March 6, 2007 > City of Fremont's 'First Time Home-buyer Program'
City of Fremont's 'First Time Home-buyer Program'
By Pushpa Warrier
The City of Fremont offers down payment assistance loan programs (Welcome Home and Welcome to the Neighborhood) to income eligible first time homebuyers. Additionally, the City has a Housing Ordinance which offers homes at a below market price to income eligible home buyers. "The partnership between the City of Fremont First Time Home Buyer Program and the State of California's Cal HFA (California Housing Finance Agency)) is a resounding success. With a combined deferred assistance of approximately $64,000, the programs are among the most generous available in Southern Alameda County.
With a list of City-approved lenders and a number of participating Realtors, the buyer is fully supported by a team who specializes in first time home buyers. The City of Fremont is a very desirable place to live. With these well-designed and efficiently-run programs, the current and former residents, and those currently employed in Fremont, can realize their dream of homeownership," says Madeline W. Weaver, Realtor, Keller Williams Benchmark properties. Connie Mier-Agan a beneficiary of the city's first-time home-buyer program says "I can't understand why there isn't enough people taking advantage of this great program.' May Lee, Housing Programs Manager, City of Fremont says, "Many of the other jurisdictions supposedly keep the lender and realtor out of the training session. As Hilary Clinton once said, "it takes a village to raise a child", I believe that it takes a village of lenders, realtors and the city to partner and assist first time homebuyers.
It is important to choose the right realtor and lender who should be capable of handling the unique needs of first time homebuyers and committed to realize their dream of home-ownership." Specializing in CalHFA for the past 10 years and having helped over 500 first time buyers, Carolyn Mountain of American Home Mortgage says, "getting the word out about these programs has always been difficult. Most people have never heard about them. CalHFA offers below market rates. Currently fixed rates are at 5.5% for the 30 year fixed and 5.75% for the 35 and 40 year fixed. CalHFA is for first time buyers. This means they have not owned a home for the past 3 years. However, if a person now owns a home but has rented it out for the last 3 years, they are still eligible. The program has different income limits and price limits for every county.
For a schedule of the City of Fremont's workshops and to access the City's Housing Program, please visit: www.ci.fremont.ca.us/Community/Housing/FTHB.htm or call (510) 494-4506.