Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs - Building Homes and Strengthening Communities

Small Sacrifices

Jorge Reyes, TDHCA, 8/20/11

Caption below

Leticia Leal and family, Del Valle, TX
HOME Homebuyer Assistance Program
Photo: Jorge Reyes, TDHCA

Doing something right the first time requires preparation. Just ask Leticia Leal. The determined Central Texan knew she wanted to purchase her first home, but minor blemishes on her credit report and her husband’s ongoing truck payments made it difficult to qualify for a home loan. To achieve her goal she knew small sacrifices would have to be made.

“We moved in with my mother for awhile. We cut our spending here and there. Plus, the money we had saved up to buy a home we used to pay off the truck. That made a big difference,” said Leticia.

By March 2011, Leticia and her family could finally begin looking for their first home.

At around the same time, the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) was introducing its revamped HOMEbuyer Assistance Program which provides up to $20,000 in down payment and closing cost assistance and in the form of a 0% interest deferred, forgivable loan in the counties of Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Hays, Williamson, and Travis (excluding the Austin city limits). It was also the first time eligible lenders could access HOMEbuyer Assistance Program funds using a reservation system. The new reservation system allows a HOME contract administrator to serve individual families as the need arises without a contractual obligation to assist a predetermined number of families.

During a visit to a homebuilder’s office an agent told Leticia about the new HOMEbuyer Assistance Program and that she met the program qualifications.

“Let’s go for it! We’ll be the first ones,” Leticia remembers saying.

The builder submitted her application to TDHCA and, sure enough, it was the first one approved. Additionally, down payment and closing cost assistance from the agency allowed her to purchase a brand new home.

“Buying our first home took some work,” says Leticia. “But making those small sacrifices was worth the effort. They allowed me to qualify for the HOMEbuyer Assistance Program and helped me purchase a better home for my family!”

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HOME Homebuyer Assistance Program