A Home Buyer's Guide

Are You Ready To Buy a Home?

Buy a Home

Discern If You're Ready To Commit to Purchasing a Home

Purchasing a house is a significant investment, so before looking for a house and checking mortgage rates, take some time to look at your present situation and what might change soon.

Ask these questions to yourself:

1. Are you planning major life changes such as changing jobs or building a family in the coming years that might affect your financial situation?

2. Will you be committed to living in your home for at least five years?

3. Do you have a steady income?

4. Are you confident enough to do house repairs (or have the patience to learn) or willing to hire a professional for repairs when something goes wrong?

How long should I own my house before it's paid off?

In general, we suggest that you only purchase the house if you want to reside in it for at least five years. However, this is contingent on many aspects, including the housing market, rental prices, and the amount of equity you have in the house.

Buying vs. Renting a House

Both have advantages, so think about what is more important to you.

Benefits of Buying

  • There is no landlord, so you can build your home the way you like without the approval of anyone else.
  • In contrast to rent payments, the interest you pay with your mortgage may be tax-deductible.
  • Some mortgages can be specifically tailored according to your budget and goals to prevent your monthly installment from increasing depending on the market changes

Benefits of Renting

  • The landlord is usually the one responsible for home repairs and improvements.
  • You don't need to purchase homeowners insurance or be responsible for property taxes for your house.
  • Moving can be less stressful since you don't have to sell your house or seek renters.

How to Assess Your Financial Situation Before Purchasing a House

Purchasing a house is among the largest investments you'll be making, and it's important to ensure your finance is in good shape. Begin by looking through your bank accounts and bills to assess how much you're earning and spending every month. If you're looking to purchase an apartment with another person (like your spouse), look at their financials too.

Ask yourself some questions:

  • Have you got a steady source of income or a job?
  • Have you set an amount of money each month in savings accounts?
  • Have you got a strategy to manage debt, like student loans and car loans?
  • Do you usually pay off your credit card debts quickly? Maintaining your credit card low will allow you to get a more favorable mortgage.
  • Do you have cash that you have saved to meet unexpected expenses? The best rule of thumb is to have three months of your income in savings.
  • Do you have money that you have saved for a downpayment and the closing cost? It is best not to use your emergency savings, or else you'll be in a difficult circumstance.

Determining Your Down Payment

The amount you will need to make a downpayment is contingent on the type of loan and how much the house costs. Remember that the more you contribute to a downpayment, the less your monthly payments will be, and the less you'll pay on interest. Conventional loans usually require the down payment to be at a minimum of 5% of the home's value. FHA loans can be as low as 3.5%.

Alongside the down payment, you'll need to cover closing costs or fees for processing and securing your loan. They can differ based on the house cost and the kind of mortgage you choose. Usually, it's between 2% and 5% of the property's value.

First-Time Home Buyer

You can purchase your first home. We will show you how.

How to get started

These are the two most important things to do if you're considering moving to your own home for the first time.

Get approved for a loan

Accomplishing this before looking at houses has a lot of advantages. Here are some benefits:

  • You'll receive an approval letter that informs real estate agents and sellers that you can afford the house.
  • You'll know how much you can afford to buy a house.
  • It makes it easier and smoother to complete the rest of your mortgage process.

Next, you need to find a real estate agent.

After applying and getting loan approval, choosing a reliable real estate agent is a must. Agents are a great resource of knowledge and experience when it comes time to purchase a home.

Ask these questions to yourself:

  • They help you get the right house in the right place for the right price.
  • They manage your paperwork.
  • They are the ones who negotiate with sellers.
  • You'll be ready for open houses as soon as you have your approval letter and listings from your agent.

Popular Loan Options for First-Time Homebuyers

These are the most common scenarios that people encounter when they apply for a home loan. There may be multiple options available to you, and we'll help you find the best option.

  • 1. A 30-Year Fixed - Do you want stability in interest rates and payments? A 30-Year Fixed will lock in your monthly interest rate and payment (before taxes and insurance), so you can purchase a home with as little as 3% down.
  • 2. FHA loans - Are you worried about not having enough credit history? FHA loans are more flexible in terms of income and credit requirements. You can pay your down payment for as low as 3.5%.
  • 3. Adjustable-rate mortgage - Do you think you will only live in a starter home for a few more years? An adjustable-rate mortgage offers you a low fixed interest rate, which means a lower monthly payment for the first few years of the mortgage.
  • 4. VA loan - Are you a veteran or currently serving? A VA loan may be available to you and allow you to purchase a home with zero down payment.

