ELIGIBLE BORROWERS ELIGIBLE PROPERTY

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1 Introduction: Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (the Department ) is creating a Mortgage Credit Certificate Program (the Program ) for residents of the state of Texas, to help make ownership of new or existing homes more affordable for low to moderate income households, especially first-time buyers. A Mortgage Credit Certificate (an MCC ) increases a family s disposable income by reducing its federal income tax obligation. This tax savings provide a family with more available income to qualify for a loan and meet mortgage payment requirements. In order to participate in the Program, homebuyers must meet certain eligibility requirements, and originate a qualified mortgage loan through a participating lender. ELIGIBLE BORROWERS First-Time Homebuyer Requirement: In general, borrowers seeking financing assistance for the purchase of a residence must be a first-time homebuyer or not have owned a principal residence in the past three years. Reservations are first-come, firstserved. Maximum Income Limits: Purchase Price Limits: Participating Lenders List: See attached Income Limits Table See attached Purchase Limits Table See attached Lender List ELIGIBLE PROPERTY General Information: Eligible property types under this MCC Program are single family attached or detached structures, including a qualified condominium unit or a planned unit development (PUD). Properties NOT allowed under the program include: rental homes; cooperative housing; homes used as investment property; and recreational, vacation, or second homes. In addition, factory made housing not meeting FHA standards as well as mobile homes not permanently affixed to the ground are not permitted. Financing Terms: The mortgage loan must be financed from sources other than tax-exempt mortgage bonds or veteran s tax-exempt, revenue bonds. The mortgage may be a conventional, FHA, VA, and RHS loan and will be at prevailing market rates. The interest payable under the loan must not be paid to a person who is related to the borrower. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION General Information: An MCC is a tax credit that will reduce the federal income taxes of qualified buyers purchasing a qualified residence. As a result, the MCC has the effect of reducing the monthly mortgage payment. The MCC may not be used in connection with the refinancing of an existing loan. Benefit Amount: The size of the annual tax credit will be 35 percent of the annual interest paid on a mortgage loan; however the maximum amount of the credit cannot exceed $2,000 per year. The credit cannot be larger than your annual Federal income tax liability, after all other credits and deductions have been taken into account. MCC credits in excess of the borrowers current year tax liability may, however, be carried forward for the use in the subsequent three years. For an example of how MCC s work, see the MCC worksheet. Length of Benefit: Each year, the mortgage credit certificate will be calculated on the basis of 35 percent of the total interest paid on the mortgage loan that year. The MCC will be in effect for the life of the mortgage loan, so long as the home remains the borrower s principal residence and all program requirements are met. Recapture of Tax Credit: The MCC will be subject to certain requirements imposed by federal law concerning the recapture of a mortgage of the mortgage tax credit benefits granted to the borrower upon the sale of their residence within nine years from date of purchase. In no event will the recapture tax exceed the lesser of (i) 6.25% of the highest principal balance of the mortgage or (ii) one-half of the taxable gain on the sale of the residence. A separate recapture tax disclosure is available from the Department explaining how these requirements operate. For additional information please visit our website at or call

2 The Texas First Time Homebuyer Program Hello, you recently contacted the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA s) hotline requesting information on the Texas First Time Homebuyer Program. Enclosed is some helpful information about the program. You ve taken the first step toward the purchase of your first home and TDHCA would like to assist you in this effort. The material provided in this packet should answer many of the questions you have about qualifying for this program and will assist you with the home buying process. In order to qualify for the program, a homebuyer may not have owned a home within the last three years, the homebuyer must meet the program income guidelines identified in the Maximum Income Limits Table, and the home may not exceed the purchase price limits identified in the Maximum Purchase Price Limits Table. Both of these tables are provided in this packet for your convenience. In order to take the first step toward purchasing your home, please contact one of our participating lenders located throughout the state. The Participating Lenders List has also been enclosed with this packet. The lender will determine your ability to repay a 30- year mortgage loan by reviewing your employment and income information, total monthly debt obligations and your past experience with credit; along with information about the value of the property you want to buy. Eligible property types include any new or existing home, including manufactured homes, that meet Federal Housing Administration (FHA) guidelines and do not exceed the maximum purchase price limits of the program. As with most mortgage loans, there are fees associated with this program. TDHCA does, however, limit the fees participating lenders may charge to help minimize your costs of closing the loan. TDHCA does not endorse any one lender. We encourage you to call around and select a lender that is most suitable for your individual needs. If you have any additional questions after reviewing this package of information, we encourage you to contact us at Good luck on your path to homeownership! Visit us on the world wide web at: 507 SABINE SUITE 400 P.O. BOX AUSTIN, TEXAS

