First Time Homebuyer Loans

Downpayment assistance loans for first-time homebuyers in San Mateo County

Our goal is simple: to help you purchase a home with a 5% downpayment and no Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). HEART has created a unique loan package in partnership with Meriwest Mortgage, a subsidiary of Meriwest Credit Union, that is not offered by any other lender.

Do I Qualify?
How does the program work?
Apply Now
Frequently Asked Questions
Contact Us

On-Demand Webinar

Watch HEART’s one-hour workshop with local Mortgage and Real Estate experts to learn how the HEART program can work for you and about the homebuying process.

Do I Qualify?

In order to qualify for this program, you must meet a few specific requirements. There aren’t many requirements, but they are important, and you must be able to prove that you meet each and every one of them. Please review the list below and check those to which you can answer “yes.”

  • Do you live or work in San Mateo County?
  • Is the home you are purchasing in San Mateo County? You may purchase a condo or single-family home anywhere in San Mateo County.
  • For single-person households: Do you earn $180,000 or less each year?
  • For households of two or more: Does your family earn $220,000 or less each year?
  • Do all borrowers have good credit – FICO score 680 or higher?
  • Is the purchase price of the property you want to buy $1,213,500 or less?
  • You have NOT owned a home during the past 36 months, OR, if you have, will you be selling your current home and buying one that is substantially closer to transit in San Mateo County?
  • Will you be able to make a down payment of 5% of the purchase price?

If you answered yes to all of these questions, you may qualify for HEART’s program. To begin the application process and find out for certain if this program is right for you, go to the Apply section.

How does the First-Time Homebuyer Program work?

Watch HEART’s one-hour workshop with local Mortgage and Real Estate experts to learn how the HEART program can work for you and about the homebuying process.

  • HEART partner Meriwest Mortgage offers a 30-year, conforming or high-balance fixed-rate loan of up to $970,800.
  • HEART offers a 15-year, second lien downpayment loan of up to $182,025.
  • The maximum purchase price for this combination, together with 5% downpayment from the borrower, is $1,213,500.
  • The borrower is not required to buy private mortgage insurance (PMI) which can cost thousands of dollars annually. This results in significant savings to the homebuyer.
  • If you meet the qualifications below, apply online below for a pre-qualification letter from Meriwest Mortgage to find out how much you can borrow.
  • Please note that this is for market-rate homes only, and not for BMR (below market rate) units.



Did you complete the qualification checklist by answering YES to all of the questions? If so, you may qualify for HEART’s program.

⇒Apply Now⇐

Clicking on this button leads you to the HEART and Meriwest Mortgage website where you can complete a loan application.



Access tools made for First Time Homebuyers, in partnership with Meriwest Mortgage

Guidelines are current as of February 2022 and subject to change due to rapidly changing market conditions. Check back for updates, or contact Arthur Chen at Meriwest Mortgage at (408) 363-3442 or via email at [email protected]


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What do I do if I have more questions?

A. Click on the links below to gather more information. You can also contact us.

  • Download our program flyer here.
  • Download a terms sheet here for helpful reference.
  • Download our workshop presentation here.

Q: What are the interest rates?

A:  Please contact Arthur Chen at Meriwest Mortgage, at 408-363-3442 or via email [email protected] for today’s rates or check the Meriwest Mortgage website

Q: How is the program funded?

A: HEART funds the First Time Homebuyer program through donations and grants from local organizations and employers. HEART raises funds year-round to enable this program to grow and serve even more local residents and employees. Contribute to this vital program via our Donate page, or contact HEART.

Q: How much house can I afford? What do I do first?


Contact Us

We look forward to hearing from you! If you have questions, need further information, or experience any challenges, please contact us.

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