Are you a San Francisco police officer, firefighter, or sheriff’s office employee who dreams of owning a home in the city, but feels the up-front costs are out of reach? Fortunately the City and County of San Francisco offers three lottery-based down payment assistance programs for up to $375,000: the Downpayment Assistance Loan Program (DALP), Educators-DALP, and First Responders Downpayment Assistance Loan Program (FRDALP). For all three, you don’t have to make any payments on the loan for 30 years or until your property sells. In return, you pay back the principal amount plus a share of appreciation in the property’s value. 
Mosaik Real Estate believes in the value of homeownership, and want to make it a reality for as many people as possible. We are proud to have helped 18 first-time buyers purchase the home of their dreams using these three programs.
In this blog post, we cover what you need to know about FRDALP. If you are interested in applying for FRDALP, here are the main steps:

1.   Determine Your Eligibility

In order to be eligible any homebuyer assistance program, the city requires you meet certain criteria (listed here). You must be:

    • An active uniformed, sworn member of the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD), San Francisco Fire Department (SFFD), or San Francisco Sheriff’s Department (SFSD)
    • A first-time homebuyer
    • Willing to complete approved homebuyer education
    • Pre-approved for a mortgage loan by an approved lender
    • Income-eligible
    • Able to cover closing costs and a downpayment contribution (as determined by a city housing counselor)

Income eligibility is program-specific. For FRDALP, your household income cannot exceed 200% of the Area Media Income (AMI) for your family size. This is a sliding scale (full chart for 2020 available here), but below is a snapshot based on some typical family sizes.

Maximum Income Levels for FRDALP Eligibility
 Household Size  200% AMI in 2020
1 person $179,300
2 people $205,000
4 people $256,200

In addition, you must contribute a minimum of 3% (1.5% of your own funds, and remainder from gifts or grants) toward the down payment.

2.   Monitor Annual Deadline

The city administers FRDALP annually with a clear application deadline. Currently the application window for 2020 is closed, but we expect the 2021 window will open next spring and last for at least 45 days. To receive official updates about application opening and closing dates, sign up for this mailing list.

3.   Apply

Once the application window is open, FRDALP will begin accepting applications. Given our experience working with 18 successful recipients of the city’s homebuyer assistance programs, we would be happy to help guide you through each step of the application process.

4.   After You Apply

Assuming you apply before the application deadline, the city will give you a lottery number. As an FRDALP candidate, you would be in first lottery rank order, ahead of candidates for both DALP and Educators-DALP. If you are selected and approved, you can use the loan on a downpayment for any property on the open market. Successful recipients of FRDALP financing should be aware of three things:

    • Purchasing, review, and closing may take up to 5 months.
    • You have 60 days to enter a sales contract.
    • There is a nonrefundable fee ($646 in 2019-2020, TBD for 2020-2021) to process the paperwork. The city will collect the fee when FRDALP funds are reserved for you to close on a property.

FRDALP is an amazing program for would-be homeowners in San Francisco, but as you can see, there are many steps involved. If you are interested in learning more about the program from a team with a great track record, get in touch using the form below:
 

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