Don’t let these mortgage myths stop you from making your move
“For Sale” signs keep catching your eye and you find yourself daydreaming about your some-day dream home, but something’s holding you back from making your move. If it’s mortgage myths dissuading you from taking that step from renting to owning, don’t let these misconceptions stop you from buying your first home.
Myth 1. You need a 20% down payment.
That used to be the case. But today, your down payment could be much less.* Certain programs offered by the state may even offer 100% financing. So be sure to talk to a professional about what’s possible for you.
Myth 2. You need a substantial credit history.
You haven’t yet built a solid credit score by conventional measurements? Don’t let that stop you. Many lenders will consider non-traditional credit sources — like your utility payments, rent, and cell phone bills – to prove you are fiscally responsible and that your finances are in good shape.
Myth 3. A mortgage is a mortgage is a mortgage.
Not all mortgages — or mortgage lenders — are created equal. For example, lenders that understand the specific rules in your state may have tailored programs to better serve your area. Different lenders may also present the details differently. Some help you navigate the process and guide you through your options, others are more hands off. Make sure you’re comparing apples to apples to find what works best for you.
Myth 4. A low mortgage rate is all that matters.
The rate is just part of the story. Some advertised rates don’t consider factors that can increase your costs — like when a lender increases your closing costs based on property type, loan-to-value, and your credit score. Others may not actually reflect your specific situation — such as assuming you’re making that not-always-necessary 20% down payments.
Myth 5. Rates are too high to buy.
It’s natural for potential homebuyers to get a little nervous seeing mortgage rates tick up – especially after years of historic lows. But rates are relative – and could be at their lowest for the foreseeable future. Plus increasing rates can cool housing markets – giving you an extra boost of bargaining power during bidding.
Myth 6. All lenders offer mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).
This is definitely not true – and as a first-time home buyer, you may need the advantages of an FHA-backed loan. These types of mortgages allow you to put less money down and are typically less strict about minimum credit scores. Because these loans are backed by the federal government, lenders take on less risk and can more flexibility than with traditional mortgages.
Myth 7. You need a raft of paperwork to get started.
At your first meeting with a lender, keep the filing cabinet back at home. You don’t need to bring pay stubs, W2 forms, tax returns, or bank statements. Thanks to Truth in Lending laws, you can’t be required to provide that information until you actually apply for a mortgage. Just jot down your income for the past few years, your checking and savings balances, and some idea of your debt. You won’t need to talk specifics until you’re ready to get down to business.
Bottom line: one hour with a mortgage banker can save you days of confusion.
Especially for first-time home buyers, the tidal wave of mortgage facts and figures can be daunting. That’s why we recommend talking to a mortgage banker to zero in on the plan that’s uniquely right for you – and make the process a lot less stressful.
Webster Bank can help. We’re a major player across the region, with $4 billion in mortgage loans on the books, and another $2 billion administered for Fannie Mae, the federal mortgage loan program. Webster Bank tops the list in single-family purchase loans.
Just as important, Webster is a bank you can hold to a higher standard. With us, expect a personal relationship built on trust and personal service invaluable to first-time home buyers. Take your first steps toward home ownership now–connect with a Webster mortgage banker at 877-647-5137.
More than eighty years later, that level of personal service is still our great strength—and the kind of help that’s invaluable to first-time home buyers. Take your first steps toward home ownership now by connecting with a Webster mortgage banker at 877-647-5137.
*Restrictions Apply. Down payment percentages may differ by product. Please speak with a Webster Mortgage Officer for additional details.
The opinions and views in this blog post are for informational purposes only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. Please consult professional advisors with regard to your individual situation.