Ready to buy a home

Whether you are new to the home buying process or just need a bit of a refresher, here you will find information to help you through the home loan process.

And whenever you're ready to get your questions answered in person, we're ready to meet with you. Providing you personal attention before, during and after your home purchase is just one of the reasons why we are Your Bank of First Choice.

Think about what you can afford

Only you can decide how much you are comfortable paying each month for your mortgage loan. That amount depends on a variety of factors. One method used by lenders is your total debt to income ratio. One rule of thumb is to keep your debt to income ratio less than 43%. Your debt to income ratio is based on the following components:


Typically, derived from your paystubs. We use your gross monthly income before any taxes or other deductions are withheld.

Current Debt Payments

Includes any monthly debt payments that you have, including minimum credit card payments, car loan or lease payments and student loan payments.


Looking for more information? Check out these articles, tutorials and calculators.

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Consider your down payment

This is the amount of money you can put towards the purchase price of your home. Before you decide to stick all of your savings into the purchase, remember a new home comes with a lot of other related expenses. Plus, you will need a portion of your savings to pay for closing costs.

With that said, the amount you put down does effect the amount of your monthly payments.

  • If you put down 20% or more, you will likely qualify for the best rates and/or lowest fees and have the most options available to you.
  • If you put down between 5% and 19%, you may have to pay slightly higher interest rates or fees. Additionally, most lenders will require private mortgage insurance (PMI). PMI is an insurance policy that lets you make a lower down payment by insuring the lender against loss if you fail to pay your mortgage. If you need PMI, you will need to keep in mind that the monthly premium amount will be an additional item added to your monthly mortgage payment.
  • If you don't have a down payment or want to have a down payment of less than 5%, you will want to review our low down payment options.

Review your credit

Get your free credit report at Review it closely for any errors. If you find mistakes, submit a request to each of the credit bureaus asking them to fix the issue. For more information about correcting errors on your credit report, check out these FAQs by the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau.

Get pre-qualified

If you want to shop for a home with confidence, look to us for a pre-qualification. We can review your information before you start shopping and give you a conditional approval. That way, you clearly know that you can proceed once you find the perfect home. It is an easy process to start, just contact us today.

Start shopping

Now comes the fun part. Since you have done your prep work, you can shop for a home without worrying about whether you can truly afford it or if you will qualify for a home loan. Thanks to the pre-qualification process, we can begin processing your loan as soon as you sign a purchase contract.

Review the Loan Estimate

You will receive a Loan Estimate no later than 3 business days after we receive your final loan application, complete with the address of the property you are purchasing. The Loan Estimate contains crucial information regarding your home loan. Learn more about your Loan Estimate.

Processing your home loan

At this point, it's our turn. We will begin verifying your income and debt information, obtaining title work and completing anything else that needs to be done. In most cases, we act not only as your lender but also as the settlement agent, which means you have one less party to work with. Plus, we have been doing it for a long time (which means we're really really good at it).

Speaking of really good, we use a convenient but secure method to electronically transmit your home loan disclosures to you during this process. This way, you can review the documents at your convenience, not just during our business hours. In many cases, you won't have to visit our office until the day of your loan closing.

Not ready to go paperless? No worries, we would be happy to have you come by and pick up your documents so that we can answer your questions in person. And if you don't live nearby, we can always mail the papers to you.

Review the appraisal and home inspections

When you draw up a sales contract with your realtor, you will decide whether to pay for a home inspection. If you choose to have a home inspection completed, be sure and review the inspection closely for any issues you want addressed before finalizing your purchase.

As your lender, we will order an appraisal on the property you are purchasing. We will provide you a copy of the appraisal as soon as it is complete.

Schedule the home loan closing

We will keep you informed on the progress of your home loan and schedule a loan closing as soon as everything is in order. You will receive a Closing Disclosure at least 3 days before closing. The Closing Disclosure is the one-stop shop when it comes to your home loan. You can see what your monthly home loan payment will be, your monthly escrow payment, total loan and closing costs and more. Learn more about the Closing Disclosure.

Time to move in

It's finally time to start enjoying your new home. But, don't worry, we aren't going anywhere. We service 100% of the home loans we make, which means you can contact us at any time if you have questions.

Looking for more resources?

Your Home Loan Toolkit provides a step-by-step guide to help you understand the nature and costs of real estate settlement services, define what affordable means to you and find your best mortgage.

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) provides additional resources to help you with the buying and financing of your home.

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Looking to learn more about home financing? We have articles, tutorials and calculators to help.

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