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Couple reviews paperwork with a mortgage loan officer.

Tips from Our Mortgage Loan Officers

Buying a home doesn’t have to be an overwhelming process. UW Credit Union's loan officers share their best advice so you can get through the process smoothly and start making memories in your new home.

Starting the Process

“It is never too early to get preapproved. Going through the preapproval process is relatively easy and will narrow down loan options. This will help you understand the amount of funds that may be needed up front at closing and prepare you for future monthly payments. It is also a good opportunity to get any other questions about financing and approval answered before making important decisions such as listing your current home for sale, terminating a lease with your landlord or entering into a contract to purchase the new home.” – Troy Magestro

“Knowing where you stand financially and having the tools to understand the home buying process are paramount to being able to purchase a home. Therefore, the best thing that you can do for yourself prior to looking at homes is get preapproved and talk with a mortgage loan officer. Normally, our conversations are great, and you leave very happy and confident. But, sometimes you leave the conversation with some homework to improve your home buying position. As a mortgage loan officer, it is my privilege to guide and empower you with the knowledge to position yourself for your home search now and in the future.” – Eirik Rorvig

“Having questions is expected. You’ll never learn, feel comfortable or get answers if you don’t ask. Your lender and Realtor should welcome any and all questions and explain things in a manner that you can comprehend.” – Matt Ribbeck

“Most often the successful home buyer is the person who takes the time to be prepared before beginning the home search. This often can involve attending a home buyer’s seminar to better understand the process and seeking preapproval from a trusted lender in the weeks before beginning a search. Your loan officer can discuss your budget with you and help you to come up with a plan to purchase in a price range that meets your needs. With your preapproval letter in hand, you will be better prepared to compete and succeed in a highly competitive housing market.” – Rick McKinley

"The best thing to do first is to talk to a mortgage loan officer and get preapproved. This allows you to submit an offer to purchase with the confidence that you qualify for the mortgage. If now is not the time to buy a home, a plan can be established to set you up to purchase in the future." – Kari Ripp

"Be prepared—have two years of W2s, your most recent paystubs and two months of statements for your assets ready, including retirement funds. Getting all of that information submitted up front helps move the process along more quickly." – Brad Sailing

"Truly understand your financing options before you make an offer. Nothing is more important than understanding what your total monthly payment will be, the terms of your loan and how much money you will need for the closing. That way you know that the home you are making an offer on will fit with your budget and the lifestyle you want to lead." – Cory Poole

“I think buying a home is the best investment any individual can make! Debt certainly isn’t always a bad thing. A mortgage can help you afford a home. It is an investment worth making and comes with a low interest rate.” – Chris Smart

Working with a Realtor

“One thing I recommend is to get a buyer’s agent and interview at least two to three Realtors. It is in your best interest, in this seller’s market, to make sure you have a Realtor in your corner that you connect with and who will be there to support you throughout the process.” – Jessica Love

“Work with a qualified real estate professional or real estate attorney. These experts will help guide you through the transaction to help you avoid costly mistakes. They have the experience and are familiar with the local market trends as well as the knowledge to help understand your concerns and educate you throughout the process.” – Anna Wise

Working with a Lender

“For most people, buying a home will be the largest and most complex financial transaction of their lives. When it comes to working with a lender, make sure you feel comfortable and have a thorough understanding of the process, cost and longer-term financial pros and cons. A good lender will always invite your questions, listen to your concerns and do their best to make sure you walk away feeling good with your decision.” – Evan Luck

“We’re here to be a resource for you, so never hesitate to ask questions, even if it’s something you feel like you ‘should know.’ A good loan officer is going to be happy to take you through the basics as well as issues that pertain to your unique situation. Likewise, keep us informed about anything that changes with your life (new job, new credit, etc.) or your real estate transaction, even if you don’t think it will matter. It might matter, and the sooner we know, the sooner we can find a solution for you.” – Ian Warlick-Short

Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs)

“With housing inventory being very tight, home prices have edged up in the last few years. For some home buyers, that may mean that a house they could have purchased with a fixed-rate home loan may now be out of reach. In these situations it may make sense to look at adjustable-rate mortgages. They can offer a lower rate and slightly more flexibility in the amount you qualify to borrow. ARMs also make more sense in those circumstances where you may not intend to live in the same house for the rest of your life.” – Will Hamielec

Beyond the Down Payment

“Many people focus on the down payment when estimating what they will need to purchase a home. The down payment is a major part of the financial commitment, but there are other costs as well that potential homeowners should know about and take into account when estimating how much funds they will need. Besides the down payment, a buyer will need funds for closing costs that can be between 2% - 5% of the loan amount, as well as money for homeowner’s insurance. Also keep in mind that once you move into your new home, you may need additional funds for furnishing or refurbishing the house.” – Shelly McCoy

Must-Have and Nice-to-Have

“In the last few years, there are more home buyers than there are sellers. That means demand for homes is at a peak and it is more of a seller’s market than a buyer’s. One thing that can help buyers is knowing what features they must have in a house and what features they can compromise on or live without.” – Chris Ohly

Ready to Make Your Move?

When you're ready to start the home buying process, turn to our loan officers. They'll guide you through it, answering any questions you might have along the way. They're committed to making the home buying process seamless and are available in person or by calling 800.533.6773, ext. 2810.

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