Getting Started With the Home Buying Process

author imagePosted by Mascoma Bank on February 16, 2022

We asked our Mascoma Mortgage lending team for their best pieces of advice to give to someone who is hoping to buy a home.

Starting with: what is the best piece of advice that you would give to first-time home buyers?

“Don’t be afraid to ask questions! There are a lot of moving pieces to make a home purchase work, and we’re here to help you navigate it so your transaction goes smoothly!”
Cody Dana – NMLS #1791451
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Get pre-approved and talk to a mortgage professional before you start the process of looking. Do your research on the area and property before you set the viewing appointment.”

Mark Roux
Mascoma Mortgage Specialist

“It’s not as scary as it seems. There are free classes and information available. We are happy to offer guidance at Mascoma Bank. It truly doesn’t hurt to try—even if you cannot be preapproved right now, you can at least determine the steps to get there.”

Philip Juanes
Mascoma Mortgage Specialist

“The best advice that I can give a first-time home buyer is to prepare a budget for themselves before they purchase a home to see what they can comfortably afford for a monthly mortgage payment. The lender will pre-approve them with a figure, but it doesn’t take into consideration child care fees, utilities, or food and gas, so it is always a good idea for a first-time home buyer to have a sense of what all of their monthly expenses are before starting the home-buying process.”

Sarah Powell – NMLS #446222
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You can avoid a lot of headaches if you choose a lender who is willing to set time aside for a 1-1 meeting in person, by video, or phone, to explain the mortgage process and fees involved when purchasing a mortgage.”

Jim Giller – NMLS #1026709
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Going through the pre-approval process will help you understand what kind of finances you need to have in order. For instance you will want to make sure closing your loan goes smoothly, you will want save your tax returns and W-2 for a three-year period and once you have your home under contract, don’t do anything that really shakes up your financial profile like changing jobs or making a large purchase you will also take out a loan for or will put a large balance on your credit card.”

Janet Costa – NMLS #445842
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What are some mistakes that first-time home buyers can easily avoid?

“The biggest mistake I have seen with first-time buyers over the years is they do not consult with a lender and they start looking at properties that they don’t even know if they can afford.”

Norm Frates – NMLS #126323
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“It’s a mistake not to use a Realtor. A Realtor’s knowledge and expertise will not only assist you in selecting a home but also serve to guide you through negotiations and the details of your contract.”

Christie Mitchell – NMLS #515972
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“Think twice before buying an older home in need of repairs, and don’t make an offer on a home prior to starting to understand the mortgage process.”

Jim Giller – NMLS #1026709
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“You don’t want to buy a “lemon” by thinking you can save money on a home inspection. Along those lines, it’s really important to make it clear in your Purchase and Sale agreement that it’s subject to a home inspection and appraisal.”

Philip Juanes
Mascoma Mortgage Specialist

“Want to avoid mistakes? Hire an experienced buyer’s agent. First-time home buyers can avoid the mistake of disadvantageous sales terms by having a buyer’s agent represent you in the transaction. The agent will provide you with guidance including what to watch for while touring homes, negotiating a purchase contract, locating a home inspector, home inspection issues found, walk-thru inspections, and what to expect on closing day.”

Sherry Noyes – NMLS #1135349
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How long does the loan process typically take once a loan application is started?

“Once you have the initial purchase and sales signed and the agreement in place, you’ll get a timeframe on the loan. It is not uncommon for the process somewhere between 45 to 70 days.

Mark Roux
Mascoma Mortgage Specialist

“This question has a range of answers, but as of right now, appraisals in our market areas are taking about six weeks or more. I tell my customers to prep for 60 days from start to finish. This typically gives us enough time to get the appraisal ordered, get someone approved, and then once the report comes back—if all is well—we can get them closed!”

Cody Dana – NMLS #1791451
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What types of things might hold up the loan process and how can I avoid that?

Many things could hold up the process of the loan, including the appraisal completion time, title issues, and loan approval to name just a few. The best way to ensure that the delays are not caused by you is to get all your documents into the lender as soon as possible.”

Mark Roux
Mascoma Mortgage Specialist

“If all documents requested are delivered when requested, can take a little as 30 or 45 days. But often delays can be caused by finding unknown title issues that need to be cured prior to closing. If you can take care of the pieces you can control, that will leave more time handle surprises if they come.

Sherry Noyes – NMLS #1135349
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“The appraisal is what can take the most time. It is important to submit requested documents as soon as possible. It is also important to submit exactly what was requested and not what you think can be substituted. If we ask for two months’ bank statements, we don’t want a screen print of your account.”

Janet Costa – NMLS #445842
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Next: Important Choices on the Road to Owning a Home