Houston Mortgage First-Time Homebuyer: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Series

First time home buyer mortgage Houston, TexasBuying a home is an exciting time in anyone’s life, but making the decision to take this step is not as easy as some might think. After all, homeownership is not for everyone, and there are several factors that need to be taken into consideration when determining whether or not now is the right time for you to buy. To help with that decision-making process, here are the answers to several first-time Houston mortgage Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) asked by those first time home buyer trying to decide whether or not they are ready to by a home.

What are some things I should consider when deciding if I am ready to buy a first home in Houston?

When trying to decide if now is the right time for you to buy a home in Houston, Texas, there are several things you should consider. These include your:

  • Income
  • Length of employment
  • Bill-paying record
  • Outstanding long-term debts
  • Savings
  • Ability to pay a Houston mortgage and other costs of homeownership each month

In order to improve your chances of being approved for a Houston mortgage loan, you typically need to have been employed on a regular basis for at least 2 consecutive years. You also need to demonstrate your current income is reliable and you have been responsible about paying your bills. The amount of long-term debt you have currently taken out in your name will also affect your ability to get a Houston mortgage loan. If you have been responsible with your bills, are not already in too much debt, have steady employment and have money saved for a down payment, you may be financially ready to purchase a home in the greater Houston, TX area.

Of course, determining whether or not you are ready to buy a home is not only about being financially prepared. You also need to consider how long you plan to live in the Houston area as well as your lifestyle needs. If you are likely to move within a few years, buying a home right now may or may not be the best decision. Similarly, if your lifestyle does not provide the time necessary to maintain a home, you may be better suited to living in an apartment or a Houston condo.

What are the advantages and disadvantages to owning a Houston home versus renting?

Renting a Houston home or apartment offers two primary advantages. First, renting makes it easier to pick up and move at any given time. Second, you do not need to worry about maintenance costs. Since some landlords also include utilities in the monthly rent, another advantage could be having just one bill to pay toward your housing expenses each month. Owning a Houston home, on the other hand, offers many advantages. Not only does homeownership provide you with pride in ownership and the ability to customize the home however you like, you also build equity with every monthly payment. Rather than paying on someone else’s investment, you are paying on your own. Owning a Houston home also makes you eligible for certain tax benefits and you never have to worry about a landlord increasing your rent each time you sign a new lease.

How is my maximum Houston mortgage amount determined?

When determining how much mortgage you can afford to borrow, your Houston mortgage lender considers how much you have available for a down payment, your credit history, your closing costs and your debt-to-income ratio. Your debt-to-income ratio is a comparison of your gross income to your housing and non-housing costs. Non-housing costs include things such as:

  • Car loans
  • Student loans
  • Child support
  • Any other long-term debt

According to Houston FHA guidelines, your monthly mortgage payment should be no more than 29 percent of your gross income. When combined with your non-housing expenses, your total payments should be no more than 41 percent of your income.

How can I find a Houston real estate agent?

Contact PrimeLending today: (800) 308-8503 or (281) 305-9375. We work with the best agents in the business and would be happy to refer a great real estate agent for you and your family. Another good place to start is if someone you know has recently purchased a home, he or she may be able to recommend a good agent in your area. If you don’t know anyone who can recommend an agent, you may be able to find one by browsing online. If you have your sights on a particular area, you may even drive through the neighborhood and look at “For Sale” signs in order to get an idea of which agents are most familiar with that area.

Regardless of how you go about compiling a list of potential agents, you should take the time to meet with several of the agents in order to find the one that is right for you. You should look for an agent who listens to your needs and who is familiar with the local area.

What kind of information should I provide to the Houston real estate agent?

To help with your Houston home search, you should have a clear idea of the features you are looking for in a home. Make a list of your priorities, including things such as location, size and amenities that you want in your new home. When deciding upon the right location, you should consider schools, your job and the availability of things such as public transportation and commercial establishments.

If you or someone you know has questions about a Houston mortgage, PrimeLending serves the greater Houston area, including but not limited to: Houston, Sugar Land, Baytown, Galveston, Conroe, and The Woodlands. Call today: (800) 308-8503 or (281) 305-9375 or visit us online:

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