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Hedy Maar, with daughters Leylah, left, and Sarah, thought owning a home in overpriced Southern California was out of reach for her and her husband, Christopher -- until they heard about city and state programs that help low- and moderate-income first-time home buyers. The creative financing available through those programs enabled the Maars to buy a $479,950 home in Granada Hills this year with only $10,000 down. Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times
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