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HUD High Performing Agency
First Time Homebuyers
The San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) offers deferred loans, closing-cost assistance grants, and mortgage credit certificates to help low- and moderate-income residents become first-time homebuyers. Since 1990, we’ve helped 5,028 families and individuals buy their first homes.
There are three different homebuyer programs, the latest of which was created in 2009 with limited funding under the federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP). The NSP is funded in whole or in part with funds provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). In addition, SDHC operates a citywide first-time homebuyer program and administers a homebuyer program for the City of La Mesa.
First-Time Homebuyer Programs
Who is Eligible?
SDHC's primary program is limited to those planning to buy a home within the City of San Diego, or neighorhoods with postal ZIP codes that begin with 921. “First-time homebuyer” is defined as someone who has not owned a home for at least three years. Each homebuyer program has limits on annual household income and the purchase price of a home.
Assistance offered under this program includes:
3% Interest Deferred Payment Loan
Eligible buyers earning no more than 100 percent AMI may qualify to receive a "3% Interest Deferred Payment" loan of up to 17 percent of the purchase price. No payments are required for 30 years, unless you sell or no longer occupy the home as your primary residence, at which time you are required to pay back the principal and the accrued interest. To qualify, you must obtain a fixed-rate first trust deed loan and have adequate income, a good credit rating, and provide a minimum down payment of 3 percent. Applicants also must attend a homebuyer education class.
Closing Cost Assistance
Assistance is available to help homebuyers pay closing costs. Households whose earnings are no greater than 80 percent of the AMI are eligible for up to $15,000 or 4 percent of the purchase price whichever is less. Households whose earnings are no greater than 100 percent of the AMI are eligible for up to $10,000, or 4 percent of the purchase price whichever is less. The assistance must be repaid if the home is sold, refinanced or no longer owner-occupied within the first six years, after which it is forgiven.
Mortgage Credit Certificate
Qualified homebuyers with income not exceeding 140 percent of AMI may claim a federal income tax credit of either 15 percent or 20 percent of the annual interest paid on their mortgage for as long as they reside in the home. The resulting reduction in tax burden increases buyers’ net earnings and helps them qualify for a mortgage. Homebuyers may have to repay the tax if they sell their residence within nine years.
1122 Broadway, Suite 300, San Diego, CA 92101
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