Your First Home Buyer Questions Answered – Finding A Lender


    For most, buying a home is the biggest financial transaction of their life. And it comes with a lot of questions! We sat down with Senior Mortgage Loan Officer Ian Bennett to get an insight into the most common questions first-time home buyers ask Elevations Credit Union’s mortgage team.

    Common questions for homebuyers cover topics from finding a lender and mortgage insurance to how to stand out from sellers when it’s time to get a quote. The overall result is: Every buyer and transaction is unique, so it’s best to have an open, honest conversation with your lender before Visit the open house.

    This is where Ian helps answer some of your home buying questions when finding a mortgage lender.

    What are some tips for a first time home buyer shopping for a mortgage lender?

    As you set out to buy a home, you will quickly learn that trusting your real estate agent, lender, home inspector, and seller is key to making it go smoothly. Ian explains that when looking for the perfect home loan provider, it is essential to choose a lender you trust, who will educate you about the process ahead.

    So who would that be? “Personally, I think homebuyers should look for a local expert they can either meet in person or have a good reputation in the community,” suggests Ian. “Look for someone who can coach and mentor you – someone who can educate you on how to qualify for a mortgage.”

    What should first-time buyers know to find a mortgage provider online?

    ‘Simple online mortgage’ advertisements are abundant. So are they a good option? Ian pays tribute to his personal experience: “I find that online lenders tend to go nuts and get burned. If they don’t want to talk to you, they just don’t answer the phone, ”he comments.

    Ian cautions that their estimates may be a little more uncertain, and they often flaunt attractive interest rates and low fees to attract first-time home buyers who don’t know that lending rates are a standard service – meaning they are about on the same page as the scenes no matter which lender you choose. Ian says fees are generally within a few hundred dollars for all lenders, so don’t get stuck with those numbers.

    “The question is – when you make this big financial decision – do you want to do it faster and cheaper? Or do you really want to understand what you are doing? Would you like to know how this could affect your short term life, your long term life and your financial planning? ”Jan explains.

    Look beyond the numbers when choosing a lender. Choose someone you can connect with who has a reputation for service, education, and implementation.

    Download our free Elevations Home Buyer’s Guide:

    How can a first time buyer understand how much home they can actually afford?

    After Choosing a Lender, Training Begins! Ian explains that at the beginning of the relationship he will personally conduct an analysis of the member’s income, assets and credit history to determine his financial standing.

    From there, he will ask questions about their lifestyle and plans for the home (is it permanent residence, starter home, investment property, etc?), And then they will work together to create a credit estimate and worksheet to determine what amount of monthly mortgage payment the homebuyer could face in relation to other financial goals in their life, such as:

    “What a member can afford from a qualification perspective and what he or she can afford from a monthly budget perspective are usually two very different things,” he adds. A mortgage payment should be both convenient and practical.

    After calculating the numbers and considering life plans, the member knows how much home they can afford while managing other commitments and taking steps toward their goals beyond home ownership.

    How can a first-time home buyer stand out from a seller reviewing listings?

    Often, sellers present a potential buyer who works with a reputable local lender in the community with other options. Plus, buyers who already have a pre-approval letter from their lender in hand are one step ahead of those who haven’t done the financial homework to ensure they can actually manage a mortgage.

    “It’s very local,” explains Ian. “We work to have the training upfront so that when we get a contract and an offer, the financial component doesn’t stop us from getting where we want to, as we are doing all of this work in advance to have. ”

    Do you have any questions about buying your first home or investment property? You can contact Ian or one of our other mortgage officers here. See our second part of Answers to Your First Time Home Buyer Questions for answers to more questions about first time home buyers. Also, browse Elevations Credit Union’s upcoming free online webinars and in-person seminars on home buying.


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