First Time Home Buyer Program | Riverside County Southern California

The Economic Development Agency (EDA) has a program called the First Time Home Buyer (FTHB) program which provides downpayment and closing cost assistance that will allow qualified families to purchase a home.

How to Apply?

What is the process to apply for the FTHB Program?

1. If you are a first-time homebuyer whose income is within the Program limits, the first step is to contact a participating lender for eligibility screening. The lender will take a loan application at this time and pre-qualify you for a first loan and the FTHB Program. The lender will also determine the maximum home price that you can afford.

2. If you are a Section 8 Family Self Sufficiency Program participant and/or first-time homebuyer whose income is within the Program limits, the first step is to contact a participating lender for eligibility screening. The lender will take a loan application at this time and pre-qualify you for a first loan and the FTHB Program. The lender will determine the maximum home price that you can afford, and will also determine whether you are eligible for assistance under the County of Riverside FTHB Program.

3. After the lender has determined if you are eligible for the program, you will need to attend an 8 hour homebuyer education class for the FTHB Program. The lender will provide the names and phone numbers of approved homebuyer education providers, and you will need to call one of the providers to schedule a class. There may be a minimal charge to attend this class, which may be an eligible expense for FTHB assistance.

4. Once you are pre-qualified for the program and have a maximum home price, you may locate a home to purchase. If you are interested in an existing home, it is recommended that you contact a Realtor to assist you in locating a home to purchase. Note: Make sure that you look for homes in participating locations for this program.

5. Once you have located a home, you will need to make a purchase offer and start escrow. Your real estate representative or new home salesperson and your lender can assist in this process. You must provide a Homeownership Notice to the sellers as an addendum to the purchase contract (your lender can provide you with a copy of this Notice). Once your purchase offer is accepted and escrow begins, your lender will assist you in completing the application materials for the FTHB Program.

6. During escrow your lender will process your loan application for the first mortgage and FTHB Second mortgage. You will be required to sign forms authorizing the lender to submit a FTHB Reservation on your behalf and disclosing your current income from all sources. Prior to the close of escrow you will sign loan documents and both the first and second mortgages will be funded.

7. When escrow closes, you will become a homeowner and will be responsible for maintaining the property in sound condition. You will begin making monthly payments on your first mortgage. The FTHB Second Mortgage will not require payments until you sell your property or a cash out refinance on the first mortgage. After the 15 year affordability period, the FTHB assistance is converted to a grant with no repayment of funds. The closing cost assistance is provided in the form of a grant and will not require any repayment.

Information Packet - English
Information Packet - Spanish
Home Buyer Education Providers
HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agencies

What are the qualifying incomes? In order to be eligible for this program, the buyers’ annual income shall not exceed 80% of the area median income, as determined by HUD, adjusted for family size. In addition, assets shall not exceed these limits. Currently, the income limits are as follows:

Maximum Annual Household Income Adjusted for Family Size

Effective February 14, 2008

Household Size

Maximum Annual Income

Household Size vs. Household Income
1 $37,300 | 2 $42,650 | 3 $47,950 | 4 $53,300
5 $57,550 | 6 $61,850 | 7 $66,100 | 8 $70,350