Help for first-time homebuyers

Last week, the Southern California Home Financing Authority, a joint powers authority between Los Angeles and Orange Counties, issued mortgage revenue bonds for the purpose of assisting low- and moderate-income first-time homebuyers in obtaining below-market rate first-mortgage loans.SCHFA issued $25 million in bonds to fund its First Home Program. It is anticipated that 80-100 loans will be originated under this bond issuance. The Program offers qualified first-time homebuyers one of two options: (1) a 4.70% interest rate without a grant for down payment and closing assistance; or (2) a 5.125% interest rate with a grant for down payment and closing cost assistance equal to 3% of the first loan amount. The program will also be used to purchase foreclosed properties in conjunction with the Community Development Commission's Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) and Housing Economic Recovery Ownership Program (HERO). Qualified veterans (even those who are not first-time homebuyers) may also use either of the two program options described above. The First Home Program offers the opportunity for homeowners with an adjustable rate loan made between 2002 through 2007, to refinance their existing loan with a 30-year fixed-rate loan at 4.70%. Other restrictions apply. "The First Home Program provides valuable assistance through grants and loans to families who might otherwise be unable to afford a home," said Sean Rogan, Executive Director of the Community Development Commission. "To date, working with participating private lenders, SCHFA has helped over 5,000 families in Los Angeles County purchase a home through its homebuyer programs," he added. Under the Program, the maximum annual family income cannot exceed $84,480 in Los Angeles County, and $103,320 in Orange County. The maximum home price is $708,495 for a new or existing home in both counties. These limits are subject to change under federal guidelines. Eligible homebuyers cannot have owned a home in the last three years, except in specified target areas. Additional information about the program and a list of participating lenders can be obtained at www.lacdc.org or by calling the Information Line at (323) 890-7249.

********** Published: February 12, 2010 - Volume 8 - Issue 43