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There are many programs available throughout San Diego County to help
homebuyers buy a home. These programs include low interest rate loans,
grants, down payment and closing cost assistance and as well other programs.  

Below are only some of the programs available for down payment assistance.  
Also, each city throughout San Diego County may have their own programs.

CalHFA offers a variety of down payment, closing cost and grant programs for
first time homebuyers.  These assistance programs feature deferred payment
loans that can be obtained with their 30- to 45-year fixed rate loans.

County of San Diego Down payment and Closing Cost Program
This program offers low-interest deferred payment loans of up to $70,000 for
low-income first-time homebuyers. The loan funds may be used to pay down
payment and closing costs on the purchase of a new or re-sale home.  
Properties eligible for assistance include single-family homes, condominiums,
town homes and manufactured homes on a permanent foundation. Participants
must contribute a minimum of one percent of the purchase price from their
personal funds.

San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC)
SDHC provides down payment/closing cost grants. Grants can be up to $15,000
(or 6% of the purchase price – whichever is less) for families earning 80% or
less of the Area Median Income (AMI), and up to $10,000 (or 4% of the
purchase price, whichever is less) for households earning up to 100% AMI.

You can use the grant toward the down payment, closing costs, or a
combination of both. This program can only be used in combination with
conventional first mortgages with no extra “balloon” payments. Also, buyers are
required to provide at least 3% of the purchase price toward the down payment
and closing costs in addition to funds provided by SDHC.

Alternative Down Payment Options
There are questionable methods used by "Down payment Charities" or "Funds"
or other schemes to help home buyers obtain needed down payments. These
methods involve a scheme in which the purchase price is inflated by roughly the
amount you need for a down payment and the seller pays or "donates" a 3rd
party a fee roughly equal to that amount, the 3rd party then "grants" or
"donates" or "compensates" you the amount you need for the down payment.

Essentially the seller gets what they wanted, you get what you wanted, and the
bank gets not exactly what their investors wanted. Surprisingly some banks allow
these programs, and even FHA allows charitable contributions for down
payments.

Since we don't want to promote them, but realize it's not within our power to
know what's best for everyone we won't name them but a google search for
"down payment assistance programs" will likely yield the results you're looking
for.
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