Home Buying in Austin>Question Details

Kimanngarcia, Renter in Austin, TX

What is a good amount to save for a first time home buyer? I am wanting to stay around the $150,000-$200,000 range.

Asked by Kimanngarcia, Austin, TX Thu Sep 20, 2012

We have decent credit scores mine 600-680 & my husband's is around 780-820 and very low debit to income ratio.

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0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 27, 2012
I am a loan officer with Supreme Lending and I would be happy to talk with you regarding your loan options for the Austin area. From your description it appears you would qualify for 100% financing. Feel free to contact me at any time to discuss all of your options.


Brian Lee
Residential Mortgage Loan Originator
NMLS #239425

3420 Executive Center Drive
The Livingston Bldg #300
Austin, TX 78731
O: 215.524.8332
C: 512.909.5779
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 24, 2012
You should talk to a loan officer about this. With underwriters' guidelines being very strict, you may need to show reserves. I just closed a deal last month and my client needed 6 months of savings in her bank account. What is your desireable down payment? Do you want an FHA loan (3.5% down) or can you get a conventional with 10%-20% down? What do you want your monthly payments to be? Most real estate agents don't pre-approve a buyer. You really need to have your finances in place prior to working with a Buyer's Agent. You should talk to a loan officer if you are seriously contemplating a home purchase. They will want to document your income, and then talk to you about what you can qualify for. What's your desireable monthly housing budget? What are your closing costs? If you're thinking about short sales you might not be able to get seller concessions in CC's. Talk to a lender, talk to a seasoned buyer's agent. I know a great agent in Austin.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 21, 2012
I'd just plan for a minimum of 3.5% of the sales price for a down payment. Of course the more the better, but 9 times out of 10 I can get sellers to pay closing costs in a transaction no problem if needed. My office specializes in residential sales and we mostly work with buyers. Any questions, just call

lori a. bolton, realtor ®
central metro realty
cell: 512.577.7577
office: 512.436.0727
fax: 512.590.8707
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 21, 2012
Hello Kim and Garcia,

Typically you will need to have at least 3.5% saved for your down payment plus you will want to have reserves of at least 60 days but in reality you will want more than that. You will want to work on your scores. 600 to 680 is a broad range and if your mid score is on the low end of that range you will have a hard time getting financing.

Lenders will use the lowest middle score of both borrowers to qualify you. So if your spouse has an 800 credit score and you have a 640 then they will use the 640. You don't really want that to happen. If the spouse with the higher credit score can qualify on their own income and debt wise then you can just use one borrower. But the borrower will need to carry all debts on their one income. Basically there are a lot of options to discuss with your lender.

I am a Realtor and Mortgage Broker in the Austin area so please feel free to call me or email me anytime to discuss your situation. I would advise really find out what your scores are and put together a game plan as far as saving and making sure your credit is getting better. When you talk with somebody they can help you put together a timeline that will help give you an idea of when you will be ready to buy.

Best of luck to you both!

Don Groff
REALTOR® | Mortgage Broker
Keller Williams Realty | 360 Lending Group
o 512.669.5599 m 512.633.4157
listings@dongroff.com | http://www.AustinListed.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 21, 2012
I guess some want to impress with long winded answers to a pretty easy question.
Plan for: 1) Down Payment Minimum 3.5% 2) Closing Cost, Inspections, Appraisal about 4% ~ Sometimes Contracts can be written to help with closing costs paid by the seller. 3) Minimum credit score 640 right now 4) Total debt not to exceed around 43% of income. 5) always a good idea to have some reserve 6) Consult with a Realtor & Lender 4-6 months out and make a plan of attack
Best wishes & if I ca be of assistance contact me directly. Best Wishes!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 21, 2012
Kimmann, somehow this question just showed up in my email, so I see you've gotten many answers already. Best advice I can give is for you both to get Pre-Approved with a good Lender to get a fairly accurate estimate of your down payment and closing costs. Need to see what programs you qualify for and which one will be the most cost effective, etc. for you. Also, it is a good idea to save a little extra for maintaining the Home after your purchase. However, I do negotiate a 1Year Upgraded Home Warranty paid by the Seller for my Clients to cover major repairs in the first year, a warranty you can renew yearly, by the way. That helps offset any initial "surprise" repairs, etc. while your 'reserves' may be a little low.

If you're not yet working with a Realtor, I'd be happy to talk with you a bit, determine which of my Preferred Lenders would be a good fit, and have one of them Pre-Approve you, at no cost mind you, and let you know exactly where you stand. I too would be happy to help you as your Realtor and Buyer's Representataive. I am one of the top rated Realtors in Austin and do NOT charge you for my extensive services. I have a great Team of Lenders, Inspectors, Title people and the like to assist us through every step of the process!

