Home Buying in San Jose>Question Details

Ndahl529, Renter in San Jose, CA

First time home buyer programs

Asked by Ndahl529, San Jose, CA Fri Oct 11, 2013

Hi, i live in South San Jose and have already completed to class for the first time home buyers program and have recieved the certificate. I would like to know what my next step is to purchase a home. I currently own a Mobile Home outright so when i sell it, would have about $30-40 cash left. Im assuming this amount is still not enough for a down payment for this area. So who do i speak with on down payment options and where do i look to see what homes are available for sell with this program?

Help the community by answering this question:


If you have completed the class they should have given you some resources. If you are open to a townhome in Morgan Hill I know of a BMR that probably will be coming on the market in about 30 days. It's only 4 years old 2 beds, 2.5 baths and a two car garage. Price most likely below $400,000. With the programs available you should be good to go depending on what they qualify you for in your income and ratios.

Downtown San Jose has certain areas which have homes set aside for those programs as well. Some of these include down payment, closing cost assistance and silent second and third loans.

These BMR homes come with restrictions so when the time comes to sell they will restrict your net equity and and the buyer will need to fit into the BMR program as well.

Your next step is to meet with an agent and loan officer familiar with these programs.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 11, 2013
You could browse for hours trying to find a lender, a lot of websites are just lead generation companies like Lendingtree who sell your information to 5 lenders who call/email you non stop. Check out The Lenders Network they will review your situation and match you with the right lender and loan product based on your needs. Good luck!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 24, 2013

As is often the case, Grace has given the best all around answer. To elaborate on her answer, let's assume you are not a veteran, where you could get a 0 down loan, and you will have between $30,000 and $40,000 in cash available upon the ale of your mobilehome.

FHA starts with a 3.5% down payment, but there are other programs that amount to 1% or even $500 down. But all these programs have a caveat, the down payment and the loan are both calculated on lesser of the sales price or the appraised value of the property, so if the appraisal comes in below the sales price, your down payment may be 1% of the appraised price PLUS the difference between the appraised price and the price you are actually buying it for. So let's assume you'll use a 3.5% or less down payment loan and use most of your cash for the difference between the appraised price and the price you purchase the home for. Let's also assume you use an agent smart enough to explain to the seller from whom you will buy that you have enough cash available, even though you are a first time buyer using a low down payment loan, to cover the difference between the sales price and the appraised price of the home. If that is not explained to the seller up front, the seller's agent will advise the seller to not accept your offer.

To qualify for these programs, your income has to be under a limit, which is very high in the San Francisco Bay area. Most people qualify.

The best loan officer I can think of for this sort of purchase is John Hanson, branch manager of Community West Mortgage in San Jose. Community West Mortgage is a branch of High Tech Lending, a direct lender which participates in virtually every first time home buyer program in the state of California. Mr. Hanson designed the original Superflex program in Santa Clara County Housing Trust, which is most likely the program under which your class was given. (Now Superflex is under another name,but the program is basically the same and you have competed a class that makes you eligible for it.) Mr. Hanson's phone number is 408-281-8383. His email is johncwm@flash.net.

I got my start in selling mobile homes in parks, having sold at least 90 of them. I would like to represent you in your sale and in your purchase. This should make the person from whom you buy comfortable because he or she will know that talking to me is talking also to the agent selling your home, so nothing gets lost in translation between three agent "telephone".

BTW: I have a buyer looking for a home in that price range. What is the space rent and how many bedrooms? The buyer can accept a long escrow, giving you time to find your home.

Life for you is about to get better!

Mitchell Pearce
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 11, 2013
San Jose City and Teachers have programs at below market interest. However, they only give small sum as 2nd mortgage.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 13, 2014

Bill McCord brings up a good point. If you have claimed a mortgage interest deduction for your mobile home, but did not own the land (which is the case in your case), you will need to include an explanation in your application for the first time home buyer program. Most loan officers and underwriters will get the picture and allow the first time buyer program to succeed. They need to understand that the mortgage interest deduction was for Personal Property Loan, not an actual mortgage. This is one time where you can have your cake and eat it too. Again, talking to someone like John Hanson at Community West Mortgage, who know about this issue, would be very helpful. His number, again, is 408-281-8383.

Mitchell Pearce
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 14, 2013
I can certainly help you out. I am in San Jose so we can meet. I can also recommend great real estate agents to help you.

Alex Greer
Loan Officer
NMLS #1056079

1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 11, 2013
Hi Ndrahl and thanks for your post.

To be frank, your best resource may be the same place where you took the class. Often First Time Home Buyer courses will also have information regarding loans and Realtors and resources where you can look to purchase a home.

