Buying your first home

Homeownership is a milestone to celebrate. Before you can open the door to your new life as a first-time homeowner, you'll need to prepare for the home-buying process.

Buy the home you'll build a life in

What to know before you buy

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Before you begin your home-buying journey, it is important to do some prep work so that you are aware of your options and then you can begin to seriously start shopping.  Keep these points on the top of your checklist:

  • How much you can afford. The rule of thumb is three times your annual income. A loan officer can help you narrow it down to a more precise amount and even provide a pre-qualification letter.
  • Your credit score. The higher your credit score, the better interest rate you may be able to get. You can get a free credit report every year ( Examine it and follow the directions to correct errors and make modifications.
  • Total cost of ownership (TCO).  In addition to your monthly payments, consider local taxes, insurance, maintenance, utilities, renovations and association fees (if any).
  • Where you want to live. Look at school systems, neighborhoods, property taxes, commutes, amenities, and resale value.
  • What type of residence. Condo, single-family, multi-family, or townhouse?  Existing home or new construction? Suburb, rural or city? 
  • Shop mortgage lenders, real estate agents and attorneys.  There are lots options for exploring including online and social media sites plus asking trusted family and friends for recommendations is always good. Your local Webster Mortgage Banking Officer can also be an invaluable resource.
  • The difference between pre-qualification, pre-approval and a commitment letter.  
    • A pre-qualification letter is based on preliminary information you provide your loan officer and is an estimate on what you might be able to borrow – this is not verified nor formally underwritten;
    • A pre-approval letter means your financial information has been formally reviewed and verified by your lender and a credit check is done;
    • A commitment letter is issued after the pre-approval letter, provided you meet established guidelines. It is also subject to a property inspection.

Insights for first-time homebuyers

Lending Insights

First-time home buyers: don’t let these mortgage myths stop you from making your move

As “For Sale” signs pop up like crocuses, the home-buying season bursts into full bloom. But too often, mortgage myths dissuade potential first-time home buyers from taking that step from renting to owning.
Lending Insights

Credit score pointers for home buyers

When you’re ready to finance a new home, you may get thrown a curve ball—your credit score. A recent study by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling found that 36% of people think there's no reason to check their credit score, much less what kind of credit score you need to buy a house.
Lending Insights

10 financial fitness tips for home buyers in 2020

You may be looking forward to a new home purchase or refinancing your existing mortgage. So being financially fit is more important than ever. Consider this a personal training session, with tips to help you put your best foot forward when approaching a lender.

Get moving with the right home mortgage

Explore your loan options: fixed-rate, adjustable, jumbo, construction, and government-assisted. Unlock the door to possibility and find the mortgage that fits your finances.

Find the right mortgage
Get moving with the right home mortgage from Webster Bank

Geting closer to closing 

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You’ve done all the prep work and now you’re ready to make your move.

  • When you find a property you like. Make your offer and don’t be surprised if you have to go over the listing price. The housing market is incredibly competitive right now and bidding wars on properties are not unusual. With that said, remember what your budget is and the work you did figuring out your total cost of ownership (TCO) – the last thing you want is to find yourself overextended. Your dream home can quickly become a bad dream if you’re struggling to make payments.
  • Go through the process.
    • You’ll make an offer. The seller will accept or counter. There may be some negotiating before you land on a sale price;
    • Next is a property inspection. Make sure you review the report, work with the seller if you have any concerns and provide your lender with all the paperwork; 
    • Your lender will then schedule a property appraisal to determine the market value of your property;
    • Once the lender has all this information, they can proceed with a firm commitment, let you know if you are clear to close and schedule the closing. Stay in close communication with your attorney throughout this process, making sure they review all paperwork prior to the closing so there are no surprises;  
    • Sign the papers, collect your keys and congratulations!


Mortgage loan insights

Lending Insights

What you need to know about getting a mortgage

While there is never certainty with regards to when is the best time to enter the housing market, the idea of homeownership continues to resonate with most Americans and the concept of home ownership being central to the American dream remains very much alive.
Lending Insights

Know before you owe: mortgage and home equity key drivers

When applying for a mortgage or home equity loan or line, there are some equations that come into play. Here are the most common factors that will be calculated to determine your credit worthiness.

Condo shoppers: 4 potential bumps in the road to a mortgage

The moment you see it, you know: This is the condo for you. But then comes the nitty-gritty of financing—and that can mean unexpected challenges.


All loans are subject to credit approval.