a home is exciting, overwhelming, and possibly frightening, because
a home is more than just a house or condominium that you live in. It’s
one more step in life’s journey. Homes are special places where children
are born and babies take their first steps across the living room floor.
Homes are where brides are carried across the threshold, and holidays
are celebrated. Home is “where the heart is”.
Buying a home is called the American dream, and rightfully so. There are other benefits of homeownership.
According to Robert D. Dietz, author of The Social Consequences of Homeownership
1. Children of homeowners are likely to perform higher on academic achievement test and are more likely to finish high school. They also have fewer behavioral problems in school and are less likely to become pregnant as teenagers.
2. Homeowners are more satisfied with their lives and are happier. Homeownership is positively associated with physical, mental, and emotional health.
3. Political activity (voting, civic participation) is higher among homeowners than renters are. High level of neighborhood homeownership enhances property values. Source- NeighborWorks
The home buying process can be confusing. You hear words like, escrow, tax prorations, deed transfer tax, and title insurance to name a few. The first step to homeownership is to gather your personal papers and step two is to be preapproved by a mortgage loan officer. The lender will want to see the following:
In short, the loan officer will want to see all information that relates to income and debt obligation.
The reason is to determine the maximum amount of money that you
can borrow. That does not mean that you have to borrow the maximum,
but the lender wants to give you a lending range. The lender also
needs to determine the different loan options for you. The
FHA home loan is a great to finance
a home with a low down payment, low cash to close, and a very low
credit score. The USDA,
conventional loans also have
lending requirements. The amount of money you can borrow depends
on your credit score, available cash for the down payment (if necessary),
and employment. Lenders use a formula called debt to income to estimate
the ideal monthly mortgage payment based on the loan program.
Preapproval (also call prequalification) requires an examination of your credit report and credit score. Even if you have credit blemishes, lenders can sometimes boost a credit score by instructing you to pay down or payoff some monthly bills. That’s another reason loan officers want to know the amount of available cash. Some loan programs are more accepting of poor credit.
You bet. The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) provides
mortgage money for first time homebuyers and non-first time homebuyers.
PHFA also has a closing cost and down payment grant program. There
are 67 counties in Pennsylvania and many counties either offer a
home loan program and/or down payment and assistance grant program.
It all depends on the loan program, your credit score, and down payment. I created a buyer cost calculator to give you a good estimate of the total costs involved in the purchase a home.
Frequently Asked Questions About Buying a Home:
Mortgage lenders will require a "title insurance" policy for your home. Title insurance protects the lender and owner against ownership issues. For example, what if the seller is not really the seller, but someone posing as the seller. Or, what if the property boundaries are incorrect. The cost of title insurance is established by the Pennsylvania Insurance Commission. Read more
Pennsylvania charges a tax on the sale of real estate. Think of it as a sales tax. One percent is charged by the state and most municipalities and school districts jointly charge another 1%. There are a few exceptions. Read more
HUD homes are houses that were reposed by the Housing and Urban Development Agency (HUD). HUD homes were financed by an FHA home loan that fell into foreclosure. HUD homes can be purchased through an action. HUD homes can be a great buy. Read more
Nobody want private mortgage insurance (PMI) or MIp (mortgage insurance premium), however, depending on the down payment or loan program, the monthly cost is unavoidable. Read more
Pennsylvania Loan & mortgage calculators
Just how much does it cost to buy a home in Pennsylvania? Use the mortgage and closing cost calculator to estimate the down payment, closing costs and monthly payment for an FHA, VA, USDA and conventional home loan? PA Loan Calculator
Lenders use a calculation call "debt to income" to estimate how much your monthly loan payment should be in relation to your monthly income. Debt to Income Calculator
Use the title insurance calculator to estimate the cost of title insurance in Pennsylvania. PA Title Insurance Rate Calculator
USDA home loans are a great way to purchase a home because no down payment is required to purchase a home with a USDA loan. Use the USDA Home Loan Calculator to estimate the USDA mortgage amount and monthly payment.
Veterans and real estate agents can easily estimate the mortgage amount and monthly mortgage payments for eligible veterans in Pennsylvania. VA Home Loan Calculator
Compare interest rates, loan terms (i.e. 15, 20, 25 & 30 year) with the Mortgage Payment Comparison Calculator
Simple tool to estimate mortgage affordability. Mortgage loan affordability calculator
Easily calculate the FHA mortgage and monthly loan payment for all 67 PA counties. FHA Mortgage Calculator for Pennsylvania
The FHA refinance rules have changed. The Federal Housing Administration requires a "net tangible benefit" for streamline FHA refinance loans. The FHA Streamline Net Tangible Benefit Calculator will estimate whether the refinance is allowed under the new refinance rules
How fast can you pay off your mortgage with an extra payment each month? Use the Amortization Calculators with Extra Payment and find out
Easily convert year to date income into monthly income. The Year To Date Income Calculator will convert weekly, every other week, and twice a month earnings into monthly income. Year To Date Income Calculator