CalHFA Dream for All First-Time Homebuyer Program: A Short-lived Opportunity

What We Learned from the Program's Swift Conclusion and How to Prepare for Future Opportunities

What We Learned from the Program’s Swift Conclusion and How to Prepare for Future Opportunities

Photo by Rainer Bo on Unsplash

The CalHFA Dream for All First-Time Homebuyer program was a beacon of hope for many aspiring homeowners in California. With $300,000,000 in funding and the potential to help 2,300 first-time homebuyers, the program was highly anticipated. However, it was put on pause after a brief less-than-two-week period, leaving many still in search of their dream home. What did we learn? How can we prepare for any potential future programs?

The Impact of the CalHFA Dream for All Program

The CalHFA Dream for All program shed light on many Californians: there are plenty of residents who not only want to buy a home and have the income to qualify for a home purchase but lack the necessary down payment. Just as toilet paper vanished from the local stores during the pandemic, the funds from this program were quickly depleted, demonstrating the high demand for such assistance.

Starting the Conversation

Despite the program’s short-lived existence, it successfully sparked a conversation about homeownership and the challenges faced by first-time buyers. The program highlighted the need for more resources to help individuals overcome the initial financial hurdles of purchasing a home.

Preparing for Future Opportunities

If you’re hoping to take advantage of a similar program in the future, it’s essential to be prepared. There’s even talk of the state funding the program again. So here are some steps you can take to ensure you’re ready when the opportunity arises:

1) Connect with a Sackin-Stone Team member: Realtors are always a great place to start. They can point you in the right direction for a lender that can fit your needs, give you some additional insight and information, and just get you started on the right path toward homeownership.

2) Speak with a lender: Consult with a mortgage lender to discuss your financial situation, understand the types of loans available to you, and determine your eligibility for various homebuyer assistance programs.

3) Improve your credit score: A higher credit score can increase your chances of securing a mortgage with favorable interest rates. Make sure to pay your bills on time, reduce your debt, and avoid applying for new credit lines.

4) Save for closing costs (or down payment): Start saving for a down payment as soon as possible, even if you don’t know when a new program will become available. This will not only put you in a better position for future assistance programs but also reduce the amount you need to borrow. Even if the program funds your down payment, you will still have closing costs. You’re also able to add additional monies to the program’s down payment assistance. This could help bring your monthly payment down or increase the overall price you qualify for on a home.


The CalHFA Dream for All First-Time Homebuyer program may have come and gone, but it has left a lasting impact on the conversation surrounding homeownership in California. By taking the necessary steps to prepare yourself for future opportunities, you’ll be ready to take advantage of similar programs and move closer to achieving your dream of owning a home.


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