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FAQs for Buyers

Questions for First-Time Home Buyers:

What can I afford to buy?
Each buyer is unique - and we'll help you find out just what you can afford. Your income and your debts will typically play the biggest roles in determining your price range. It's simple to make an estimate, just run the numbers for yourself using our Affordability Calculator.

Do I have enough money to buy my first home?
There is a range of mortgage programs, and we will help you determine which one can work for you - some loans require little money down. You'll also need to consider closing costs and the escrow account for taxes and insurance. Please don't get overwhelmed: It's very easy to figure out how much money you'll need, using our handy Affordability Calculator.

What about my less-than-perfect credit report?
Special solutions program can help:
  • There are loan options ideal for those who have a few "dings" on their credit report.
  • We will help to develop a custom program based on your credit worthiness.

What's the best loan program for me?
That depends on a number of factors, including:
How long will you stay in the home?
  • How much money will you put down?
  • How will you finance the closing costs?

What are the tax benefits to owning a home?
You may be able to deduct the interest you pay on the mortgage loan and some of the financing costs of the home, such as points. And your property taxes could be deductible. You should consult your tax advisor for more information. If you're renting right now, you may want to take a look at our Rent vs. Buy Calculator.

Questions for Repeat/Experienced Buyers:

I want to move up to a better home. What can I afford?
Each buyer is unique and we'll help you find out just what you can afford. You already know that monthly income and financial obligations are most important in determining your price range. It's simple to make an estimate; just run the numbers for yourself using our Affordability Calculator.

I'm buying a second home. Is it a different process?
No. Whether you need to be near the water or in the mountains, a vacation home offers an opportunity for fun and relaxation. We make it just as easy to obtain a mortgage. Keep in mind that you will need to identify sources for your down payment, since you're not selling your current house and using the proceeds. You'll also need to expect a larger monthly obligation for housing expenses.

What if I don't sell my current house?
You may qualify for a new loan without even selling your current home. We'll help you determine what might work for you. It's simple to run the numbers for yourself on our handy Rent vs. Buy Calculator. You may also want to discuss a bridge loan with your lender.

What if I'm building a home?
If you are working with a builder within a sub-division or development and just making carpeting, lighting and appliance selections for a brand-new home, you can probably obtain a standard mortgage loan. But, if you're hiring contractors, electricians, plumbers, and painters, you probably need a construction loan, which provides funds to pay subcontractors as work progresses.

Questions for Refinancers:

Is now the time to refinance?
Each homeowner is unique - we will help you determine if it's the right time for you to refinance. Effective refinancing typically means lowering your current mortgage loan rate by at least one percent. You might also want to consider changing the length of your loan or receiving cash from the equity in your house. It's simple to see what will work for you, just run the numbers for yourself using our Refinance Calculator.

Is refinancing the best choice for my financial goals?
If you want to increase cash flow, refinancing to lower your monthly payment could help. See what will work for you using our Refinance Calculator.

Can I reduce my monthly payment if I refinance?
Quite possibly. To get a good idea of what your new monthly payment would be, use our Refinance Calculator.

Can I shorten the loan term if I refinance?
Yes, as long as you qualify. For instance, you may be able to reduce your mortgage loan term from 30 years to 15 or 20 years.

Can I refinance and use the cash for an addition to my home?
Absolutely! Many people borrow against the equity in their homes to make improvements.

How much of my home equity can I use?
Up to 90 percent of the appraised value of your home can be used to make home improvements. The equity you can use is based on the value of the home and what you currently owe, subject to applicable state laws.

Can I still refinance even if I don't have much equity?
Yes, up to 90 percent loan-to-value (LTV) if you want to refinance your house for a new rate and term. A reappraisal of your property may be required.

What will it cost me to refinance?
You will have closing costs associated with refinancing your loan, including points and processing fees. You may have the option of rolling these costs into the loan amount to reduce your cash out of pocket. To evaluate your options, use our Refinance Calculator.