Feeling Confident in Today's Home Buying Environment

When you hear the word “mortgage,” what is the first thing that comes to mind? For some, it may be the excitement of finding a new place to call home or picking out d├ęcor for your new digs. For others, the word “mortgage” might pose questions or uncertainties. Whichever comes to mind for you, one thing that is certain is that Arbor Financial Credit Union is here to help along the way. Buying a house is one of the biggest purchases you will make, and that’s why we want to help you feel confident and informed.
 
Mortgage rates are at historic lows because of the current economy. This is good news for the mortgage industry, whether you’re a first-time home buyer, looking to refinance your mortgage to better suit your needs, or scouting out that vacation home.
 
First-Time Home Buyer Tips
Buying your first house is one of the most exciting milestones in life, and Arbor Financial Credit Union wants you to be prepared as you take on this new adventure. Making a budget allows you to know how much you can afford on a house payment. Luckily, we have the right tools to get you started. Consider using one of our financial calculators which can help you plan and stick to a budget.
  At Arbor Financial Credit Union, we have loans that allow zero down or only 3% of the home’s price as a down payment. Generally, the more you put down, the lower your interest rate will be. If possible, putting 20% down is best because that amount removes the need for private mortgage insurance, or PMI, and will lower your payment even more.
 
Another important step to take as you prepare for homeownership is getting prequalified with a lender. A prequalification is a short application that confirms the mortgage amount you qualify for and can help strengthen your offer. Check out our 10 steps you should consider when buying a new home by clicking here.
 
Refinance Options
Not a first-time home buyer? Not to worry! Recent low rates also benefit current homeowners. If your current rate is above 4%, we encourage you to look in to refinancing because it could potentially save you a lot of money, sometimes hundreds of dollars a month. If money is tight, being able to reduce your mortgage payment each month can be a real lifesaver.
 
Another advantage of refinancing is paying off your mortgage faster. For example, if you have 20 to 25 years left on your 30-year mortgage, you may be able to refinance to a 15-year loan and not see your monthly mortgage payment increase very much. Your payments stay affordable, but you’ll be paid off many years earlier than originally planned, saving a significant amount of money in the process. Arbor Financial Credit Union has incredibly low rates right now! Check them out here.
 
Financial Relief
If you are struggling to make your mortgage payment right now, the first thing you should do is contact your lender before your payment is due. Many institutions have relief programs in place to take advantage of. Most government-backed loans have opportunities to defer or reduce payments for a period of almost a year.
 
Looking at other options for saving, it is a good idea to take any other loans you might have, especially if they are at higher interest rates, and refinance them into your mortgage. If you have been in your home for a few years or more and have equity built up, you might be able to refinance and consolidate all your debt into the mortgage. By consolidating multiple payments, you will have just one lower payment that should be easier to manage within your budget.
 
In a time of uncertainty, one thing that remains constant is that Arbor Financial Credit Union is here to help and guide you through any questions or concerns you might have. Our staff is ready to assist you with all of your financial needs. Feel free to give us a call at 269-375-6702 between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, schedule an appointment with us, or visit our website at arborfcu.org.
 
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