4 homebuyer-assistance programs you may not know about

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A small model of a house is cupped by pair of hands.

03/07/2016 | Author: Jill McFarren, guest expert

Since 2005, Texas REALTORS® have helped an estimated 27,500 homebuyers take advantage of state-administered homebuyer-assistance programs. However, a large percentage of buyers remain unaware of these beneficial programs. The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) has a variety of mortgage products designed to help more Texans become homeowners. TDHCA-administered programs target first-time homebuyers, veterans, or those who have not owned a home in the past three years. Here are four popular state-administered programs to keep in mind when working with your buyers.

Texas Mortgage Credit Program: Helps buyers year after year
​Homebuyers using Texas Mortgage Credit Certificates (MCCs) receive a reduction in their income-tax obligation of up to $2,000 per year for the life of the mortgage loan. This means more cash available to be a responsible homeowner.

My First Texas Home Program: Offers loans and downpayment and closing-cost assistance
My First Texas Home (MFTH) offers expanded mortgage-loan opportunities to qualifying first-time homebuyers, including government and conventional 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage-loan options that can also include downpayment and/or closing-cost assistance.

Conventional option: Provides flexibility for homebuyers
The TDHCA offers a conventional option under MFTH that is ideal for borrowers with limited funds for downpayment and closing costs, and those who need extra flexibility on credit, income sources, or access to special options, including up to 97% loan-to-value (LTV) ratio with reduced-rate mortgage insurance (MI). The MI can be canceled at 78% LTV, which can mean long-term saving for the borrower.

MCC and loan combo: Maximizes benefits
Your clients can maximize their home-purchase benefits by combining Texas Mortgage Credit Certificates with a mortgage loan.

To learn more about these options, contact a participating lender via myfirsttexashome.com or call 800-792-1119.

Jill McFarren is senior communications and marketing advisor for the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. 

Categories: Business tips, Buyers, Homeowners, Renters
Tags: affordable housing, homebuyer programs, tdhca


Michael Bray on 04/30/2016

These are good programs for First Time Buyers.

REALTORS need to be aware that there are other competing programs that provide similar assistance in slightly different ways. 

Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation (TSAHC.org) is another statewide provider of home buying assistance programs. 

There are some clear differences in these 2 programs that REALTORS need to be familiar with.

There are many fine local programs available from Housing Finance Corporations such as the El Paso Housing Finance Corporation, where I have served as Vice President for 15 years, whose programs are more tailored to their specific markets.  You can check to see if your market area is served by one by visiting the Texas Association of Local Housing Finance Agencies (TALHFA.org).

A couple of points need to be made.  These programs are designed to provide maximum assistance to buyers and each have some restrictions and fees associated with their programs.  They require some additional processing to make sure they meet specific program guidelines (time) and commissions to lenders are generally lower than market rate programs.  Not all lenders choose to participate in all of these programs due to smaller margins.  It is imperative then that, as the only fiduciary in the transaction, Buyer Agents be aware of these programs and make sure your clients have the opportunity to evaluate them fairly.  I know that I am probably stomping on someone’s toes here.  I have on many occasions helped my clients with TDHCA and TSHAC loans because for some they are a better fit than my own HFC program. 

After all, I am a REALTOR first.

Michael Bray, AHWD, GRI, TAHS
2010 Texas REALTOR Hero
Vice President, El Paso Housing Finance Corporation
Presiding Officer, TDHCA, Manufactured Housing Board

Monique Dixon on 04/29/2016

Kay Harvill,
As part of your Realtor Partner’s success, have you partnered with Coldwell Banker Apex Realtors?  We are a Platinum member of the Cartus relocation network and also one of 4 brokers in the DFW area that are USAA. Does your Homes for Heroes program use USAA preferred brokers? Even though it has become a bit challenging to place many first time home buyers due to the increase in starter type homes and few properties, we continue to have first time home buyers seeking.
~Monique Dixon

Kay Harvill, NMLS 251287, TREC 0451792 on 04/29/2016

I am an approved lender for these programs along with rebates as a National Affiliate lender Homes For Heroes. Let me help your business, see my Realtor Partner’s success as the award winner from TAR Affordable Housing 2015 - Patricia ‘Trish” Matthews.

Monique Dixon on 03/22/2016

Home buying assistance programs are an excellent avanue for not only first time buyers but for those who have not purchased a home in years.  For example, those who have raised kids in one home and know are desiring to downsize and purchase another.  Often many buyers hear of such program but have no ideas as to where to go are which ones are actual programs and not scams. Thank you for this article. I have already shared this information to at least 2 clients.

Gerri Swanson on 03/17/2016

I am an approved lender for these programs.  Supreme Lending is a national mortgage company that partners with several down payment assistance programs. Contact me at 214-964-9621 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) to discuss details.

violeta on 03/16/2016

Please give me the names of national banks who know of these programs
Small local mortgage companies do not know of the programs

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The material provided here is for informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be considered as legal advice for your particular matter. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Applicability of the legal principles discussed in this material may differ substantially in individual situations.

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