Purchasing a Home
Whether you are looking to buy your first home, or you have owned your current home for some time and would like to move, it can be equally overwhelming to manage the many steps of the home-buying process. However, with thorough research and determined planning, you can get started on the path to changing your address.
Checklist – Home Buying
- Start saving for a down payment and closing costs. A great vehicle for this is a Money Market Account.
- Understand your credit score and the factors that contribute to its makeup. The higher the score, the lower the interest rate will be on your loan. A Delta Community Home Loan Specialist is available to answer questions regarding your credit score and how it will impact your Home Loan rate.
- Review your credit report for errors by visiting annualcreditreport.com. Be sure to review the report from each of the three credit agencies: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. If you do find errors on your credit report, communicate them to the reporting financial institution directly to resolve any issues.
- Get prequalified for your home loan to understand how much you can borrow before starting your search.
- Start your research early, creating a collection of homes and features you love to better budget for the upcoming expense.
- Ask a Realtor® to complete a market analysis of the area you are considering to better understand the average cost per square foot above (main living area) and below grade (basement).
- Attend one of the home buying workshops or webinars presented by our Financial Education Center. Check out our Events & Seminars page to sign up for a class.
- Ask your Home Loan Specialist about our First-Time Home Buyer program.
- Establish your monthly home budget, factoring in costs in addition to your mortgage. Evaluate additional expenses that will affect your monthly payment, such as Homeowner’s Association (HOA) dues or one-time assessments, property insurance, primary mortgage insurance (PMI) and property taxes. While not included in your mortgage payment, don’t forget to save for regular upkeep and maintenance expenses for your new home.
- Use our mortgage calculators to determine how much your down payment will need to be to avoid PMI.
Tip: If your Roth Individual Retirement Account (IRA) has been opened for five years or more, you can make a one-time, penalty-free withdrawal of $10,000 or less as long as you are a first-time home buyer (i.e. you haven't owned a home in the last two years), and you put the money toward "qualified acquisition costs". Income taxes may still apply if the withdrawal includes both contributions and earnings.
- Avoid making any major purchases before closing on your new home. Do not switch jobs, buy a new vehicle or other big-ticket items such as furniture or new appliances until after the closing. One additional credit report request from a new employer, car dealership or retailer could jeopardize closing on your dream home as it could lower your credit score.
- Shop Homeowners Insurance for the properties you’re considering. The location, value, condition, materials and age of your home, along with fire safeguards, prior insurance claims and neighborhood crime will all contribute to the final cost, in addition to your age, credit history and claims experience.
- Apply for the Homestead Property Tax Exemption for your owned and occupied primary residence by visiting your county tax commissioner’s office; note that these exemptions usually are different in each county. This allows you to exclude a portion of your home’s value from tax assessment, thus lowering your property taxes.
How We Can Help
When you’re ready, apply for a Home Loan quickly and conveniently online. Contact us at 866-963-7811 to speak to a Home Loan Specialist closest to you.