SAN FRANCISCO - MAY 04: A sale pending sign is posted in front of a home for sale May 4, 2009 in San Francisco, California. A report by the National Association of Realtors says that pending home sales were up 3.2 percent to 84.6 in March as home buyers took advantage of historically low mortgage interest rates and low home prices. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
If you're looking to buy, San Jose is quite nice this time of year. First time homebuyers in San Jose could qualify for a state loan of up to 20 percent of the purchase price of their homes. And they won't have to pay it back for 30 years. Even then, they'll only be charged 3 percent interest.
The City Council is set to vote on the next phase of its "Begin" Program on Tuesday. If approved, it will dole out more than $8 million to qualified buyers. The goal is to help 99 homebuyers afford the home of their dreams.
The money comes from the state, thanks to Prop 1C, a 2006 voter-approved initiative. Money will be available first to buyers interested in The 88 and The Works San Jose. Once the state budget is approved, funds will be available to buyers at Axis, 360 and Villa Fontana.
The city wants to spur economic growth for everyone in San Jose, not just homebuyers. The idea is that more people living in the city means more people spending money in the city. Housing financial manager Kristen Clements says the funding acts like a "multiplier" by attracting more people to live, work and play in San Jose.
"There are so many people in the South Bay who make a decent wage and are trying to take advantage of low interest rates and need a little help" said Clements, "because this is still one of most expensive housing markets in the country."
Ron Heckmann, spokesman for The 88, said, "With an increased residential base, you have more people who are spending. It increases the tax base -- and it helps everybody."