The OC Mortgage Assistance Program (MAP) is offered to qualifying low-income and moderate-income Orange County residents to help them purchase affordable housing. This program was established by the Orange County office of Housing and Community Development and is administered by Affordable Housing Clearinghouse.
The Orange County MAP program offers a deferred payment down payment assistance program that can help low-to-moderate income borrowers. This program features a 30-year loan term, a 3% fixed interest rate, and a 1% minimum downpayment required. The maximum loan is $80,000.
Borrowers cannot apply for a mortgage itself through MAP; you are typically required to obtain a first mortgage prior to being awarded MAP funds.
MAP funds cannot be awarded for more than 20% of the purchase price of the property. These are not mortgages, but down payment assistance for loans in a high-cost housing market.
All buyers named on the title must be first-time homebuyers. However, the definition of a “first-time home buyer” in this case includes, but may not be limited to the following:
- Applicants who have not owned a home in three years
- Displaced homemaker who previously owned a home
- Single parents with minor children who formerly owned a home
- Applicants who previously only owned a mobile home
Income restrictions apply; your annual income can’t be higher than 80% of the Area Median Income as defined by the program. Home sales caps also apply; the property purchased with MAP assistance cannot exceed 85% of the Orange County median sales price as defined by MAP.
Home buyer education is required as a condition of loan approval and you may be required to use an escrow account in order to qualify for this Orange County down payment help.
MAP down payment assistance loans are not offered for all mortgage types. For example, you cannot qualify for this down payment help if you want a 15-year mortgage or if you want to apply for an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM).
OC MAP is offered for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages only, and the lender is required to establish “impound accounts” for property taxes and mortgage insurance for the 30-year loan.
The home loan should have a combined loan-to-value ratio no higher than 100% of the purchase price of the property.
The process for applying for this downpayment assistance begins with contacting the Affordable Housing Clearinghouse to determine your eligibility and whether the program is currently accepting applications. This program is suspended when all available funds are committed, and it’s best to consider your application as part of a first-come, first-served process.
Before you can speak to a lender or get pre-qualified for MAP, you are required to schedule and attend homebuyer education. Once the education requirement is met you are free to move on to talking to a lender and submitting an application for MAP.
Once you have applied for MAP you can begin house hunting, make an offer, and submit a “fully executed” purchase contract to the Clearinghouse; at that time a MAP representative will begin working with your lender for the final approval steps.
Orange County typically takes up to 10 business days after you submit “executed loan documents” to start final approval. Once the county approves your down payment assistance it funds the loan and escrow is closed.
The OC MAP program accepts applications as long as it has funds. Check the official site to determine if you can apply in the current year.
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