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$15 Million Available for First-Time Homebuyers

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December 18, 2009

Local first-time homebuyers may be able to take advantage of state funds awarded to the County of San Diego Department of Housing and Community Development. The department received $15 million for the Mortgage Credit Certificate, or MCC, program, in addition to almost $11 million awarded to Housing and Community Development earlier this year.

An MCC allows eligible homebuyers to reduce their federal income tax by up to 20 percent of the annual interest paid on a mortgage loan.  With less being paid in taxes, the buyer's net earnings increase, enabling that person to more easily qualify for a mortgage loan.

Homebuyers must meet certain qualifications to participate in the program. Among them, buyers cannot earn more than $109,020 annually for a family of three or more, and not more than $94,800 annually for a family of two or less. The limits are higher if buyers purchase home in specially designated areas. The purchased home must be the buyer’s primary residence, and an MCC may only be used to purchase single-family detached homes, condominiums, townhomes and manufactured homes on a permanent foundation. The property to be purchased must be located within an unincorporated area of San Diego County, or in the cities of Carlsbad, Chula Vista, Coronado, El Cajon, Encinitas, Escondido, Imperial Beach, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, National City, Poway, San Marcos, Santee, or Vista. The cities of San Diego and Oceanside operate their own individual MCC programs.

Interested homebuyers apply for the program through a mortgage lender. For information, please visit the County of San Diego Housing and Community Development Web site, or contact Bonnie Petrach at (858) 694-4810 or