Jumping the Hurdle to Homeownership

The California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) is dedicated to helping Californians achieve their dreams of homeownership. To that end, CalHFA offers a variety of programs and services, including the Dream For All Program, which provides down payment assistance to eligible Low and Moderate income first-time homebuyers.

The program is designed to make homeownership more affordable and accessible, particularly for those who may not have a large down payment or may be struggling to meet other financial requirements. Let’s take a look at the CalHFA Dream For All Program, including its eligibility requirements, benefits, and how it works.

california dream for all shared appreciation loan program in california

Obtaining the resources to meet upfront downpayment and closing costs is the most significant obstacle to homeownership among lower income families. Thirty percent of low-income buyers cannot afford
to buy a modestly priced home solely because they lack sufficient funds for the down-payment and closing costs.

California Dream for All program will finally help thousands of first-time Low and Moderate income First-Time home buyers achieve their Dream of homeownership by providing assistance with their down-payment!

Dream For All, Shared Appreciation Loan Program, borrower requirements, first-time homebuyer, income requirements, credit score, primary residence, property requirements, eligible area, purchase price, minimum property standards, down payment assistance, repayment, appreciation.

The Dream For All Shared Appreciation Loan (Shared Appreciation Loan) is a program that provides down payment assistance to first-time homebuyers. It is designed to be used alongside the Dream For All Conventional first mortgage to cover down payment and/or closing costs.

When the home is sold or transferred, the homebuyer is required to repay the initial down payment loan plus a portion of the appreciation in the home’s value. This means that if the value of the home has increased since the time of purchase, the homebuyer will be responsible for repaying a percentage of that appreciation to the lender.

What are the goals?

• Increase the overall homeownership rate.
• Create greater opportunity for homeownership among lower income and
minority households.
• Revitalize and stabilize communities.

Program Eligibility

Review the guidelines below for both Borrower and Property Requirements to determine if you may be eligible to apply for the Dream For All Shared Appreciation Loan Program.

Borrower Requirements

To determine if you qualify for the Dream For All Shared Appreciation Loan Program, it is important to review the guidelines for both borrower and property requirements.

First, let’s consider the borrower requirements. To be eligible for the program, you must be a first-time homebuyer, which is defined as someone who has not owned a home in the past three years. You must also meet certain income requirements based on the location of the property and the size of your household. Additionally, you will need to have a minimum credit score and be able to provide documentation of your income and assets.

Next, let’s look at the property requirements. The home you wish to purchase must be located in an eligible area and must be your primary residence. There are also limits on the purchase price of the home, which may vary depending on the location. The property must be a single-family home, townhome, or condominium, manufactured home that meets certain minimum property standards.

If you meet the borrower and property requirements for the Dream For All Shared Appreciation Loan Program, you may be eligible to apply for down payment assistance. Keep in mind that if you participate in the program, you will be required to repay the original down payment loan plus a portion of the appreciation in the value of the home upon sale or transfer of the property.


  • Be a first-time homebuyer. See the definition of a first-time homebuyer.
  • Occupy the property as a primary residence; non-occupant co-borrowers are not allowed.
  • CalHFA borrowers must complete two levels of homebuyer education counseling and obtain a certificate of completion through an eligible homebuyer counseling organization.
  • Meet CalHFA income limits for this program. Income cannot exceed limits. https://ami-lookup-tool.fanniemae.com/amilookuptool/
  • Dream For All Shared Appreciation Loan amount – Up to 20% of the sales price or appraised value (whichever is less)
  • What are the minimum credit score requirements for CalHFA conventional loan programs? The minimum credit score is 660 for borrowers with income less than or equal to HomeReady 80% AMI LI income limit. Maximum Debt-to-Income Ratio: 45%
  • Minimum CLTV 70%
  • Maximum CLTV 105%
  • Layering with other CalHFA Programs? Cannot be combined with CalPLUS ZIP or MyHome

*In the case of conflicting guidelines, the lender must follow the more restrictive.

Property Requirements

  • Be a single-family, one-unit residence, including approved condominium/PUDs
    • Guest houses, granny units and in-law quarters may be eligible
  • Manufactured housing is permitted
  • Condominiums must meet the guidelines of the first mortgage*

*In the case of conflicting guidelines, the lender must follow the more restrictive.

CalHFA Dream For All Shared Appreciation Loan

Shared Appreciation

Shared Appreciation is a little more complex than a typical mortgage loan, so we’ve put together a few examples for you.

Shared Appreciation Cap:
The amount of the shared appreciation is capped at 2.5 times the original principal amount.
• Example:
o Original Shared Appreciation Loan = $100,000
o Original loan amount times 2.5 = $250,000
o Maximum amount due at time of payoff = $350,000 (maximum appreciation plus
original loan amount)


Borrower is a moderate income homebuyer Dream For All provides a loan for 20% of the home purchase price. The homeowner pays back the original loan amount plus 20% of any appreciation in the value of the home.


Borrower income less than or equal to 80% AMI using the HomeReady Lookup Tool Reduced (0.75:1) program appreciation share Program appreciation share is equal to 0.75 times the Shared Appreciation Loan Amount (i.e., the original principal amount) as a percentage of the home value Dream For All provides a loan for 20% of the home purchase price. The homeowner pays back the original loan amount plus 15% of any appreciation in the value of the home

The primary objectives of the program’s implementation are to enhance accessibility to homeownership for low- and moderate-income Californians, promote wealth accumulation through homeownership opportunities, enable funds to be recycled for future use, reduce financial risk to consumers, the State, and the Agency, and establish long-term operational and administrative sustainability.

CalHFA Dream For All Shared Appreciation Loan

Interest Rate

What is the interest rate?
Interest rates will vary depending on your financial circumstances, lender fees, and other factors. Interest rates can also change daily. We recommend that you check with a CalHFA-approved loan officer to receive an accurate rate quote for this program.

CalHFA does not lend money directly to consumers. CalHFA works through and uses approved lenders to qualify consumers and to make all mortgage loans. The fees you pay could be different depending on the lender and the program. View sample Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) here.

CalHFA Dream For All Shared Appreciation Loan

Homebuyer Education Requirement

CalHFA firmly believes that homebuyer education and counseling is critical to the success and happiness of a homeowner, and requires homebuyer education and counseling for first-time homebuyers using a CalHFA program.

Who has to take this Homebuyer Education and Counseling course?

Only one occupying first-time borrower on each loan transaction.

How do I take this education and counseling course?

How do I take the additional Dream For All education?

  • ONLINE: This education is free and online only. Visit calhfadreamforall.com to get signed up and take the course.

CalHFA Dream For All Shared Appreciation Loan

How To Apply

How do I apply for this loan program?
Since CalHFA is not a direct lender, our mortgage products are offered through private loan officers who have been approved & trained by our Agency. These loan officers can help you find out more about CalHFA’s programs and guide you through the home buying process.

Visit the Find a Loan Officer tab, to contact a loan officer in your area.

What documents should I have ready when contacting a loan officer?
When initially contacting a loan officer, you may want to have this list of documents and information available to help answer questions that they will ask you:

  • Pay stubs
  • Bank statements
  • Employment history
  • Previous tax returns

DOWNLOAD THE CALHFA California Housing Finance Agency Dream For All Shared Appreciation
Loan Program Handbook here


Need help buying a home? You may qualify for one of these programs.

Statewide and Regional Programs

Programs by City/Town

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