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Can anyone suggest a specific 1st time buyer's grant program?


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Hello--I am considering the purchase of a 2 bedroom townhome inside the Beltway and have never bought anything before. I have a good Realtor and have no began to look just yet because the lease on my apartment still has 6 months left.

I see the "first time home buyer!!!" grant all over the place for Texas. This is my first time to buy a home, so I was wondering if anyone could recommend an actual program they had used in the past, or one they had heard about. When I do Google searches very generic results come up usually to link farms or nonsense pages. I would much rather use a suggestion of someone who has previous experience.

Thanks in advance,

Amanda

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You may be referring to http://www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com/2009/index.html

Its an (up to) $8,000 tax credit that first time home buyers can get when they file their taxes.

I say up to, because I believe its 10% of the value of the home, up to $8,000 max.

Its not a grant, however you do not have to pay the money back as long as you stay in the residence for 36 months.

You can even amend your 2008 taxes to receive the credit now instead of later.

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I am guessing he is dead on as far as what you have been seeing. Most federal or state 'grants' for home buyers are sparse, have dried up, or are no longer in existance. In addition, they have very strict qualifications (such as income, special circumstances, dependents, etc.) I personally have never heard of Texas or Harris County having these (that doesn't mean they don't exist).

If you think you may qualify for grants that are out there, I would ask your Realtor.

Edited by Yankee_in_TX
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hud might be able to help: http://www.hud.gov/ || also found this for you: http://www.houstontx.gov/housing/homebuyer.html

May I briefly hijack since it's a related topic?

This is the definition of a first-time home buy according to HUD:

A first-time homebuyer is an individual who meets any one of the following criteria:

  • An individual who has had no ownership in a principal residence during the 3-year period ending on the date of purchase of the property. This includes a spouse (if either meets the above test, they are considered first-time homebuyers.
  • A single parent who has only owned with a former spouse while married.
  • An individual who is a displaced homemaker and has only owned with a spouse.
  • An individual who has only owned a principal residence not permanently affixed to a permanent foundation in accordance with applicable regulations.
  • An individual who has only owned a property that was not in compliance with State, local or model building codes and which cannot be brought into compliance for less than the cost of constructing a permanent structure.

If the definitions are very strict, then I think I know my answer. If they're loose, maybe not. Are you still considered a first-time home buyer if the person you marry owns a house at the time of marriage (and continues to own and lease it) even though you yourself have never owned one?

Edited by lockmat
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Are you still considered a first-time home buyer if the person you marry owns a house at the time of marriage (and continues to own and lease it) even though you yourself have never owned one?

You can personally still qualify for the credit, but only if you put the new house in your name only.

If you need to use your spouse's income to qualify for the loan, you will not qualify for the credit.

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You can personally still qualify for the credit, but only if you put the new house in your name only.

If you need to use your spouse's income to qualify for the loan, you will not qualify for the credit.

I heard that after marriage that your spouse's credit history affects yours. Is that only if you apply with their income as well/ or put their name on the house, too?

Or is credit score/history and qualifying for first time home onwer credit two different things?

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If the definitions are very strict, then I think I know my answer. If they're loose, maybe not. Are you still considered a first-time home buyer if the person you marry owns a house at the time of marriage (and continues to own and lease it) even though you yourself have never owned one?

Please give a brief timeline. If you have lived some where else for 3 years, you may be eligible.

May want to read these:

http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=206294,00.html

S3. A taxpayer owned her principal residence. Several years ago, she decided to relocate to a rented apartment, but did not sell the former residence. Instead, she rented it out to tenants. Now the taxpayer plans to buy another house and make it her new principal residence. Does she qualify for the first-time homebuyer credit?

A. A taxpayer who owned rental property within the past three years is still eligible for the credit. The taxpayer cannot have owned and used a home as his or her principal residence within the last three years.

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Please give a brief timeline. If you have lived some where else for 3 years, you may be eligible.

May want to read these:

http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=206294,00.html

I'll have a read at it, thanks.

Timeline: She currently owns a house and rents out a room to roommate. Marriage possibly by end of the year. Plan is to probably get a different place (but still rent out current home), most likely an apt, and then in a year buy a house. I plan on applying for a loan based on my salary alone.

From what you posted, it seems I'm okay as long as I put it under my own name when purchasing.

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I'll have a read at it, thanks.

