First Time Homebuyer Sacramento

BY: Jason Whigham
December 12, 2022



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Sacramento first time home buyer

CalHFA knows that purchasing a house is a significant responsibility. But it's also a great opportunity. Your home is your opportunity to paint it with your favorite color, grow vegetables and plants flowers, and make an investment in your own future.

You should prepare before you dive into the many benefits of homeownership. Here are some easy steps to help you prepare for homeownership and take advantage of CalHFA's loan programs.

FIRST TIME HOMEBUYER SACRAMENTO - CalHFA: Your steps to homeownership


Get information about CalHFA’s financial options and eligibility requirements.

People borrow large amounts of money to purchase a home. This type of borrowing is known as a first mortgage loans. You can also get a mortgage loan to help you pay down your closing costs. These are called junior loans.

CalHFA offers junior and first loans to low to moderate-income families. These include assistance loans with low interest rates or no down payment. CalHFA is unable to accept loan applications. CalHFA approval will make you eligible for a home loan. You will need to apply with one our Preferred Loan Officers, or approved Lenders (See Step 2). The Loan Programs tab above will provide more details on CalHFA mortgage loans.

Our income limits, as well as other eligibility criteria, are worth a look. To learn more, click on the "Borrower & Property Elligibility" tabs. To find the right programs for you, another option is to use our Eligibility Calculator.

You should also check with local housing authorities for additional financing options.



Speak to a CalHFA Pre-qualified Loan Officer to be pre-qualified to borrow the amount.

Next, determine if you qualify for a CalHFA Home Loan. Then speak to a qualified loan officer to get prequalified. A prequalification calculation can be used to get an idea of your financial position before you contact one our Preferred loan officers. To find a local Loan Officer, click the " Locate a Loan officer" tab.

Step 3

Register for a homebuyer training course if this is your first homebuying experience.

A homebuyer education course is required for first-time homebuyers who have been pre-qualified. This will teach you the value and responsibilities associated with homeownership. Your loan officer from CalHFA must present your certificate of completion from any of the following entities in order to be eligible for a CalHFA Home Loan.


  • IN-PERSON - Face-to face Homebuyer Education with NeighborWorks USA and any HUD approved Housing Counseling Agency
    (Fee: The cost varies depending on the agency)


Step 4.

Get started looking for a place to call home.

For help, talk to a local Realtor

After finding a home that meets your most important needs and falls within your budget, you can make an offer through your agent. Congratulations if you get accepted. Don't be discouraged if you don't get accepted. There are many other homes that are waiting for the right owner.


  1. What are the eligibility requirements for CalHFA?
    For more information on eligibility, please refer to the Borrower tab.
  2. What is the Credit Score requirement
    Each program has its own requirements for credit scores. The minimum score, however, is between 640 to 680 depending on other factors. A preferred loan officer can evaluate your financial situation and determine what score you will need to qualify.
  3. What programs are offered?
    CalHFA offers several programs for first mortgage and down payment assistance. All of these programs are listed under the loan Programs tab.
  4. What is the interest rates?

    Rates of interest can vary depending on financial conditions, lender fees and other factors. Interest rates are subject to change every day. For an accurate rate quote, we recommend that you consult a loan agent.

  5. What are the income limitations?
    Income limits differ depending on which program is used and where the property is located. You can find the Income Limits in each of the Program Descriptions. The details of income limits are available in the borrower requirements section within each Program description.
  6. CalHFA sets sales prices limits for homes I wish to purchase.
    CalHFA has no sales price limitations.
  7. What is the 2023 loan limits for California? The 2022 Conforming loan limit in California is now $647,200 for most counties and in some high-cost counties, it's as high as $970,800
First Time Home Buyer Sacramento
First Time Home Buyer Sacramento

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CalHFA's Steps to Homeownership

Step 1

Find out about CalHFA's eligibility requirements and financing options.


The majority of people borrow the money needed to purchase a house. This is a first mortgage loan. Junior loans are mortgage loans that help with closing costs or down payments. CalHFA offers first and junior loans for families with low to moderate incomes, as well as low- to no interest rate down payment assistance loans. CalHFA does NOT accept loan applications. CalHFA will only approve you for a loan if you apply to one of our approved Loan Officers (see Step 2). Click the "Loan Programs” tab to find out more about CalHFA mortgage loans.

