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Building Community Blog

Buying a home comes with many different expenses that need to be considered. What is your overall price range? What kind of monthly payment are you comfortable with? Are there closing costs to consider? How much money should you have in savings in case updates or repairs are needed? And when it comes time to think about buying your first home, some of the biggest questions are about the down payment.

Many first-time buyers haven’t even heard of private mortgage insurance (or PMI for short). What is private mortgage insurance? What is it used for? Do you have to have it? These are common questions from first-time homebuyers. So, if you don't know what PMI is, don't worry. We know all about private mortgage insurance and we're here to help.

Here's everything you need to know about private mortgage insurance.

The process of buying your first home is exciting. It’s also complicated. But a good REALTOR® can guide you every step of the way to help you understand the process. By interviewing at least three real estate agents, you’ll have a better chance of finding the right one for you. This will give you confidence throughout the rest of your homebuying experience.

In 2018, TCHFH Lending, Inc. (the wholly-owned nonprofit mortgage company of Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity) became certified by the Department of Treasury CDFI Fund. As a Community Development Finance Institution (CDFI), we are recognized as a lender with a mission to fill financing gaps in the marketplace under-served by other lenders.

What does this mean for Twin Cities Habitat? Let's explore!

Buying a home is an exciting experience, especially if it's your first time. If you've never taken out a home loan, it's perfectly normal to be unfamiliar with your mortgage options. Don't let mortgage confusion discourage you from that homebuying excitement!  

It's easy to get lost in all of the information out there, but we're here to help. We'll explain what a mortgage is, how it works, what types of mortgages you're likely to see, and the advantages and disadvantages of those types.

What is a Mortgage?

A mortgage is a loan that a bank or a mortgage lender gives you to help pay for a house. You'll be responsible to pay back the loan over the course of several years or decades.

If you're currently paying a mortgage payment, you are likely paying escrow.

Escrow is an account separate from the mortgage account where payments are made to fulfill conditions of your mortgage. These conditions are usually things like property taxes and insurance. Although your escrow is kept in a separate account, it is still generally collected as part of your monthly mortgage payment (or, can be paid as a lump sum). Your escrow payment can fluctuate from year-to-year and it's important to pay attention to the numbersit can save you money in the long run!

Getting pre-approved for a home mortgage might be the most important thing you can do when looking for a new home. Pre-approval tells you how much you can afford to buy and tells the seller you can be trusted to pay for a house.

This is especially important when competing with other buyers for the same house. If you have a pre-approval from a mortgage lender, a seller will be much more likely to sell to you.

You may be familiar with Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity's Homeownership Program. The program is designed to help first-time homebuyers achieve their dream of owning a home through an orientation, application process, and financial coaching. But did you know that TCHFH Lending, Inc. provides its own mortgage product to help homebuyers finance the purchase of their home, too?

Here’s how the home loan works:

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