Learn about CalHFA’s financing options and eligibility requirements.
Most people borrow the large amount of money they need to buy a home. This type of borrowing is called a first mortgage loan. There are also mortgage loans that can help out with down payment or closing costs, called junior loans.
CalHFA has first and junior loan options for low to moderate income families, including low to zero interest rate down payment assistance loans. CalHFA does not accept loan applications directly. A CalHFA approved Lender will qualify you for a home loan, so you will need to apply with one of our Preferred Loan Officers or approved Lenders (See Step 2). You can find the details about CalHFA mortgage loans by clicking the “Loan Programs” tab above.
You’ll also want to look at our income limits, sales price limits, and other eligibility criteria. You can find out more by clicking on the “Borrower & Property Eligibility” tabs above. Another option is to use our Eligibility Calculator to see what programs are right for you.
Don’t forget to check with your local housing authorities and agencies for other financing options.
Talk to a CalHFA Preferred Loan Officer to get pre-qualified for a loan amount.
After determining if you are eligible for a CalHFA home loan, the next step is to speak to a knowledgeable loan officer and get pre-qualified to determine how much of a loan you can afford. You may also use a prequalification calculator to give you an idea of where you stand financially before contacting one of our Preferred Loan Officers. Click on the “Find a Loan Officer” tab above to contact a Loan Officer in your area.
Attend a homebuyer education course if you are a first-time homebuyer.
If you are a first-time homebuyer, and have been pre-qualified, you must attend a homebuyer education course. This education will help you understand the importance and responsibilities of homeownership. In order to obtain a CalHFA home loan, your loan officer must produce your certificate of completion from one of the following entities:
- ONLINE: You can take eHome's eight-hour Homebuyer Education course online
- IN-PERSON: face-to-face Homebuyer Education through NeighborWorks America or any HUD-Approved Housing Counseling Agency
(fee: varies by agency)
Start looking for a home.
Talk to a local Realtor to guide you through this process
Once you’ve found a home that fits most of your needs and is in your price range, make an offer through your real estate agent. If your offer is accepted, congratulations! If not, don’t lose heart, and don’t feel pressured into making an offer that’s outside your budget; there are other homes just waiting for the right new owner.