Buying a home is a big decision, and for first-time homebuyers, it can be nerve-racking. Most first-time buyers have dozens of questions about the process. We're here to tackle a few of the more common questions to help you buy with confidence.
Q: What are some things I can do to make sure I get the best deal on my mortgage?
A: Don’t simply shop for the lowest interest rate; compare the closing costs and annual percentage rate (APR) as well. The APR is made up of the interest rate plus finance charges such as points or lender fees and mortgage insurance. One lender could advertise a lower rate but a higher APR than another. The higher APR would indicate a higher overall cost to obtain the loan. Get an official Loan Estimate that displays the rate, monthly payment, APR, and closing costs so you can do a side-by-side comparison.
-Debbie Miller, NMLS #568814
Q: What’s the best way to find down payment assistance programs?
A: You can start by getting pre-qualified or pre-approved with a lender that offers several down payment assistance programs. There are guidelines to the programs, and the loan officer will be able to tell you if you’re eligible. You can also attend a HUD approved homebuyer education class. Find homebuyer education classes at https://www.chfa.org/counselors/class-schedule/.
-Pamela K. Hippolyte, NMLS #507736
Q: What is the difference between mortgage pre-qualification and pre-approval?
A: With a mortgage pre-qualification, you provide information regarding your debt, income, and assets. The loan officer would review that, along with your credit history, to provide an estimate of how much you can expect to borrow. A mortgage pre-approval is a more advanced step that requires supplying the lender with all the documentation to fully assess your creditworthiness. The pre-approval process allows the lender to issue a conditional commitment/approval letter, subject to you signing a fully executed sales contract and an appraisal being conducted on the property.*
-Matthew Nawrocki, NMLS #494881
*Other terms and conditions may apply.
Do you have questions about the home buying process? Contact a loan officer today.