Resources

I’m interested in buying a home – where do I start?

Owning a home is the American dream, but to make it come true, you need information and planning. Most people take out a loan or mortgage to purchase their homes. If this is an unfamiliar process to you, we can help. By using the calculators we’ve provided, you can estimate mortgage payments, analyze your current expenses, etc., to determine if you’re ready to buy a home and how much home you can actually afford. Our pre-approval process is quick and easy and provides you an immediate decision. And if at any point you feel stuck or confused, OwnersChoice is here to help. Just contact us.

How do I choose the right kind of mortgage?

Your lifestyle and goals are unique, and you need a mortgage that fits them. There are many factors to consider. For example, if you’re planning to keep the house for only two or three years, lower closing costs and whether or not there’s a prepayment penalty for paying off the loan early are important factors to consider.
Interest rates often change and vary depending on the type of loan. Even a fraction of a percent difference in an interest rate can have a significant impact on the amount of your payment. If you’re planning to stay in the house for a while and want your monthly principal and interest payment to remain the same for the life of the loan, a fixed-rate mortgage is right for you. Adjustable-rate mortgages usually offer a lower initial interest rate, lower initial monthly payments and potential qualification for a larger mortgage. This is appealing for a short-term homebuyer, but remember: if rates rise, your monthly payments may increase.

Here’s a checklist of factors to consider:

  • Fixed or adjustable rate mortgages
  • Interest rates
  • Points
  • Annual percentage rate (APR)
  • Loan Term
  • Down payment requirements
  • Private mortgage insurance (PMI)
  • Rate lock-in
  • Prepayment penalty
  • Escrow requirement
  • Closing costs
  • Payment schedule
  • Initial interest rates
  • Adjustment interval
  • Interest rate caps
  • Payment caps
  • Convertibility

What about refinancing?

If interest rates have decreased, you may want to consider refinancing your mortgage to reduce your monthly payment or loan term. There are costs involved, but refinancing is an attractive option if the new rate is at least 1% lower than your current rate and you plan to remain in your house for at least two years. Apply for a mortgage online.