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Mortgage 101: What you need to know about buying a home

Down payments, credit history, and personal budget are all part of getting the best mortgage for your new home.
Down payments, credit history, and personal budget are all part of getting the best mortgage for your new home.
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When you want to buy a home, it might be hard to focus on anything other than the square footage, location, and room décor. But then you're hit with the price tag, and you realize that buying property isn't as simple as it is in Monopoly. Don't get discouraged, though. Mountain America Credit Union wants to put your mind at ease and your finances in a strong position so you can buy the home of your dreams.


When you decide to buy a home, you need to get preapproved for a loan first. Preapproval will give you an advantage over other potential buyers who haven't taken the time to do this step. When you talk with a lender about the loan you want, be honest about your budget and what you can afford. You want to make sure your mortgage fits into your budget so that you can get the best possible loan for your lifestyle and financial situation. The experts at Mountain America can help you through all the paperwork and documentation. Once you earn the preapproval, you can confidently make an offer on a home and tell the seller your money is good to go.


Maybe now isn't the right time for you to buy a home. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't make preparations. Create a budget that includes the down payment and loan payments, as well as other expenses like appliances, maintenance, and repairs. Make sure you aren't stretched beyond your means to where you can't afford potential emergencies.

The amount of money you have isn't the only thing that matters. Check your credit score and history and take steps to improve it, if necessary. Take a look at your resumé and map out your employment history. Showing a stable employment history and source of income will help you get a more favorable loan.

How much do you actually need for a down payment?

The common recommendation for a down payment is 20% of the total price, but this isn't always the case. Several programs offered to first-time homebuyers will finance 100% (of the loan amount to value) of the home. Mountain America's first-time-homebuyer loan only requires $1000 out of pocket. Don't forget to consider the state of the housing market and closing costs when planning your budget. If the market favors the seller, you may need to offer more money than the asking price to win the bidding war for the property. Closing costs can creep up on first-time homebuyers who aren't prepared, and they can be thousands of dollars.

Work with your financial institution to find an affordable loan that gives you a competitive advantage in the housing market. With the peace of mind that comes from a strong financial base, you'll be settling into your new home in no time.

Mountain America Credit Union can help you get a home loan, whether you're buying for the first time or you're experienced in the housing market. They can also help you find the right home insurance package to keep your investment secure. Visit today to get started.

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