On Wednesday, April 25, First Financial hosted a free Mortgage Market Seminar at its Neptune Branch. The seminar was intended for anyone looking to buy or sell a home in the current state of the economy. Presenter Nancy Culp, First Financial’s Assistant Vice President of Lending and Sales, provided those in attendance with detailed descriptions of the home buying and mortgage application process as well as answered questions about how to choose a realtor and lending institution.
Nancy began the presentation with an overview of the home buying process. She emphasized that it is important not to be intimidated by the long process or be worried about credit score. By finding and choosing the right financial institution with an appropriate lending product and a realtor that one feels comfortable with, this process can be much easier. In order to choose the right financial institution, it is necessary for one to understand all the costs of owning and maintaining a home and determining how much he or she can afford. Some of the most common expenses of owning a home are the mortgage payments covering principal and interest, taxes and insurance, and upkeep. It is recommended that homeowners also set aside a reserve of cash for unforeseen expenses or emergencies.
Once a financial institution has been found, the potential home buyer needs to be approved. The difference between pre-approval and pre-qualification is that the first is a formal commitment from the lender and requires verification of income, funds on deposit, and credit report. When choosing a realtor and attorney, Nancy recommends choosing someone with whom you are comfortable with and not make a decision based solely on fees.
Nancy stressed to those in attendance at the seminar that no one should ever allow themselves to be persuaded into an agreement or contract about which they feel doubtful or uncomfortable with. She also encouraged people to ask for closing credits and make their purchase offers contingent upon things such as affordable financing and satisfactory home inspection.
On that note, Nancy highly recommended potential home owners to have the house inspected. She said it might cost you a few hundred dollars now, but it gives peace of mind and might potentially save you from thousands of dollars in costs that could have accidentally been overlooked.
Nancy concluded the seminar by describing the differences between a fixed and an adjustable rate and closing costs. If you or anyone you know has any questions regarding a mortgage or a future seminar at First Financial, contact us.