First-Time Buyer? Tips to Follow to Get Pre-qualified for a Home


Relocation Concept. Joyful Black Spouses Using Tablet Computer Sitting On Floor Among Moving Boxes In New House. Copy Space

It is important for first-time home buyers to know the best ways to navigate the mortgage market. Taking time to better understand the real estate sales process and how to qualify for the best possible mortgage terms will go a long way in reducing stress. Plus, getting the right type of home loan could save a buyer tens of thousands of dollars over the life of the mortgage.

Get Pre-Approval
One of the smartest things inexperienced home buyers can do to make themselves eligible to buy a home as quickly as possible is to get pre-approval on a mortgage. Your loan officer will be looking for the best type of mortgage loan to meet your needs with the lowest rate possible. A pre-approval helps the first-time home buyers better understand the true cost of homeownership: beyond the mortgage payment there is the cost for mortgage insurance, homeowner’s insurance and property taxes. Plus, with pre-approval, an offer on a home is taken more seriously by the home seller. 

Down Payment
The larger the down payment buyers can put together, the better off they will be going forward. This will not only increase chances of qualifying for a mortgage in the first place – and in doing so, getting a better rate – but also reduce their payments going forward, making homeownership more affordable. In some cases, it will also eliminate the need to pay private mortgage insurance altogether.

Work on Your Credit Score
It is also important that potential buyers
make sure their credit is up to snuff before they even think about actually applying for a mortgage. The higher an applicant’s credit score, the more likely to get approved and lock in a low rate. However, that may mean months of work to improve the financial conditions that go into a credit score, including paying down outstanding credit card balances and keeping up with all payments. (When you are buying a home it is really important NOT to make large purchases such as furniture, appliances or a new car. These type of purchases are reported to credit bureaus and can add a blemish to your credit.)

Save Money
At the same time, it’s important for new home buyers to make sure they’ve put aside additional savings to help cover closing costs and other expenses that typically crop up after moving into a home such as additional furnishings and unexpected repairs. Keep in mind that property taxes can rise. 

Talk to a Loan Officer and Real Estate Agent
Be sure to meet with a loan officer and real estate professional for guidance and valuable advice on how to proceed in the market and get the best possible deal out for your home purchase.

Brought to you by HMS Home Warranty. HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers. Learn more here.

Attend a Home Buyer Seminar – November 14, 2015 in West Chester, Ohio

House key in the door
Have you thought about buying a home, but are unsure of the process? Plan on attending this upcoming Home Buyer Seminar:

A “Home for the Holidays” Home Buyer’s Seminar will be held on Saturday, November 14, 2015 at 2:00pm and again at 4:00pm on that day.

This seminar will be held at the Sibcy Cline West Chester office at 7677 Voice of America Centre Drive in West Chester and is hosted by Sibcy Cline agent, Sheila Butler.

The session will cover the steps of the home-buying process. Attendees will learn about how to look for a home, find out how much home one can afford, what happens once an offer on a home has been made as well as what to expect up to the time of closing on a home.

Kathy Herbers of Sibcy Cline Mortgage Services will be at the seminar to answer all mortgage questions. A home inspection professional from Five Star Inspections will speak about what to expect during a whole-home inspection.

RSVPs to Sheila Butler at or 513-608-1024 are appreciated.

Move Up Now To Save Money on Your Home Purchase in the Future


Existing home owners purchasing homes are increasing per reports and are beginning to outpace first-time buyers. These buyers are moving up (75%), down sizing or making a lateral move.

Why should they buy a home now? With mortgage rates and home values increasing, homes are becoming more expensive to buy. By acting now with a home purchase, home buyers can still enjoy great values in their move-up homes before rates and values go even higher.

See this graph from The KCM Blog that shows the additional costs of waiting to buy a home with increased rates and home values:


Graphics courtesy of The KCM Blog.