Ready to buy? Here's how to get started.
Make a list of the top-five most important things you’re looking for in a home. Your list might include things like price, distance to work, school rankings, number of bedrooms, and a nice, big yard for your dog.
Talk with a Mortgage Loan Originator to find out how much you qualify for so you can confidently shop for homes in your price range.
Choose a Real Estate Agent to help with your home search. Provide the Agent your list from step 1, so they can find homes that fit your needs.
Buying a home is a big decision. For many buyers, the experience can be stressful. Teaming up with a Real Estate Agent and Homebridge Mortgage Loan Originator will make the process much easier so you can enjoy the fun part.
We’re here to help when you’re ready to buy. Here are some things you should keep in mind. Buying a home allows you to:
Make it Your Dream
When you own your own home, you can paint, knock out walls, garden and remake the landscape. Finally get that dog. It’s up to you.
Create a Place for Family and Friends
You can grow in your new home, with friends and family surrounding you. This will truly be a place where you put down roots and build a new life.
Be a Part of the Community
Buying a home is an investment in the community and people around you. It brings stability to you and the surrounding neighborhood.
Gain home equity by paying principal.
The principal portion of every mortgage payment you make has the potential to grow your asset.
Get Tax Benefits
Take advantage of tax benefits. As mortgage industry and real estate taxes are usually tax deductible. (Consult a tax advisor regarding the deductibility of interest and charges.)
Build your credit by making on-time mortgage payments. This can help you create and maintain a strong credit history.
Additional considerations include:
Commitment to making a monthly payment in full and on time, today and into the future.
Extra expenses, including property taxes, homeowners insurance, homeowners association dues, tax assessments, and in some instances, mortgage insurance.
Unpredictable maintenance, including small expenses, like a clogged drain, to big expenses, like replacing a roof.
If you’re thinking of buying, a Mortgage Loan Originator can help weigh all the benefits to see if it makes sense.
Second Homes and Investment Properties
For those who qualify, Homebridge offers a range of home loan options for second homes or investment properties. Though people may use these terms interchangeably, second homes and investment properties are not the same and each have distinct lending requirements and guidelines. Learn more about second homes and investment properties.
Down Payment Options
The down payment is the part of the purchase price the buyer pays in cash and does not finance with a mortgage. Down payments are a percentage of the home’s selling price. For example, a 20% down payment on a $100,000 home is $20,000. Placing down payments helps protect buyers in a fluctuating housing market, creates equity, improves your credit score, and often lowers your interest rate. A down payment also shows lenders that you are serious about the purchase. As an added bonus, whatever you put down is money you won’t be paying interest on.
The type of mortgage determines the minimum down payment needed, usually ranging from 0% to 20%. Your Mortgage Loan Originator will let you know what down payment percentage is required of you and how much you should put down in order to save the most money in the long run.
Options for Veterans
Veterans Administration loans (VA loans) are designed to help Veterans obtain financing at very reasonable rates and offer financing up to 100% of the home’s value.¹ This means that a qualified Veteran, spouse or active-duty military member could buy without having to make a down payment.
Government Loan Options
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) was created to help middle- to lower-income buyers secure home loans. The FHA doesn’t actually lend the money; instead, it insures the loan. The FHA requires down payments as low as 3.5% and accepts a wide range of credit scores.
¹100% financing available on primary residences up to county loan limits.
Documents You Will Need
Here’s a quick look at the documents that you’ll need to pull together.
- Government issued photo identification and Social Security card.
- Address(es) for the past two years.
- Employment (past and present) for the past two years. We’ll need name(s) and address of each employer along with more information on any gap in employment.
- Income for the past two years. The fastest way to do this is to provide your last two tax returns along with copies of your pay stubs from the past two months.
- All money-related assets. You may be asked to provide the last two or three months’ statements from all checking accounts, savings accounts, money market, IRA, mutual fund and brokerage (stock) accounts.
- All debts. Once you provide consent, Homebridge will pull a credit report for each borrower to reveal the information we need on credit card debt, installment loans (like student loans), car loans and your current mortgage or home equity loans if you’re refinancing.
- The Sales Contract. For purchase transactions, Homebridge will need a copy of your original purchase agreement.
Specific situations may require additional documentation, including:
- Business returns for borrowers that own more than 20% of a business.
- Proof of VA eligibility, if you are applying for a VA loan.