California FHA loans come with red tape that can make the process confusing. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

From guiding you through the mortgage loan requirements to putting it all together to get you into your dream home, the Wendy Thompson Lending Team can make it happen.

How much home you can buy depends on where you're buying it. You could borrow up to $765,600 for a home in San Francisco near Mission Dolores Park.

pictur e of the state of California with teal green and black banners with the words FHA Loan California Requirements

But in Fresno? 

Your California FHA loan limit is only $331,760.

Here’s what you need to know about FHA requirements in California, loan limits, and the best FHA lenders and rates. 

California FHA Loan Requirements and Guidelines

Part of CA FHA loan requirements' appeal is that they're generally easier to meet than conventional home loan guidelines. 

FHA loan requirements in California are similar to what you’ll find throughout the U.S.:

  • Be able to repay the loan
  • 3.5% down payment 
  • Good credit score
  • The property must be your primary residence

Contrary to what you may have heard, FHA loan qualifications in California don’t require you to be a first-time homebuyer.

Fico score

APR

Mo. Payment

700+

3.375 %

$1,508.00

660 - 699

3.5 %

$1,525.00

640 - 659

3.625 %

$1,542.00

620 - 639

Currently Unavailable

N/A

600 - 619

Currently Unavailable

N/A

*Updated 4/22/20 - Rates are based on a $250,000 home with a 3.5% down payment, and includes principal, interest, taxes and insurance.  Rates change often and differ based on your state, down payment, and loan amount.  Click here for correct rates based on your situation.  

What Are The FHA Loan Limits In California?

California FHA loan limits determine your borrowing power. Depending on where you live, the amount you’re able to borrow could be substantially different than what you might expect. 

For example, if you live in gorgeous San Jose, you can borrow up to $765,600 – which is the max FHA loan amount in CA for Santa Clara County. 

Cities like Sacramento and Elk Grove limit the amount you can borrow with a California FHA loan to $569,250. 

The lowest FHA loan limit in California is $331,760, and it's found in 21 counties in the Golden State. One example is Mariposa County, nestled in the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains.

However, the average home price in Mariposa County is $303,064 – so you should have no trouble finding a home within the FHA loan max for California.

CALIFORNIA FHA Loan Limits

Overview:

As you might have guessed, FHA loan limits in California are much higher than the standard $331,760 in some areas.

 The Golden State lets you get up to $765,600 in Alameda, Contra Costa, Los Angeles, Marin, Orange, San Benito, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz counties.

FHA Loan Limits In California: 

  • Lowest: $331,760
  • Highest: $765,600
  • Website

FHA Loan Limits CALIFORNIA

COUNTIES

MAX FHA LOAN LIMIT FOR A SINGLE UNIT

Butte, Colusa, Del Norte, Fresno, Glenn, Imperial,  Kern, Kings, Lake, Lassen

$331,760

Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Modoc, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou

$331,760

Plumas

$336,950

Humboldt

$345,000

Amador

$355,350

Stanislaus

$365,700

How To Apply For A FHA Loan In CA

California FHA loans are backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). But you must go through an FHA-approved lender to apply.

To get the ball rolling on your application, here’s how to apply for an FHA loan in California:

  • Find an experienced California FHA lender
  • Work with a real estate agent to find a home
  • Deliver documentation to your lender for final loan approval

Now, one extra step can boost your chances of getting the house you want…

Pre-qualification.

It isn’t required, but pre-qualifying when you apply for an FHA loan in California can make all the difference.

Here’s why:

  • It shows sellers you’re serious about buying a home
  • It proves you’re capable of securing a California FHA mortgage


Are There Any FHA Down Payment Assistance California Programs?

The down payment can be a significant hurdle to would-be homeowners. Luckily, FHA down payment assistance in California is a practical solution.

If you’re struggling to build your savings, you could take advantage of programs offered by the California Housing Finance Agency (CalFHA).

The Tactical FHA Loan Blueprint

FHA First Time Home Buyer CA Assistance

FHA first-time homebuyers in CA can use first-time homebuyer assistance to make the leap from renter to homeowner.

CalHFA’s MyHome Assistance Program offers a deferred-payment loan to help cover the down payment amount.

You must attend homebuyer education counseling and get a certificate of completion to qualify for this program.

FHA Loan Limits CALIFORNIA

COUNTIES

MAX FHA LOAN LIMIT FOR A SINGLE UNIT

Calaveras, Inyo 

$373,750

Mendocino 

$409,400

Riverside, San Bernardino

$442,750

San Joaquin 

$448,500

Alpine 

$463,450

Nevada

$486,450

Solano

$506,000

Mono

$529,000

El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento

$569,250

Santa Barbara

$653,200

Can I Get A FHA Cash-Out Refinance Mortgage?

The short answer is yes. 

You can get an FHA cash-out refinance in California and use the funds to create a larger FHA home loan that gives you more borrowing power.

The California FHA cash-out refinance option requires you to have equity built up in an existing home, so it isn't a good option for first-time homebuyers.

Does The FHA Offer Construction or Home Improvement Loans?

An FHA construction loan in California is an excellent choice if you’re building a brand-new house from the ground-up.

But what if a fixer-upper is more your style?

Then consider the 203(k) rehabilitation loan. It’s the equivalent of an FHA California home improvement loan if the home needs repairs or appliance upgrades.

Best FHA Lenders In CA

Are you ready to apply with an FHA lender in CA?

If the answer is yes, you have plenty of options.

Many FHA approved lenders are in California. In fact, CalHFA has a list of FHA loan lenders in California

The Wendy Thompson Lending Team can help you get approved, too! We’re licensed in all 50 states and are here to help you.

Fico score

APR

Mo. Payment

700+

3.375 %

$1,508.00

660 - 699

3.5 %

$1,525.00

640 - 659

3.625 %

$1,542.00

620 - 639

Currently Unavailable

N/A

600 - 619

Currently Unavailable

N/A

*Updated 4/22/20 - Rates are based on a $250,000 home with a 3.5% down payment, and includes principal, interest, taxes and insurance.  Rates change often and differ based on your state, down payment, and loan amount.  Click here for correct rates based on your situation.  

Where to Find Current FHA Mortgage Rates In California

Current FHA mortgage rates in California shouldn’t be a mystery.

Some lenders make you jump through hoops before giving you current FHA mortgage rates in CA!

But not us…

Here are sample rates you can expect in CA based on credit score:


Remember that your actual FHA interest rate will depend on several factors.

FHA Loan Limits CALIFORNIA

COUNTIES

MAX FHA LOAN LIMIT FOR A SINGLE UNIT

Monterey

$672,750

San Luis Obispo

$690,000

San Diego

$701,500

Sonoma

$704,950

Napa 

$764,750

Alameda, Contra Costa, Los Angeles, Marin, Orange, San Benito, San Francisco, 

$765,600

San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz

$765,600

CAlifornia FHA Loan Calculator

Looking for a simple way to try the numbers on for size to see just where you stand or how much you can afford? 

Try our California FHA loan calculator!

Enter your home price, down payment, term length, interest rate, and more to get a full picture of what your monthly payment might look like.

See how much you could save by increasing your down payment.

Even dropping your interest rate by 0.50% could make a huge difference.

Where Can I Find FHA Homes For Sale In CA?

Now that you’re familiar with the CA FHA mortgage loan program, it’s time to think about moving forward.

Two of the best places to shop for FHA approved homes for sale in California are Zillow and Trulia.

And when you’re ready to pursue homeownership, rely on our years of experience to guide you in determining if a California FHA loan is right for you.