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Travis County, TX First Time Home Buyer

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Travis County, TX – First Time Home Buyer

In the market to buy your first home? Our Travis County, TX first time home buyer loan programs can help you obtain the financing you need to purchase the home you desire. Our programs offer very competitive terms, including the lowest down payment options for FHA and conventional loans.  We also offer unique home buyer mortgages, including no down payment loans for rural properties, and jumbo loans for large or luxury homes. We have programs to meet almost any type of borrowers home financing needs.

Travis County, Texas First Time Home Buyer Loan Programs

  • FHA Loans – Widely popular and considered by many to be the best first time mortgage loan, the FHA is an easy to qualify for loan that offers great terms.  This includes a low down payment requirement of 3.5%, and fair credit is allowed (580 or higher).  There are other reasons for FHA being selected by most first time buyers, such as eligibility for down payment assistance programs, and other appealing incentives.
  • Conventional Loans – A conventional mortgage is any non-government backed loan.  These meet the Fannie Mae conforming loan requirements and are usually chosen by borrowers with good or excellent credit and/or a large down payment.  There are some situations that a conventional mortgage is better even if you are placing a small down payment or using government assistance.
  • USDA Loans – USDA loans are a no down payment loan program available for rural and select suburban area properties.  They are available for very low income, low income, and moderate income borrowers.  In addition to 100% financing, USDA loans are a great choice for many who will not qualify for other types of mortgage loans.  While low income is allowed, you must not have a lot of debt, and a 620 credit score is required.  Want to learn more about USDA loans?  Visit this page.
  • VA Loans – Active duty military members and veterans can apply for a VA loan which allows you to buy your first home without any down payment.  These loans are not available to the general public, but exclusively to military/veterans.
  • Jumbo Loans – Any loan that does not meet the conforming or FHA loan limits is a jumbo loan.  The FHA loan limits for Lubbock County are as follows:  Single unit: $333,500.  Two units: $426,950.  Three units: $516,050.  Four units: $641,350.  For conforming loans, which are used for conventional and VA loans, the maximum loan limits are:  Single unit: $417,000.  Two units: $533,850.  Three units: $645,300.  Four units: $703,250.  If you want to buy a more expensive home, and have the income to qualify, we provide what are known as jumbo loans up to $2,000,000.

The above 5 types of loans are the main first time home buyer options that exist.  We can help you determine which loan is the right fit for you based on your particular needs and eligibility.

Click Here For a Quick and Easy Application to Get Pre-Approved

Travis County, Texas – First Time Home Buyer Down Payment Assistance Programs 

First time home buyers in Travis County, Texas may be eligible for a few different down payment assistance programs.  This includes one local and two statewide incentives which are available within the limits of Travis County.

Travis County Local Program – 

Travis County offers first time home buyers an excellent opportunity to receive grant money, which provides funds for down payments and closing costs.  Eligible participants can receive between 4-6% in of the purchase price in grant money.  Unlike many assistance programs, this money does not ever have to be paid back!  You can learn about the program requirements below:

Requirements – 

  • You must be a first time home buyer.
  • A FICO score of at least 640 is required.
  • The maximum income allowed is $108,920.
  • You must complete a homebuyer education course through a HUD-approved counseling agency.
  • Only owner occupied homes are allowed (no investment properties).

To learn more about the grant, please visit the Travis County web page covering program details, here.  If you would like some assistance determining if you are eligible, we would be glad to help.  Just request a free consultation by filling out the web form on this page, and a loan specialist will be in contact with you soon.

My First Texas Home – You may be able to receive up to 5% of the purchase price to use for your down payment and closing costs.  This comes in the form of interest free loan, which acts a “second lien” on the property.  You do not have to make any payments on the loan, but once the home is sold or refinanced, the money has to be repaid.

The requirements for My First Texas Home are:

  • Be a first time home buyer (or not have owned a home in the last 3 years).
  • Have a credit score of at least a 640 in order to be eligible.
  • Complete a homebuyer education class.
  • Occupy the home yourself.  No investment / rental properties allowed.
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio allowed is 45%.  This means your current monthly payments on debt obligations, along with the new mortgage payment (principle, interest, taxes, and insurance) must not exceed 45% of your bring home income.
  • Meet certain income and purchase price limits, which vary based on the location in Texas you want to purchase a home in.  You can view these limits here.

