Last Updated on: 27th July 2023, 06:20 pm

Buying a home is always exciting, but it can be very stressful and nerve-racking. Especially for those that are experiencing the process for the first time. There are a number of programs for the California first time home buyer in Fresno County you can take advantage of to improve your buying experience and leave a lot of stress right at the front door. Believe it or not, “first time home buyer” programs may also apply to those that have purchased a home in the past, so long as it wasn’t very recent, like within the last few years!  We’ve compiled a list of the different first time home buyer California programs applicable to home purchases in Fresno county because we want our customers to feel as secure as possible when applying for primary mortgages, closing cost grants, first time home buyer grants, down payment programs, and free federal funds.

First Time Home Buyer Tax Credits & Down Payment Assistance in California

first time home buyer credits

There are a number of state functions and opportunities you are able to leverage during your home buying process. That list gets even larger for those going through the California first time home buyer scenario. Let’s take a look at some of the closing costs and down payment assistance CA programs, grants, and loans available for first time home buyers in the state of California.

Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) Program

The MCC Program offers qualified first-time homebuyers a Federal income tax credit. The credit can reduce potential Federal income tax liability, creating additional net spendable income for qualified first-time homebuyers to possibly use toward their monthly mortgage payment. Here you will find full information about the California MCC Program.

Public Information Contacts | 1025 Escobar Street, Martinez, CA 94553 |925-655-2890

Forgivable Equity Builder Loan

The following is pulled directly from the website: “Home equity has proven to be one of the strongest ways for families to build and pass on intergenerational wealth and CalHFA is committed to improving equitable access to homeownership for all Californians. The Forgivable Equity Builder Loan gives first-time homebuyers a head start on this with immediate equity in their homes via a loan of up to 10% of the purchase price of the home. The loan is forgivable if the borrower continuously occupies the home as their primary residence for five years.” Basically, you get free money worth 10% of the purchase if you reside there for five years!

Sacramento Headquarters |500 Capitol Mall, Ste. 1400 Sacramento, CA 95814 | 877-9-CalHFA (877-922-5432)

First Time Home Buyers Grants

The state of California offers various grants to various parts of the population. These first time home buyer grants in California are revolving and can change each year. You can check this site to see if there is one in the Fresno area right now (there is at the time of writing). 

First Time Home Buyer Loans in California

California first time home buyer programs

Not to be confused with the previous section, first time home buyer loans in California are monies that must be paid back in full. It can be difficult to get a loan, especially with poor or no credit, which is why states supplement with government loan programs. Many of the government programs are trickle down programs that actually get passed through but come from the federal government. The California Housing Finance Agency has all the information you need about the following first time home buyer California loans available to you.

CalHFA FHA Program

An FHA insured loan with a 30 year fixed mortgage rate for buyers. There are a number of requirements that need to be met to qualify, so make sure you take a look at this first time home loans list.

Sacramento Headquarters | 500 Capitol Mall, Ste. 1400 Sacramento, CA 95814 | 877-9-CalHFA (877-922-5432)

CalPLUS FHA Program

Similar to the CalHFA FHA Program but with a higher interest rate. This type of first time home buyer loan in California is often used when one can’t meet the requirements of the first option but still wants to proceed with a purchase. There are still some requirements that need to be met, though!

Sacramento Headquarters | 500 Capitol Mall, Ste. 1400 Sacramento, CA 95814 | 877-9-CalHFA (877-922-5432)

CalHFA VA Program

Veterans receive special care when it comes to buying a first home. The VA program is a loan program that not enough people know about or take advantage of. If you’ve served, you unlock a nice benefit – a special loan program that you’re almost guaranteed to get, even with bad or no credit. 

Sacramento Headquarters | 500 Capitol Mall, Ste. 1400 Sacramento, CA 95814 | 877-9-CalHFA (877-922-5432)

CalHFA USDA Program

California’s spin on the government USDA loan plan. California’s USDA program can combine with a number of other state funded grants and programs; take a look at the requirements and the recommended MyHome combination assistance.

Sacramento Headquarters | 500 Capitol Mall, Ste. 1400 Sacramento, CA 95814 | 877-9-CalHFA (877-922-5432)

California is a little different than most states because apart from the programs listed above, you can get conventional loans right through the state. Though these are available to anybody, there is no reason why you wouldn’t assess them as a first time home buyer.

CalHFA Conventional Program

Interest rates do vary quite a bit depending on your own personal debt to income ratio, the credit you carry, and a number of ongoing lender fees that change. It’s still worth looking at, especially if you don’t want to be locked into living in your new home for a specific amount of time.

Sacramento Headquarters | 500 Capitol Mall, Ste. 1400 Sacramento, CA 95814 | 877-9-CalHFA (877-922-5432)

CalPLUS Conventional Program

Similar to the first option but with higher rates and less strict requirements. 

Sacramento Headquarters | 500 Capitol Mall, Ste. 1400 Sacramento, CA 95814 | 877-9-CalHFA (877-922-5432)

First Time Home Buyer Programs in Fresno County

So now you know the state and federal governments can work to help you get a first time home buyer California grant, loan, and tax break… but what about Fresno County?  The county wants you to move in, develop a family, and help enhance the local economy just as much as the state does. Fresno County first time home buyer programs offer a super beneficial assistance program that you absolutely should consider taking advantage of!

County of Fresno Homebuyer Assistance Program

Built specifically for those with middle to lower incomes, the program will allow you a loan with deferred payment with zero percent interest of up to 20% of your home’s purchase price. Basically, you can buy a home, get this 20% loan from the county, and pay it back only if you move. If you don’t move, it’s free and clear.

Fresno County Clerk | 2221 Kern Street Fresno, CA 93721 | 559-600-CLRK (559-600-2575)

Latino and African American Assistance

Fresno County home buyer programs have placed an emphasis on helping minorities to gain meaningful living space and own their own homes. For those of Latino and African American heritage, there is a special program that helps these California first time homebuyers with up to $22,000 in down-payment assistance. The Fresno Reltist has all of the details necessary to apply for the program, and they run a periodic workshop to help these minorities through the process.

Lionel Akpovi | The Fresno Realtist | 559-860-9016

Fresno County, California First Time Home Buyer FAQs

Are first time home buyer programs worth it?

Almost always. First time home buyer California programs can result in super low interest, deferred payments, and even free money toward closing.

Who qualifies for down payment assistance in California?

Almost everybody qualifies for some kind of assistance. Start doing your research and select from the aforementioned programs the one that will benefit you the most.

Do you have to pay back down payment assistance in California?

That depends on the type of California down payment assistance program that you’re a part of. In most scenarios, if you remain living in the home you purchased for a long enough period of time, you never have to pay the assistance loan back!

Now that you’re a whizz when it comes to first time home buying in Fresno County, you can intelligently move forward with house shopping. When the time comes that you’ve made a purchase, give us a call, and we’ll be happy to move you into your new home!  The caring professionals at Southbay Moving Systems, Inc. are standing by: call our 5-star Fresno County movers today for a free, personalized quote!