One of the biggest obstacle for first time home buyers tends to be the down payment. What is disappointing is the fact that many times first time buyers are not informed about possible programs that are designed to help them with their down payment. Let's talk about some of these programs in general, how they work and how they can possibly help you!
Many of these programs come in all shapes and sizes, so there is bound to be one that fits your needs! Let's start by looking at what a first time homebuyer actually is in these programs eyes. In many cases a first time homebuyer is an applicant looking to buy who has not owned a home in the last three years. So this means if you owned a home previously, say maybe 6 years ago and now your looking to buy again you would qualify for the programs.
The criteria for receiving funds varies depending on the program but usually is centered around the idea of being a first time buyer, meeting possible income requirements, some are profession specific, and of course most are area specific such as city, county and even statewide.
So what actual type of assistance is offered? Well there are different programs that offer different assistance so I will cover them in general. I will be sure to cover each program in more specifics in a future blog and video. Most programs help with a percentage of the down payment, others help with closing costs, principal reduction, and mortgage credits. There are some programs that will even help with up front repairs or reimburse the seller for repairs.
Most if not all the programs will require you to attend a HUD approved homebuyer education class, which is super informative and I wish more people would attend even if they are not going through any of these programs. With city programs it is not uncommon to have the city inspect the property to make sure it is safe and meets their criteria. Some programs will require the inspection by the city but also require repairs be completed, while some will even reimburse the seller for those repairs.
A couple of tips I would strongly suggest, first be sure to work with a loan officer who has experience working with these programs. Often I see loan officers with no experience with any of these programs figure it out on a buyer, often when not so good results. Don't be a guinea pig! Don't forget some of these programs require you to live at the property for a certain amount of time or you risk having to pay back the grant. Many have strings attached, so be clear on those so you are not surprised.
Not only have I worked with many of these programs but so have my trusted loan officers, who know how to work the programs and can give you an evaluation of all of them to see which fits you best. At the end of the day don't be afraid to ask about these programs and be as informed as possible so you know what to expect.
Check out the video for more details and if you have any questions or would like help with any of these please do not hesitate to contact me.
RE/MAX Cross Country
1990 Justin Road
Highland Village, Texas 75077