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FHA loans for California homebuyers

Learn about requirements, loan limits, and more

FHA loans are designed to make purchasing and refinancing a home more affordable and accessible to the everyday person. Insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), FHA loans are offered by private lenders like Freedom Mortgage so you can shop for an FHA loan just like you would any other loan.

Many of the benefits of FHA loans, including lower credit scores and lower minimum down payments, are the same in California as they are in the rest of the country. Many FHA loan requirements are the same for California too. There are differences however. Read on to learn more.

FHA loan limits in California

FHA loan limits are county-specific and are based on the median home price of the county where the home is located. Because of this, the amount you can borrow with an FHA loan can vary.

For example, the 2024 FHA loan limit for a single-family home in Fresno county is $498,257. By contrast, the loan limit for a single-family home in Los Angeles county is $1,149,825. This difference is due to a higher median home price in Los Angeles county compared to Fresno county.

Regardless of where the home is located, $498,257 is considered the “floor” 2024 FHA loan limit for a single-family home—meaning you can borrow at least that amount anywhere in California. Learn more about FHA loan limits and how they are calculated.

Homebuyer assistance programs in California

California offers many local and statewide assistance programs for first-time and repeat homebuyers. The California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) offers down payment assistance, closing costs assistance as well as other programs. You can also find similar assistance programs through the California Department of Housing and Community Development. Additional information on other assistance programs available in California can be found on the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) website.

Refinancing FHA loans in California

As is the case in other states, California homeowners with FHA loans may be eligible to refinance through the FHA streamline refinance program. A streamline refinance allows you to complete the refinance process and get a lower rate with a faster closing time and less paperwork. By refinancing, the total finance charges may be higher over the life of the loan. To be eligible for an FHA streamline refinance, you must currently have an FHA loan and refinance into a replacement FHA loan. Other credit and financial requirements must be met as well.

Freedom Mortgage is a top FHA lender in the United States according to Inside Mortgage Finance, Jan.–Sept., 2023.

Last reviewed and updated January 2024 by Freedom Mortgage Corporation.

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