I have to caution you, however, that right now, we have a severe shortage of homes for sale. So much so that even now, in what is usually a "slower" portion of the sales years, we still have plenty of people bidding on a single home and pricing on homes is escalating higher than many buyers can afford.

So if you're hoping for BMR or Below Market Rate housing, we just don't have much (or any) of that right now. Even new housing developments are not providing BMR units for sale anymore.

As for financing, try working with an FHA mortgage broker. You will still need between 3.5 and 5 percent of the sales price for a down payment. If you cannot afford this, then it's best to rent a home for a while, save up, and have enough money for a down later. Hopefully, this summer our market will change a little to open up more housing opportunities for home buyers like you!

Good luck!
Grace Morioka
Allison James Estates & Homes
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 11, 2013
There are several loan financing options. San Jose has both down payment and closing cost assistance programs through the Housing Trust.

There are also other financing options, and with the $30 or $40 k you have for a down payment, you may get a better loan program through conventional financing.

The next step is to choose a lender who works with these programs, and to choose a realtor who can assist with locating a property.

We have several options for you.


Eric Olfred Nelson III
Sr. Mortgage Planner
SVC Funding
NMLS # 120412
CA Bureau of Real Estate # 01258488
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 11, 2013
In SJ try Housing Trust Silicon Valley in 95113

I think it will lend you small amounts of money at very low interest

Sam Shueh
KW Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 11, 2014
Have you considered an FHA loan that only requires 3.5% down? This is a relatively low down payment that a lot of people take advantage. Instead of asking on Trulia you should call a lender like myself directly so I can hear more details about your situation and give you the advice that you need. I am a lender based out of California and I have done plenty of loans throughout the state. I would be glad to speak with you to help you get the loan that you need. Well I hope this helps! If you have any other questions or if you would like a loan, feel free to contact me. Good Luck! Brian Nguyen Sr. Mortgage Banker NMLS # 659743 Phone: 949.667.2887 brian.nguyen@nafinc.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 14, 2014
You should contact some of the BMR's.


I have a client that will be putting her BMR townhome up for sale soon. It will be listed below $400K.

I can also help you with the sale of your Mobile Home.

Let me know how else I may direct you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 4, 2013
Hello again,
Mitchell has correctly stated that most Mobile Homes loans will not disqualify you from most 1st time buyer programs. However, I've known several cases where someone has mistakenly claimed mortgage tax relief for a mobile home loan, and in that case would be disqualified from the best First Timer (The Housing Trust) programs as they want to see 3 years tax returns before qualifying.
In my opinion FHA has been so gutted by recent regulation regarding Mortgage Insurance that it must be viewed as a last resort option.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 14, 2013

Actually a mobile home mortgage on a home where you do not own the land under it, which applies in your case, does not prohibit you from qualifying for first time home buyer programs. Mobile Homes in such cases are personal property so they don't count against the first time home buyer qualification.

FHA can combine with the county programs, as can Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans. Again, call John Hanson at 408-281-8383 and he can explain all these things in detail. He designed the original programs for the Housing Trust, called the Superflex loans.

Mitchell Pearce
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 12, 2013
The BEST 1st time buyer programs qualify you by checking your tax returns for the past 3 years to see if you have ever claimed for either Mortgage or Property Tax deductions. Have you made such claims for your Mobile Home?
If not then you might (depending on income) qualify for the Housing Trust programs for Santa Clara and Santa Mateo Counties. These are vastly better than FHA.
NOTE: The income limits vary with the size of your family i.e. minimum for single person then incrementally high for each additions person.
For more details contact me through TRULIA.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 12, 2013
It really depends on what you are looking to buy. If you want a $300K condo you are in pretty good shape. If you want a single family home, that could be very difficult to find in a lower price range.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 11, 2013
you will have to consult a lender to determine you down payment it all depends on the type of j
program you qualify for, let me know if i can help you
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 11, 2013

I would suggest you talk to a qualified Mortgage Lender who can look at ball available options. I have used Misty Leonard with Guild Mortgage (Direct Lender) for most of my first time home buyers. There are several loan programs that can be piggy backed to allow you to buy with low down payment (In some cases 0 down payment) plus get you funds to assist with closing costs. Here is Misty's information, should you decide to contact her.

Misty Leonard
Guild Mortgage
18525 Sutter Blvd, Suite 140
Morgan Hill, CA 95037
408-782-8800/855-464-8453 Office
408-825-0196 Direct
408-802-5533 Cell
888-803-1556 Fax
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 11, 2013
In addition to FHA, if you can come up with 5% of
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 11, 2013
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