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First-Time Homebuyers

How to Apply – Watch the Video



Information for Homebuyers

The San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) offers deferred-payment loans and homeownership grants to help low- and moderate-income families buy their first homes.

The SDHC First-Time Homebuyer Program* can assist with the purchase of a single-family home, townhome or condominium in the City of San Diego. Eligible buyers earning no more than 80 percent of San Diego’s Area Medan Income may qualify for a deferred-payment, second trust deed loan of up to 22 percent of the purchase price (based on the buyer’s need), with the interest rate set at 3 percent.

This program is funded primarily through federal U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) HOME Investment Partnerships Program grants to the City of San Diego that are administered by SDHC.

Additional funding sources include federal Community Development Block Grant funds, State CalHome Program funds, and City of San Diego Affordable Housing Funds.

Since 1988, SDHC has helped more than 5,900 families and individuals buy their first homes.

*SDHC First-Time Homebuyer Program loans and grants cannot be used in conjunction with the Affordable For-Sale Housing Program.

In addition to City of San Diego, SDHC administers the following other programs for neighboring jurisdictions:

Each first-time homebuyer program administered by the San Diego Housing Commission has different eligibility requirements and features. See the program descriptions and guidelines below.

Applying for the First-Time Homebuyer Programs

  1. Contact a loan officer from our Participating Lender list. The loan officer will be the primary point of contact from pre-approval to loan closing. The loan officer collects all required documentation and submits the application on the borrower’s behalf to SDHC.
  2. Review San Diego’s Area Median Income (AMI) limits to confirm your household annual gross income (before taxes) does not exceed the limit for your family size. This includes the income of all adult household members.
  3. Review the program descriptions and guidelines for the appropriate jurisdiction (e.g., City of San Diego, County of San Diego etc.) found below under Forms and Documents.
  4. Attend a Homebuyer Education Course with an SDHC-approved provider.
  5. Work with a real estate agent to find a property.

 

City of San Diego
(ZIP Codes beginning with 921)
County of San Diego (12 participating cities and unincorporated areas – See Program Guidelines for specific cities) City of Chula Vista City of El Cajon
Available Assistance Deferred-payment Loan for down payment:

  • Up to 22% of the purchase price

Grant for closing costs (forgiven)

  • 4% of the purchase price up to $10,000

Forgivable loan for closing costs

  • 4% of the purchase price up to $10,000
Deferred-payment Loan for down payment:

  • Up to 17% of the purchase price

Loan for closing costs

  • 4% of the purchase price up to $10,000
Deferred-payment Loan:

  • Up to 22% of the purchase price—not to exceed $120,000—for down payment and closing costs
Deferred-payment Loan:

  • Up to 22% of the purchase price—not to exceed $150,000 for single-family homes and townhomes OR $100,000 for condominiums—for down payment and closing costs
Interest Rate 3% Simple Interest 3% Simple Interest 3% Simple Interest Shared Equity (see Program Guidelines)
Income Limit 80% of San Diego’s Area Median Income
(For forgivable loans for closing costs, the maximum income is 100% of Area Median Income.)
80% of San Diego’s Area Median Income 80% of San Diego’s Area Median Income 80% of San Diego’s Area Median Income
Maximum Purchase Price Attached: $603,250
Detached: $1,030,750
Effective December 2022
Attached: $589,000 Detached: $589,000
Effective June 2022
Attached: $570,000
Detached: $826,500
Effective July 2022
Attached: $418,000
Detached: $722,000
Effective July 2022
Funding Availability
(as of December 1, 2022)
Funds Available Funds Available Funds Available Funds Available
Additional Information Program Guidelines Program Guidelines Program Guidelines Program Guidelines
Additional Terms No payments are required for 30 years, unless the owner sells or no longer occupies the home as a primary residence, at which time the principal balance, including accrued interest, must be repaid.

To qualify, the buyer must obtain a fixed-rate first trust deed loan; have adequate income, a good credit rating; and provide a minimum down payment of 3 percent. Applicants also must attend a homebuyer education class and pre-purchase counseling.

 

Forms & Documents

City of San Diego Guidelines

County of San Diego Guidelines

City of Chula Vista Guidelines

City of El Cajon Guidelines

Area Median Income Chart

FTHB Program Summary Chart

Approved Home Inspectors

Homebuyer Education and Pre Purchase Counseling Providers

Participating Lenders

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