February 19th, 2018 2:20 PM by Mike Herborn
1. What is the first step I should take when I want to buy a home? The first step you should take when you want to buy a home is to go in to speak with a lender. This will help determine how much you can afford and the price range for a house you may be approved for. This will also put you in a better position as a buyer when you are ready to make an offer on a house. 2. What credit score do I need to buy a house? There are many factors that go into what kind of credit score you need to get approved for a loan. The minimum credit score you need to get approved for a loan will depend on the type of loan you qualify for. It will also depend on how much of a down payment you are willing to put down. 3. How much do I need for a down payment? The amount needed for a down payment will also vary depending on a couple of factors. The price of the home you choose and the loan terms that you get approved for. There are different loan options that may let you put down as low as 3% Conventional or 3.5% FHA. There are also 100% financing options and down payment assistance programs that you may qualify for. However, it is important to realize you are required to pay PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) if you put less than 20% down. This will add to your monthly mortgage payment, so it is a good idea to consider this when deciding on how much you would like to put down. 4. What are my options for a home loan as a senior? There are various options for senior citizens looking to get a home loan. If you have enough regular income, you may be able to qualify for a regular mortgage. If you are on living on fixed income such as pensions, social security, or a retirement account you may not be approved for a regular mortgage. However, if you are a homeowner of age 62 or older with equity built up in your home, you may be able to do a Reverse Mortgage. This type of mortgage lets you convert part of the equity in your home into tax-free income and no monthly mortgage payments while you still reside there. 5. What are some first-time home buyer programs? In Oregon, there are many great down payment assistance programs for first-time home buyers. If you are a first-time home buyer locally in the Eugene or Springfield area you may look into local programs such as Eugene HAP, Springfield SHOP, and NEDCO IDA. If you are not looking to buy locally in the area you can click the link below for some more information on down payment assistance programs in Oregon.http://www.oregon.gov/ohcs/pages/oregon-bond-program-down-payment-assistance.aspx 6. What costs are included in my monthly mortgage payment? One of the most important aspects to remember is that your monthly mortgage payment will not cover all of the other expenses of home-ownership. Typically, your monthly mortgage payment will include the principal, interest, property taxes, insurance and if you have less than 20% down you will also have PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance). It will not include all of the other usual monthly payments such as utilities, internet, cable, and HOA (Homeowners Association) fees. It is important to consider this when determining what kind of house payment you will feel comfortable with once you are ready to buy. We hope this answered some of the questions that may have been on your mind. We are always happy to answer any more questions that come up, so don’t hesitate to give us a call at 541-683-3300.