Written by: Marilyn Allena, Mary Foster, Aaron Morse, Daniel Tripodi, Mortgage Loan Officers, Affinity Federal Credit Union
To buy or to rent, that is the question. While it’s not an easy decision to make, it doesn’t have to be painful!
While renting is an option, it should be considered relative to personal finances, lifestyle and overall preference – not merely as an easy alternative if you’re nervous about buying a home. Cost reservations and overall apprehension can stop anyone in their tracks, but our four tips below can help to stop the cycle of home buying jitters.
• Don’t fear the mortgage conversation. Let’s be honest, everyone wants the home of their dreams, but don’t know where to start. Do you look at homes first and then obtain financing? Do I qualify for a mortgage? How much do I need as a down payment? This is where the professionals step in to facilitate the process (and alleviate some of your anxieties!). At financial institutions such as Affinity, a Mortgage Loan Officer can help you apply to get pre-qualified for a mortgage, with the added bonus of personalized service and flexible availability.
• Embrace the mortgage dating game! Now that you know the mortgage application process is inevitable, it’s important to keep in mind the variety of mortgages to understand the best option for your circumstances:
o Fixed-Rate Mortgages. Don’t like change? No worries, most people don’t, so you’re in luck with this mortgage option. Fixed-rate mortgages have predictable payments and terms.
o Adjustable-Rate Mortgages. If you’re “interested” in lower initial interest rates and a longer term, then this is the option for you!
o High Balance Mortgages. They say life is a balancing act, but this mortgage takes the tightrope cake with options for loans above $424,100 and up to $636,150. Tack on fixed-rate terms and savings on closing costs, and you’ve got yourself a contender!
o Jumbo Mortgages. We’re used to hearing about jumbotrons or jumbo shrimp, but this is the next best jumbo in the lineup. With fixed and adjustable rate terms, savings on closing costs and loans above $424,100 up to $3M, you’ve got yourself one jumbo opportunity!
• Points for participation do count! It is possible to go through the home buying experience on your own, but why not learn a thing or two along the way? Affinity offers a wealth of resources from experienced Mortgage Loan Officers to free Home Buying and Financial Wellness Seminars. When it comes to successfully buying a home, participation does matter, so familiarize yourself with the educational resources at your disposal and check out Affinity’s lineup of qualified mortgage professionals.
• Why you need those rainy day funds. Buying a home can cause some serious sticker shock, especially when you tack on down payments and closing costs. Please keep in mind that you don’t need to use your entire savings on your down payment. It’s better to keep money reserved for other priority items (what’s a house without furniture?). Plus, you never know what the weather will throw your way, so it’s important to keep rainy day funds intact!
At Affinity, we thoroughly understand the buying vs. renting debate, because we’re in the business of counseling people to make the best possible decisions for having happy and successful financial futures. However, choosing to rent should never be a fear-driven decision. If you have questions about your own decision to buy or rent, we urge you to contact an Affinity Mortgage Loan Officer to find an option that is right for you.
The Passaic County Board of REALTORS® appreciates the generous support of its Affiliate Members and affords them the opportunity of writing articles for the ‘Need To Know” section on the PCBOR website. The Board does not endorse nor is it in any manner responsible for the opinions, products or services offered by its Affiliate Members.