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Are you thinking of purchasing a new home, but not sure where to begin? If you’re just getting started, it’s completely normal to feel a little overwhelmed.  There are different factors to consider when trying to find the best home loan for your unique situation.  There are new terms to learn, pitfalls to avoid and you’re probably wondering which direction to turn first. To help make the process a little bit easier for you, we put together some quick articles to assist you along your journey to homeownership.  And, if you’d like to talk to one of our home loan specialists, just contact your local branch and we’ll make sure all of your questions are answered.


Understand Your Credit
Your credit, your credit scores, and how wisely you shop for a loan that best fits your needs have a significant impact on your mortgage interest rate and the fees you pay. To improve your credit and your chances of getting a better mortgage, get current on your payments and stay current. About 35% of your credit scores are based on whether or not you pay your bills on time. About 30% of your credit scores are based on how much debt you owe. That’s why you may want to consider paying down some of your debts. Click to read more: Understanding Your Credit.


Choosing the Right Down Payment
A down payment is the amount you pay toward the home yourself. You put a percentage of the home’s value down and borrow the rest through your mortgage loan. Click to read about Down Payments.


Home Buyer Terms
Earnest Money: Earnest money is a deposit provided to a seller to show that the buyer is serious about purchasing a residence. The funds allow the buyer more time to secure financing and complete title searches, appraisals, and inspections before to closing. Earnest money is similar to a down payment on a house, an escrow deposit, or good faith money in many aspects. Click here to learn more Key Terms for Home Buyers.


New Home Pantry Checklist
Click here for a printable checklist


Avoid Home Loan Pitfalls
Don’t hide important financial information. Hiding negative information may delay or derail your loan application. Click here to read more about how to Avoid Home Loan Pitfalls.


Instead of:  I’ll buy a house when I can afford to.
Try this:  Start a home savings account and move money into it every month.

The Mortgage Process
Click here to read The 6 Simple Steps


Do’s & Don’ts
While working through the mortgage loan process, there are things you can do to delay your loan closing or even disqualify you from getting the loan. Let’s discover a few things to be aware of. Click to read more do’s and don’ts.


What is the Difference Between a Fixed-Rate Loan and an Adjustable-Rate Loan?
With a fixed-rate mortgage, the interest rate stays the same during the life of the loan. With an adjustable-rate mortgage(ARM), the interest changes periodically, typically in relation to an index. While the monthly payments that you make with a fixed-rate mortgage are relatively stable, payments on an ARM loan will likely change. There are advantages and disadvantages to each type of mortgage, and your lender can help you choose the right product.


Change of Address Checklist
Click here for a printable checklist


What’s Included in a Monthly Mortgage Payment?
A mortgage payment may include: Principal and interest (P&I) Your principal and interest payment depends on your home loan amount, the interest rate, and the number of years it takes to repay the loan. Principal is the amount you pay each month to reduce the loan balance. Interest is the amount you pay each month to borrow money. Mortgage insurance Mortgage insurance is often required for loans with less than a 20% down payment. Property taxes The local assessor or auditor’s office can help you estimate property taxes for your area. Homeowner’s insurance You can call one or more insurance agents to get an estimate for homes in your area. Ask if flood insurance is required. Click to visit our loan calculators.


Home Loans – Frequently Asked Questions
Click here to read Frequently Asked Questions