Options for First Time Home Buyer Financing in Houston

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While owning a home offers many benefits, the process can be intimidating for Houston’s first time home buyers Houston. You may think that homeownership is out of your reach if your credit isn’t perfect or you are having difficulty making up the down payment.

Fortunately, there are both state and federal assistance programs that can make a home purchase more affordable. These programs assist with expenses such as closing costs and down payments and sometimes issues such as low credit scores so that mortgage lenders Houston can provide the first time home buyer financing you need to purchase your first home.

Who Qualifies for First Time Home Buyer Financing?

It should be noted that the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs defines Houston’s first time home buyers somewhat loosely. In certain circumstances, it is possible to have owned a home in the past and still be considered a first time home buyer. The TDCHA offers benefits both to Texans who have never owned a home before and to those who have not owned a home as a primary residence within the past three years. If you are an honorably discharged veteran, even this restriction may be waived. Federal programs often have similar requirements, allowing you to take advantage of first time home buyer financing even if you have owned a home before.

What State Programs Are Available for First Time Home Buyer Financing in Houston?First Time Home Buyers Houston

State programs for first time home buyer financing typically involve assistance with down payments and closing costs. One state program is specifically intended for first time home buyers, meaning that you must meet the TDCHA’s criteria to be eligible for it. The My First Texas Home loan provides a no-interest second lien on the home for up to 5% of the mortgage amount to cover your down payment and closing costs. You do not have to make monthly payments on this loan. Rather, it only comes due in the following circumstances:

  • You pay off the mortgage
  • You sell the home
  • You refinance the mortgage

There are other requirements to qualify for the My First Texas Home program. Income limits apply, and you must obtain a certificate of completion from a home buyer education course.

While the My First Texas Home program is only available to first-time homebuyers according to the TDCHA’s definition, other state programs are not specific to first-time homebuyers that you may still qualify for.

Home Sweet Texas Home Loan Program

Providing down payment assistance and several loan options and rates, this program is not limited to first time home buyer financing. Still, it is intended to assist people with low and moderate incomes. Because it is a need-based program, income limits apply. The benefits of Home Sweet Texas Home are not limited to first time buyers, but as an added benefit, you may be able to apply for a Mortgage Credit Certificate, which would save you on your taxes.

Homes for Texas Heroes Program

If you are a veteran or employed in an eligible profession, you may qualify for the Homes for Texas Heroes program. This can provide benefits such as 5% down payment assistance, fixed interest rate options, and the ability to apply for a Mortgage Credit Certificate as a first time buyer. You can get the MCC for free when you combine it with down payment assistance. Eligible professions for Homes for Texas Heroes include the following:

  • Emergency medical services
  • Firefighters
  • Law enforcement and corrections officers
  • Teachers

What Federal Programs Are Available for First Time Home Buyer Financing in HoustonFirst Time Home Buyers Houston

Several federal agencies offer first time home buyer financing around the country. For example, the Federal Housing Administration can qualify you for a loan with a down payment of 3.5% to 5%, depending on your credit score. The tradeoff is that you have to pay monthly mortgage insurance, and the only way to cancel it is to refinance the mortgage.

Other federal assistance programs are available to specific groups. For example, VA loans are available to military members and veterans. Homebuyers who qualify don’t have to make a down payment and have no minimum credit score requirement that they have to meet.

These programs are in place to assist first time home buyers and first time buyers who do not qualify for traditional loans; you’re not required to participate. If you are eligible, there is no reason why you cannot take out a conventional loan. Rock Mortgage is a mortgage company Houston that can help you understand all your options. We know how stressful the home buying process is, so our goal is to make the mortgage process as stress-free as possible. Don’t hesitate to contact us today!


  • Harris County Down Payment Assistance
  • $14,200 first time home buyer grant for home buyers purchasing a home in Harris County outside of the city limits.
  •  Housing Assistance Program “H.A.P.”
  •  $19,500 first time home buyer grant for home buyers purchasing a home in the City of Houston whose income is at or below 80% area median income.
  •  Houston HOPE Program
  •  $30,000 first time home buyer grant for home buyers purchasing a home in one of many Houston Historic communities.
  •  Workforce Housing Program
  • $30,000 first time home buyer grant for home buyers purchasing a home in the City of Houston whose income is at 80% – 110% of area median income.
  • Montgomery County
  • $14,500 first time home buyer grant for home buyers purchasing a new home in Montgomery County outside the city limits of Conroe.
  • City of Pasadena “SETH”
  • $5,000 first time home buyer grant for home buyers purchasing a home in the City of Pasadena.
  • SETH Single Family Bond
  • Southeast Texas first time home buyers can qualify for 3% down payment assistance with a fixed 5.25% mortgage rate towards the purchase of their first home. Areas include: Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Liberty, Matagorda, Waller, Walker & Wharton and the cities of: Baytown, Deer Park, Dickinson, La Marque, La Porte, League City, Pasadena, Santa Fe, Shore acres, Texas City and Tomball.
  • Mortgage Credit Certificate Program “MCC”
  • First time home buyers can receive an IRS Tax Credit up to $2,000 every year for the life of your home loan.
  • Texas Veterans Mortgage Credit Program
  • Military Veterans with an Honorable Discharge can now qualify up to $2,000 IRS Tax Credit every year for the life of their home mortgage.  NO first time home buyer requirement!
  • *Minimum credit scores 640 or greater for all programs.

Down Payment Assistance Program (DAP)

The Community Services Department’s Down Payment Assistance Program (DAP) can provide financial assistance to help you purchase your dream home in Harris County.

Applicant Eligibility Criteria

  • First-time homebuyer that has not owned a home for three years prior to applying for assistance
  • Buyer is income-qualified (see chart below)
  • Buyer must have at least one credit score of 580
  • Buyer must be credit approved through one of the participating mortgage lenders (see Approved Lenders button below)
  • Buyer front-end ratio (debt) cannot exceed 39% and the back-end ratio or debt-to-income ratio (DTI) cannot exceed 42%
  • Buyer is required to successfully complete an 8-hour homeownership education course before applying for DAP assistance.  The course must be:
    • provided by a HUD-approved homebuyer education course provider (see button below)
    • performed by a Certified Counselor
    • buyer is required to submit a final signed household budget from their HUD-approved provider
  • Buyer must contribute a minimum of $1,000 towards the purchase of the home
  • Buyer cannot have more than $15,000 in liquid assets, such as stocks, cash, or bonds
  • Borrower(s) and/or Non-Participating Spouse are required to be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident Alien

First Time Home Buyers Houston


Options for First Time Home Buyer Financing in Houston | Rock Mortgage — Houston, Texas

Jamie Ayala

Jamie Ayala

Jamie Ayala has been working as a Loan Processor at Rock Mortgage for more than 4 years. As a knowledgeable account executive he has had many years of customer service experience in the loan, information technology, and political industries. Recognized for demonstrating a natural aptitude for working with cross-functional teams, as well as for meeting deadlines and validating loan documents, Jamie has a verifyable history of consistently exceeded sales and performance goals. His professional focal points include loan processing, client negotiations, team collaboration, and project management.