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How homebuyers can save money on their home purchase

In the rising tide that’s buoying the Texas real estate market right now, there’s still one group lagging behind the rest: first-time homebuyers.

Fewer new homes being built, high demand for existing homes, and more stringent mortgage application requirements have made it harder for those trying to get into their first home to make the dream happen. There aren’t quick fixes for all these issues, but prospective buyers who take advantage of existing down payment-assistance programs can give themselves a leg up and save a significant amount of money in the process.

In the Texas Association of Realtors 2015 Profile of Texas Homebuyers and Sellers, saving for a down payment was cited as the most difficult step of the homebuying process—across all types of buyers surveyed. So while first-time homebuyers traditionally face the greatest challenges to saving for a down payment, anyone who qualifies for an assistance program can reap the benefits and make this part of the process easier.

Another surprising benefit of downpayment-assistance programs

The housing data company RealtyTrac recently published a report that found down payment-assistance programs are saving buyers an average $17,776 over the course of a 30-year fixed rate loan for a median-priced home. This shows that beyond the initial boost that helps homebuyers purchase a property, assistance programs have a long-term positive effect for buyers of all stripes.

If you’re in the market for a home and are worried about your ability to come up with a large enough down payment, there are a number of programs your Texas Realtor can help you investigate. The Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation offers down payment-assistance programs for low-income families. The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs offers assistance through its Taxable Mortgage Program, including more competitive interest rates along with down payment- and closing-cost assistance. There also might be down payment-assistance programs specific to the city or county where you’d like to purchase a home. Find an even broader list of homebuyer assistance programs from the Texas Association of Community Development Corporations at texasdevelopmentdirectory.com.

Find the program that pays off for you

Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or are otherwise able to qualify for down payment-assistance programs, there’s no reason to leave money on the table—especially when taking advantage of these programs pays off in the long term. To get more information about the programs that might be available to you, contact a Texas Realtor. Find one to work with and learn more about buying, selling, and leasing property on texasrealestate.com.

By Kim Patterson
Date July 2016