First time home buyer FAQ

Home buyers standing in front of their new homeHere are the most asked questions about buying a home in plain language. What you need to know about buying a house.

Buying a home for the first time can be intimidating because it may very well be the largest purchase you will make in your lifetime; and you don't want to make a mistake. The first step to buying a home is to seek mortgage pre-qualification and pre-approval from a lender. There is a difference. Pre-qualification means the lender will give the home buyer his or her opinion of mortgage qualification. A pre-approval is a more detailed and reliable estimate of the first time home buyer's ability to buy a home. The lender will obtain your credit report and determine whether there is any derogatory information contained in the credit report that could deny you a mortgage.

Home buyer questions and answers

Adjustable Rate Mortgage

Should you apply for an adjustable rate mortgage? How long do you think you will own your new house? For some home buyers, an adjustable rate mortgage makes sense. Read more

Credit Score

Your credit score determines your interest rate, the cost of private mortgage insurance (PMI), and your homeowners insurance premium. What factors determine your credit score? Read more

Debt to Income Ratio

You hear it all the time, "debt to income" or "DTI", but what is it? Read more

First Time Home Buyer Tips

Are you a first time home buyer? Are you afraid to make a mistake and could you some fatherly advise? Read more

Flood Insurance

It seems like everyday the media announces a flood somewhere in the county. Do you need flood insurance? Read more

For Sale Buy Owner

Can you buy a "for sale by owner" without a real estate agent? Yes, but be careful, real careful.
Read more

Home Appraisal

What do you know about the home appraisal? How does the appraiser determine the home's value? Read more

Home Inspection

Do you need a home inspection, what does the home inspector look for? How much do they charge? Read more

Homeowners Insurance

You will need a homeowners insurance policy. What you need to know Read more

Hybrid Mortgage

Is a hybrid mortgage an adjustable rate mortgage? Is it a 3/1, 5/1 or 7/1 mortgage? Read more

Interest Rate & Credit Score

Who knew that the interest rate on your loan is based on your credit score? Seems unfair, but it's true. Read more

Interest Rate Locks

Did you know that interest rates can be "locked" or "floated". What is an interest rate lock and how long does it stay locked? Read more

Jumbo Mortgage

What is a jumbo mortgage? Did you know that the jumbo mortgage limts vary amoung the states and counties? Read more

Making an Offer Tips

How much below asking the price should you offer on a house; or should you make a full price offer? Read more

Mortgage Application Documents

What will you need to provide the loan officer at mortgage application? Here's a complete list of the documents you will need at application.

Mortgage Approval

Who approves your mortgage? Would you believe it's a computer program?  Read more

Mortgage Comparison

Which is the best mortgage for you? Do you have a large down payment, or do need closing cost assistance? Read more

Mortgage Definition

I'll bet you don't know what the word mortgage means. Read more

Mortgage Insurance

Lenders use terms like "pmi" and "mip", what is it and is there a difference? Read more

Mortgage Points

What are mortgage points? Are they good or bad? Read more

No Down Payment Mortgage

Did you know that it is possible to purchase a home without a down payment, or that you can use "gift" money to pay for the down payment? Read more

Per Diem Interest

Per diem interest. Did you know that you pay interest on the loan from the1st to (and including) the day you sign the loan papers? Read more

Private Mortgage Insurance

If you are using an FHA, VA, USDA or the down payment on a "conventional" mortgage is less than 20%, you will be required to pay either private mortgage insurance (PMI) or monthly mortgage insurance (MIP) each month. But what is it and how is the cost calculated? Read more

Seller Paid Closing Costs

Everyone can use a little help from time to time, and many home buyer ask the seller to help pay their closing costs. Read more

Short Sale

What is a short sale? Can you get a deal on a short sale house? Read more

Title Insurance

What is title insurance and why do I need it? Read more