downpayment assistance Find a home with forgivable downpayment assistance programs
3% Down payment programs in San Diego and California and USA

The steep rise in mortgage rates since 2021 has made buying a home a far more financially daunting endeavor. Paired with this challenge is the undertaking of amassing a sizable down payment. However, there are options that make homeownership more accessible by only requiring a 3% down payment, significantly reducing the burden of entry.

An Overview of 3% Down Mortgage Offerings

For those who meet eligibility criteria, 3% down payment mortgage programs furnish a viable pathway to homeownership. Typically geared toward first-time buyers or people without recent homeownership, income thresholds also apply. But for qualified applicants, these reduced down payment choices break down barriers to home ownership.

Conventional 97 – The 3% Conventional Option

Known as the Conventional 97 or 97% LTV Standard, this program through Fannie Mae allows buyers to contribute just 3% as a down payment, securing 97% financing. The down payment funds can stem from personal savings, gifts, grants, or help from family or friends.

Eligibility necessitates being a first-time buyer or not having owned a home in the past three years. There are no income limits for this program. However, meeting conventional debt-to-income requirements and a minimum credit score of 620 is mandatory, along with completing a homebuyer course.

Additionally, the property must be a single-family home that will serve as the primary residence. The purchase price must fall within conforming limits, which stand at $726,200 in most areas for 2023.

Since the down payment is under 20%, private mortgage insurance (PMI) is required, with the premium based on credit score and 97% loan-to-value ratio. PMI can be stopped once 20% equity is reached, like all conventional loans.

HFA Preferred Conventional Loans

HFA Preferred conventional loans are available for buyers with low to moderate incomes. You must work directly with your state Housing Finance Agency (HFA) or an approved lender in their network. These loans can offer down payment help through the HFA. Grants from lenders are allowed in some cases. There is no first-time homebuyer requirement. Income limits are set by each HFA. Mortgage insurance is cancelable with restrictions. Qualified low-income borrowers can get reduced monthly mortgage insurance premiums.

Fannie Mae HomeReady – Income-Specific 3% Down

Aimed at those without a primary residence in the past three years, Fannie Mae’s HomeReady program is another choice. It necessitates PMI, first-time buyer education, and a minimum 620 credit score. Income must not surpass 80% of the area median.

HomeReady eligibility includes more than just first-time buyers, but income limits apply unless the property is in a designated area. An online tool can assess qualification. First-timers must complete homebuyer education.

PMI costs are lower with HomeReady. It offers benefits like earlier PMI cancellation at 80% loan-to-value, more flexible underwriting to factor in rental or boarder income, and gift-only down payments.

Freddie Mac HomePossible – 3% Down up to Income Caps

Similar to HomeReady, Freddie Mac’s HomePossible program allows 3% down with income up to 80% of area median. Eligible properties include single-family homes, units up to four, condos, co-ops, and certain manufactured housing. An income eligibility tool can be used to check qualification.

HomePossible gives a path to homeownership with a lower initial investment. It even permits non-occupant co-borrowers to help with the down payment on one-unit homes. Additionally, mortgage insurance can be removed once 20% equity is reached, reducing the monthly payment.

Freddie Mac HomeOne – First-Time Buyers with 3% Down

Another Freddie Mac 3% down fixed-rate program, HomeOne is for first-time buyers. It has no income or geographic constraints but requires PMI and homebuyer education. The program is limited to acquiring a one-unit primary residence, including condos.

More Low Down Payment Mortgage Options

Beyond the above, other low down payment choices exist:

  • FHA loans allow 3.5% down with 580+ credit score, or 10% down with a 500+ score. But FHA borrowers pay mortgage insurance for the full loan term if under 20% down.
  • USDA loans are for specific rural locales and VA loans are for service members, veterans, and surviving spouses. Neither has mortgage insurance but both come with fees.

Moving Forward with 3% Down

Incorporating 3% down mortgage programs can reduce the need to exhaust savings or endure prolonged saving for a down payment. Those looking to accelerate savings can benefit from high-yield accounts and automated transfers. When starting your home search, it’s wise to explore lenders for available down payment help programs and options matched to your specific eligibility.

#3percentdownpaymentmortgage, #firsttimehomebuyerprograms, #lowdownpaymentloans, #FannieMaeHomeReady, #FreddieMacHomeOne, #FHAloan, #VAloan, #USDAloan, #downpaymentassistanceprograms, #firsttimehomebuyertips, #affordablehousingprograms, #lowincomehomebuyerhelp, #grantsfordownpayment, #downpaymentgifts, #mortgageinsurance, #PMI, #HFApreferredloans


Buy or Sell – Our pledge is to make your Real Estate dreams come true

Real estate can be a complex and ever-changing industry, which is why the team at  is committed to staying informed and up-to-date on the latest market trends and innovative strategies. Whether you’re looking to buy your dream home or sell for top dollar, we can provide you with the knowledge, expertise, and support you need to achieve your goals.

Ready to buy or sell a property? Don’t navigate the maze alone – give us a call today and let us guide you every step of the way. Don’t wait, contact us today! 🏠👍

From start to finish we take care of everything so you can live your life while we worry about the details.

  • As your Realtor, we aim to guide you through a purchase or sale transaction that is both legally compliant and safe for all parties involved. Your security and satisfaction are our top priorities.
  • Our commitment as your Realtor is to help mitigate any major issues that may arise in your new home, sale, or purchase transaction. We’re here to ensure a smooth process and address any concerns along the way.
  • Most importantly, we are committed to maximizing the profit and value for our valued clients, ensuring that you receive the best possible outcome.

The most important thing that a Real Estate Agent Does every day? The one thing we enjoy and appreciate –

We make Dreams come true for our clients 🙂

We are also here to help you with any questions or needs you may have in any City or State in the USA. We work with an Amazing Team of Agents throughout the USA and Globally – We Can connect you with a reliable member of our National network if you need one.

If you have friends, family or neighbors who are considering buying or selling a home, we at HomesinSDCounty would love to assist them. And please don’t hesitate to call me if there’s anything we can do for you!

Homes in San Diego – Find Local San Diego houses and Real Estate for Sale or Rent – Homes in San Diego County | Coldwell Banker Realty. Raise your hand and let us make your real estate dreams a reality! 🏡🌟