3 What is the First Time Homebuyer Program? The First Time Homebuyer Program is a program offered by the state of Texas to help Texans buy their first home. The program provides low-interest rate home loans for eligible families and individuals through the sale of tax-exempt mortgage revenue bonds. Who is eligible for the program? Homebuyers who have not owned a home within the past three years, who meet program income guidelines and do not exceed the program purchase price limits are eligible to apply for a loan under this program. What type of home can I buy? Frequently Asked Questions Any new or existing home in the state of Texas that does not exceed the maximum purchase price limits of the program. Manufactured homes are allowable if the home is permanently affixed to a foundation and meet FHA guidelines. All homes purchased under this program must meet certain quality standards. How do I apply for the funds? TDHCA does not actually loan you the money. The mortgage loan funds are available through a network of participating lenders located throughout the state. If you experience difficulty with one of the participating lenders, please contact us at How do I know if I qualify for a mortgage revenue bond loan? A participating lender will determine your ability to repay a 30-year mortgage loan by reviewing your employment and income information, total monthly debt obligations and your past experience with credit along with information about the value of the property you want to buy. These lenders will pre-qualify you so that you will know the approximate price range of homes to shop for. The lender will complete all necessary paperwork for loan approval and assist in the coordination of loan closing with your realtor and closing agent. It s a good idea to get pre-qualified by one of the participating lenders prior to shopping for a home. If you do not qualify for a loan due to credit problems, you may contact us at to obtain a list of certified credit counseling providers in your area. Is this a free program, or are there any costs involved? As with most mortgage loans, there are fees (closing costs) associated with this program. TDHCA does, however, limit the fees participating lenders may charge to help minimize your costs of closing the loan. (over) Sponsored by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs

4 How long does the mortgage process typically take? In general, the mortgage process takes between 30 to 60 days from the time of application to closing. This time frame is dependent upon a number of factors including the individual lender s process and any potential qualifying issues. What comprises a monthly mortgage payment? Your monthly mortgage payment includes a payment to the principal balance of your loan, the interest payment, and your escrow payment (monthly payments collected to pay your hazard insurance, mortgage insurance, flood insurance, if applicable, and property taxes.) This is commonly referred to as P.I.T.I. (principal, interest, taxes and insurance.) Are funds available for down payment and closing cost assistance? Yes. As with most mortgage loans, a minimum down payment is required. TDHCA has funds available for use in conjunction with select mortgage revenue bond programs. The funds are available exclusively to lower income homebuyers. To see if you qualify, contact one of the participating lenders. What is recapture tax? Homebuyers that receive a loan through the First Time Homebuyer Program may be subject to a Federal Recapture Tax. If you: (1) sell your home within nine years; (2) earn significantly more income than when you bought the home; and (3) gain or profit from the sale of the home, you may be subject to recapture tax. All three of these criteria must be met. In reality, most borrowers will not have to pay any recapture tax. For others, the amount will be minimal. The tax will never exceed one-half of the gain on the sale of the home or 6.25 percent of original mortgage, whichever is less. It is suggested that potential buyers contact a tax advisor or the Internal Revenue Service for more information concerning the possibility of the payment of a Recapture Tax. Can I rent my home obtained under this program? No, you may not rent a home obtained with mortgage revenue bond funds. The home must be your primary residence.

