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Home Buying Tips

Home Loans Mortgage Loans Home Buying Tips

Sentry Credit Union wants to help you navigate the home buying process. Here are some tips from Sentry Credit Union. 

Check Your Credit Score

Your credit score will determine whether you qualify for credit, the amount of credit you qualify for, and potentially the interest rate you will pay.

Down Payment Requirements

Your down payment requirement will depend on the type of mortgage you choose and the lender. Some conventional loans aimed at first-time home buyers allow as little as 5% down. Determine how much you need to save and then set up automatic transfers to a savings account to get started.

Remember the Closing Costs

In addition to your down payment, you will need to pay additional closing costs associated with purchase a home. Examples of closing costs include charges for appraisals, home inspection credit report, flood determination, title insurance, closing fees and homeowner’s insurance. Closing costs can vary between lenders, so shop carefully.

Know How Much You Can Afford

Your monthly housing costs (including principal, interest, real estate taxes and homeowner’s insurance) should not exceed 26% of your gross monthly income. The total of all monthly payments (installment, revolving and mortgage) should not exceed 43% of you gross monthly income.

Get Preapproved

Meeting with a mortgage lender give you the opportunity to review your outstanding credit, credit score and lets you know exactly what you can afford. In a competitive marketplace, being preapproved can give you an edge over home shoppers who have not taken this step yet. Being preapproved will also ensure that there are no last-minute financing surprises or delays.

Once you are preapproved, do not change jobs or how you earn your income and do not take on new debt.

Choose a Buyer’s Real Estate Agent

When the same agent represents both the buyer and the seller in the same transaction, it is called “dual agency.” Many agents do not believe it is possible to represent both parties’ interests fully and frown upon the practice. When hiring a real estate agent, it is best to go with an agent who will solely work for your benefit.

The Importance of a Home Inspection

A home inspection is a thorough assessment of the structure and mechanical systems. Professional inspectors look for potential problems, so you can make an informed decision about buying the property. Standard inspections do not test for things like radon, mold or pests. Understand what is included in the inspection and what other inspections you might need.

Purchase an Owner’s Title Policy

Owner’s title insurance is a policy on the deed of your home. It protects you from someone challenging your ownership of a property because of an event involving a previous owner. Lenders require you to purchase lender’s title insurance. But a lender’s title insurance policy safeguards only the money the financial institution lent you. It does not protect you as an individual homeowner, nor does it protect any equity you have in your home.

Buy Adequate Homeowner’s Insurance

Your lender will require you to buy homeowner’s insurance before closing the deal. Home insurance covers the cost to repair or replace your home and belongings if they are damaged by an incident covered in the policy. It also provides liability insurance if you are held responsible for an injury or accident. Buy enough home insurance to cover the cost of rebuilding the home if it is destroyed.

Choose Sentry Credit Union for Your Lending Needs

Purchasing your home is one of the biggest financial decisions you will make. For such a big decision, you should be working with a lender who understands your needs. No lender understands the needs of Sentry Insurance associates and their family members better than Sentry Credit Union. We can help provide a fixed-rate mortgage so you can purchase the home you want.

Click on the button below to find more helpful home buying information:

CFPB Toolkit

Contact a Mortgage Loan Officer Today!

Susan Besaw715-346-7564[email protected]NMLS# 440575
Lynn Schaufenbuel715-346-8481[email protected]NMLS#1651569


Mortgage Inquiry Application