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Mortgage First Time Homebuyer Frequently Asked Questions: Help

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to your common questions to help you buy a home.

When is it time to stop renting and buy a home?

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When debating between renting vs. buying, you need to think about your lifestyle and finances. While renting can provide more flexibility, owning a home enables you to build equity in the property and may provide tax benefits.

 

Buying a home is a huge step, especially when you’re moving from renting to owning.  

How do I start the homebuying process?

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Here are some steps to help you prepare to buy your first home:

 

  • Pay attention to (and improve) your credit scoreUse our Affordability Calculator to see how much home you can afford
  • Save money for a down payment
  • Save for additional home buying costs (inspections, insurance, deposits, etc.)
  • Get prequalified for a mortgage loan
  • Find a Home Lending Advisor
  • Find a real estate agent
  • Start looking for homes!

Why should I consider prequalifying for a mortgage?

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A prequalification gives you an estimate of how much you can borrow based on your income, employment, credit and bank account information. To be sure you’re getting the best deal, talk with multiple lenders and compare their mortgage rates and loan options.

 

Get prequalified with Chase here!

How do I find the right home?

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Whether you're looking for a single-family home or a penthouse apartment, understanding your wants and needs is essential.

 

Once you know what you want out of a home, determining your housing budget is crucial. After working up a loose housing budget, you'll need to decide how much you'll be comfortable paying each month. Your real estate agent will help you find the right home based on all of these factors. Looking for more information?  

How do I find a great real estate agent?

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Buying a home is a major decision, so take time to find a real estate agent that's best for you. An experienced real estate agent can make your homebuying process a smooth one by helping you find the right house and negotiating the right price. You can ask for recommendations from family, friends, your Home Lending Advisor or other people whose opinions you value. Be sure to interview several agents and research them online before choosing one.

How can I get information on mortgage loan options?

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At Chase, you can choose from several types of mortgage loans to finance your home purchase.  A Home Lending Advisor can help you understand the differences between the various loan options so you find one that best suits your financial situation.

How do I determine how much I can afford?

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Our Affordability Calculator was created to help you discover how much home you can afford.

How much do I need for a down payment?

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There is no set amount. In fact, you might be surprised to learn that many first-time homebuyer programs require as little as 3.0% down. Today, there are many loan programs that can be tailored to fit your needs and financial resources. Keep in mind that for down payments of less than 20% on conventional loans, private mortgage insurance (PMI) will be required. Go to Chase Affordable Lending to learn more.

What documents will I need to apply for a mortgage?

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Traditional loans usually require documents that verify your employment, income and assets, and may include:

  • Your Social Security number
  • Pay stubs for the last two months
  • W-2 forms for the past two years
  • Bank statements for the past two or three months
  • One to two years of federal tax returns
  • A signed contract of sale (if you've already chosen your new home)
  • Information on current debt, including car loans, student loans and credit cards

How do I find the right Home Lending Advisor?

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To find the perfect Home Lending Advisor (HLA) for you:

  • Find a Home Lending Advisor to start the process.Search by last name (if you have an HLA in mind), by city, or by zip code.
  • Once you enter your location or a specific last name, you'll get a list of Home Lending Advisors in your area. Every HLA listing includes their location, NMLS ID#, phone number, and a link to their profile page.
  • If you're interested in learning more about a specific HLA, click "go to (name)'s page".
  • Each HLA’s profile page will tell you how many years of experience they have, full contact information, and, oftentimes, a short bio. This information should give you a good sense of each advisor so you can easily make your decision.