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News & Tips

Spring into Home Buying

February 7, 2018 by Space Coast Credit Union

Spring is traditionally a busy season in the real estate market, with more homes available than any other time of year. That means you have more options. Beginning your home search can sometimes seem overwhelming. The neighborhood, schools, taxes, and HOA fees are just some of the things that need to be considered. This is why it’s important to connect with an experienced Realtor who understands what you’re looking for and can assist you every step of the way. 

Space Coast Credit Union’s HomeAdvantage Program can help you find that real estate professional, as well as investigate homes listed for sale, neighborhoods, schools and more! When you partner with a Realtor from our HomeAdvantage network, you could earn a Cash Rebate to apply to closing costs or help furnish your new home. Our members receive an average rebate of $1,500!1  Click HomeAdvantage now to learn more, sign up and get started! 

Consider Your Financing Options

While finding the right home is critical, examining your financing options is just as important. Although there are several choices available, the most common are the conventional fixed rate mortgage and the FHA mortgage. 

The conventional mortgage maintains its original interest rate throughout the life of the loan and offers financing of up to 95% of the purchase price. This means you could buy your home with a down payment as low as 5% of the purchase price. However, any loan with a down payment of less than 20% will require Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). PMI protects the lender in the event a borrower can no longer make the mortgage payments, and will be added to the monthly payment amount. You can ask to cancel PMI once you have 20% equity in your home. The lender is required to remove it when the balance drops to 78%. 

An FHA mortgage offers a down payment as low as 3.5% of the purchase price. Along with the lower down payment, an FHA loan also may allow for more lenient qualifying criteria, such as credit scores and debt-to-income ratios. This loan will also include PMI; but, unlike a conventional loan, PMI will remain for the life of the loan. If your loan requires PMI, choosing to finance with a credit union should save you money; as credit unions have historically offered much lower PMI rates than other financial institutions.

If you’re planning to build your new home, consider a construction loan. With this financing option, SCCU will work directly with your builder to advance funds at critical points throughout the construction process. This funds the building of your home, while keeping your payments low. Construction loans automatically convert to one of our permanent mortgages, saving you additional closing costs and paperwork

Build Your Team of Professionals

Purchasing a home today is very different than it was 10 years ago. Whether you are a seasoned home buyer or a first timer, you will need to understand new regulations and loan requirements. With today’s tighter regulations, be prepared to provide additional verification and proof documents. Once you’re working with a loan officer, ensure that your answers to inquiries are accurate, complete and prompt to facilitate a faster, smoother process. Don’t make major changes to your financial situation. Now is not the time to buy a car or open a new line of credit! Together, SCCU’s home loan professionals and your real estate expert will help you navigate any uncertainties in the lending process.

Let’s Get Started!

Buying a home is a fun, exciting time and most likely the biggest purchase of your life. It is important to understand all of your options and choose both a Realtor and lender who will work together to ensure a positive home buying experience. Call us to get started today!
1HomeAdvantage is made available to SCCU members through a joint relationship between SCCU and CU Realty Services. Click here for full details.
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