San Antonio Mortgage Rates

Living in San Antonio, TX

San Antonio is one of America’s fastest-growing cities. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city had the second-highest population increase of any U.S. city between 2017 and 2018. And San Antonio is expected to grow exponentially over the next two decades. The city’s deeply rooted heritage, diversity, modern attractions, culinary scene and outdoor activities are a draw for residents and visitors alike.

San Antonio’s affordability contributes to the city’s appeal. The median sales price for a home in May 2019 was $238,800, according to the San Antonio Board of Realtors (SABOR). And 94% of homes sold were under $500,000, with 62% falling in the mid-priced range of $200,000 and $500,000.

Home sales in the area jumped 10% in May. Increasing prices and low inventory — currently a 3.8 month supply — spell favorable conditions for sellers. However, with more than 10,000 properties available, according to SABOR, buyers should have little trouble finding a home.

During the first quarter of 2019, homes in the San Antonio area stayed on the market (from listing to accepted offer) for 67 days on average.

The rules and costs of buying a home in San Antonio

When purchasing a home, it’s best to familiarize yourself with the specific state and local laws where the property is located, as the process can vary from state to state and city to city. Here’s what you need to know about buying a home in San Antonio.

Home seller and buyer laws

Texas law requires sellers to disclose details of the property by completing a seller’s disclosure notice for single-family residences or by submitting a statement containing similar information. The form covers the physical condition of all areas of the home, including, but not limited to, the electrical systems, foundation, roof and the presence of wood-destroying insects.

Sellers must include additional disclosures where applicable, such as notifying the buyers of a required membership to a homeowners association or that the property may be located in a propane gas service area.

The law states that sellers must submit the disclosure before entering into a contract. Otherwise, buyers have the right to cancel the agreement for any reason within seven days of receiving the form.

For buyers who run into difficulty paying their mortgage, Texas primarily uses a non-judicial foreclosure process, which entails a series of actions outside of the court system. However, if you default on a home equity loan, your lender may foreclose on your home through the courts.

Texas is one of nine community property states in the country. In a community property state, spouses equally own assets acquired, including property, during the marriage. For couples going through a divorce, this can affect their ability to qualify for a mortgage, as some government loan programs consider the assets of both spouses, regardless of whose name will be on the loan.

Texas homebuyers are not required by law to hire an attorney to represent them during closing. They can use an escrow officer, which can be a title insurance agent, escrow company or attorney.

Taxes

In Texas, home purchases do not incur a real estate transfer tax, as is the case in many states. You will, of course, be responsible for paying property taxes once you own the home. Your lender will let you know if you need to pay a portion of your property taxes as part of your closing costs.

Residents can reduce their ongoing tax obligation through one or more exemptions. All residents who own and live in their property on Jan. 1 of the tax year qualify for the Residence Homestead Exemption. Veterans, disabled homeowners, surviving spouses and residents over age 65 are eligible for additional exemptions. You can find more information about property tax exemptions in Texas here.

Texas is known for high property taxes and ranks among the highest in the country, according to Tax-Rates.org. In Bexar County, where San Antonio is located, the median property tax is $2,484 for a home that costs $117,100.

Conforming loan limits

The conforming loan limit for San Antonio is $484,350. This represents the maximum amount you can borrow with a conventional mortgage, which is a loan backed by the government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. If you’re looking to finance above the conforming loan limit, you’ll need to pursue a jumbo loan, which is usually harder to qualify for.

Programs for homebuyers in San Antonio

San Antonio residents have access to homebuyer programs through multiple agencies, including the City of San Antonio, the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) and the Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation (TSAHC).

We’ve highlighted a few programs below, but be sure to visit each agency’s website as well as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for information on additional programs.

Homeownership Incentive Program (HIP)

In this program offered by the City of San Antonio Neighborhood & Housing Services Department (NHSD), first-time homebuyers can borrow between $1,000 and $12,000 as a zero-interest, no-payment second loan to help cover down payment and closing costs.

The loan is 75% forgivable over 10 years. If ownership is transferred, 25% of the loan becomes due. Borrowers can combine HIP with other down payment assistance programs offered by the city.

Who qualifies:

  • First-time buyers are eligible.
  • Property must be within the San Antonio city limits.
  • Buyers must occupy the home as their primary residence.
  • Buyers must complete a homebuyer education course.
  • Loan must be combined with a first mortgage from a private lender.
  • Household income must be within program limits. Current limits range between $37,450 and $66,300, depending on family size.
  • Borrowers must contribute at least $500.
  • Purchase price must be under the program maximum, currently $170,000 for existing homes and $228,000 for new construction.

Learn more

My First Texas Home

TDHCA offers eligible Texans 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages and down payment and closing cost assistance of up to 5% of the loan amount. Buyers can combine this program with the Texas mortgage credit certificate.

Who qualifies:

  • First-time buyers (buyers who have not owned a home within the past three years) and veterans are eligible.
  • A minimum credit score of 620 is required.
  • Buyers must complete a homebuyer education course.
  • Buyers must meet program income limits. Current income limits for San Antonio residents range between $76,957 and $99,680, depending on family size and whether buyers are purchasing in a targeted area.
  • Purchase price must meet program limits. Current maximum purchase price for San Antonio residents is $323,960, or $395,951 if the buyer is purchasing in a targeted area.

Learn more

Home Sweet Texas Home Loan Program

In this statewide program, TSAHC offers 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages and up to 6% of the loan amount for down payment assistance as a grant or second mortgage. First-time buyers can combine this program with the Texas mortgage credit certificate.

Who qualifies

  • First-time and repeat homebuyers are eligible.
  • A minimum credit score of 620 is required.
  • Buyers must complete a homebuyer education course.
  • Household income must meet program requirements. Maximum income limits for San Antonio range between $76,957 and $107,740, depending on family size, loan type and whether or not the buyer is purchasing in a targeted area.
  • Purchase price must be under program limit. Current maximum purchase price for San Antonio is $323,960, or $395,952 if the buyer is purchasing in a targeted area.

Learn more

Rate shopping tips

Getting a competitive rate on your mortgage can save you thousands of dollars over the life of your loan, so don’t leave getting a good rate up to chance. Follow these tips to help you get the lowest rate possible on your mortgage.

Contact at least three lenders on the same day

One way to get the best rate on your mortgage is to comparison shop among multiple lenders. Make sure you contact a variety of lenders, including national banks, credit unions, small regional or community banks and online lenders. Because rates fluctuate daily, get your quotes all on the same day and contact a minimum of three lenders, so you can make true apples-to-apples comparisons.

Give each lender the same information

Your rate quotes are based on the details of your financial situation, so make sure you give a complete picture upfront. You don’t want a low initial rate to skyrocket later on because you gave the lender incomplete information. You also want to get the most accurate quotes as possible, and you can only do so if all lenders have the exact same information.

Add up all the lender fees to confirm the costs

The interest rate on your loan is a significant factor in the affordability of your mortgage, but it is not the only factor to consider. Take a look at each quote’s annual percentage rate (APR), so you have an idea of the total cost of financing. Also compare items that may not be included in the APR, such as the appraisal or credit report fee. Doing this will help avoid price-tag shock.

Know when to lock in the rate

You can protect yourself against a rate increase by considering locking in your rate. Ask your lender what their process is, and keep communication open with your loan officer so you can determine the best time to lock in your rate. Understand that there is an expiration date for a lock-in, typically around 30 days ahead, although it can be more or less. You may be able to file for an extension if the deadline passes, possibly for a fee. Some lenders may offer a float-down provision if rates go down after you lock yours in.

The information in this article is accurate as of the date of publishing.