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Contra Costa County, CA First Time Home Buyer

Apply to Get a Mortgage Loan to Buy Your First Home in Contra Costa County, CA
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Contra Costa County, CA – First Time Home Buyer Programs

Are you looking to purchase your first home? Our first time home buyer programs might be the perfect solution to help you obtain the financing you need to purchase the home you desire. We provide excellent home financing options, and encourage you to compare our offered loan terms to other mortgage lenders.

Contra Costa County, CA – First Time Home Buyer Loans

There are 5 types of first time home buyer loans.  You may select different loan terms, such as a fixed rate or adjustable rate mortgage, and the number of years to repay the loan (such as a 30 year fixed rate mortgage).

Types of Mortgages:

  • Conventional Loans – Conventional loans offer the best loan terms to borrowers with good or excellent credit (620 FICO or higher), as well as those who can afford to place a larger down payment.  If you are able to put 20% or more down, you will be able to avoid paying private mortgage insurance (PMI).  However, conventional loans also offer low down payment options, such as programs that only require 3% down.
  • FHA Loans – FHA loans are a good option for borrowers who may not be able to qualify for a conventional loan.  The qualification requirements for FHA loans are much more lenient than conventional loans.  This includes options for home buyers with credit scores as low as 500 (in order to qualify for a 3.5% down payment, you must have a credit score of at least 580).
  • USDA Loans – USDA loans provide home buyers the opportunity to purchase a home without any down payment.  These loans are intended for borrowers with low-to-moderate income.  In addition to not requiring any money down, you can also finance the closing costs into the loan.  This means you can essentially buy a home with no money out of pocket!
  • VA Loans – Active duty military members and veterans can apply for a VA loan which allows you to buy your first home without any down payment.  These loans are not available to the general public, but exclusively to military/veterans.
  • Jumbo Loans – Any loan that does not meet the conforming or FHA loan limits is a jumbo loan.  Contra Costa County has the same conforming and FHA loan limits, which for 2019 are:  Single unit: $726,525.  Two units: $930,300.  Three units: $1,124,475.  Four units: $1,397,400.  If you want to buy a more expensive home, and have the income to qualify, we provide what are known as jumbo loans up to $2,000,000.

The above 5 types of loans are the main first time home buyer options that exist.  We can help you determine which loan is the right fit for you based on your particular needs and eligibility.

Contra Costa County, CA – Down Payment Assistance Programs
First time home buyers in Contra Costa County, CA may be eligible to receive down payment assistance.  This includes a statewide program, as well as programs offered exclusively in various cities in Contra Costa County.  You may learn about what programs are currently available below.

CalHFA – MyHome Assistance Program 

The California Housing Finance Agency offers up to 3.5% of the purchase price in down payment assistance.  The funds are provided as a deferred payment loan, which does not have to be paid back until you sell the home.

Requirements

  • Purchase a home in the state of California.
  • Be a first time home buyer.
  • Occupy the home as your primary residence.
  • Complete a homebuyer education course.
  • Meet the income limits for your county.
  • Purchase a home within for less than $765,000 (the maximum sales price allowed statewide).

To learn more about this program, visit the California Housing Finance Agency website.

City of Brentwood – Down Payment Assistance Program (DAP)

The City of Brentwood offers up to $10,o00 in down payment assistance.  The money is provided as a deferred loan, and does not require any monthly payments.  It only must be paid back once you sell the home, or refinance your mortgage.  To qualify for the assistance, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a first time home buyer (or have not owned a home in the last 3 years).
  • Complete a homebuyer education course.
  • The maximum purchase price allowed is $637,645.
  • Your household income must not exceed 120% of the area median income.

To learn more about this program, visit the City of Brentwood website.

City of Pittsburg – First Time Homebuyer Program

The City of Pittsburg offers up to $20,o00 in down payment assistance.  The funds are provided as a deferred loan with a 30 year loan term, and 3% interest rate.  Monthly payments are not required.  The money only must be paid back once you sell the home, or refinance with cash out.  To qualify for the assistance, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a first time home buyer (or have not owned a home in the last 3 years).
  • Complete a homebuyer education course.
  • Contribute at least 1% of the purchase price from your own personal funds.
  • The maximum purchase price allowed is $458,000 for an existing home, and $536,000 for new construction.
  • Your household income must not exceed 80% of the area median income.  These income limits are based on how many persons live in your household.  You may view the current income limits below.

Income Limits

  • 1 person household – $62,750
  • 2 person household – $71,700
  • 3 person household – $80,650
  • 4 person household – $89,600
  • 5 person household – $96,800
  • 6 person household – $103,950
  • 7 person household – $111,150
  • 8 person household – $118,300

To learn more about this program, visit the City of Pittsburg website.

City of Walnut Creek – First-Time Homebuyers Assistance Program

The City of Walnut Creek offers up to 17% in down payment assistance (not to exceed $65,000).  The funds are provided as a deferred second mortgage.  You do not have to make monthly payments on the loan, and repayment is only required once you sell the property, refinance your mortgage, or after 45 years.  To qualify for the assistance, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You must have either lived or worked in the City of Walnut Creek for at least 90 days prior to applying.
  • Be a first time home buyer (or have not owned a home in the last 3 years).
  • Complete a homebuyer education course.
  • The maximum purchase price allowed is $637,645.
  • Your household income must not exceed 120% of the area median income.  These income limits are outlined below.

