Phase 1 of CalHFA’s Dream for All program, which launched in March 2023, was in such high demand that the allocated funds of $300MM were all accounted for within 11 days, per KQED.  The program helped 2,182 new homeowners purchase a home, with 55% self-identifying as belonging to communities of color. Phase 2 is now rolling out, and I anticipate there will be significant demand again.

To be prepared, here are some of its details:

What is the Dream For All Program?

The Dream For All is a shared appreciation program provided by the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) to help support homeownership and affordability for California residents. It provides down payment and closing cost assistance for first generation homebuyers when used in conjunction with CalHFA’s Dream For All 1st mortgage conventional loan program.

What Are the Eligibility Requirements? 

What are the Steps to Apply?

    1. Contact a CalHFA-approved lender (me!) to apply and secure the California Dream For All Preapproval Letter. This letter is required to register for a voucher in April.
    2. Take the 1-hour Dream For All education course, which most importantly reviews what shared appreciation is and how you are affected when you sell or refinance. This is a free course and you can take the course and secure your certificate here
    3. Register for the DFA voucher when the portal opens up on April 3, 2024; registration closes April 29, 2024. Unlike Phase 1, this is not “first come; first served”, there will be a random lottery per county.
    4. Work with your real estate agent to find a home within the timeframe required on the voucher (you will have 90 days to shop for a home, enter into contract and for the lender to register your loan through CalHFA’s system)
    5. Once in contract, normal processing and locking in will occur

Other Information and Details:

    • The maximum DFA loan amount is either $150,000 OR 20% of the purchase price/appraised value, whichever is less
    • This is a “Silent Second” loan, meaning no payments are due on a monthly basis, and you do not need to pay it back until repayment is triggered. So what triggers repayment?
      • selling the property
      • refinancing or paying off the 1st mortgage loan
      • repaying the actual DFA 2nd loan
    • How much you need to pay back: (1) the original loan amount you borrowed PLUS (2) a share of your home’s appreciation based on the percentage amount you borrowed. If you are considered low income and borrowed 20% of the purchase price, you will owe 15% of the increased value. If you borrowed 20% of value and fall in the moderate income category, then you will owe 20% of the increased value
    • Funds are allocated to 9 geographical regions. Your current address determines the region you will be placed in for the random selection process
      • Bay Area: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano and Sonoma Counties
      • Capital: El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento, and Yolo Counties
      • Central Coast: Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz and Ventura Counties
      • Central Valley: Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Tulare Counties
      • Inland Empire: Imperial, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties
      • Los Angeles: Los Angeles County
      • Orange County: Orange County
      • Rural Areas: Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Inyo, Lake, Lassen, Mariposa, Mendocino, Modoc, Mono, Nevada, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tuolumne and Yuba Counties
      • San Diego: San Diego County
    • Access to the portal is located here and will open on 4/3/24 at 8a and close on 4/29/24 at 5p
    • The lottery selection will occur in mid-May, and if you are selected, you will receive a voucher via email
    • Only one application is allowed per household; if duplicate apps are completed, then all applications are removed
    • The maximum contribution you can provide is 5% of the purchase price, so qualifying for this program will also depend on the purchase price range you are looking for

This program isn’t right for everyone, but it is becoming available to help support homeownership and affordability in California. If you are interested in more details about Dream For All, or know someone who is, contact me via email or phone.