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Today’s Rates for First Time Homebuyers in Texas
Thursday, March 5, 2015
Mortgage rates are at 3.75% for the 30 year fixed loan program and at 2.96% for the 15 year fixed. As for variable rates, the 5/1 ARM rate currently stands at 2.79%. Check out FHA and VA rates as well if you are doing low or no down payments.
Texas First Time Home Buyer Checklist
Decide on your loan program options. If you're moving to an eligible area, you may qualify for a zero down payment loan through USDA. Veterans may be eligible for VA loans, which do not require cash down. The content in the paragraphs below should give you an idea of where you may fall.
Get familiar with your credit score. Your credit should fall somewhere above 600, but few lenders accept scores in the high 500s. If your credit score needs a boost, work on improving it before you try to take out a mortgage. Once annually, you're able to request a free credit report from the three major credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian or TransUnion.
Shop interest rates from different lenders in your part of Texas. Choose one who not only provides a great offer, but carries a high rating from the Better Business Bureau.
Get pre-approved. Once you've picked a lender, provide income documentation with your last two pay stubs and tax returns from the past two years.
Determine a budget. You could be pre-approved for a loan amount that is bigger than you had anticipated, but do not base affordability on the sum provided. Remember - pre-approvals are not guaranteed, and only you know what you can truly afford.
Begin home shopping. Be sure to avoid making extravagant purchases, taking out new installment loans, or anything else that could weaken your financial standing. Lenders will check your accounts again before closing your loan.
Low Down Payment Loans Through FHA
If you’re a first time home buyer without a lot to put down, a Texas FHA loan may accommodate you. FHA loans are backed by the government and designed to help home buyers with limited upfront funds receive financing.
Down payment: 3.5%
Minimum acceptable credit score: 580 (varies)
Mortgage insurance: Upfront (1.75% loan amount) and monthly
Property guidelines apply and are verified via home inspection
You can find additional information about FHA loans on the Texas page of the FHA website.
No Down Payment Loans Through USDA
The United States Department of Agriculture backs home loans for zero down to Texas home buyers looking to move to or live in rural areas. Find out if your buying city is eligible by searching the USDA's property map. Note that popular areas like Dallas, Houston, Austin, and Fort Worth are not eligible.
Down payment: None required; financing up to 102% available depending on home appraisal
Minimum acceptable credit score: 620
Mortgage insurance: Upfront (2% loan amount) and monthly
Income maximums apply
Texas Grant and Assistance Programs
The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) offers the My First Texas Home loan program, which offers a low down payment, fixed-rate mortgage with down payment and closing cost assistance for as much as 5% of the loan. Regional income and property price limits apply.
The My First Texas Home option can be used in conjunction with the Mortgage Credit Certificate program, which allows participants to decrease the federal withholding in every paycheck, better enabling them to make a monthly mortgage payment. Annual savings can go up to $2,000, or about $166 per month. Participants must be purchasing in a targeted area.
Major Cities in Texas
Looking for programs specific to your part of Texas? Lender411 has researched mortgage assistance programs for the top cities in Texas for first time homebuyers: