First Time Home Buyers Program in the County of Sonoma

Sonoma County

The first and most important thing you need to know about this program is that it is for Sonoma County employees in a SEIU local 1021 job classification. What is that? Odds are if you work for the county it makes total sense.  This program is interesting in that it basically is a 2nd mortgage at a reduced interest rate (3% simple interest per annum). The program allows up to $50,000 as a 2nd. Having a portion of the mortgage at a lower interest rate will reduce your overall monthly payment.  It does require that the buyer puts down 5%. Another benefit of this program is that, by breaking the loan into a 1st and 2nd mortgage, you may be able to avoid mortgage insurance. This will of course depend on the purchase price and amount granted by the county. If you do not meet the county requirements listed below you can still look at doing a first and second mortgage. This is something we do every day. The only difference is that it will not be at 3% with today’s interest rates. I have posted the basic requirements below from their information sheet. Here is a link to the program and additional forms such as the application. Please note they do not have a preferred mortgage lender so you can work with any lender you want. Make sure you shop your lenders rate even if they are offering a "special discount" for county employees.

Employee:

  • Must have 2088 hours of contribution to Housing Fund.
  • Must be in a SEIU Local 1021 represented job classification.
  • Cannot have owned a principal residence within the past 3 years or have a current ownership interest in any real property. A single parent, who, under a decree of dissolution of marriage or legal separation, has custody of one or more minors need not be a first-time homebuyer to be eligible for assistance.
  • Must be full time, part time or extra help county employee.
  • Must contribute a minimum of 5% of total purchase price in cash from personal resources (this may be applied to the down payment and/or closing costs)
  • Cannot have more than $50,000 in personal property. (includes motor homes and boats, excludes cars for transportation, home furnishings, life insurance, deferred comp. assets, IRAs, and any funds to be used for down payment and/or closing costs for the home purchase.)

Property:

  • Must be located in Sonoma County. Lake county is a popular location for Sonoma county residents looking for affordable housing however you would be unable to use this program there
  • Single Family Residence, Condo, PUD or mobile home on a permanent foundation or own property.
  • Maximum primary mortgage amount is single-family loan limit set annually by FNMA/FHLMC.

All my best,

Jen

*Program, grant funds and income limits are subject to change without notice and are updated annually. This is for informational purposes only and terms and conditions apply. This is not a commitment to lend or program approval. Information is presumed accurate as of 1/16/2019.NMLS #247743 Branch: 4863 Old Redwood HWY Suite D, Santa Rosa, CA 95403