Tips for Home Buyers....Part One - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Jonesboro, AR -- Heather Flanigan Reports

Tips for Home Buyers....Part One

April 28, 2005 – Posted at 3:21 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO, AR -- It's the American dream, owning your own home. Millions of Americans purchase homes every year, but what do you need to know about the buying process?

It's a big decision and probably the most money you'll ever spend in your life. And there is no such thing as having too much information.

First things first, get your financing in order.

“The first step is to always get pre qualified with a loan officer, a mortgage loan officer. That way you can determine how much of a house you can afford, and what funds you need for the down payment and closing cost,” said Regions Bank lender Brian Arnold.

A mortgage officer can help you find the loan right for you, and this is when having good credit will pay off.

“A loan officer now, in today's world is not just a loan officer. We're more of a consultant,” said Arnold, “We will actually sit down with a client and talk to them one on one and see what their needs are.”

It may be possible to get into your house with little or no money down, but be prepared to fill out lots of paperwork.

“We have programs that do not have mortgage insurance, which is a higher rate, but actually may be a lower payment then a house with mortgage insurance,” said Arnold.

And a little secret...by paying half your mortgage at the first of the month and the rest around the 15th...you can knock years off your mortgage and save on interest.

“Different loans have different rates, different pros and cons too each one. So with consumers today, the internet, the access they have to the information, buyers come in a lot smarter and more knowledgeable about what's going on in the world of financing,” said Arnold.

Now that you know what you can spend, the next step is to find your dream house, and so the hunt begins, but where do you get started?

Both classes and counselors are available for first time homebuyers. Folks can learn everything from their credit reports to the closing table. For more information, you can contact the Crowley's Ridge Development Council at 935-8610, extension 109. They are located at 2114 North Church Street. Their services are free and can also link you to a down payment and closing cost assistance grant program.

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