Timeline: She currently owns a house and rents out a room to roommate. Marriage possibly by end of the year. Plan is to probably get a different place (but still rent out current home), most likely an apt, and then in a year buy a house. I plan on applying for a loan based on my salary alone.

From what you posted, it seems I'm okay as long as I put it under my own name when purchasing.

Errr - credit currently applies to homes closed by Dec. 1, 2009.

BTW:

S1. If a single person (Taxpayer A) qualifies as a first-time homebuyer at the time he/she purchases a home with someone (Taxpayer B) that is not a first-time homebuyer and then later that year they marry each other, is the credit still allowed?

A. Eligibility for the first-time homebuyer credit is determined on the date of purchase. If Taxpayer A, a first-time homebuyer, buys a house and then later that year marries Taxpayer B, not a first-time homebuyer, the credit is allowable to Taxpayer A. Taxpayer A may take the maximum credit.

And - if you are married AT THE TIME OF THE PURCHASE, and EITHER spouse had a principal residence in the past 3 years, you are not eligible.

. Section 36
Edited by Yankee_in_TX
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Your spouses credit scores and income will only be taken into account if you put them on the loan.

That's good news. So that freecreditreport.com commercial is a little misleading.

I think these two would apply to me:

S1. If a single person (Taxpayer A) qualifies as a first-time homebuyer at the time he/she purchases a home with someone (Taxpayer B) that is not a first-time homebuyer and then later that year they marry each other, is the credit still allowed?

A. Eligibility for the first-time homebuyer credit is determined on the date of purchase. If Taxpayer A, a first-time homebuyer, buys a house and then later that year marries Taxpayer B, not a first-time homebuyer, the credit is allowable to Taxpayer A. Taxpayer A may take the maximum credit.

S4. If husband and wife wanted to sell the home that the wife owned when they got married, and the husband had not owned a home within the past three years, could he qualify as a first-time homebuyer for the credit even though the wife would not qualify?

A. No. The purchase date determines whether a taxpayer is a first-time homebuyer. Since the wife had ownership interest in a principal residence within the prior three years, neither taxpayer may take the first-time homebuyer credit. Section 36©(1) of the Internal Revenue Code requires that the taxpayer and the taxpayer's spouse not have an ownership interest in a principal residence within the prior three years from the date of purchase. The husband may not take the credit even if he filed on a separate return.

Looks like I'd have to buy a home before marriage or wait three years after marriage.

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That's good news. So that freecreditreport.com commercial is a little misleading.

I think these two would apply to me:

Looks like I'd have to buy a home before marriage or wait three years after marriage.

I can't predict the future, but the chances of this program existing in 3 years is very low.

Edited by Mr. Chenevert
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I can't predict the future, but the chances of this program existing in 3 years is very low.

Oooh, I might be a little confused. I was never referring to that tax credit passed last year.

I thought first-time home buyers had always received some kind of deal/incentive/tax break or something? Did I dream that up?

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Maybe I was thinking/referring to this. It's different than the 8k tax credit, right?

The Texas First Time Homebuyer Program

provides below market interest rate mortgage loans through a network of participating lenders to eligible families and individuals who are purchasing their first home or who have not owned a home in the past three years. Two types of loans are available under this program. An

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There was some city program that offered down payment assistance for first time buyers but the income caps were pretty low (as were the maximum purchase prices).

I beleve the income cap was $35K for a single person and the purchase limit was $150K.

I'm not sure if the program is still around.

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Maybe I was thinking/referring to this. It's different than the 8k tax credit, right?

http://www.tdhca.state.tx.us/homeownership/fthb/index.htm

Here are the income and price limits for that program:

http://www.tdhca.state.tx.us/homeownership...docs/limits.pdf

Here are the funds available from the State (a lot are wiped out):

http://www.tdhca.state.tx.us/homeownership...lable_funds.htm

(diggity - good info, I had never though of only one spouse being on the mortgage - probably because my student debt means I need my wife on it, lol)

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There was some city program that offered down payment assistance for first time buyers but the income caps were pretty low (as were the maximum purchase prices).

I beleve the income cap was $35K for a single person and the purchase limit was $150K.

I'm not sure if the program is still around.

This is the one I was thinking of, I think. I had seen brochures for it when I lived in Austin about 2 years ago, but it was a statewide program I believe.

I actually wasn't referring to the tax credit, but those are some good resources that I did not know about.

Thanks!!

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