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First Time Home Buyer

First Time Home Buyer? Hip,
Hip Hooray For Thda!

by Kristin Abouelata - Home Loans
Have you ever heard of THDA? It’s an acronym that stands for the Tennessee Housing Development Agency. According to its website, it was established in 1973……

"In order to promote the production of more affordable new housing units for very low, low and moderate income individuals and families in the state, to promote the preservation and rehabilitation of existing housing units for such persons, and to bring greater stability to the residential construction industry and related industries so as to assure a steady flow of production of new housing units…"

Many times, people have heard of THDA and are confused, thinking that THDA is a certain loan type. In fact, it’s lending agency. All THDA mortgages must be insured by private mortgage insurance, FHA, VA or RECD And as these loans are intended for low to moderate income families or individuals, there is a income limit and acquisition cost limit. Also, you must be a first time homebuyer unless your home is in a targeted area.

Why is THDA so fantastic for a first time homebuyer? Well, it comes down to money. THDA offers a below market rate and will allow up to 100% financing. Have you been reading the papers lately? It’s not so easy to find 100% financing these days. Unless, that is, you’re a first time homebuyer. It also has programs that allow for down payment assistance via grants from certain approved agencies (if your loan type requires a down payment). If you have satisfactory credit and the home you wish to buy meets THDA’s standards, then you’re in business.

All THDA mortgages are 30 year fixed rate loans, so you needn’t worry about finding yourself with an ARM loan (adjustable rate mortgage) and a new payment you can’t afford in 3 years. And THDA allows lenders to only charge customers a standard 1% origination and .25% discount fee. It also closely monitors fees associated with the loan. THDA really looks out for the best interest of the first time homebuyer. If you are eligible for a THDA loan, you can feel pretty certain that an unscrupulous lender can’t take advantage of you because THDA won’t let them. For so many people, buying a home is pretty intimidating. THDA takes away the uncertainties a buyer faces with its guidelines and lending practices.

If you do apply for a THDA loan, be prepared to document your credit worthiness. THDA loans require slightly more documentation than your average loans because of the uniqueness of its product. In order to offer more, THDA asks for more – ensuring you qualify for its pretty awesome program. Sounds like a fair trade, if you ask me.

What are the disadvantages of a THDA loan? Not many. They do have a federal recapture tax if you sell your home within the first nine years of owning it. But it sounds scarier than it really is. I’ve heard that only about 1% of THDA customers actually pay this tax. That’s because a bunch of really great things have to happen to you in order for it to actually apply to you. And if those great things happen to you, paying the recapture tax won’t matter much to you anyway. I’ve been in the business for 16 years and have only heard of one person actually having to pay one. He graduated from medical school and his income when through the roof. His property was sold above market value than for the area because it was adjacent to some property that a huge retailer wanted to purchase. Again, good things have to happen to pay the recapture tax. So, you shouldn’t be afraid of it.

More people need to hear about and take advantage of the THDA loan programs. It’s such a great product and really helps the community and the housing industry. If you’re a first time homebuyer or think you’re in a targeted area, make sure you ask about THDA to see if you would qualify for a loan. You won’t regret it!

About the Author

Let my experience work for you! Email your home loan financing questions to Kristin Abouelata, Home Loan Specialist, at or call (865) 567-0113. Kristin will try to answer all questions on her website Home Loans Plain Talk. Kristin Abouelata Mortgage Specialist Let my experience work for you! Knoxville, TN 37919 Phone: 865-567-0113

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