Also, be sure to check out our income limits and other eligibility requirements. Click on the tabs "Borrower & Property eligibility" above to find out more. You can also use our Eligibility Calculator, to determine which programs are best for you.

For other financing options, make sure to contact your local housing authority and agencies.

Step 2

To be pre-qualified for a loan amount, speak to a CalHFA preferred Loan Officer.

Once you have determined if you are eligible to receive a CalHFA loan for your home, you should speak with a knowledgeable loan officer to get pre-qualified. This will allow you to decide how much you can afford. A prequalification calculator can be used to get a sense of your financial situation before you contact one of our preferred loan officers. To contact a local Loan Officer, click on the tab "Find A Loan Officer".

Step 3

If you're a first-time buyer, take a homebuyer education class.

You must take a homebuyer education class if you are a first-time buyer and you have been prequalified. This course will teach you about homeownership and the responsibilities that come with it. To be eligible for a CalHFA loan home, your loan officer will need to produce your certificate from one of these entities.

ONLINE: Take eHome's 8-hour Homebuyer Education Course Online

(fee: $99)'

IN-PERSON: Face-to-face Homebuyer Education via NeighborWorks America, or any other HUD-Approved Housing Counseling Agency

(Fee: This varies from agency to agency).

Step 4

Begin looking for a house.

Ask a local Realtor Jenifer Whigham of Keller Williams El Dorado Hills and partners for help (916) 370-6584.

After you have found the perfect home for your needs, and within your budget, make an offer to your agent. Congratulations if your offer is accepted! Congratulations if your offer is accepted.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

Am I eligible for CalHFA programs

You can find information under the Borrower Eligibility tab to determine your eligibility.

What is the Credit Score requirement for?

The minimum credit score required for each program will vary, but it is generally between 640-680 depending on other factors. A Preferred Loan Officer will assess your financial situation to determine the score required to be approved.

What are the available programs?

CalHFA offers many programs to help you get a first mortgage or a down payment. Details on each of these programs can be found under the Loan Programs tab.

What is the interest rate?

Your financial situation, lender fees, among other factors, will affect the interest rates you pay. Rates can change daily. To get a precise rate quote, we recommend you speak to loan officer Jason Whigham.

What are the income limits for each category?

Income limits can vary depending on the program and the county where the property is being bought. To determine your local income limit, it is best to read the Program Descriptions. The details of income limits can be found in the section devoted to borrower requirements.

CalHFA has any sales price limits on the home I'd like to purchase?

Riverside Sacramento

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Mon-Fri 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM PST
Sat 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

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Team Whigham serves all of California, including Sacramento, Roseville, Folsom, El Dorado Hills, Rocklin, Davis, Granite Bay, Loomis, Auburn, El Dorado, Placer County, El Dorado County, Sacramento County, [cities count="50"] and surrounding areas. ʼ

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Call My-Down Payment Assistance 916-413-3967 - Team Whigham service all of Northern California and Southern California! Some areas included are: Sacramento | Natomas | Rosemont | Galt | New Castle | La Riviera | Rancho Cordova | Cameron Park | Fabulous Forties | Florin | Foothill Farms | Orangevale | Rio Linda | Elverta | Citrus Heights | Folsom | El Dorado Hills | Carmichael | Roseville | Lincoln | Loomis | Lodi | Antelope | Auburn | Granite BayWest Roseville | Sun City Lincoln | Sun City Roseville | Auburn | Penryn | Gold River | Land Park | East Sacramento | Elk Grove| Pocket Area | Davis | Woodland | Contra Costa County | San Francisco County | Antelope | San Diego County |  Alameda County | Yuba City | Ione CA | Jackson CA | North Highlands | Los Angeles County| Orange County | Long Beach | Los Angeles County | Placer County | El Dorado County | Amador County | San Diego County | San Bernardino County | Orange County | Alameda County | Sacramento County and many more in the Northern California and Southern California area.

Jason Whigham | NMLS #1448396 | Barrett Financial Group, L.L.C. | NMLS #181106 | 2314 S Val Vista Dr, Suite 201, Gilbert, AZ 85295 | CA 60DBO-46052 & 41DBO-148702 Licensed by Dept. of Financial Protection & Innovation under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act. Loans made or arranged pursuant to a California Financing Law License | Equal Housing Opportunity | This is not a commitment to lend. All loans are subject to credit approval. |
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