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Building Community Blog

11.10 photoChoosing the right down payment amount has a big role to play in buying a house. Especially for first-time homebuyers, understanding the value of a down payment — and how it saves you money in the long run — may make it easier for you to save up.

Making a larger down payment means that you will have smaller mortgage payments each month. These monthly savings add up over the life the loan but require having more money available at the time of purchase.

There are a number of things you need to do before you close on a home. Things like applying for a loan, scheduling a home inspection, and purchasing homeowner’s insurance, just to name a few. To make the process easier to understand, here is a list of nine things you’ll need to do before closing on your new home.

Before you buy a new home, the first thing you should do is determine what you can afford. Experts recommend that you spend no more than 30% of your gross income (income before any taxes are taken away) on your mortgage.

Everyone is different, and everyone has different things they need to consider when buying a home. From establishing your current monthly costs to researching home prices, here are a few questions to ask yourself so you can pick the perfect mortgage:

Congrats, you found your first house! We know you're excited to move in and make it your own, but before you start hauling boxes, there are a couple steps you have to take to make the deal official. 

With any big purchase, there’s going to be some paperwork. It's easy to skim through the pile of documents and sign away, but it's important to understand what you're agreeing to. Here’s a simplified breakdown of what you're signing when completing the closing disclosure form, the note, and the mortgage itself.

As with any big decision in life, it’s a good idea to do your homework. Same is true if you’re looking to upgrade your status from home renter, to homeowner. We’re not just talking about the house itself or its location (though a little research there is strongly encouraged!). What we’re talking about is exploring your payment options.

Though a home loan is something you’ll be paying off over time, don’t let the word “loan” scare you away from taking the next step. First-time homeownership is an exciting and rewarding experience, and yes, just about every homeowner has had to take out a loan at some point. And just like rentals, there are also ways to make homeownership more affordable.

Whether you want a lower down payment or a lower interest rate, there are many affordable housing loan options available to Twin Cities residents and first-time homebuyers, and we’ve done some of the homework for you. Here are just a few options to get you started:

Even if you haven't paid them, chances are you've heard of "closing costs" associated with buying a home. But what are mortgage closing costs? What do they mean? And why do you have to pay for them?

In short, when you “close” on the purchase of a property, ownership of that property is legally transferred to you, the buyer. More often than not, paying to purchase the property requires borrowing money from a bank in the form of a mortgage. Mortgage closing costs are those expenses that are required in order for the bank to originate the mortgage. These costs can vary, but they often equal between two percent and five percent of the purchase price. This means, if you're buying a home for $100,000, your mortgage closing costs could range between $2,000 and $5,000.

Prior to your closing, you will receive a closing disclosure statement with specific fees listed. Here are some of the fees you will likely see and what they mean:

Buying a house is a very exciting experience and you’re probably eager to get the process started. You may even already have a jumpstart on what you’re looking for in a home, but have you asked yourself: "Where should I live?" This is something important to consider when buying your first home. If you’re not quite sure what to look for in a neighborhood, here are some things to consider in scouting your ideal spot.

If you’re starting your search for a home, and considering buying a home that's in need of renovation, you could be eligible for an FHA 203(k) loan. This type of loan allows you to convert a true fixer-upper into a beautiful home. But is this federally-guaranteed home improvement loan the right option for you?

It definitely has potential, but you should consider the advantages and disadvantages as carefully as the renovation work you're willing to take on.

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