Dan Lachman, program manager of The Housing Trust of Santa Clara County, wants REALTORS® to inform their clients that The Housing Trust can provide assistance to first-time home buyers.

“We have money to help your first-time home buyers,” Lachman announced at a recent REALTOR® meeting.

The Housing Trust offers three main financial assistance programs for first-time home buyers – the Closing Cost Assistance Program (CCAP), the Mortgage Assistance Program (MAP) and Equity Share Co-Investment (ESCO):

Closing Cost Assistance Program (CCAP)
The Housing Trust will provide up to $6,500 to help pay for closing costs and other transaction expenses associated with purchasing a first home. This program provides a deferred loan of 3 percent of the purchase price up to $15,000 for down payment and/or closing costs.  The loan is not repaid until the house is sold or the owner refinances. No interest or principal payments are due during the term of the loan.

Mortgage Assistance Program (MAP)
MAP is a second mortgage of up to $35,000 available to first-time home buyers in Santa Clara County. The Housing Trust MAP loan is a conventional second mortgage, with interest and principal payments due monthly and compatible with most banks and credit unions. It is a 30-year amortizing loan with the interest rate at 1.5 percent above the rate of the first loan.

To qualify for the CCAP and MAP, the income of a single-member household cannot exceed $86,950, or household income for a four-member household cannot exceed $124,200.

Equity Share Co-Investment (ESCO)
The Housing Trust will advance as much as $75,000 to first-time home buyers. The money will be used to match a buyer’s down payment. Payments on the ESCO loan will not be due until 15 years later, or until the house is sold or the borrower refinances. The borrower repays the loan based on the appreciation of the home in equal proportions to the amount of the original down payments. To qualify for the program, the income of a single-member household cannot exceed $103,390, or the household income of a four-member household cannot exceed $147,700.

Since 2001 The Housing Trust has provided 2,100 down payment assistance loans. Also, The Housing Trust’s definition of first-time home buyer is different from the state or federal government’s definition. A person who has not owned a home in Santa Clara County during the last three years is considered a first-time home buyer by The Housing Trust and may apply for assistance, according to Lachman.

Ask your REALTOR® about The Housing Trust of Santa Clara County, or visit www.housingtrustcc.org to learn more about these and other assistance programs.