New Down Payments Assistance Programs

Down Payment Assistance Program

CalHFA MyHome Assistance Programs

California Housing Finance Agency Launches New Mortgage Assistance Program Helps first-time homebuyers with down payment and closing costs

The California Housing Finance Agency has launched the MyHome Assistance Program for first-time homebuyers who may need help with down payment or closing costs when purchasing a home.

Buyers can receive up to 5% in assistance, low interest rates and deferred payments through MyHome. The program is available to first-time employed buyers with good credit, and can be combined with all CalHFA first mortgage programs and the Mortgage Credit Certificate program, which provides a federal income tax credit that may lower taxes and increase disposable income.

“The lack of savings for a down payment is often the barrier to purchase for first-time homebuyers, even though they can afford the monthly payments,” said CalHFA’s Executive Director, Tia Boatman Patterson. “This new program bundles the first mortgage with down payment and closing cost assistance for our borrowers to make the home buying process simple, affordable and, most importantly, attainable.”

Since 1975, CalHFA has partnered, promoted and preserved safe, affordable housing for Californians, expanding opportunities to hundreds of thousands of residents. CalHFA’s line-up of programs and products demonstrates its commitment to lending with a purpose.

“I’ve got families I’ve been working with for a year, and with MyHome they can finally purchase their first home,” said Ed Bañuelos of Academy Mortgage in Burbank. “This program is awesome, and has a lot to offer people looking to buy a mid-priced home.”

CalHFA offers more programs that help low to moderate income homebuyers including the CalPLUS FHA program, which is a first mortgage loan insured by the Federal Housing Administration, and the CalPLUS Conventional program, a first mortgage loan insured through private mortgage insurance. These loans can be combined with CalHFA’s Zero Interest Program (ZIP) for down payment assistance and/or closing costs – 3.5% assistance for a CalPLUS FHA loan and 3% for a CalPLUS conventional loan.

Help is also available through the Extra Credit Teacher Home Purchase Program, a special program for eligible teachers, administrators and staff in California schools, and the CalHFA Energy Efficient Mortgage + Grant Loan Program that assists with the costs of energy-efficient home improvements.

The California Housing Finance Agency was created in 1975 with the goal of helping more Californians find a place to call home. Its Single Family Lending division has invested more than $19.5 billion to help.

To inquire about this program please call Dean Henderson at (661)726-9000.

USDA Loan Property Eligibility Extended to October 2014

USDA Loan Still AvailThe USDA 100% Financing program had been slated to implement the 2010 census data modifying eligible rural areas for USDA Rural Housing Programs on October 1, 2013. However, with the “Continuing Appropriations Act, 2014” (H.R. 2775) signed into law by the President of the United States on October 16, 2013, eligible areas for USDA Rural Housing Programs remained unchanged and consistent with the 2000 Census through January 15, 2014.

On January 9, 2014, USDA sent out a memo stating “Eligible areas remain unchanged and continue in a “holding pattern” until either an appropriations bill or a continuing resolution is passed.”

Then on January 24, 2014 USDA sent a memo stating, “Barring Congressional action, USDA will begin using 2010 Census data to determine eligible rural areas for Rural Development housing programs on October 1, 2014.

Once the new maps are implemented the main areas in the Antelope Valley that will be eliminated from eligibility will be Rosamond and Lake Los Angeles.

Financial Independence Mortgage has specialized in funding this program for the last several years and it has been a great option for home buyers in the following areas of the Antelope Valley: Rosamond, Mojave, Antelope Acres, Acton, Littlerock, Lake Los Angeles, Pearblossom, Juniper Hills, Llano, Elizabeth Lake, Lake Hughes, Leona Valley and Valyermo.

In addition to zero down payment, the cost of the monthly payment is less than an FHA loan.  Guidelines are similar to FHA which makes qualifying easy for first-time homebuyers.

Eligible rural areas are defined as open country or towns, or places with a population up to 20,000 in Non-Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) Counties and less than 10,000 populations in MSA Counties, which are not a part of or associated with an urban area.

