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Getting a Mortgage and Buying a Home.

What to Know Before You Buy a Home

Buying a home can be complicated, but it doesn’t need to be. Arm yourself with the knowledge you need to be an informed home buyer, starting with the basics.


Learn More About Buying a House

Take the mystery out of buying a home with these resources. Learn which home loan options are right for you and how the mortgage process works.

  • Learn about buying your first home
  • Get home buying tips
  • See personal finance tips
  • Get advice for finding a real estate agent
  • Learn about your mortgage options
  • Avoid paying private mortgage insurance

First-Time Home Buyers

  • Get pre-approved – What price range are you looking at? How’s your credit? Find out how much home you can afford and what your monthly payment might be with our purchase calculator.
  • Get your mortgage Online – Our fast, powerful and completely online way to get a mortgage. Automatically share your financial info to get a real, custom mortgage solution based on today’s rates. Then, you can easily move forward with your pre-approval letter and start shopping for homes.

Types of Loans

We’ll personalize a mortgage just for your situation. Check out some of our most popular mortgages and home buying programs.

  • FHA loan – The easiest way to qualify for a home loan, an FHA loan gives you a government-insured loan with flexible choices, such as a down payment as low as 3.5%.
  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage – A standard of the mortgage world, a fixed-rate loan is a great option for home buyers looking for a rate that stays the same over the life of their loan.
  • 1% down payment option – Don’t have a lot of savings or equity to go toward a down payment? Well-qualified clients can now buy a home for just 1% down and gain 3% equity upfront. That means you could buy a $150,000 home with just $1,500 down.
  • VA loan – Active duty military personnel, veterans and their qualifying family members are eligible for special benefits with a VA loan, such as no down payment and a low interest rate.
  • Jumbo loan – If you need a mortgage between $453,100 and $3 million, we offer flexible rates and terms to help you get the loan that’s right for you.
  • Fresh Start loans - Designed for borrowers who can demonstrate the ability to repay, but may not qualify under more traditional guidelines. Loans from $100,000 to $1,000,000 with a minimum 15% down payment.
  • Fix and Flip loan - Designed for new and experienced investors.

How much house can I afford?

Start with how much you want to spend each month on housing. Most budgets call for earmarking 28% of your post-tax income for house payments, including your homeowners insurance and property tax. For example, if your annual income after taxes is $60,000, 28% of that is $16,800, or $1,400 per month. However, every situation is different. Maybe you have costs in your monthly budget that affect your bottom line, such as childcare, car payments or student loans – the important thing is to find a monthly payment that you’re comfortable with.

Talk to a Home Loan Expert or use our pre-approval application to see how the numbers add up based on today’s mortgage rates.


Should I buy a house?

If you’re thinking about buying a home, there are a number of factors that can help you decide if now is the right time. Are mortgage rates low? Are you planning to live in the same city for at least five years? Are rents rising in your city? Do you want to customize your home? If the answer to most of these questions is “yes,” then buying a home is a good option for you.


What are closing costs?

Mortgage closing costs, also known as settlement costs, are fees charged for services that must be performed to process and close your loan application. Examples of mortgage closing costs include title fees, recording fees, appraisal fees, credit report fees, pest inspection fees, attorney’s fees, taxes and surveying fees. The closing cost of a loan will vary depending on your geographic location.


Lenders are required by law to provide you with two documents – the Loan Estimate and the Closing Disclosure – which outline your closing costs and help you avoid surprises at the closing table. For more information regarding the loan process through Standard Mortgage, call (305) 930-1007 to talk with a Home Loan Expert today.


Do I need a real estate agent? How do I find one?

At first, you may think you don’t need a real estate agent to buy a home. But when you find yourself sifting through papers you don’t understand, you may want to reconsider. There are many things you’ll gain from hiring a real estate agent when house hunting: access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) database, an experienced home price negotiator, legal protection and someone who can fill out all the detailed paperwork for you.

Standard Mortgage has many Realtor Partners which makes finding a trusted real estate agent quick and easy with their experienced agents. We’ll match you with a real estate agent in your area at no cost, regardless of whether you’re buying or selling a home.


How do I manage buying and selling a house at the same time?

Selling your home while simultaneously buying a new one can be a daunting task, but it CAN be done successfully! First, enlist the help of one of our preferred experienced real estate agent in your area to get started. You’ll need a professional who understands the dynamics of your unique needs and can handle both sales accurately and expeditiously.


Next, use your negotiating power to extend the window before your closing date. Instead of the typical 30 to 45 days before closing, extend your time to 60 or 90 days to ensure you have time to find a home that best suits the needs of you and your family. Most of the time, homeowners need to sell their home first to financially qualify to buy a new home. If the sale isn’t completed first, and you have to temporarily own two homes, you may want to consider short-term financing, such as a bridge loan.