Greg Stidham

CalHFA Forgivable Equity Builder Loan – Five Things You Should Know

Forgivable Equity Builder Loan photo graphic

by Greg Stidham, REALTOR® (updated December 7, 2022)

*** IMPORTANT UPDATE *** The funds for the Forgivable Equity Builder Loan program have been exhausted. This blog post will remain for archival and reference purposes.

This program is great news for first-time homebuyers!

The California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) announced a new program on March 16, 2022 and you’re probably starting to hear about it in the news as it starts to become available to first-time homebuyers. The new program is called the Forgivable Equity Builder Loan and it’s just like it says in the title – forgivable.

Let me say that again… FORGIVABLE! As in, you don’t have to pay it back. Keep reading for details.

I first heard about this program like you probably did – I heard a news story announcing it on May 1. The loan actually became available for use on April 4, 2022, but it is definitely flying under the radar. Almost everyone I talk to has not heard of it. I’ve spent a couple days locating the details to get the facts for you.

Here’s my list of five things you should know about CalHFA’s Forgivable Equity Builder Loan.

Top 5 Reasons It’s a Good Time for First-Time Homebuyers

Graphic for Top 5 Reasons It's a good time for first-time homebuyers

by Greg Stidham, REALTOR®

Sure, mortgage interest rates have gone up 3 points in 3 months, but if your a first-time homebuyer in California, I have put together the top 5 reasons now could be a great time to buy and not wait.

1) CalHFA has lowered the DTI to 50%

The Debt to Income ratio (DTI) for a CalHFA Forgivable Equity Builder Loan has been updated and improved from 45% to 50% if you have a good credit score of 700 or above.

2) Listing prices are adjusting to current rates.

Sellers are doing price improvements.

Prices are adjusting to current rates.

Price Reductions.

Illustration of house with closing costs totals.

5 Fees and Costs to be Aware of When Buying a House.

by Greg Stidham, REALTOR®

Purchasing a home is possibly one of the biggest financial decisions you will make in your lifetime. As you start your hunt, don’t forget there will be other costs associated with your purchase that many buyers don’t notice until they are in escrow.

Here are 5 fees and costs to keep in mind as you begin to budget.

Illustration photo of house with tax records.

Your Home Loan Limits Could Change! – Property Assessments and HOA Dues

by Greg Stidham, REALTOR®

You’ve been pre-approved to purchase a house and the maximum loan amount is shown on your pre-approval letter. Your lender might also tell you that you are fully underwritten and provide you with a “good as cash” letter to include with your offer. Everything looks in order but has anyone told you about the property tax assessments or HOA dues on the home you’re interested in? Have you told your lender about these fees and dues?

I’ve seen loan limits change dramatically because of higher than expected property taxes and assessments.

I’ve seen loan limits change because of higher than expected HOA dues.

You should be aware of these fees and dues before your dreams are crushed while in escrow.

Photo illustration of neighborhood aerial photo with MLS graphic overlay

Top 5 Reasons To Work With An Agent When Buying

by Greg Stidham, REALTOR®

You’re thinking about buying a house? Great! Home ownership is practical, you need a roof over your head, and rewarding, both financially and psychologically, re: pride of ownership, etc.

How should you start your home search? Loans? What’s escrow? Do I need contingencies? Lots of online resources are available so this should be easy. You got this!

Well, hold up a minute and read on. I’ve put together 5 reasons you should consider adding a Real Estate Agent to your team soon.

Photo of volunteers cleaning up sidewalks in downtown Davis

Clean Sidewalks are Happy Sidewalks

by Greg Stidham, REALTOR®

Wakeup! Drive downtown. Pickup litter.

Does this sound like a fun way to spend a Sunday morning? Why yes, it does.

It seems perfectly appropriate that my first blog post as a real estate agent would be about a thankless community service event. I’ve participated in many during my years, enjoying each one, and always found it rewarding to be doing good things.

On Sunday, November 14, 2021, a baker’s half dozen of my fellow Coldwell Banker Select agents and I met in Downtown Davis, California. The weather was cool and foggy. The sound of workers with power tools renovating a nearby restaurant echoed as other shops began to wake up from a busy Saturday night.