For a Free-PreQualification and to check for USDA eligible properties please contact Dean Henderson at 661-726-9000.

VA Buyer Allowable & Non-Allowable Fees

VA Home Loans

by Dean Henderson, Certified Military Housing Specialist

As our market tightens up and seller concessions are becoming more difficult to get I am getting many questions about what to ask for when writing a VA loan offer.  There are several fees a Veteran is forbidden to pay for in a VA loan financed transaction regardless of their willingness to pay.  When writing an offer on a home using VA financing a buyer must ask for at least a minimum amount of concessions to cover the VA Buyer’s Non-Allowable costs and Fees.

When using the standard C.A.R. form RPA-CA I would suggest the following wording on page 1, line 3D Additional Financing Terms: “Seller to pay 3% towards buyer’s recurring & non-recurring closing costs and VA Buyer Non-Allowable Fees.”

The actual percentage you request is negotiable but make sure you have enough to cover all the VA non-allowables.

Here is a summary of allowable and non-allowable costs from The Department of Veteran Affairs.


A Veteran may pay any of the following reasonable closing costs and fees:

  • 1% origination fee
  • Reasonable and customary loan discount points
  • VA appraisal fee – Usually about $450 for a Single Family Residence
  • VA compliance inspector fees – Only if required by the NOV (Notice of Value)
  • Recording fees- Usually about $100 – $150
  • Taxes and stamps
  • Credit report fees – Financial Independence Mortgage does not charge for this
  • Pre-paid items/Impounds
  • Insurances (hazard and flood, when required)
  • Flood zone determination
  • Well and septic inspection fees
  • Survey, if required by lender or veteran, except for surveys of condominiums
  • Title insurance(ALTA), title examination, title endorsement, title policy, title search
  • Environmental protection lien endorsement
  • VA funding fee – This is usually financed in the loan
  • Closing protection letter – Should not exceed $35
  • Fraud protection report
  • Termite, provided the loan is a cash-out refinance – The borrower may never pay these fees for purchase transactions
  • If a fee is not listed above, assume VA does NOT permit the veteran to pay it


Generally, the veteran may NOT pay any of the fees listed below.  The seller must pay the non-allowable fees.

The non-allowable fees are:

  • Attorney fees other than for title commitments
  • Lender’s inspections, except construction loan inspections and inspections required on the appraisal/NOV
  • Loan closing or settlement/escrow fees
  • Doc prep, underwriting, loan application, admin or processing fees
  • Assignment fees
  • Photographs
  • Interest rate lock-in fees
  • E-Mail, fax, copying, postage, stationery, telephone or other overhead charges
  • Amortization schedules, Truth-in-Lending fees, etc.
  • Notary fees
  • Escrow fees or charges
  • Commitment fees or marketing fees of secondary purchasers
  • Trustee fees
  • Fees charged by third parties, regardless of affiliation with lender
  • Tax service fees
  • Termite inspection fee for a purchase transaction
  • Attorney fee that benefits the lender
  • Real Estate Broker fee or Transaction Coordinator Fees
  • Brokerage fees or commissions charged by real estate agents or real estate brokers in connection with a VA loan
  • Prepayment penalties financed through a refinance transaction – When the payoff states a pre-payment penalty is due, veterans may pay pre-payment penalties out-of-pocket only
  • FHA/VA inspection fees for builders (Normal new construction inspections of the dwelling are permitted when required by the appraiser)
  • Any portion of the seller’s lien(s) or short sale fees
  • For purchase transactions, the cost of required repairs and inspections must be paid by the seller. This policy applies to all purchases, including purchases of REO properties. VA does not permit the veteran to pay for repairs other than minor termite damage repairs.

For more information about VA Home Loans please contact:

Dean Henderson, CRMS, GRI, CMHS

USA Cares
Certified Military Housing Specialist

Fiscal Cliff Deal Impact on Real Estate Market

H.R. 8

The mortgage industry can breathe a sigh of relief with the final fiscal cliff deal bringing back a popular tax break on mortgage insurance premiums and debt forgiveness for borrowers who go through a short-sale or some other type of debt reduction.

