California ‘Dream For All’ Loan Re-Opens for First-Time Home Buyers

April 3, 2024 - 2 min read

California Dreamin’

California first-time home buyers who need down payment assistance have a new program to apply to — if they act fast.

The California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) relaunched its Dream for All Shared Appreciation Loan Program with a 27-day window for applicants.

If you meet the requirements and get selected, you could receive a grant of up to $150,000. Here’s how.

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The Dream For All Shared Appreciation Loan

Affordability stands as a barrier to many first-time home buyers, especially in an expensive state like California.

Luckily, there is help available for prospective borrowers. The California Dream for All Shared Appreciation Loan Program (DFA) provides down payment assistance funding up to 20% or $150,000 of the home’s sales price.

The application portal will be open from April 3 to April 29.

In order to qualify for CalHFA’s DFA program, at least one borrower must be a first-generation home buyer, all borrowers must be first-timers, and must meet the income limits for their county. You’ll also need to meet CalHFA’s overall borrower eligibility requirements.

The program is designed to give more people access into homeownership and the ability to accrue wealth. For that help, you’ll have to pay back some of those gains when you sell your property. The state housing authority will collect the initial 20% plus a percentage of the increased value of your home.

“The California Dream For All program is all about opening doors for first-generation home buyers and offering more opportunities for future generations,” CalHFA Executive Director Tiena Johnson Hall said in a statement to The Mortgage Reports. “Homeownership has many financial benefits, from building equity that can help fund a college education to providing stable housing costs without the worry of rent increases.”

Launched by the CalHFA in Spring 2023, the DFA loan program distributed $300 million to 2,182 buyers last year. Depending on how much assistance each homeowner receives, an estimated 1,600 to 2,000 homeowners will be helped in 2024, according to a CalHFA spokesperson.

Winners will be selected through a lottery draw after the application period ends on April 29. However, CalHFA recommends to apply earlier rather than later so you have plenty of time to gather all your documentation and go through any possible validation processes.

The median California home sales price reached $785,600 in February, an annual gain of 11.4%, according to Redfin.

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The Bottom Line

Affordability can be tough if you’re a first-time home buyer in California.

If you meet the eligibility requirements, the California Dream for All Shared Appreciation Loan Program can help you become a homeowner. And if you don’t meet them, many other assistance programs exist.

If you’re ready to begin or learn more, talk to a local mortgage professional to see what you qualify for.

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Paul Centopani
Authored By: Paul Centopani
The Mortgage Reports Editor
Paul Centopani is a writer and editor who started covering the lending and housing markets in 2018. Previous to joining The Mortgage Reports, he was a reporter for National Mortgage News. Paul grew up in Connecticut, graduated from Binghamton University and now lives in Chicago after a decade in New York and the D.C. area.
Aleksandra Kadzielawski
Reviewed By: Aleksandra Kadzielawski
The Mortgage Reports Editor
Aleksandra is the Senior Editor at The Mortgage Reports, where she brings 10 years of experience in mortgage and real estate to help consumers discover the right path to homeownership. Aleksandra received a bachelor’s degree from DePaul University. She is also a licensed real estate agent and a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR).