When it comes to mortgage services, FSGBank strives to educate hopeful buyers and offer a variety of products to meet their unique needs.
"Now is a great time to purchase a home because rates are at 50-year record lows and it makes housing more affordable," said Mortgage Sales Manager Jill Green. "You can essentially afford more due to low rates."
Green added that Chattanooga and the surrounding area is also becoming a top destination for people in many walks of life from retirees to tech savvy, due to the climate and business friendly environment. So for the buyer who's ready to get started, where to begin? For first-time buyers, there are a few things FSGBank recommends.
First, a meeting with an experienced mortgage loan originator is key, according to Green.
"This meeting allows first-time buyers to better understand how much they can qualify for, how much they can expect in monthly payment and how much down payment is required," she said. "With this information, they will have a better idea of the appropriate price range of homes to look at and how much additional to save toward a down payment."
The down payment is determined by the loan program the buyer is working to get and their credit score. The majority of loan programs require 3.5 percent down, but there are a few with 100 percent financing options available including Rural Housing and VA for Veterans.
Green strongly encourages buyers to work with a realtor. "Realtors understand the local market and have the experience to know if the house is priced according to the market and have a good knowledge of the local neighborhoods. A good realtor will also gain an idea of what you're looking for and can focus your time on touring homes that fit your needs and budget. The agent will also handle writing the offer and dealing objectively with the seller or another agent."
After approval, we begin loan processing by ordering required items such as appraisal and title work on the home," Green detailed. "A Good Faith Estimate of Closing Costs will be provided that includes the fees the client will be expected to pay at closing including appraisal, title insurance through a title company or attorney, escrow amounts for taxes and insurance, recording fees, state tax and transfer fees, for example."
For buyers curious about appraisal and home inspection, FSGBank Mortgage Services has answers.
Green clarified that the appraisal (defined as a professional opinion that provides an estimate of market value) is required by the lender and is performed by a licensed appraiser, where as home inspectors are hired by the homeowner to work in the best interest of their client (the borrower).
"Home inspections can highlight items that may be in need of repair or replacement," Green said. "The lender does not typically require a home inspection, but as a buyer, you really want a home inspection to be done, and a lot of times the seller will either pay to have the repairs made or will contribute money to offset the expense of the repair."
Mortgage Sales Manager Jill Green welcomes Wally Reece of Reececo Properties, LLC to the Open House.