Tips for first-time homebuyers in Kentucky

Ready to get house hunting? Not so fast…you’ve got a little homework to do. But don’t worry, this is the kind of homework that’s going to save you money in the long run!

Source: Tips for first-time homebuyers

Shopping for your first home? Here are some key pointers to keep in mind as you undertake the process of qualifying for a loan and finding the place of your dreams.

What you need to do before you start house hunting

Ready to get house hunting? Not so fast…you’ve got a little homework to do.

But don’t worry, this is the kind of homework that’s going to save you money in the long run.

Make sure your credit is in good working order

If you’re in the market for a mortgage, begin by visiting and getting your true credit score.

If you and a partner or spouse want to buy a home, you may want to try to qualify for mortgage underwriting on just the income of the person who has a better score; most lenders will base your rate on the lower score if you’re a couple.

In addition to your credit score, you’ll also want to pull a free copy of your credit reports at Check all three reports at once from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

Go through them thoroughly. You’re looking for two things in particular: any errors and any unpaid collections.

Errors technically should take 30 days to correct once your inform the bureau and creditor of their mistake. But in actuality, the process can take up to three or four months. So that’s why you want to get going on this early before you’re house hunting.

Should you run into a problem getting a legitimate error removed from your credit report, follow these steps.

When it comes to unpaid collections, you want to make sure there are no surprise delinquencies eating up your credit. If there are, many times they’ll be small piddling bills of a medical nature. Get those things paid off pronto before you apply for a mortgage.

Pre-qualify for a mortgage

It’s very important to pre-qualify for a mortgage before you start the formal shopping process. By doing this, you can get an idea of what kind of home you can afford and what the monthly payment will look like.

But here’s a warning: You’ll be approved for a higher home purchase price than would probably make sense in your life. It’s up to you to think through what that translates to as a monthly payment.

Don’t forget to add to that monthly taxes and insurance, along with possible repairs and maintenance that you wouldn’t pay when you’re a renter.

So look at the payment you’re facing and be realistic. Is it a payment level you can handle or will it make you miserable — what’s often called being “house poor”?

Where should you get pre-qualified?

My top choice for you to get a mortgage is at a credit union.

Years ago, credit unions weren’t the best place to look for a mortgage. But that was then and this is now. Today, credit unions are a great source for mortgages, especially if you’re looking for something more creative.

Credit unions make sense particularly for shorter term loans or mortgage refinances with terms of 7 years, 10 years, and 15 years. Many credit unions have low or no closing costs in return for bumping up the interest rate just a bit.

You’ll also want to get a quote from mortgage broker or mortgage banker. The latter has their own source of funds to lend out. The former is a salesperson who shops around for a loan for you.

Finally, you might also try small local banks — even though there are not many of them left — or even possibly a regional bank.

One place not to shop for a mortgage? At the giant banks. They charge much more for loans than the other sources named here.

Be sure to get more than one mortgage quote

Most people only get one mortgage quote. That’s the wrong way to go about it. You’ll want to get quotes from multiple lenders.

Mortgage lending is very competitive and to go with just a single lender won’t put your quote out there for competition. Plus, when you have more than one quote, you can play your top two quotes off each other and make them win your business. In some cases, you they may make you a better offer.

But it’s not just the interest rate that’s important…

Pay attention to points and closing costs

Beyond the interest rate, you’ll want to know about points and closing costs.

Each point is 1% of the amount of money you’re borrowing. A lot of people will quote you a low rate and they won’t disclose the points you have to pay to get that rate unless you ask them directly.

Meanwhile, when it comes to closing cost, the statement of closing costs that a lender gives you is written in stone. They can not exceed that statement under the law. So that give you real numbers you can compare from lender to lender.

BONUS TIP: When you apply for a mortgage, you’ll also face a variety of other junk fees. Many of them can negotiated down or away altogether. Know the junk fees so you can take action!

Minimize the window of time during which you get mortgage quotes

Here’s another warning: Each time a lender pulls your credit to give you a quote for a mortgage interest rate, it will ding your file.

You can minimize the damage by getting all quotes within a 14-day period. That way it doesn’t look you’re applying for multiple loans from multiple lenders each time.

Be timely with your paperwork

As you go through the lending process, you will have to do a lot of paperwork. Get your lender the info right away when they ask for it. Then document that you got it and you gave it to them.

The last thing  you want is to have a finger pointed at you for being negligent with paperwork when there’s a problem and you can’t close on time.

