California is helping first-time homebuyers with a down payment assistance program called California Dream For All Shared Appreciation Loan.

California is helping first-time homebuyers with a down payment assistance program called California Dream For All Shared Appreciation Loan.

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First-time homebuyers in California can get some relief in today’s real estate market thanks to the state’s Dream For All Shared Appreciation Loan program.

The Dream For All Shared Appreciation Loan helps first-time homebuyers with down payments, according to the California Housing Finance Agency. It’s only until you sell or transfer the home that you’ll need to repay the original down payment loan in addition to a portion of the appreciated value of the home.

Initially funded by the state for $500 million, according to the League of California Cities, Gov. Gavin Newsom is scaling back the program in this year’s budget for $300 million.

Who is eligible?

There are guidelines for both applicants and properties.

If you’re interested in applying for the loan, you must be, according to the website:

  • Be a first-time homebuyer, meaning you haven’t owned your own home in the last three years.
  • Occupy the property as a primary residence; non-occupant co-borrowers are not allowed.
  • CalHFA borrowers must complete two levels of homebuyer education counseling and obtain a certificate of completion through an eligible homebuyer counseling organization.
  • Meet CalHFA income limits for this program.

Income limits vary by county and range from $159,000 to $300,000.

Properties must be:

  • Be a single-family, one-unit residence, including approved condominium/planned unit developments
    • Guest houses, granny units and in-law quarters may be eligible
  • Manufactured housing is permitted
  • Condominiums must meet the guidelines of the first mortgage

What is CA homebuyer education counseling?

Homebuyer education is required for California Housing Finance Agency programs.

Only one person on the loan has to take the course, and it can be completed online or in-person.

The eHome’s eight-hour Homebuyer Education is an online course accepted by the agency and start at $99. NeighborWorks America or any HUD-Approved Housing Counseling Agency offers virtual and in-person courses.

How to apply for housing assistance

To apply, you’ll need to meet with a loan officer who will help you through the program and homebuying process, the agency stated.

You can find a CalHFA recommended loan officer near you online.

Before meeting with your loan officer, be sure to have documents ready, including pay stubs, bank statements, employment history and tax returns.

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This story was originally published March 27, 2023, 10:05 AM.

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Hanh Truong is a reporter on The Sacramento Bee’s service journalism desk. She was previously a freelance journalist, covering education and culture for PBS SoCal and music for


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