.
So, gather up all that paperwork and come on down on the 21st to get it all shredded.
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.
Time to Act: ‘The State of America’s Housing Stock Is Dire’
June 16, 2021
A “once in a generation” response is needed to address the decades of underinvestment and underbuilding in the housing market, according to a report released on Wednesday by the National Association of REALTORS® and the Rosen Consulting Group.
The nation has faced a shortfall of 5.5 million to 6.8 million housing units since 2001.
The report, Housing Is Critical Infrastructure: Social and Economic Benefits of Building More Housing, highlights the causes of housing shortages and offers potential solutions for federal and local level policymakers.
“There is a strong desire for homeownership across this country, but the lack of supply is preventing too many Americans from achieving that dream,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.
“It’s clear from the findings of this report and from the conditions we’ve observed in the market over the past few years that we’ll need to do something dramatic to close this gap.”
The report calls America’s housing stock situation “dire,” with a chronic shortage of affordable and available homes to support the nation’s population.
“A severe lack of new construction and prolonged underinvestment [have led] to an acute shortage of available housing … to the detriment of the health of the public and economy,” the report notes “The scale of underbuilding and the existing demand-supply gap is enormous … and will require a major national commitment to build more housing of all types.”
Policy recommendations outlined in the report call for lawmakers to remove construction barriers that could help incentivize new development.
Earlier this year, NAR also released a separate report, State and Local Policy Strategies to Advance Housing Affordability, which recommended that lawmakers pursue solutions through fiscal policy measures, policies aimed at increasing the supply of housing, and zoning and permitting policy reform.
“A number of factors from the past 20 years are responsible for the massive housing investment gap we see in America today, but what’s important now is that we find solutions that will get us out of this crisis and provide more stability in future markets,” said Charlie Oppler, NAR president.
He said increases in housing construction not only add much-needed housing inventory but also could add an estimated 2.8 million American jobs and $50 billion in new, nationwide tax revenue. “Additional public funding and policy incentives for construction will very clearly provide huge benefits to our nation’s economy, and our work to close this gap will be particularly impactful for lower-income households, households of color, and millennials,” Oppler said.
“Housing Is Critical Infrastructure: Social and Economic Benefits of Building More Housing,” National Association of REALTORS® (June 16, 2021)
June 14, 2021
Housing has been on the leading edge of economic growth since the recovery began, but several signs show that a hot market is causing the market to moderate earlier than normal.
Closed sales are likely to exhibit high double-digit growth for May and June, but the overall level of home sales is slipping from its decades-high level at years’ end.
Rapid growth in home prices has caused some buyers to become discouraged—even as rates dipped below 3% again. Encouragingly, the number of new listings being added to the MLS each day has finally started to exceed closed sales and C.A.R. is still forecasting at least 10% growth in home sales this year.
Consumer Confidence Hits Post-Crisis High:
Consumer confidence reached its highest level since the onset of the crisis as many get back to work and the economy in many parts of the nation starts to reopen. This is a vital component of overall GDP and more robust main street consumer spending will help to generate additional jobs recovery in the retail and restaurant sectors in coming months.
California Unemployment Claims Drop to Post-Crisis Low:
California ended May with its 9th consecutive week with fewer than 100,000 new claims for pandemic and traditional unemployment insurance. With less than 65,000 new unemployment claims filed, last week also marks the smallest number of claims since March of 2020. As the economy is poised to reopen this week, many of the service sector jobs, which bore the majority of the job losses, are expected to begin to come back as consumers participate more fully in the economy.
Signs of Optimism for the Fall Market:
The number of active listings has started to rise as the number of listings being added to the MLS each day has started to increase. Although total active listings remains depressed relative to 2020 and 2019 levels, there has been more inventory on the market over the past 2 months after reaching a nadir back in March. The number of new listings coming onto the MLS is still down from normal levels, an increase in supply could help would-be buyers who are facing an incredibly competitive market environment and help to sustain an elevated number of home sales.
Rates Dip Slightly as 10-Year Treasuries Moderate:
The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) dipped slightly to 2.96% last week – remaining below the critical 3% threshold. The 10-year Treasury initially rose early last week after a decent jobs report, but began to slide during the second half – hitting just 1.45% to begin this week. However, spreads have widened, which may mean some ongoing softness in mortgage rates for the coming weeks, but the medium-term trend is likely towards higher rates.
COVID Numbers Moving in Wrong Direction as We Approach Reopening:
After several months of ongoing improvement, California’s public health numbers have started to deteriorate again, albeit modestly. The 7-day moving average for new cases remains below 1,000 per day, but it has been rising for the past 4 days consecutively and the raw case volume was above 1,000 over the weekend. The immunization rate has begun to settle in the mid-50s, but varies significantly by county.
Mortgage Applications Post Largest Drop in Over a Year:
The number of new mortgage purchase applications fell 24% last week to their lowest level since January. After growing for 52 consecutive weeks on a year over year basis, new applications first began to decelerate in April. By mid-May, mortgage applications had begun to fall, and dropped by double digits the first week of June. This is consistent with both the C.A.R. and Fannie Mae home purchase sentiment indices released last week, which showed increasing pessimism amongst buyers as prices rise and competition over limited available listings remains fierce.
Cashing Out Amidst Double-Digit Price Growth:
Freddie Mac’s quarterly report on cash out refinancing shows a marked increase in spending from home equity. Nearly $50 billion in home equity was cashed out in the most recent quarter. Some of this is driven by consolidation of other debt at low rates, but the percentage of loans resulting in a principal balance at least 5% higher than the original first mortgage has also risen to nearly 50% of mortgage originations. This still pales to the nearly $85 billion cashed out at the peak of last cycle, but it does represent a sizable shift from just $20 billion a few years ago.