Buying a first home can be one of the most exciting times of all in the life of a family or an individual. It can also be a confusing one, because the associated requirements can sometimes seem arcane, or at least less than intuitive. Most locals who work with an established lender like AMCAP Mortgage, though, report that the positives far outweigh the negatives, with financial specialists of this kind typically taking great care to educate their clients and put their minds at ease.

They frequently do so today, in part, by creating and hosting websites like First time home buyer. Maintained by a prominent Houston FHA lender, that site, as with others like it, contains all the borrowing-related information that a first-time buyer could hope for.

That means detailing every relevant aspect of the FHA borrowing program that so many buyers rightly take advantage of. Although the FHA's requirements and terms are all very clear-cut, finding all of the related information in a single place has traditionally been somewhat difficult to do. Sites that provide all of the relevant facts in a clear, useful form therefore do a great service to those who wish to buy their own first homes.

It turns out that this can also be easier to do than many initially suppose. All that is required to qualify for a first-time FHA loan is to have a down payment of three and half percent on hand, along with a credit score that will put a borrower somewhere above the bottom quarter of all Americans. Beyond that, a borrower simply has to live up to the Department of Housing and Urban Development's repayment guidelines, typically needing only to show evidence of income sufficient to make monthly mortgage payments.

While these basic requirements are often simply enough to live up to, there are other facets of the FHA program that can be surprising. One of these is that the maximum loan amount available under the program varies from county to county and from state to state. In Texas, that means that borrowers in places with relatively high real estate values like Houston and Austin will be able to obtain more financing than those targeting homes in rural communities.

This can sometimes work against the hopes and plans that first-time buyers develop on their own. In practice, though, most who make use of the program find that it represents an excellent, rewarding way to get started with home ownership.