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New Home Buyer Opportunities for First Time Homeowners in San Diego

Buying a home in California is something that millions of people dream of. That perfect combination of weather, scenery, and excitement creates what California living really is about. San Diego is one of the most preferred places to live, so finding down-payment help and home buying assistance is critical to affordability for many new buyers. As such, many people decide to buy a home here each year. But for first time home buyers, it can sometimes be difficult to do.

Things like securing a loan, coming up with a down payment, and getting a good price on a home are all tricky steps for first time home buyers in Southern California. However, there are numerous opportunities that can help make it easier to get into your home. If you are considering buying a house in San Diego County, now is great time for several reasons. Beyond the fact that rates remain near record lows, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have announced new programs that only require between a 3 and 5% down-payment. Many cities have been aggressive with home buying grants in Oceanside, Escondido, Carlsbad, San Marcos, Chula Vista and more. (See San Diego Home Buying Grants and Oceanside Home Buying Assistance)

First, find a good realtor. This will be your guide to the right opportunities and could help you tremendously by steering you towards homes in your price range that are good values. Without a realtor, you'll be navigating the world of buying a home totally blind. It's also important to take a look at all of your options offered through government programs. First time home buying in San Diego is something that could be helped through a wide range of different programs, particularly things like the Down payment and Closing Cost Program offered by the County of San Diego.

Under this program, you can secure a low interest loan of as much as 33% of the purchase price of a home or $70,000, whichever of the two is less. These funds can help make a substantial down payment and cover the closing costs of a home for those with low incomes and who meet certain requirements. Considering that many loans require between 3 and 10 percent of the purchase price as a down payment, this is very important.

There are some basic guidelines to keep in mind where this program is concerned, however. These include:

  • The total gross income of your household can't exceed 80% of the median income in San Diego County.
  • The assistance is available for single family homes, townhouses, condos, and manufactured homes if they're on a permanent foundation.
  • The total appraised value of the property you're considering can't exceed $390,000.
  • The property must be located in an unincorporated area of San Diego County or in cities such as San Marcos, Imperial Beach, La Mesa, Carlsbad, Del Mar, Coronado, Santee, Encinitas, Vista, Lemon Grove, Solana Beach, or Poway.
  • You'll also have to complete a HUD approved homebuyer education class to learn the responsibilities of owning your own home.

San Diego has some of the most beautiful homes in the country, and it makes a lot of sense to decide that you want to live here. However, the first step for those buying their first home should be to find out just what kind of assistance they can qualify for. This could help you far more than you might think, and make it even easier to get into the home of your dreams. Keep that in mind and your new home could be much closer than you realize.


First Time Home does not offer first time home loans in San Diego. is a website that offers information about house financing and does not guarantee home loans with no fees directly or indirectly through representatives or agents. provides a news and information service by offering editorial content related to the housing and mortgage industry.

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