Are you a first-time home buyers Houston candidate? Here at Rock Mortgage, we aim to make the home-buying process as stress-free as possible for a first-time home buyer. We want to make sure you get into a home you love for a price you can afford. Below are some of the most common questions we get asked by a first-time home buyer in Houston and the answers to those questions.
Should a First-Time Home Buyer in Houston Use Real Estate Brokers?
If you’re the type of person who likes to be independent and do things yourself, you may think it’s a great idea to shop for your first home without any help. While this could turn out just fine in the end, there’s a huge risk you could end up paying more than you thought to for home or discover serious problems with your home’s structure after you’ve already purchased it.
The truth is, real estate brokers, know the ins and outs of the real estate business. They know how to help a first-time home buyer in Houston find a home that fits all of their preferences and qualifications. They also know how to make sure the house is properly inspected before you buy. A good real estate broker will know details you may not know about the neighborhood where you plan to move. They can help you understand traffic volume in the community, school quality, crime rate, etc. A skilled real estate professional can also help you navigate home-buying financial aspects, which can be notoriously complicated.
Why Should First Time Home Buyers Houston Buy When They Can Rent?
While renting a home can seem a lot less scary for a first-time home buyer in Houston, it’s not very cost-effective. Consider the fact that you’re putting money toward a rental every month, but you’ll never own it. A home, on the other hand, is an investment that you own. You can also deduct the interest from your mortgage loan from your federal income taxes, which can help you save money every year.
When you own a home, you can also deduct your property taxes from your annual filings. And if you ever wish to move somewhere else, you’ll have an asset you can sell to earn money towards your new home purchase. Plus, when you own your home, you can make any renovations and improvements you want to, something you wouldn’t be able or want to do if renting from someone else. Buying a home is a wise investment that pays off in the long run.
How Will I Know if I Qualify for a Loan?
Loan qualifications differ from lender to lender, which means you may end up wondering how to tell if you’ll qualify. Fortunately, you can contact Rock Mortgage and ask us about our reasonable loan qualification requirements. We’ll be happy to talk with you and help you figure out if you’re eligible to receive one of our loans when you’re ready to buy your first home.
How Much Money Does a First-Time Home Buyer in Houston Need to Save for a Down Payment?
Various factors can help determine the amount a first-time home buyer in Houston should put down upfront. But it would be best if you planned on saving up enough to cover these three things:
- Closing costs: This is the cost associated with processing home-buying paperwork
- Earnest money: This is the deposit you put down on a home to tell the seller you’re a serious buyer. Having earnest money to put down could give you a big advantage over other interested parties who want to buy the home you’re interested in purchasing.
- Down payment: A down payment is a percentage of the total home cost that you are required to pay during settlement. Some loans require that you produce a down payment that’s anywhere between 10%-20% of the total purchase price. If you can put down more, it’s wise to do because the more you put into a down payment, the smaller your monthly payments and the less interest you’ll end up paying.
You’re in a good spot as long as you have enough money to cover these three things.
Down Payment Assistance Program (DAP)
The Down Payment Assistance Program (DAP), administered by the Community Services Department, aims to offer financial support to turn your homeownership dreams into reality in Harris County.
Eligibility Requirements for Applicants: To qualify for this program, applicants must meet the following criteria:
- First-Time Homebuyer: Applicants must not have owned a home in the three years leading up to their assistance application.
- Income Qualification: Applicants must meet income qualifications, as outlined in the income chart provided.
- Minimum Credit Score: A minimum credit score of 580 is required.
- Credit Approval: Applicants must secure credit approval through one of the participating mortgage lenders (refer to the Approved Lenders list).
- Debt Ratios: The front-end debt ratio (debt) cannot exceed 39%, and the back-end debt-to-income ratio (DTI) cannot exceed 42%.
- Homeownership Education: Before applying for DAP assistance, applicants must successfully complete an 8-hour homeownership education course. This course must be provided by a HUD-approved homebuyer education course provider and led by a Certified Counselor. Applicants are also required to submit a final signed household budget from their HUD-approved provider.
- Minimum Buyer Contribution: Buyers are expected to contribute a minimum of $1,000 towards the home purchase.
- Liquid Assets: Buyers cannot possess more than $15,000 in liquid assets, including stocks, cash, or bonds.
- Citizenship Status: Borrower(s) and/or Non-Participating Spouse must be either a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident Alien.
These eligibility criteria are designed to ensure that the DAP program provides assistance to qualified applicants while promoting responsible homeownership. If you meet these requirements, you’re one step closer to achieving your homeownership goals in Harris County.
Apply for a Loan Today
If you’re looking for mortgage lenders Houston who will treat you fairly, you’ve come to the right place. Apply for a loan through Rock Mortgage today for some of the best rates currently available.
Commonly Asked Questions from the First Time Home Buyers in Houston | Rock Mortgage — Houston, Texas