5 Amortization In the early years of an amortized loan, almost all of the payment is applied toward interest, while in the last years of the loan, almost all of the payment is applied to reduce the principal. Closing Costs & Prepaids Costs paid in addition to the down payment on closing day. These items can include attorney fees, a loan origination fee, loan discount point, an application fee, an appraisal fee, a credit report, document preparation, escrow fee, survey and recording fees, tax escrow, hazard insurance, flood zone certification, two months of private mortgage insurance (if down payment is less than 20 percent) and sometimes the entire first year s private mortgage insurance premium. Typically, the appraisal and credit report fees are paid at application. Debt-to-Income Ratio A comparison of gross income to housing and non-housing expenses. According to the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the monthly mortgage payment should be no more than 29 percent of the homeowners monthly gross income (before taxes) and the mortgage payment combined with non-housing debts should not exceed 41 percent of the homeowners income. Some leeway may be granted based upon prior credit history, down payment, job history, etc. Mortgage Terms Disclosure A document describing all the parameters of a mortgage loan, such as the terms, conditions, interest rate caps, annual percentage rate, etc. Down Payment The difference between the mortgage and the lower of the purchase price or appraisal. The minimum down payment is 3 percent on most loans. Private mortgage insurance is required for a down payment less than 20 percent. Earnest Money Deposit money given to the seller by the potential buyer to show that he/she is serious about buying the house. If the deal goes through, the earnest money is applied to the down payment. If the deal does not go through, it may be forfeited. Equity The difference between a home s fair market value and the loan amount, and/or encumbrances (such as liens or claims) against it. (over) Sponsored by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs

6 Market Rate An estimate of the average interest rate being charged by lenders for conventional (Fannie Mae) or FHA/VA loans. Good Faith Estimate An estimate of all closing costs including pre-paid and escrow items as well as lender charges; must be given to the borrower within three business days after the loan application submission date. Origination Fee The origination fee is what the lender charges for establishing the loan. It is included in the closing costs and may be financed. Points or Discount Points A point or discount point is one percent of the loan amount and is charged by the lender to issue a loan at below-market rates. Private Mortgage Insurance On conventional financing, lenders require that the borrower purchase Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) to protect the lender against default on loans with less than 20 percent down payment. PMI has nothing to do with homeowners insurance or credit life insurance. PMI should cost the same at all lenders. Qualifying Usually, a buyer must qualify for a loan. To qualify, the buyer s monthly payment cannot be more than 25 percent to 28 percent of his or her gross monthly income and all the buyer s monthly debt cannot total more than 33 percent to 36 percent of his/her monthly income. Some leeway may be granted based upon prior credit history, down payment, job history, etc. Title A document that shows the buyer has a clear ownership of the property. A loan does not usually close until the title company has assured the lender that there are no hidden problems with a title to a piece of property. Title Insurance A policy required by the lender and paid for by the borrower that insures the lender clear title against future claims. Borrowers may also purchase title insurance to protect their equity. Truth in Lending Act A federal law obligating a lender to give full written disclosure of all fees, terms, and conditions associated with the loan.

7 Step 1: Determine how much you can afford by pre-qualifying for a mortgage loan. Any one of our participating lenders can determine how much you can afford by reviewing your credit report and employment information. This is called loan pre-qualification. Once you know how much you can afford to pay monthly for a home, your lender will determine the price range of homes you can afford. Refer to the Maximum Income Limits Table and the Maximum Purchase Price Table included in your packet. A Mortgage Calculator is also available for your convenience at TDHCA s website, We strongly recommend that you obtain a copy of your credit report to check it for accuracy and correct any mistakes prior to meeting with a lender. Doing this can save you time during the loan approval process. See Home Buying and Your Credit Rating included in this packet for details. The Steps To Buying A Home Step 2: Shop for a home that meets your needs. You can begin your search by looking in your local newspaper, by contacting a local building contractor, or by working with a real estate agent. If you do not know a real estate agent, ask family or friends for referrals. Once you find a home that meets your needs, you will need to make an offer, negotiate a price, and execute a contract. When you sign this preliminary agreement to purchase a home, you will be asked to pay a deposit. This deposit is called the earnest money. Step 3: Apply for a First Time Homebuyer Mortgage loan. Take your purchase contract and personal financial information to your lender to apply for your loan. Once you have an executed sales contract on the home, your loan can be registered. This simply means that the lender can officially set aside the necessary money under our program for your home purchase. At loan application, you will need to take the following: 1. Recent bank statements for all of your accounts; 2. Pay stubs for the past 3 months; 3. Tax returns for the past 3 years; 4. W-2 forms for the past 2 years; 5. Information about your long-term debts, including the names of the creditors, account numbers, payment amounts, etc.; 6. Proof of any other current income; and 7. The executed sales contract also referred to as an Earnest Money contract. Wait for loan approval how long it takes depends upon how rapidly your lender is able to collect and analyze your personal financial information and the proposed property information. Step 4: Close the mortgage loan The loan closing is the meeting of the buyer, seller, and lender, at which the property and funds legally change hands. The loan closing is sometimes referred to as the loan settlement. This transaction typically takes place at a title company office. If you have been denied credit, you may contact the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs at for a list of Homebuyer Education and Credit Counselors. Sponsored by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs

