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4 Tips for First-Time Homebuyers (FHA Loans and More)

September 23, 2021 | By Reef Merhi

Table Of Contents

Updated February 7, 2022

Are you thinking about buying your first home? Congratulations! You might be wondering what to do to make your homeownership dream become a reality (and how to avoid mistakes)

It may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be. Here are four tips that will help you get into the housing market, including insights into who can qualify for an FHA loan.

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1. Start Saving Now

Don't underestimate the cost of purchasing a home! One of the most common mistakes made when buying a new house is underestimating how much it will cost. Many renters assume their monthly rent payment will easily cover a mortgage payment and homeownership costs, leaving them unprepared for the financial realities of buying and owning a house. 

Before even looking at homes, it's important to have a down payment saved and a budget for every potential expense. In addition to the downpayment, new homebuyers need to understand:

  • FHA loan Texas requirements and financing options
  • Interest rates and potential monthly mortgage payment amounts
  • Escrow
  • Property taxes
  • Ongoing expenses, including utilities and homeowners insurance
  • Moving costs

Moving from an apartment into a newly purchased home isn't always a one-to-one transition. Make sure you're prepared for potentially higher utility costs, new furniture for space you didn't have before, and how your monthly expenses could change compared to your current budget. 

2. Strengthen Your Credit 

Paying bills on time is never more critical than ever when you start the FHA loan pre-approval process for a home purchase! Start tracking your credit score and start working off any debt you might currently have. A good FICO score helps when applying for loans, while low credit scores or a high debt-to-income ratio can limit your financing options. Also, make sure not to close old credit card accounts as this can negatively impact your credit score. 

Research the credit needed for an FHA loan from the Federal Housing Administration and make sure your score is in line with those requirements. If you're not sure how to look into financing options and qualifications, a mortgage professional can help. 

3. Research First-Time Buyer Assistance Programs

Did you know that first-time buyers have access to special programs that can reduce the amount you pay for your house? 

There are a lot of programs available, both public and private, to help new home buyers save money on down payments. Some FHA loans might also be tailored specifically for first-time or veteran military borrowers who have credit scores or other circumstances that would require them to pay more money as a down payment. 

Work with a mortgage expert to find the best downpayment assistance programs for your situation. Some downpayment assistant options are grants that won't require repayment. Other options include low-interest rates and financial assistance toward your downpayment or closing costs. 

Understanding FHA loan requirements and mortgage insurance can be tricky without expert help! An experienced mortgage professional can lead you to the best first-time buyer programs and make sure you qualify for these resources to reduce your home purchase costs. 

4. Get Pre-Approved

It can be easy to get swept up in the excitement of looking at homes when beginning your search process. However, a pre-approval letter for a mortgage loan is one of the most important parts of the home buying process. With that letter in hand, you'll be able to win bidding wars and know that your offer is the most competitive one.

The right mortgage lenders can walk you through the process of getting pre-approved for FHA loans and help you determine how much house you can afford. They will also prepare your pre-approval letter during the application process. Getting this initial approval before looking at homes gives you an advantage over other buyers who don't have this document.

In many cases, sellers won't consider offers from buyers who do not have pre-approval for a home loan. Many real estate agents also prioritize showings for pre-approved buyers. When you go through this essential process, a pre-approval process shows agents and sellers you are serious about putting in an offer and buying a home!

FHA loan Texas requirements and FHA loan Texas benefits make it even easier for first-time homebuyers who might not have significant savings or credit scores to get into their dream home sooner than they dreamed possible! A mortgage expert can help you work through your options for home financing and get pre-approved.

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Prepare for Homeownership With Texas United Mortgage!

You've taken the first step in securing your future by reviewing these tips for first-time homebuyer success! The next thing on your to-do list should be working with Texas mortgage experts and an FHA-approved lender to work through financing options and estimated monthly mortgage payments. 

The professionals at Texas United Mortgage are highly trained, experienced, and knowledgeable about all types of loans available, including FHA or VA loan programs which can offer more favorable rates than conventional mortgages. If we can help you budget for homeownership or work through the pre-approval process, contact us today! We can also provide information regarding potential down payment assistance programs and how to improve your credit score to qualify for better loan limits and loan terms. 

Get more tips when considering your first home purchase! Download our free ebook, the "First Time Home Buyers Guide."


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