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Homebuyer Tips

4 Home Buying Tips for Summer

Kick off the summer with a great home-buying experience by becoming an informed buyer with these four tips to help you lock-in a favorable rate.

Include Extra Income

If you have a side job such as an Uber or Lyft driver, dog walker, or even freelancing this extra income may be included. Using this extra income can help you qualify for different loans. However this can also exclude you from certain income-based loans. You also must have at least two years of employment to include as extra income. If you are unsure about whether you can qualify enough earnings with your side job, be sure to ask your lender.

Lock-in a Rate

With increasing rates forecasted for the home-buying market, a good rule of thumb is to lock in early. Your First Bank mortgage expert will offer a “lock-in period” this guarantees the interest rate for your mortgage stays the same. If you hold off locking in your rate, you could be missing out on your close date of sale.

Speed up the loan process

You as the borrower can help cut down on the loan processing time by getting paperwork in order. Depending on your unique circumstances you may have to provide more information. Below is a Mortgage Checklist to help you get a head start on gathering the proper documents, you may be asked to provide.

Make delivering all the necessary documents a top priority to help speed up the process. Be sure to keep your old tax returns or bank statements handy. Please note, if you misplace any original document, replacing them may take some time, which can push your closing date.

General Documentation

  • Valid driver’s license or other state issues ID & social security card

  • Financial account statements from the past 2 months (checking’s, savings, stocks, mutual funds, etc.)

  • Residential address history from the past 2 years including landlord/mortgage information

  • Loan info for all other real estate owned, if applicable (balance, monthly payments, rent collected, etc.)

  • Copy of fully executed sales contract (if available)

  • Copy of canceled earnest money check (if applicable)

  • If refinancing your home - a copy of the survey of your home and mortgage statement

  • Copy of settlement statement when applying within 3 months of selling another property

  • If applying for a VA loan - Certificate of Eligibility & DD-214 or Statement of Service

  • If applying with a previous bankruptcy - a copy of all related documentation with copy of discharge

  • Homeowner’s Insurance

  • 30 days of recent pay stubs and W2s/tax returns for the past 2 years

  • YTD Profit & Loss statement and balance sheet

  • Past 2 years’ personal & business tax returns, including all schedules

  • K-1’s if applicable

*You are not required to provide any documentation to First Bank just because you make an inquiry or application.

Credit Scores Can Affects Your Mortgage Rate

Your mortgage lender will want to know your credit score and see your credit history. Typically, a better credit score could lead to a better mortgage rate. Any inquires could hurt your credit history and can possibly lower your credit score.  Some inquires include financing auto, furniture, and new credit card. Hold off on making any major purchases until after you've completed your home purchase.

To ensure timely closings this summer talk to your First Bank mortgage expert. If you are waiting to buy at the end of summer or winter, be sure to lock-in your rate now before interest rates continue to increase. Ask your mortgage consultant about First Bank’s Long-Term Lock and how you can lock-in your rate today.


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