How much down payment is necessary?

For most people, the FHA Loan Program generally allows you to bring the least amount of money to the closing table possible. Most FHA loans require 3.5% down payment of the purchase price. If you don’t go the FHA route, many loans will require 20% down payment.

Just know that if you don’t put down 20%, you’ll typically have to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI) on both FHA and traditional loans.

Meanwhile, if you’re a veteran, VA loans require zero down payment — and they don’t require mortgage insurance, either.

Foreclosure or short sale?

OK, so you’ve been approved for the loan. Great!

I am neutral on the issue of whether you should buy a foreclosure, a short sale or just a home that somebody needs to get rid of because of divorce, death or relocation.

The latter will generally be in better shape and condition than a short sale. And foreclosures look downright sad many times.

I bought one foreclosure during the depressed economic cycle of last decade and it required expensive TLC to nurse it back to health. So if you do opt for the foreclosure route, you’ve got to build rehabilitation money into your budget.

I also want you to comparison shop for owner’s title insurance any time you buy a foreclosure.

As you start to look at properties, you want an agent who “farms” the neighborhood where you’re most interested in buying a home. That means they’ll have the inside scoop on available properties and can make the process much easier.

I also want you to look at a ton of homes, both online and in person, so you can target what’s a deal and what’s not. Know the neighborhood where you’re buying.

For women in particular, drive around the neighborhood at night and see if you’re still comfortable then.

Author: Louisville Kentucky Mortgage Broker Offering FHA, VA, USDA, Conventional, and KHC Zero Down Payment Home Loans

