Thinking of buying new home? We’ve sat down with Niki Null at Freedom Bank to make sure you are ready for that next step. Whether you are a first time home buyer or a seasoned veteran at buying homes, Freedom Bank of Southern Missouri has you covered. The market is ever-changing so it’s good to always get the latest news and updates when it comes to real-estate.
Questions every home buyer (you!) should ask their Mortgage Lender:
1. I’m looking for a new home. How much house can I afford?
The general rule of thumb is that you can afford a home that is valued around 2 times your annual gross income, however, there are several things to consider when shopping for a home mortgage. Some of those items include your down payment amount, your other monthly obligations, and the cost of your new home’s taxes and insurance.
2. How much of a down payment do I need? Can I buy a home without a down payment?
Most conventional home loans require a down payment of 20% of the purchase price, but don’t get discouraged. There are several types of government backed loan programs, such as FHA, Rural Development, and VA loans available that can assist you in purchasing your home. In some cases, you can purchase a home with little or no money down other than closing costs. I encourage you to check with your lender for more information and what programs are available in your area.
Closing costs can vary from lender to lender so it is always a wise decision to visit with several lenders in your area so you can compare and choose the right loan and lender for you. For example, on a $150,000 mortgage, closing costs can range from $3000 to $7000, therefore, it is recommended for a potential buyer to do their homework.
4. What if my credit isn’t the greatest, can I still get approved for a mortgage?
Understanding how lenders use and report to the credit bureaus can be overwhelming. Your credit rating can affect your daily life in many ways such as the interest rate you pay on a loan or credit card to the cost of your car insurance. Paying your bills on time and minimizing you debt are the best things to do to help obtain and maintain a favorable credit rating. To help manage and understand your credit report I recommend visiting consumerfinance.gov/owning-a-home. It is a government sponsored website to help guide consumers through the home buying process.
5. Is now a good time to buy? How are the interest rates?
Rates are still very low and now is a great time to buy!
6. Once I get approved for my mortgage what are my next steps?
Just because the mortgage has been approved, it doesn’t mean the hard work is over. I recommend staying in close contact with both your lender and your real estate agent. During the processing of your loan, there will be numerous items that you may be required to provide to the lender and several steps to the overall process. Work as quickly as possible to deliver any requested documents so as not to delay your closing. In addition, continue to maintain your good credit rating and do not add any additional debt as it could void your loan approval. Quitting or changing jobs is not recommended while your loan is in process.
7. How long am I locked in with my approved interest rate?
The term of a rate lock can vary from lender to lender. Once again, I recommend staying in close communication with your lender as they will have an idea of how long their loan processing normally takes and can offer you various options.
The home buying process has evolved dramatically over the past few years for both consumers and lenders. The federal government has implemented additional steps and modified the disclosure process so as to keep the consumer better informed during the process and allowing them to compare lenders and loans much easier than before. There are also several good websites that provide more in depth information and also have worksheets to help you determine how much home you can afford. I recommend visiting www.consumer/finance.gov/owning-a-home for information on the home buying process and www.freecreditreport.com to view your credit report and ensure there is no inaccurate information. Best of luck as you journey into the rewarding world of home ownership.
Niki Null is a Loan Officer with Freedom Bank. She began her banking career with Boatmen’s Bank in 1992 as a part time teller while attending what is now known as Missouri State University in Springfield. She and her family have lived and worked in Barry County since 2008 when they relocated from the Joplin, Missouri area to Golden, Missouri to be closer to the beauty of Table Rock Lake. She and her husband Jared have two children, Jade a college student and Gage who is a junior at Cassville High School. Her hobbies include spending time with family and friends on Table Rock Lake and enjoying the beauty that Barry County offers.
For more information or to set up an appointment to start your home buying experience Click here to visit their website or call or stop by the Freedom Bank branch closest to you! Cassville branch: 417.846.1719, Golden branch: 417.271.3814, Seligman branch: 417.662.7000, Shell Knob branch: 417.858.3136 and Willard branch: 417.742.1776.