first time home buyers
First Time Home Buyers

Being a first time home buyer is exciting but can also feel overwhelming. Purchasing a home is a major milestone and may be in a list of financial fears for most, especially for first time home buyers.

As you consider purchasing a home, you may have come across down payment assistance and several mortgage programs that aim to assist first time home buyers. These programs can be sponsored by government programs, as well as private banks and individual lenders and sometimes specific to income, location, and even occupation. Let’s look at some of them to help you enter the market with confidence:

Down Payment Assistance

Down payment assistance programs provide home buyers with some or all of the funds needed for a down payment. They are aimed at people who would otherwise not be able to afford the down payment, especially first time buyers. Several government agencies provide down payment assistance programs for first-time home buyers with low to moderate incomes. Offered by private lenders, there tends to be more competition for these funds. Make sure to make contact with a loan officer to identify potential programs that may be available to you.

If you have limited funds but still desire home ownership, you can still take advantage of the various low down payment loan programs or utilize a down payment assistance program to help increase the amount of funds you have available to put down on a home. In California, you’re considered a first-time home buyer if you haven’t owned and occupied a home in three years. You can take advantage of several programs to help with down payment from The California Housing Finance Agency, or CalHFA that offers a comprehensive selection of home buyer assistance programs.

FHA Loans

The Federal Housing Administration provides various mortgage loan programs, which typically require smaller down payments (as low as 3 percent), making it easier for first time home buyers to afford a home. Many of these loans require mortgage insurance that will be an added cost above your mortgage and tax payments – meaning: higher loan payments and less equity in the home initially. FHA loans aren’t for everybody, and you should speak to a loan officer about your options before proceeding.

VA Loans

These loans are guaranteed by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. While these loans are not issued by the Veteran’s Affairs office, they are guaranteed. With these guarantees in hand, veterans and service people can obtain home loans with better terms and sometimes with no money down. Additionally, many lenders limit VA loans to a maximum loan amount, varying by state.


Buying your first home can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be. Get into home ownership comfortably with helpful advice from your trusted Bakersfield Realtor.

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