I'm interested in being a first-time homeowner in California.
May 26, 2014 8:59 AM   Subscribe

I'm interested in buying a home in California as first time would-be homeowners. We have relatively high (2013) income, but after some significant professional changes a lower current income, very limited savings but good credit. What kind of programs might be available in CA or nationally to help us become homeowners?

We have checked out the rent vs buy NY Times option, buying appears to be a great option (more cost-effective after just 2 years even with a tiny downpayment.

In 2013 we made combined just over 100k. That will not be the case at all in 2014 (significantly lower). We only have two occupants that would be living in the home. It is in an economically depressed region of California (San Bernardino county). I'm a public servant, my partner is an educator/musician (but at the college level). We have limited savings (enough for a very modest downpayment) but very good credit and no debt. We also have a chunk of land that is valued at about the value of a home which we're trying to sell but is currently an asset (not sure if we can use land as collateral?)

What programs might be available to us in CA or nationally to help us buy our first house?
posted by arnicae to Work & Money (4 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I bought my first home with an FHA loan and just 3% down. Now it appears to be 3.5%, but that's more reasonable than most conventional loans. You sound like a great candidate for an FHA loan.
posted by kbar1 at 9:48 AM on May 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

yeah, fha or va if one of you is a veteran. alternatively...

a seller who is SERIOUS about selling their property will help accommodate you with owner financing. there's a lot of property on the market and these are the sellers you want to deal with; sniff out their desperation, take advantage of it, and pick up the pieces of their shattered dream.
posted by bruce at 11:43 AM on May 26, 2014



Years ago California offered assistance to those who were born in California. I can't remember the name of the program and it may not even be available any more, but if you were born in Cali it would be good to check into it.
posted by OkTwigs at 2:14 PM on May 26, 2014

See if there are VA, FHA, IRS, etc foreclosures. Here's a list of government agencies that may have properties for sale in the area you're interested in. You'll need to search each agency.

I would go to your credit union and discuss what you can afford with a mortgage loan officer, they may have some ideas and an inside track on programs as well.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:19 AM on May 27, 2014

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