Buying a Vacation Home

You can have your dream property with no hidden fees.

The Ideal Mortgage for your Vacation Home

We will find the best mortgage loan that is suitable to your needs. There are many mortgage options available to you, including as little as a 10% down payment.

Popular loan options for vacation homes

  • 30-Year loan – These fixed rates are at historic lows. Get a fixed rate for 30 years to see how low your monthly payment can be.
  • 15-Year Loan – Get the same security as a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage but pay your mortgage off in half of the time.

Most Frequently Asked Questions

Should I have a real estate agent? How can I find one?

You may convince yourself at first that you don’t need a real estate agent to purchase a house. You may reconsider this as soon as you start to find yourself looking through the paperwork you don't understand.

Here are some reasons why you should hire a real estate agent during house hunting:

  • You'll get access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) database.
  • You'll have an experienced home price negotiator with you.
  • You'll have legal protection.
  • You'll have someone to accomplish the detailed paperwork for you.

What are the closing costs?

Mortgage closing costs are also known as settlement costs. These fees cover the services required to close and process your loan application. Title fees, recording fees, appraisal fees, credit report fees, title fees, pest inspection fees, attorney's fees, and taxes are all examples of mortgage closing costs. The closing cost for a loan depends on where you live.

The law requires lenders to provide two documents: the Loan Estimate and the Closing Disclosure - that outline your closing costs and avoid surprises at closing.

Real Estate Investor

Our fast financing and competitive rates will help you reach your financial goals.

The Basics of Investing in Buyer's Market

  • To maximize your bargaining power, get preapproved for an investment loan before you start your property search.
  • To close your loan faster than any other lenders, thanks to our industry-leading online tools.

The Popular Loan Options to Investment Properties

  • YOURgage - This program gives you control over your mortgage. You can choose between terms of 8 years and 30 years.
  • 30-Year Loan - With a fixed mortgage interest, your monthly mortgage payment will not change. Enjoy some of the best mortgage rates ever!
  • 15-Year Loan - You get the same benefits as a 30-year mortgage, but your mortgage is paid off in half the time. A 15-year fixed-rate mortgage will save you thousands in interest.

Should I get a real estate agent? How can I find one?

You may convince yourself at first that you don’t need a real estate agent to purchase a house. You may reconsider this if you start to find yourself looking through the paperwork you don't understand.

Here are some reasons why you must hire a real estate agent:

  • 1. You will get access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) database.
  • 2. You will have an experienced home price negotiator.
  • 3. You will receive legal protection.
  • 4. You will have someone fill out all the detailed paperwork for you.

What are closing costs?

Mortgage closing costs are also referred to as settlement costs. These fees cover the services required to close and process your loan application. It includes title fees, recording fees, appraisal fees, credit report fees, title fees, pest inspection fees, attorney's fees, taxes, and surveying fees. Your geographic location will affect the closing cost of your loan.

What is equity? How does it lower your monthly payment?

Home equity is the appraised value of your home less the amount you owe on your loan. Your monthly payment may be lower if you have more equity which results in a better interest rate you may get on your refinance. With enough equity, you may get rid of Private mortgage insurance (PMI). It is a monthly fee that can be added to many mortgages with a lower down payment than 20%. To check if your equity is enough to receive a lower monthly repayment, use a refinance calculator.

Corporate Relocation

Our relocation team got you covered from start to finish.You can also receive other special incentives when you work alongside our team of relocation experts. You can take advantage of your relocation benefits and have added security knowing that we can work with many eligible policy types to meet your needs.
Get underwritten approval to give you an edge over the rest before you start house hunting.

A Leader In Relocation
You can set your own pace, and our relocation team will assist you.

1. The first call.

Your Home Loan Expert will request your approval to pull your credit report, review your mortgage options, and share our relocation benefits with you.

2. You can drive your own mortgage experience.

You can automatically import your assets, upload and e-sign your documents, and shop with confidence while you monitor the progress of your loan anywhere, anytime.

3. Closing time

Our Closing Team will reach out to you to discuss all your loan details and schedule your closing. Your closing documents will be sent in two versions - electronically and physically.