To see if you are eligible or apply for My First Texas Home, contact us and we will assist you.  You may also learn more on the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs website or contact them directly.

Homes for Texas Heroes / Home Sweet Texas Home Loan Programs – Teachers, firefighters, police officers, veterans, and certain low-to-moderate income borrowers can apply to receive 2-5% in down payment assistance.  One of the most significant advantages of Homes for Texas Heroes is that the money does NOT have to be repaid!  Most other DPA programs require the funds to be repaid once the home is sold or refinanced, but this is not the case with this program.

In addition to the types of “heroes” listed above, there are several other types of professionals who are eligible.  This includes: peace officers, corrections officers, public security officers, peace officers, emergency medical technicians, teacher aides, librarians, school nurses, and school counselors.

Frequently Asked Questions About Buying Your First Home

How much do I need for a down payment?
It depends on the type of loan you want.  USDA and VA loans often will not require any down payment.  FHA loans require a 3.5% down payment, which if you get down payment assistance, only .5% is required.  Conventional loans typically require either 3% or 5%.

How do I know if I am ready and prepared to own a home?
It is critical to consider the often unexpected expenses of buying a home. This includes repairs, maintenance, and of course furnishing the home, monthly utilities, and all other expenses that are associated with homeownership. A common mistake is to just look at the difference in rent to your total mortgage payment. Almost every year, you can expect to have to pay for various upkeep to keep the property functional. This can include anything from repairing a hot water heater that broke, to landscaping, and various maintenance.

Something else financial consultants advise is that you have at least 3 months of reserves. This means that you could afford to make your new mortgage payment for at least 3 months in the event that you lose a job or have some other unforeseen circumstance that the savings would be needed for. This is not a requirement for most home loans, but it is good advice to consider.

How much can I afford to borrow?
The amount that you can borrow depends on your particular loan type and income. There are maximum loan limits which are set at the county level. Conforming loan limits are the maximum lending amount allowed for conventional mortgages. FHA loans have their own loan limits. You can search the maximum loan amount for your county for each particular loan type by entering your zip code (or any zip code for the county you want to buy a home in). This will display the maximum amount available for all loan types. This is not necessarily how much you can borrow though, but the max amount in your location. Your personal limits will be based upon your income and how much debt you have. For instance, with most loans, you can not have a mortgage payment and debts exceed 43% of your income.

Can I buy a home without a real estate agent?
It depends on your state and the type of loan program.  For some states, you must use an agent.  In other states, you are not required to use a real estate agent for many loan program, such as conventional mortgages.  However, some loan types require that you use a real estate agent regardless of your location, such as USDA loans.

Can I buy a home if I owe tax debt?
For government-backed loans, such as FHA, VA, and USDA loans, you can buy a home with tax debt as long as you have made a payment plan with the IRS and are not behind on the payments. Any federal debt must be in good standing in order to get a government-based mortgage. If your tax debts have moved into the status of a tax lien, this will prevent you from getting a home loan until it is resolved.

Can I buy a home if I have student loans?
As long as you are not delinquent on the student loan payments and the monthly payments do not cause excessive debt-to-income ratios, you can still get a mortgage.

Can I buy a home without my spouse?
A common question is if you can buy a house without your wife or husband.  The short answer is yes. There are numerous reasons someone may want to exclude their spouse from a mortgage application, such as lower credit, lack of job history or income, or one spouse having excessive debt that could prevent an approval. You may be able to qualify and get a home loan without your spouse.

Can I buy a home after foreclosure?
Most loan programs will require you to wait 3 years before you can buy again after a foreclosure.  There are some instances that you might be able to get an approval in as little as 12 months.  This includes the FHA extenuating circumstances program (more commonly known as the “FHA back to work program”).  If you lost your job due to a job loss or some other event out of your control, you might be able to purchase a home with a FHA loan after only 1 year.

I do not have much credit, can I still get approved?
A 580 minimum is required for a FHA loan. A 620 is required for all others. You may find a lender who can help you if you have poor credit. We do not offer any bad credit mortgage programs

Have more questions about buying your first home?  View our list which covers even more commonly asked questions about buying a home.  Or you can give us a call at 1-800-731-3560.

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