A topic that is still up for discussion and likely to surface later in the year is whether the popular mortgage interest tax deduction will be part of a long-term deficit reduction plan.

Still, the deal passed by the Senate and House on Jan. 1 is one that leaves room for hope in the housing market.

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (H.R. 8) apparently extends a law that expired at the end of 2011, which allowed for the deductibility of mortgage insurance premiums, according to a research report from Isaac Boltansky with Compass Point Research & Trading. The law now applies to fiscal years 2012 and 2013.

“The law dictates that eligible borrowers who itemize their federal tax returns and have an adjusted gross income (AGI) of less than $100,000 per year can deduct 100% of their annual mortgage insurance premiums,” Compass Point said.

The following are more items in H.R. 8 that are of interest to housing market:

Business Tax Items

Permanently extends the 2001/2003 tax rates for adjusted gross income levels under $450,000 ($400,000 single); good for small business and home builders, 80% of whom are pass-thru entities who pay taxes on the individual side of the code

Permanently extends the Alternative Minimum patch; again, good for small business owners who are frequently at risk of paying AMT

Permanently sets the parameters of the estate tax; positive for family-owned construction firms; codifies the 2010 $5 million exemption amount (indexed to inflation) and a 40 percent estate tax rate

Extends present law section 179 small business expensing through the end of 2013; offers cash flow and administrative cost benefits for small firms

Extends the section 45L new energy-efficient home tax credit through the end of 2013; allows a $2,000 tax credit for the construction of for sale and for-lease energy-efficient homes in buildings with fewer than three floors above grade

Homeowner Tax Items

Extends through the end of 2013 mortgage debt tax relief; important rule that prevents tax liability from many short sales or mitigation workouts involving forgiven, deferred or canceled mortgage debt

Deduction for mortgage insurance extended through the end of 2013; reduces the cost of buying a home when paying PMI or insurance for an FHA or VA- insured mortgage; $110,000 AGI phaseout remains

Extends the section 25C energy-efficient tax credit for existing homes through the end of 2013; important remodeling market incentive, although the lifetime cap remains at $500.

Reinstates the Pease/PEP phaseouts for deductions; for married taxpayers with AGI above $300,000 ($250,000 single), the Pease limitation reduces total itemized deductions by 3 percent for the dollar amount of AGI above the thresholds. This is a negative change for some high cost areas, but should only have small impacts. Example, a married household with $350,000 AGI would be $50,000 above the limit and must reduce their Schedule A total by $1,500 raising their taxes by about $500. Only a share of that would be due to the MID.

Multifamily Tax Items

Extends the 9percent LIHTC credit rate for allocations through the end of 2013; absent the credit fix, the LIHTC program would suffer a loss of equity investment for affordable housing projects

Extension through the end of 2013 of base housing allowance rules for affordable housing

Also noteworthy are items that are not in H.R. 8, including an itemized deduction cap or a defined fast-track tax reform process. Nonetheless, the return of the Pease rules suggests that items like the mortgage interest deduction will be under debate in 2013.

The resolution of the fiscal cliff now gives way to a series of mini-cliffs due to the need to raise the debt ceiling, establishing government spending levels and deal with the sequester. Over the long run, the future of housing demand, and interest rates in particular, will be affected by how Congress and the President solve the nation’s long-run deficit challenges.

For More Mortgage Information Contact:
Dean Henderson, CRMS
(661) 726-9000

The 2012 Election’s Impact on Our Real Estate Market

How can we expect the results of the recent 2012 election to effect our local real estate market?  Real Estate is the engine that drives not only our local economy but the global economy as well.  How our elected officials handle the Real Estate industry will determine the direction of our economic prosperity.  Check out this analysis from the RE Source guys:

For more information on the Antelope Valley Real Estate Market call:
Dean Henderson, CRMS