State-Sponsored Home-Purchase Help for Educators—Dispelling Myths

Periodically the Hotline has posted updates on the eligibility of professional educators (defined to include teachers, teacher aides, school librarians, school counselors, school nurses, and higher-ed nursing and allied-health faculty) for low-interest home loans and down-payment grants from the Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation. The folks at TSAHC have advised us that some myths about the program need to be dispelled, so we thought we’d share with you some of their myth-busting efforts (and for still more information you can visit their “frequently asked questions” page at http://www.tsahc.org/homeownership/faq):

“Myth: Homebuyers need to pay back a portion of the down payment assistance provided by TSAHC when they sell their home.

“Fact: Homebuyers never have to pay back TSAHC’s down payment assistance [DPA]. There is no second lien associated with our DPA. It is a gift to the homebuyer.

“Myth: You need to be a first-time buyer to use TSAHC’s DPA Programs.

“Fact: You do not need to be a first-time homebuyer to use our DPA Program. You can use TSAHC’s DPA Program to purchase a home that will become your principal residence, even if you have been a homeowner before.

“Myth: Homebuyers need to purchase homes in specific areas.

“Fact: Homebuyers may use TSAHC’s assistance to purchase a home anywhere in Texas. Our programs are not limited to certain areas or to TSAHC-specific homes.

“Myth: Homebuyers are required to stay in a home for a minimum number of years.

“Fact: Homebuyers are not required to stay in a home for any period of time. Repayment of our down payment assistance is never required. Only homebuyers using TSAHC’s MCC [mortgage credit certificate] Program may be subject to Recapture Tax if they decide to sell the home within 9 years of purchase and meet certain other requirements. However, this occurrence is very rare.

“Myth: Using homeownership programs like TSAHC’s take too long.

“Using TSAHC’s Homeownership Programs should not take any longer than the customary time it takes to close a traditional mortgage loan. On average, it takes 45 days from the time a lender reserves funds to the time the homebuyer closes on the mortgage loan. Plus, we’ve streamlined processes, eliminated forms and documentation, and developed our own reservation system. If it’s been a while since you’ve used a ‘bond’ program, we encourage you to give our programs a second look.”