Income Limits

  • 1 person household – $87,700
  • 2 person household – $100,250
  • 3 person household – $112,700
  • 4 person household – $125,300
  • 5 person household – $135,300
  • 6 person household – $145,300
  • 7 person household – $155,350
  • 8 person household – $165,400

To learn more about this program, visit the City of Walnut Creek website.

City of Concord – First Time Homebuyer Program

The City of Concord, in partnership with the non-profit Hello Housing, offers up to $40,000 in down payment assistance.  The funds are provided as a deferred loan with a 15 year loan term.  Monthly payments are not required.  The money only must be paid back once you sell the home, or after 15 years.  To qualify for the assistance, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a first time home buyer (or have not owned a home in the last 3 years).
  • Complete a homebuyer education course.
  • Occupy the home as your primary residence.
  • Contribute at least 3% of the purchase price from your own personal funds.
  • In order to qualify, you must meet the income limits.  The amount of assistance that you can receive also depends on your income.  You can view the income limits below.

Income Limits

If your income is at or below 60% of the median income, you may be able to receive up to $40,000.  Below are the limits to be at or below 60%:

  • 1 person household – $43,860
  • 2 person household – $50,100
  • 3 person household – $56,370
  • 4 person household – $62,640
  • 5 person household – $67,650
  • 6 person household – $72,660
  • 7 person household – $77,660

If your income is between 61% and 80% of the median income, you may be able to receive up to $30,000.  Below are the limits to be between 61% and 80%:

  • 1 person household – $62,750
  • 2 person household – $71,700
  • 3 person household – $80,650
  • 4 person household – $89,600
  • 5 person household – $96,800
  • 6 person household – $103,950
  • 7 person household – $111,150

If your income is between 81% and 100% of the median income, you may be able to receive up to $20,000.  Below are the limits to be between 81% and 100%:

  • 1 person household – $73,100
  • 2 person household – $83,500
  • 3 person household – $93,950
  • 4 person household – $104,400
  • 5 person household – $112,750
  • 6 person household – $121,100
  • 7 person household – $129,450

To learn more about this program, visit the Hello Housing website.

Would you like some help learning about what down payment assistance programs may be available to you?  Our loan specialists have a great deal of expertise on these programs, and can help you understand the qualifications, and see if you are eligible.   It is certainly worth the effort to find out!  To get some expert help, request a free consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions About Buying Your First Home

How much do I need for a down payment?
It depends on the type of loan you want.  USDA and VA loans often will not require any down payment.  FHA loans require a 3.5% down payment, which if you get down payment assistance, only .5% is required.  Conventional loans typically require either 3% or 5%.

How do I know if I am ready and prepared to own a home?
It is critical to consider the often unexpected expenses of buying a home. This includes repairs, maintenance, and of course furnishing the home, monthly utilities, and all other expenses that are associated with homeownership. A common mistake is to just look at the difference in rent to your total mortgage payment. Almost every year, you can expect to have to pay for various upkeep to keep the property functional. This can include anything from repairing a hot water heater that broke, to landscaping, and various maintenance.

Something else financial consultants advise is that you have at least 3 months of reserves. This means that you could afford to make your new mortgage payment for at least 3 months in the event that you lose a job or have some other unforeseen circumstance that the savings would be needed for. This is not a requirement for most home loans, but it is good advice to consider.

How much can I afford to borrow?
The amount that you can borrow depends on your particular loan type and income. There are maximum loan limits which are set at the county level. Conforming loan limits are the maximum lending amount allowed for conventional mortgages. FHA loans have their own loan limits. You can search the maximum loan amount for your county for each particular loan type by entering your zip code (or any zip code for the county you want to buy a home in). This will display the maximum amount available for all loan types. This is not necessarily how much you can borrow though, but the max amount in your location. Your personal limits will be based upon your income and how much debt you have. For instance, with most loans, you can not have a mortgage payment and debts exceed 43% of your income.

Can I buy a home without a real estate agent?
It depends on your state and the type of loan program.  For some states, you must use an agent.  In other states, you are not required to use a real estate agent for many loan program, such as conventional mortgages.  However, some loan types require that you use a real estate agent regardless of your location, such as USDA loans.

Can I buy a home if I owe tax debt?
For government-backed loans, such as FHA, VA, and USDA loans, you can buy a home with tax debt as long as you have made a payment plan with the IRS and are not behind on the payments. Any federal debt must be in good standing in order to get a government-based mortgage. If your tax debts have moved into the status of a tax lien, this will prevent you from getting a home loan until it is resolved.

Can I buy a home if I have student loans?
As long as you are not delinquent on the student loan payments and the monthly payments do not cause excessive debt-to-income ratios, you can still get a mortgage.

Can I buy a home without my spouse?
A common question is if you can buy a house without your wife or husband.  The short answer is yes. There are numerous reasons someone may want to exclude their spouse from a mortgage application, such as lower credit, lack of job history or income, or one spouse having excessive debt that could prevent an approval. You may be able to qualify and get a home loan without your spouse.

Have more questions about buying your first home?  Give us a call at 1-800-731-3560.

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