OBAR Closing Cost Grants

WHAT IS THE PROGRAM?

Closing Cost Grant
OBAR Closing Cost Grant will provide grants of up to $5,000 to qualified first-time homebuyers.

Counseling Support
Grant recipients will receive housing counseling from our non-profit partner, Neighborhood Housing Services of the East Bay (NHS).

Assistance Program Leveraging
NHS will help ensure that buyers take advantage of every home buyer assistance program that they qualify for, in addition to the OBAR Closing Cost Grant.



HOW IT WORKS

  1. Initial Application and RNHS Review– Real estate agent gives buyer a OBAR Closing Cost Grant Program grant application and refers buyer to Richmond Neighborhood Housing Services of the East Bay (RNHS – also referred to as Neighborhood Housing Services of the East Bay) to submit the completed application. RNHS reviews the buyer’s application only after it is complete.
    1. If buyer comes to RNHS with no lender in place:
      1. RNHS will assist the buyer in reviewing and applying for additional first-time home buyer programs that can be used in addition to OBAR Closing Cost Grant; and
      2. RNHS recommend a lender that they believe can best assist the buyer with those programs. 
    2. If buyer comes to RNHS with lender in place, RNHS will not recommend a different lender if buyer has already been preapproved by a lender before contacting RNHS for OBAR Closing Cost Grant RNHS will not recommend loan programs beyond those that the lender is approved and willing to do.  If buyer does not have a lender, RNHS will evaluate the buyer to identify down payment assistance programs that they qualify for and will recommend a lender that they believe can best assist the buyer with those programs.
  2. Pre-approval– Buyer secures pre-approval for their loan from a lender that has agreed to allow use of the OBAR Grant* and RNHS approves buyer for use of the OBAR Grant.
    1. If buyer is approved to use the OBAR Grant, RNHS will send buyer and their real estate agent (if one is designated by buyer) notice of the approval.
  3. Notice of Offer Acceptance– Real estate agent notifies RNHS with submission of OBAR closing cost assistance forms (to be filled out and signed by real estate agent and buyer).
    1. The real estate agent may want to confirm the availability of funds prior to submitting an offer.
  4. Confirmation of Availability of Funds– RNHS notifies OBAR and buyer of the availability and amount of OBAR Grant funds to be awarded to buyer.
  5. Reservation of Funds– OBAR reserves the funds for the buyer.
  6. Contingency Removal– Once all purchase agreement contingencies have been removed, real estate agent sends/delivers copies of the final contingency removal documents, signed by the buyer and seller, to RNHS.

 

*OBAR has a list of lenders that have previously approved use of the OBAR Grant and will provide financing to buyers who intend to use the grant. AN APPLICANT’S LENDER DOES NOT HAVE TO BE ON THIS LIST FOR AN APPLICANT TO QUALIFY FOR A GRANT. If a buyer wishes to use a lender that is not on this list, buyer is advised to confirm with their lender that buyer’s use of the OBAR Grant will not negatively impact their financing prior to making offers to purchase homes. Entering into a purchase agreement that is dependent upon financing from a lender that has not pre-authorized the use of the OBAR Grant could result in delays to the close of escrow or the lender may decline to provide their financing in conjunction with the OBAR Grant.

Download the process document here. 

BUYER CRITERIA 

  1. Buyer must be a “first-time buyer,” meaning that they can’t have owned a home for at least 3 or more years prior to close of escrow.*
  2. Buyer must move into the property within 60 days after close of escrow and then must occupy the property as their principal residence for at least one year after the close of escrow.
  3. Property being purchased by the buyer must contain no more that than two units.**
  4. Buyer income must be no more than 120% of the Area Median Income*** (AMI).
  5. Buyer must contribute 3% of their own funds.****
  6. Buyer must be left with no more than $15,000 in reserves after purchasing the home.*****
  7. Buyer may not receive any funds back at close of escrow. Any excess or unused OBAR Closing Cost Grant Program funds must be returned to OBAR at the close of escrow.

*To be verified by lender
**Properties with in-law units are considered eligible.
***Based on HUD criteria for Alameda County.
****Buyers that qualify for VA Loans or Section 8 Homeownership Programs are exempt from this requirement.
*****This amount does not include the down payment amount per Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae. It also excludes gift and retirement funds.

HOW THE PROGRAM HELPS BUYERS

  • All buyers using the program will experience cost savings of $5000. In addition, buyers will be introduced to additional assistance that they may qualify for and potentially leverage those programs for even greater cost savings.
  • By current estimates*, buyers purchasing a $550,000 home that qualifies for additional local assistance could save between $75 and $200 per month and see a $30,000 reduction in cash to close.

*November 2017

“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” ~ Maya Angelou

“If I were asked to name the chief benefit of the house, I should say: the house shelters daydreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace.” ~ Gaston Bachelard