First Time Home Buyer Down Payment Assistance with Zip Extra Program

First Time Home Buyer Down payment assistance is now easier than ever thanks to California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA).

The Agency has made buying a home even easier for California first time home buyers.  Since a down payment is usually the biggest factor in preventing people from becoming homeowners, CalHFA has come out with a new program for first time buyers.  The program offers down payment assistance in the form of a silent second loan with deferred payments.

Qualified first time buyers may apply for the CalPlUS loan (97% LTV Conventional financing, or a 96.5% FHA loan) combined with the Zip Extra down payment assistance (3% of the first loan plus $6,500 for conventional loans or 3.5% of the first loan plus $6,500 for FHA loans).

CalPLUS loans are fixed rated mortgage loans amortized over 30 years, so the payments are the same over the life of the loan and  they will never adjust upward.  The Zip Extra down payment assistance is a silent second mortgage with zero percent interest.  Payments are deferred on the Zip Extra loan, so there are no payments until the home is transferred, sold, or in some cases refinanced.

For even greater benefits, the  CalPLUS with ZIP Extra can also be combined with: Š

  • California Homebuyer’s Downpayment Assistance Program (CHDAP) – deferred payment junior loan of 3% of the purchase price for down payment and/or closing costs  Š
  • Extra Credit Teacher Program (ECTP) – up to $15,000 in a deferred payment loan for teachers and staff serving high priority schools Š
  • Mortgage Credit Certificate Program (MCC) – federal income tax credit that may lower your taxes and increase disposable income

First time home buyers can also benefit by the new book How to Buy a Home and Walk Away a Winner by California Real Estate Broker Dawn Anderson.   The highly recommended book is a step by step guide to buying a home and gives great tips on checking out your credit and choosing a loan officer before buying the home.  It’s available at for about the price of a coffee.  You can click on the photo to learn more.  When choosing a loan officer, make sure you ask about the CalPLUS program to take advantage of the down payment assistance for which you may qualify.


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