Tips for First Time Home Buyers in Houston, TX
Buying your first home is a huge decision but that doesn’t mean it has to be difficult. First Time Home Buyer programs were created to help new home buyers even if they’ve had a hard time saving up for a large down payment.
First Time Home Buyer Loan Programs
There are many different types of loan programs offered both nationally and locally to Texas home buyers. Nationally, the most common types are Conventional Mortgage, FHA Loans, VA Loans and USDA Loans. These programs are best for home buyers that are looking for a low down payment.
In Texas, the TDHCA offers programs specific to first time home buyers. These programs offer features like competitive interest rates, closing costs and down payment assistance, and possible tax credit for annual mortgage interest paid.
My First Texas Home Loan
- This program is great for home buyers looking for low mortgage rates, down payment assistance and closing cost assistance
- Offers 30-year, low fixed-interest rate mortgages
- Includes down payment and closing cost assistance of up to 5% of the mortgage amount as a lien with no interest and no monthly payment
- Can be combined with the Texas Mortgage Credit Certificate
Texas Mortgage Credit Certificate
- This program is great for home buyers looking for tax credits
- Mortgage interest is paid to the lender but Texas home buyers can recoup 40% of that interest up to $2,000 a year by using this program
- Valid for the lifetime of the loan as long as it stays the primary residence
Other Important First Time Home Buyer Considerations
First time home buyers often have many things on their plate other than picking the right loan program. Here are a couple tips so things don’t fall through the cracks.
Compare Mortgage Rates
After picking a loan program, home buyers should compare quotes from at least three lenders. Home buyers that do this save a lot of money in rates and fees. Home buyers should also ask their lender about discount points which can lower the interest rates.
Pick the Best House and Neighborhood
Home buyers often don’t think about the cost associated with certain types of houses. A townhouse HOA fee might seem expensive, but it might be cheaper than heating and taking care of a large house with a yard.
When picking the right home and neighborhood check:
- How safe the neighborhood is and how much crime there is
- How close it is to good schools as this will affect the home value
- How close to important amenities like grocery stores and hospitals
- The neighborhood at different times a day to check traffic and activity levels
Home buyers often don’t do research when picking a home inspector but one size does not fit all.
- Some inspectors don’t do tests for things like mold, termites, thermal imaging or air quality
- Make sure the home inspector has access to all parts of the home including the roof and crawl spaces
- Attend the inspection and ask questions, the home inspector’s job is to make sure home buyers are informed to make a good decision
At Guiding Light Home Inspection Services, we find great joy in helping first time home buyers make an informed decision towards the rest of their lives!