People say everything is bigger in Texas, and that definitely includes help for first-time homebuyers. Texas is a huge state, and with so much real estate available for new buyers, they offer a variety of guidance programs, grants and payment assistance geared specifically for Texans looking to buy their first home.
Texas has been committed to helping new buyers – especially veterans and military personnel – find a home that fits their needs. From grants to low-interest loans, you have a lot of options at your fingertips. If you’re looking to buy a first home in Texas, here are some great steps to take in the Lone Star state.
Determine If You Are a First-Time Homebuyer
Believe it or not, you can be a first-time homebuyer and not even know it. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) defines a first-time buyer as someone who has never owned a home before, but it includes anyone who has not owned a home for more than 3 years. It also includes buyers whose spouse owns a home, single parents whose former spouses owned a home and those who have previously owned motor homes. You may be eligible for first-time homebuyer programs, even if you think you’re not.
Ask Your Realtor
The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) partnered with the Texas Association of REALTORS, the Texas Veterans Land Board and the USDA to educate Texas real estate agents on programs and housing options for first-time homebuyers, especially low-income families. Your real estate agent can help you find homes for sale that are eligible for assistance programs, as well a home that will meet the needs of your family.
Find a Loan that Works for You
Once you have a house in mind, you need a loan that works for you. Our home loan officers offer expertise on variety of first-time homebuyer programs, and they can help you find the right loan for your financial and family needs. We can help you determine if a conventional, fixed-rate loan is right for you, or if an FHA loan with a low down payment will be best for you.
Texas First-Time Homebuyer Programs and Grants
In October 2012, TDHCA released $600 million in homebuyer assistance funds to be released in $35 million lots. The First Texas Home program is a taxable mortgage program that comes with an interest rate above market rates, but comes with some payment assistance options.
However, the state also offers a Down Payment Assistance Program available to buyers with FHA loans, but eligibility requirements are determined by each county. The program offers a deferred, forgivable loan for first-time homebuyers who require assistance with their down payment and closing costs, up to $14,400 to eligible buyers. The amount of the loan is determined by the type and location of the home you’re buying, so make sure to ask your loan officer for clarification.
Texas Mortgage Tax Credit
Like many other states, Texas has guidelines for the federal Mortgage Credit Certificate tax credit. Texas Bond Program 77 includes the MCC credit, and the program can increase your family’s disposable income by allowing buyers with a certain income and home price to claim a tax credit for a portion of the mortgage interest paid each year. In Texas, the credit is capped at $2,000, but the credit will remain in effect for as long as you live in the home.
If you know a Texan, or future Texan, that is interested in taking their first step toward becoming a homeowner, please share this blog with them!