First Time Home Buyer Tips When Working with a Community Bank

Posted by Gary Hall on Oct 4, 2017 4:20:31 PM
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ChoiceOne Bank, a community bank, provides financial services in ways that big national and regional banks cannot offer, especially with a first-time home mortgage. At ChoiceOne, our mortgage lenders live in the area, know the markets and are able to make all loan decisions locally.

 We recognize that buying a home is likely the biggest purchase you will make.  A community bank, like ChoiceOne Bank, is an excellent resource to help guide you through the process. We are available to help provide accurate and well-informed information so that you can find a mortgage that fits your financial needs, budget and lifestyle.

 The best time to contact a ChoiceOne mortgage lender is before you begin looking for a home. It is important to stay within your means when purchasing a house, so consider these first-time home buyer tips in the process:


  • Look at the amount of cash you have in your checking and savings accounts and determine how much of that you’re comfortable parting with as a down payment. You’ll want to keep some savings in reserve for emergencies. As your local community bank, we will offer you financial advice.


  • Get as much information about how much the houses you’re looking at will cost, being sure to factor in all of the expenses, including closing costs, principal and interest mortgage payments, taxes, insurance, utilities, and commuting to start. As your local mortgage lender, we will help you review these costs and make accurate comparisons.


  • Gather and organize paperwork and documents. Items you should have readily available include paycheck stubs, W2 forms, tax returns and bank and investment statements for the last two years. We have a checklist you can use to make sure you are gathering the correct information.


  • Check your credit report so you are aware of what your current credit score is before applying for a loan. Credit reporting agencies must give you one free report annually. We will certainly help you review your credit report.


  • Maxing out credit cards or falling behind on other loan payments could create issues when applying for a mortgage. Keep tabs on your spending habits before applying for a mortgage. We can provide financial advice if you need a new budget!


  • Find a real estate agent you get along with and trust to give you good advice. We work with a lot of excellent real estate agents and can certainly make recommendations.


  • Check with your state, city and county government agencies for special first-time-homebuyer loan or grant programs available to assist with down payment and closing costs. At ChoiceOne, we have many of these programs that we can offer you. We will discuss with you during the process.


  • So now, last, but not least, get a ChoiceOne Bank Pre-approval right away to figure out how much you can borrow and which mortgage product is right for you. As your local community bank, we will sit down with you and explain all the needed information, your available mortgage options, including rate adjustments, fees and other loan features so you are prepared for the loan process and closing, and not surprised along the way.


At ChoiceOne Bank, we are your community bank. We work with you to find affordable mortgages. There are more steps you will need to complete to ensure the home buying process goes smoothly for you.


ChoiceOne Bank can help you determine the most affordable mortgage options available and provide additional financial guidance if needed. Contact us to schedule a time with one of our mortgage lenders to develop your home purchase plan.



Topics: Mortgage