8 Now that you are interested in purchasing a home of your own, it is a good time to review your credit report, checking closely for accuracy. If you are married, you and your spouse will have separate credit files that contain much of the same information. It is true that you need to have a good credit rating to buy a home, but it does not have to be perfect! Your credit rating is the payment history of money you have borrowed and repaid. It is important to have a good credit rating because your home mortgage lender will decide whether or not to approve your loan application primarily based on this rating. If you have not borrowed and repaid money, you will not have a credit history rating. In this case, nontraditional credit references like rent, utilities, child care, child support, and other large recurring payments can be used to show the lender that you pay your bills on time. Homebuying And Your Credit Rating What is my credit report and where do I get a copy? A credit report is a current and historical record of your credit activities and employment. The report also shows action taken against you because of unpaid accounts, bankruptcy, judgements, or liens filed against you plus your previous addresses and former employers. Below are the names and contact information for the three major credit reporting agencies that lenders obtain credit information from. You too can obtain a copy of your credit report for a nominal fee. Equifax Disclosure Trans Union Corporation Experian (800) (800) (888) Why should I obtain a copy of my credit report? Avoid surprises! Errors on credit reports are not uncommon and they can be corrected by contacting the creditor. You can save time by reviewing your report for accuracy before you apply for a home loan. What if I discover that I have a poor credit history? If you have a poor credit history, no one can unconditionally guarantee to clean up your credit and ensure that you will qualify for a loan. Credit repair fraud is a problem for consumers. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, credit repair companies cannot do anything that you cannot do for yourself at little or no cost. Although errors on your credit report can be corrected, a poor credit history cannot be erased. Your credit rating can be improved over time by doing the following: Establish or re-establish a good track record by consistently paying all of your bills on time. Keep your overall debt at a reasonable level, relative to your income. Actively and responsibly borrow and repay money. Helpful tips for working through credit problems include developing a budget, tracking your expenses, defining your financial goals and identifying ways to cut costs and increase savings. If you need assistance you can contact a consumer credit counseling or homebuyer education provider in your area. Call TDHCA at for a list of certified counseling providers. Sponsored by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs

9 Ways to make your new home more comfortable and more affordable A new home is a big investment for most Texas families. Unfortunately, many families are unaware of the energy costs a home can add up. Only after they have moved in do owners become aware of the costs of maintaining their new home. However, there are easy and inexpensive steps families can take to ensure their new home is comfortable and more importantly affordable. I. Insulation: A properly insulated home can not only increase the comfort level of your home but can also cut your heating and cooling use by up to 30 percent. Check the levels of insulation in the attic, ceilings, walls, and if applicable, floors and crawl spaces. Look for any gaps and compressed areas in the insulation and also make sure it meets the recommended level for your area. Insulating your hot water heater and hot water pipes can also save you energy and money. II. Leaks and Weatherizing: Leaks that let air in and out of your home cost you money. Caulking, sealing, and weatherstripping the leaks can save you at least 10 percent on your energy bill. Leaks are more likely to occur at doors, windows, floors, ceilings, and any openings that penetrate through the exterior walls. Energy Efficiency III. Heating and Cooling: Set your thermostat as low as is comfortable in the winter and as high as is comfortable in the summer. A programable thermostat can save you up to 10 percent a year on your heating and cooling bills by simply turning the thermostat back 10 to 15 percent for 8 hours while you re asleep or at work. IV. Landscaping: Carefully placed trees and shrubs can save up to 25 percent of a typical household s energy used for heating and cooling. Deciduous trees planted on the south and west sides of your home will help keep your house cool in the summer and allow sun to shine in the windows in the winter. V. Lighting: By replacing 25 percent of your lights in high-use areas with fluorecent lights you can save about 50 percent on your lighting energy bill. Linear flourescent and energy efficient compact flourescent lamps (CFLs) in fixtures throughout your home provide high-quality and high-efficiency lighting. VI. Appliances: Refrigerators, clothes washers and dryers, dishwashers, and other appliances account for about 20 percent of your home s energy use. Buying energy-efficient appliances and using them properly will ensure your home s energy use falls well below the 20 percent. When buying a new appliance compare the energy rating labels to ensure you are getting the most efficiency for your money. For detailed information on making your home more energy efficient, contact the U.S. Department of Energy s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Clearinghouse (EREC) at DOE-3732 or by logging on to Sponsored by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs

