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Home Buying Tips in the Digital Age

The Internet is much more than a tool for casual browsing. It’s ingrained in everything we
do—from paying bills to shopping for a home. Among all generations of home buyers, the first
step taken in the home search process was to look online for properties, according to the
National Association of Realtors’ 2022 Home Buyer and Seller Generation Trends report.

With so much information available at your fingertips it can be hard to make sense of it
all—especially for a process that can be as protracted and complicated as the purchase of a
home. The study also found that first-time home buying among younger generations is on the rise,
with over 4 out of 5 younger millennial home buyers – 81% – purchasing for the first time. Just
under half – 48% – of older millennial buyers were first-time buyers, making it even more
imperative to have a firm understanding of the factors involved in purchasing a home.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. both have
resources to help demystify the homebuying process, but having a working knowledge of the
process and available programs to assist first-time homebuyers is a far cry from determining
the right loan to meet a consumer’s unique financial needs and budget considerations.

That’s where State Bank Northwest comes in. Our expert lenders can help
explain not only what you can afford and what to expect during the process, but other factors
to consider when determining the right time to buy a home.

For those who are ready, there are several options available in addition to conventional loans,
including mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration. FHA loans only require a
3.5 percent down payment and typically have higher loan-to-value ratios and lower credit score
requirements than conventional loans (though buyers will have to refinance if they want to
avoid paying private mortgage insurance for the life of the loan).

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers generous borrowing terms to servicemembers,
veterans and surviving spouses, often requiring no down payment or mortgage insurance.
While the VA has only a few requirements for things like debt and sufficient income, VA lenders
may add their own requirements.

In addition to available federal homeownership and home-buying assistance programs, there
are numerous programs sponsored by state and local governments, as well as other
organizations, that make homeownership more affordable.

During National Homeownership Month, State Bank wants to remind you to contact us for
help with the homebuying process. If you are not ready to take the plunge just yet, we can
help you to establish a budget and set financial targets, so that when the time is right, you’ll
have the know-how and the confidence to secure the keys to a home of your own.