The market is hot, and you’re ready to buy! Today we are talking with VP Tracy Tunnell about the 5 things you should know before your home purchase.
Speaker 1 (00:08):
Welcome to the Feeling is Mutual podcast. I'm your host, Tracy Becher, vice President of Marketing at First Federal Savings Bank. We are a community bank with a mutual charter. If you thought banking was boring, the feeling is mutual. But we're here to take the boring out of banking. In this podcast, we will bring our listeners real life stories and education on financial topics and it's all going to be delivered in a quick, fun, and interesting format. Spring has sprung. Here I am today with our chief lending officer, Tracy Tunnel. I think Tracy, everybody has spring fever right now. Absolut, they're absolutely <laugh>. They're getting their yards ready, they're getting their houses all tidied up and what a perfect time to start thinking about home and home buying. What better person to talk home buying with than you, right? Yeah. Good morning, trace. Good morning. Tracy, tell us a little bit about yourself.
Speaker 1 (01:19):
How long have you been with the bank? I will be 15 years of May with the bank and in the banking industry for the last 30 years. Oh my goodness. Wow. So you have a lot of experience under your belt. We are going to talk about five things you should know before your home purchase. As a prospective home buyer, is there a perfect time to start thinking about things that we need to get tidied up for home buying? Absolutely. Like you said, five things you should know before your home purchase. Anytime before you're looking for a home. The most important thing is to get pre-qualified with the local lender. Not that 800 number. This is the biggest purchase you're going to make. Why wouldn't you wanna work with industry experts locally? Exactly. I can't say enough. I mean, you can walk in and work with any of our loan officers.
Speaker 1 (02:06):
We're so educated, knowledgeable, we're gonna put you on that right track because we're building those relationships with you and all parties relate it to that real estate transaction. We're gonna find the product that best suits your needs. Okay. So can you tell us what does pre-qualified mean? Like so what do I need to get pre-qualified? Great question. Usually we're wanting you to bring in some of your income documentation, so we wanna verify your income, usually your most recent W2 and a pay stub and a bank statement. That's it. Okay. Do I have to photocopy that? Can it be digital? Like either way. We offer our loan valet website where you can apply online upload documentation that way, or you can bring it in and we're happy to make a copy for y'all. Is there a certain time period that I need to have information? How many?
Speaker 1 (02:51):
Just the most recent pay stub and w2. Just like a month's worth. Just one. At least one. Oh, okay. Perfect. Yep. So not many. Not much documentation's required for it. That's awesome. When you say getting pre-qualified, how long is that good for? A pre-qualification is usually good for 120 days. Okay. So you would meet with one of our loan officers, bring in that income documentation most recent bank statement as well. We'd run a credit report and hopefully that day you can leave our office with a pre-qualification. Perfect. Well that sounds awesome. Now, you had mentioned a credit report and I know that you wanted to talk about another important point, which is mind your credit. So can you talk to us a little bit more about credit scores, credit reports and how important that is when it comes to wanting to purchase a home? Sure.
Speaker 1 (03:44):
You know, mind your credit use, I mean, once you're really serious about buying a home, it's so important to make sure you're paying all of your bills that are reported on time and don't open up any new accounts, which seems so simple. But we have people who buying a house, oh, I forgot to tell you, I opened up a new credit that can affect that pre-qualification. So if you do open up a new account, just make sure you're telling your loan officer this information up front. Okay. Obviously the higher the credit score, the better it can offer more products would be available to you. Okay. So a couple of things. So if I see that patio bistro set, that would look lovely on my new home. I should wait to get it. Yes. Wait till your loan closes and then you can go purchase that.
Speaker 1 (04:24):
You talk a lot about credit scores, so what the ideal credit score? Yeah, that's a hard one. <laugh>. I mean obviously the higher, the better highest credit scores are on the 800 s. You know, usually if you earn the mid to high 600 s is gonna open more products available to you. Okay. But we do offer other products available with maybe some people have had dings in their credit in the past and we offer some other types of products that they can fit their needs. Maybe a government product. And I know fixing that credit score can be, you guys are wonderful about advising how to do that, paying off one credit card and kind of moving forward from there. So there's some easy tips that you also advise your customers to do to help raise that credit score. Yep. So, you know, meeting with you guys is so important to answer all those questions.
Speaker 1 (05:15):
You also talked about getting your assets in order. Yep. Get all your assets in order, making sure you know, where's your down payment closing costs coming from. Are you gonna get that money as a gift from a family member? Or maybe you can qualify for one of our great grant programs. When you say grant program, can you explain more? Sure. There's a program out there called the Down Payment Plus Grant. Depending on your income, I mean you could qualify for up to $10,000 for a part of your down payment closing costs that we are part of that. So that's again why it's important to go to your local lender to see what products are available to you. Great. So Tracy, let's say I am ready to make a job move ready to do something else. How would you advise me if I'm also looking for a home to purchase?
Speaker 1 (06:06):
Well, I would say if at all possible, trying to wait until you close your loan. Just like buying your new little bistro set. But obviously things happen if you're gonna change your job and especially if it's to better you and you're gonna make more money, let your loan officer know. Okay. So it's communication, communication, your loan officer. And at that point we would just need like an employment letter or a more recent pay stub and then we can update your pre-qualification letter. But don't wait till that closing date and be like, oh, I switched jobs. You know? What else? What other tips do you have for us? I think the last one is just remembering pre-qualification is based on estimates. You know, you don't have a house in mind yet, so once you actually have your pre-qualification letter, you're gonna stand out stronger with the realtors and also the seller.
Speaker 1 (06:52):
They see that pre-qualification letter. They know and they're also excited to see a local lender. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But keeping in mind, once you find that home, letting your loan officer know maybe the price has changed or something has changed so we can really update all your information and make sure we can ensure a smooth closing. Wonderful. You know, I think it's springtime and everyone's, as I started with, excited to like tidy up their homes. Do you suggest a perfect time for buying your home? I find first time home buyers are buying throughout the year. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but a lot of people now, I think if you're moving to your second or third, like you're upgrading is spring is a good time. We'll see a lot more activity in the next couple months. Perfect. How do you feel about interest rates right now? Interest rates this year?
Speaker 1 (07:38):
You know, they're a little bit more stable than we've seen last year. I think for first time home buyers, it's always a great time to purchase a home. You're making a payment and building equity in something that you own, which will then help you buy your next home. So it's always a great time to buy a house. It's a great investment. Right. And what better place to get it than first Federal Savings Bank. Absolutely. That was great information. And I know you could talk all day about mortgage, could you could love it. Could <laugh>. Really could. So with all this great information, how do we get started? There's a few different ways and before that I just wanna let everyone know pre-qualification at first Federal Savings Bank, there's no cost to apply, you know, so Okay. Why not get people so I don't have to have anything down or, Nope.
Speaker 1 (08:22):
A few different ways to apply. Feel free, you can go online. Everyone likes to go email@example.com. Right? From there you can fill out for a consultation request or you can do an application online. And if you'd rather come in, in person, all of our loan officers information is online as well. And they're happy to meet with anybody face-to-face. Okay. And then I know we had talked earlier about Loan Valet. Would you like to just quickly explain what a wonderful service that is to our customers? Yeah, it's really a great tool that you can get through that f fsb loans.com during the loan process. You can upload all of your documents through this site. Well Tracy, thank you so much after this. I think we should go out and walk around the block a couple of times. Cause the weather is so nice. <laugh>, that sounds good. Thanks Tracy. Thank you Tracy. And once again, thank you all to our listeners and remember f fsb web.com where you can listen to this podcast and also get more information on these wonderful topics.