10 Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs FIRST TIME HOMEBUYER PROGRAM Combined Price and Income Limits Table FOR NON-TARGETED AREAS March 2004 Area of State Counties in Area *60% AMFI *80% AMFI Austin, San Marcos Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis & Williamson $42,660 $56, % AMFI (1 or 2) Persons $71, % AMFI (3 or more) Persons $81,765 Price Limits Non-Targeted $210,375 Brazoria Brazoria $37,740 $50,320 $62,900 $72,335 Bryan-College Station Brazos $32,400 $43,200 $54,000 $62,100 Dallas Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Hunt, Kaufman & Rockwall $39,900 $53,200 $66,500 $76,475 $202,387 Fort Worth Arlington Hood, Johnson, Parker, Tarrant $37,620 $50,160 $62,700 $72,105 $202,387 Galveston Texas City Galveston $35,880 $47,840 $59,800 $68,770 Houston Chambers, Fort Bend, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery & Waller $36,600 $48,800 $61,000 $70,150 Austin County Austin $33,720 $44,960 $56,200 $64,630 Bandera County Bandera $32,100 $42,800 $53,500 $61,525 Blanco County Blanco $33,060 $44,080 $55,100 $63,365 Carson County Carson $33,900 $45,200 $56,500 $64,975 Cooke County Cooke $32,340 $43,120 $53,900 $61,985 Gillespie County Gillespie $32,400 $43,200 $54,000 $62,100 Hartley County Hartley $37,260 $49,680 $62,100 $71,415 Irion County Irion $32,880 $43,840 $54,800 $63,020 Kendall County Kendall $40,680 $54,240 $67,800 $77,970 Loving County Loving $39,000 $52,000 $65,000 $74,750 Ochiltree County Ochiltree $33,660 $44,880 $56,100 $64,515 Roberts County Roberts $31,860 $42,480 $53,100 $61,065 Wise County Wise $33,420 $44,560 $55,700 $64,055 Balance of State All remaining counties not mentioned above $31,800 $42,400 $53,000 $60,950 "AMFI" - Applicable Median Family Income *Down Payment Assistance May Be Available For Borrowers In These Income Categories

11 Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs FIRST TIME HOMEBUYER PROGRAM Combined Price and Income Limits Table FOR TARGETED AREAS March 2004 Area of State Counties in Area *60% AMFI *80% AMFI Austin, San Marcos Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis & Williamson $42,660 $56, % AMFI (1 or 2) Persons $85, % AMFI (3 or more) Persons $99,540 Price Limits Targeted $257,125 Brazoria Brazoria $37,740 $50,320 $75,480 $88,060 Bryan-College Station Brazos $32,400 $43,200 $64,800 $75,600 Dallas Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Hunt, Kaufman & Rockwall $39,900 $53,200 $79,800 $93,100 $247,362 Fort Worth Arlington Hood, Johnson, Parker, Tarrant $37,620 $50,160 $75,240 $87,780 $247,362 Galveston Texas City Galveston $35,880 $47,840 $71,760 $83,720 Houston Chambers, Fort Bend, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery & Waller $36,600 $48,800 $73,200 $85,400 Austin County Austin $33,720 $44,960 $67,440 $78,680 Bandera County Bandera $32,100 $42,800 $64,200 $74,900 Blanco County Blanco $33,060 $44,080 $66,120 $77,140 Carson County Carson $33,900 $45,200 $67,800 $79,100 Cooke County Cooke $32,340 $43,120 $64,680 $75,460 Gillespie County Gillespie $32,400 $43,200 $64,800 $75,600 Hartley County Hartley $37,260 $49,680 $74,520 $86,940 Irion County Irion $32,880 $43,840 $65,760 $76,720 Kendall County Kendall $40,680 $54,240 $81,360 $94,920 Loving County Loving $39,000 $52,000 $78,000 $91,000 Ochiltree County Ochiltree $33,660 $44,880 $67,320 $78,540 Roberts County Roberts $31,860 $42,480 $63,720 $74,340 Wise County Wise $33,420 $44,560 $66,840 $77,980 Balance of State All remaining counties not mentioned above $31,800 $42,400 $63,600 $74,200 "AMFI" - Applicable Median Family Income *Down Payment Assistance May Be Available For Borrowers In These Income Categories

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