FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is a Down Payment Assistance Program?
- This is a First-Time Homebuyer Grant Program. This grant is in the form of a “gift” from a nonprofit organization. This grant will not need to be repaid, result in any liens on the property or be charged any interest rate.
- The Santa Clara County REALTORS® Foundation (SCCRF) is here to help with affordable housing, and with this First-Time Homebuyer Grant Program, we hope to help community members own their first home with this assistance.
How do I qualify?
- Review the parameters you will need to qualify:
- Step 1. Submit your in-take form via our SCCRF website
- Step 2. Submit your documents to the NID Housing Agency
- Step 3. The NID Housing Agency will review your in-take form and documentation to confirm your qualification and approve your grant request (This can take up to 3 business days)
- Step 4. Once approved, the NID Housing Agency will inform you with an approval letter for your reference; NID will send SCCRF a copy of the approval letter
- Step 5. SCCRF will send the grant money to your Title and Escrow office 7-10 days before your closing of escrow dated on the purchase contract
Definition of a first-time home buyer? (ex. If I bought a home by myself, and then got married and went to buy a home as a couple, does that qualify as a First-Time Home Buyer?)
- The definition of a first-time Homebuyer is an applicant who has not owned a home or had any ownership interest in a home during the last three (3) consecutive calendar years prior to the date of application for eligibility. This applies to all co-applicants who are household members.
Why should I apply?
- Apply if you need assistance with your down payment, you qualify for the Area Median Income for Santa Clara County and meet the parameters SCCRF has for this program (please see the program details)
How do I apply?
- Submit your in-take form via our SCCAOR or SCCRF website
If I am receiving other assistance, am I precluded from applying to this program?
- This will be based on your lender’s requirements; some lenders will not allow you to have more than one down payment assistance program for the loan you qualify for. Please check and clarify with your lender.
What does my income have to be to qualify for this program?
- Your income household needs to meet the Santa Clara County Area Median Income up 100%; A household is defined as, “ALL individuals who occupy a housing unit. The occupants may be a single family, one person living alone, two or more families living together, or any other group of related or unrelated persons who share living arrangements.
- All adult household members will need to sign an Affidavit of household income.
What kind of properties can I buy with this program’s assistance?
- Property types: SFR (single family residence) Townhouse or Condominium
Do I get taxed on the grant amount?
- You will not get taxed on the grant amount of $10,000 or less.
Can I use this program to purchase an investment property?
- This grant is only for owner occupied properties (also known as a primary residence); no investment properties are allowed.
Can I buy a property anywhere?
- This grant only applies to Santa Clara County.
How much money do I get?
- The grant request can be up to $10,000 per subject property and household/applicants.
Do I have to pay it back?
- This a is First-Time Homebuyer Grant Program. This grant is in the form of a “gift” from a nonprofit organization. This grant will not need to be repaid, will not result in any liens on the property, or charged any interest rate.
How much can a household make versus single income?
- The Maximum Gross Annual Household Income Limits by household size refers to the income limits for Santa Clara County, as determined by the California Department of Housing and Community Development and updated on an annual basis.
- The Maximum Gross Annual Household Income Limit for the program is 100% of the Area Median Income (AMI). Please see the program details.
Can it be multi-generational living?
- Yes, this grant can apply to multi-generational living as long as it fits the parameters of the 100% of the Area Median Income and property type.
Can I pick my own REALTOR?
- Yes, you can just as long as they are an active Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® (SCCAOR) member.
How long do I have to live there?
- We don’t have any requirements for how long you need to occupy your property at this time.
When do I get the money?
- Once approved from the NID Housing Agency, they will inform you with an approval letter for your reference; NID will send SCCRF a copy of the approval letter. SCCRF will send the grant money to your Title and Escrow office 7-10 days before your closing of escrow dated on the purchase contract
Can I use it as part of my offer?
- You can share that you will be requesting a First-Time Homebuyer Grant Program of up to $10,000 from SCCRF and can show the approval letter within 10 business days once you are in a ratified contract.