Feel free to click on my photo to review my Credentials and Client Testimonials, and call on me if I may be of assistance.

Joe Jarusinsky, Realtor/Master Instructor...(512) 261-4415
Keller Williams Realty, Austin's #1 Real Estate Co.
Ranked #1 by Buyer & Sellers!! (2012 JD Power & Associates)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 20, 2012
Good evening Kimanngarcia,

I'd recommend sitting down with a Local Mortgage Banker. You'll find a much higher level of service than you would at a regular bank. Your Mortgage Banker can advise you as to the programs you are qualified for and down payment requirements.

As a general rule, today the minimum down payment is 3.5% under the FHA Insurance program. If you or your spouse are a Veteran of the Armed Forces then you should qualify under the VA Loan Guaranty program which allows for NO down payment. If the home you are purchasing is located within a US Census Bureau designated rural area then First Time Buyers qualify for NO down payment for a Single Family Home purchase.

Get a referral to a great and experienced Local Mortgage Banker to begin your journey to homeownership.

Trevor Curran
NMLS #40140
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 20, 2012
You would be required to have 3.5% or more as a down payment of the purchase price.

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Credit Repair Advisor
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 20, 2012
I concur with a lot of the posted answers. Simply put, you will probably want a minimum of 5% saved. If you choose an FHA loan, you will need 3.5% down.(plus inspection and moving expenses)

I often negotiate for the sellers to pay for my buyers closing costs. If you would like any additonal information on any home, referrals for lenders, or anything about first time homebuying, please feel free to contact me anytime without obligation.

Steve Nusinow
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 20, 2012
Probably the best thing to do is get with a loan officer.
Let them get you prequalified.
They can best advise you based on your entire situation what you need for down payment and what you will need for closing costs.
They may also be able to tell you how to improve your credit scores for better interest rates and lower fees.
If you can put down 20% you will avoid some costly Mortgage Insurance fees, but there are perhaps other alternatives as well.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 20, 2012
Bruce Lynn, Real Estate Pro in Coppell, TX

I have a couple of really good folks that can help you with this. They will set out in detail and in understandable language what you need to save based on your circumstances. If you are a veteran, the VA has 0% down as do several other programs like USDA homes, plus some lenders have specials that they run from time to time to help with down payments and/or repairs. There are pluses and minuses to taking advantage of these types of loans - make the lender explain everything!

You will need somewhere between $300 to $500 for the home inspection fee and $80 and $125 for the pest inspection fees. These fees are typically paid within 10 days of entering into a contract and are above and beyond your downpayment, if you have one.

You are on the right track though, this is the first step, finding a lender. The lender should be able to give you at least a ball park answer and tell you which loans you may qualify for within a matter of of hours after filling out the applications, whether on line or in person. If you are just beginning to save, at least talk to a lender so you know which way you may wish to turn. Things may change in the future, even one month down the road, so check back with the one you like when you have saved most of what you will potentially need.

Being a first time homebuyer can be very exciting and worrisome at the same time. I have worked with many first time home buyers and have helped others out of bad situations because they were taken advantage of. Use the utmost scrutiny when picking both your lender and your realtor - it will only help you in the end.

Good Luck! Let me know if I can help in any way. Marsha 512-797-3903
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 20, 2012
This is a question you should consult with a mortgage professional about. Typically, the down payment requirements range from 0% - 20+% down. This is determined by the type of loan you obtain, and the lender you choose. Unfortunately, there isn't a way to even give you an estimate without you having you speak to a mortgage professional. If you would like to be put in touch with a mortgage professional that can answer all of your questions for, give me a shout.

Leslie Negrón, REALTOR®
Keller Williams Realty/Austin Northwest
12515-8 Research Blvd. #100
Austin, TX 78759
Direct 832.884.7738
Fax 512.623.6277
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 20, 2012
$10,000-$15,000 is a good start for your Down Payment plus some of your Closing Costs, depending on the price of the home. I can set you up with a great Loan Officer to help explain your options. What part of Austin are you looking in?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 20, 2012
Good Afternoon!

Generally speakng you should be able to go with a FHA loan and you will need 3.5% down plus your closing costs. However, many times closing costs can be negotiated intio the sales contract to be paid by the seller. It really just all depends on the neighborhood you are looking in (how many homes are on the market) and the specifics ofthe person selling (how motivated they are). There are some neighborhoods where you can buy for no money down, but they are going to be on the outside of Austin. Speaking with a good, knowledgable lender would really be a good place to start. I would be happy to help you with the specifics if you would like to contact me.

Have a wonderful day,

Pamela Peck
Premiere Team Real Estate
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 20, 2012
For a personalized answer you really should be consulting with any licensed loan officer; be aware that a mortgage pre-approval letter is required in order to determine your price range and for any offers to be taken seriously.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 20, 2012
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