With ultra-expensive housing and high interest rates, purchasing a home in California can be a challenge. That’s why one state agency is trying to make the home-buying process easier for prospective buyers.

On Monday, the California Housing Finance Agency announced the debut of the California Dream For All Shared Appreciation loan program which assists first-time homebuyers with down payments.

Those who take advantage of the program must repay the original down payment loan plus a portion of the home’s appreciated value if they sell or transfer the property.

To be eligible for this program, Californians must:

  • Be a first-time homebuyer meaning you haven’t owned your own home in the last three years.
  • The property must be your primary residence; non-occupant are not allowed
  • Complete two levels of homebuyer education counseling and obtain a certificate of completion through an eligible homebuyer counseling organization.
  • Meet CalHFA income limits for the program

Income limits vary by county and range from $159,000 to $300,000.

The loan program also restricts the type of properties residents can purchase. The property must:

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

More information about the loan program can be found on the agency’s website.

To apply, prospective home buyers must meet with a CalHFA-approved home lender. Prospective home buyers can find the nearest loan officer online.  

The average price of a home in California is $718,687, according to Zillow data, and in big metropolitan home areas, buying a home can cost even more.

For example, in San Francisco, the median home price is over $1.2 million; in Los Angeles, the median home price is $891,820, according to Zillow.