I have helped over 589 Kentucky families buy or refinance their home over the last 18 years. Realizing that this is one of the biggest, most important financial transactions a family makes during their lifetime, I always feel honored and respected when I am chosen to originate their personal home loan. You can count on me to deliver on what I say, and I will always give you honest, up-front personal attention you deserve during the loan process. I have several advantages over the large banks in town. First, I can search and negotiate for your loan options through several different mortgage companies across the country to get you the best deal locally. Where most banks will offer offer you their one set of loan products. I have access to over 10 different mortgage companies to broker your loan through to get you the best pricing and loan products that may not fit into the bank's program due to credit, income, or other underwriting issues. You will not get lost in the shuffle like most borrowers do at the mega banks; you're just not a number at our company, you are a person and we will treat you like one throughout the entire process. Give us a try or let us compare your options on your next mortgage transaction. Call me locally at 502-905-3708. Free Mortgage Pre-Qualifications same day on most applications. Email me at with your questions I specialize in Kentucky FHA, VA ,USDA, KHC, Conventional and Jumbo mortgage loans. I am based out of Louisville Kentucky. For the first time buyer with little money down, we offer Kentucky Housing or KHC loans with down payment assistance. Customer Testimonials 😍😍😍 We just moved here the first of January in 2017 from Ohio to the Louisville, KY area and we found Joel's website online. He was quick to respond to us and got back the same day on our loan approval. He was very knowledgeable about the local market and kept us up-to date throughout the loan process and was a pleasure to meet at closing. Would recommend his services. Angela Forsythe "We were searching online for mortgage companies in Louisville, Ky locally to deal with and found Joel's website, and it was a godsend. He was great to work with, and delivered on everything he said he would do. I ended up referring my co-worker at UPS, and she was very pleased with his service and rates too. Would definitely vouch for him." September 2016 Monica Leinhardt "We contacted Joel back in July 2011 to refinance our Mortgage and he was great to work with. We contacted several lenders locally and online, and most where taking almost 60 days to close a refinance, Joel got it done in 23 days start to finish,I would definetly recommmend him. He got us 3.75% with just $900 in closing costs on our FHA Streamline loan. Kayle Griffin “Joel is one of the best Mortgage Brokers I have ever worked with in my sixteen years in the real estate and mortgage business.” May 25, 2010 Tim Beck “Joel has always worked very hard to keep his word and to work out seasonable solutions to difficult problems. He is truly an expert in FHA and other type loans.” September 1, 2010 Nancy Nalley “I have worked with Joel since 1998. He is a great loan professional.” I refer most of my Louisville, Kentucky area home buyers to him and he always take special care of them. August 23, 2012 Jon ClarK “Joel Lobb is a real professional in the lending industry, with many years of experience, he is the one to go to for any mortgage lending needs.” August 22, 2011 RICHARD VOLZ , Residential Sales , Remax Foursquare Realty “When looking to purchase our new home in 2006, I had the pleasure of meeting Joel Lobb. Not only was he personable and easy to reach, he was extremely knowledgable in his field and made sure to find us the best rate and a top notch mortgage company. We were able to complete the process in less than 3 weeks with his expertise. I find Joel to have the utmost high integrity and I recommend him to anyone who say's they are need of mortgage assistance. He is also fantastic and keeping everyone up to date on the latest in the housing industry through his twitter posts. He provided great results for our family and we still communicate to this day!” August 21, 2010 Stacie Drake "We first use Joel on our new home purchase in 2007 in St Matthews, Kentucky area and he was great to work with. We have since refinanced our home with him in 2010 when rates got really low and he has always delivered on what he says. I could not imagine using anyone else." Melody Glasscock March 2014 Absolutely Amazing!! I emailed Joel after I had just got a denial from a bank and just thought i would try to get some advice on what my next steps would be to get a house. I honestly didn't expect to even get a reply because my credit is not great. That was about a week and a half ago. I just signed a contract on a house last night. ONLY because of Joel Lobb. He even worked with us throughout the weekend, which shocked me. Best decision I have ever made. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR WORKING WITH US THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE PROCESS. Cee Bellisle August 2017 Contacted him about buying a home and he was great to work with. I was moving to Louisville Ky to take a new job and he walked me through the entire process. He explained to me all the different options for FHA, VA, USDA mortgage loans and credit score requirements versus Fannie Mae. Since I was a first time home buyer I needed alot of help and guidance. I would definitely recommend him. Fast to respond and available to answer questions that I or my realtor had after hours. Anderson Johnson April 2018 Wow, what a great loan officer. I was referred to him by our agent and he was great to work with. We used him for a USDA no money down loan in Shelby County and we were really impressed. We were afraid we could not buy a home since we did not have money saved for a down payment, but Joe l was able to get us a zero down loan and we even got our appraisal fee and good faith deposit back at closing. We actually got money back at closing!!! I Can't think him enough. Our family moved from our apartment in the south end of town to get our own home with 5 acres for our kids and 2 dogs, at a payment that is equal to our rent payment also. .Thanks Again Joel. May god bless you Patty Locker We contacted Joel about buying a house on our move from Ohio for my husband's job transfer with Ford. We put a lot of trust in him since we were new to the area and first time home buyers in the Louisville KY market, and he always delivered on what he said. It took us a while to find a home due to the lack of homes, but once we got one, he was always quick to respond our questions via text or email ,and kept us informed through the process. We got to meet him at the closing and he was super nice and even got us a closing gift for our home which we didn't expect at all. Super nice guy 😀!!! I would definitely recommend him for a local Home loan in the Louisville area. pam dolby I got a VA loan with Joel and he was great. He is an ex-army guy so he could relate to my past experiences of being a veteran and moving around the country a lot. I had some credit issues that required a little extra work but Joel was able to find A VA lender to approve my situation as far as having past bad credit problems and a lower credit score. We closed yesterday on our home here in Louisville and we could not be happier. We finally have a home of our own thanks to Joel . I would definitely recommend him for a mortgage loan. Great experience and closed 8 days before expected close date so we were able to move in early. larry summit I contacted Joel about the $10,000 KY Housing Grant last month and we were able to get it and I just closed on my home. He was great to work with and if you are a first time home buyer here in Louisville, I would definitely contact him. I met him at his office and he was very nice and knowledgeable and kept me informed through the process. No surprises either so I was very happy. I am new homeowner thanks to Joel . Joel Lobb Senior Loan Officer American Mortgage Solutions, Inc. 10602 Timberwood Circle Suite 3 Louisville, KY 40223 phone: (502) 905-3708 Fax: (502) 327-9119 Company ID #1364 | MB73346E This website is not an government agency, and does not officially represent the HUD, VA, USDA or FHA or any other government agency. Disclaimer: No statement on this site is a commitment to make a loan. Loans are subject to borrower qualifications, including income, property evaluation, sufficient equity in the home to meet Loan-to-Value requirements, and final credit approval. Approvals are subject to underwriting guidelines, interest rates, and program guidelines and are subject to change without notice based on applicant's eligibility and market conditions. NMLS#57916 . The content in this marketing advertisement has not been approved, reviewed, sponsored or endorsed by any department or government agency. Rates are subject to change and are subject to borrower(s) qualification.

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