When considering how to buy a house, the first step is to get pre-qualified with GMFS Mortgage before you start your search for your dream home. Being pre-qualified gives sellers the peace of mind knowing you will be able to finance the house after the purchase contract is signed, which can improve your negotiating position over other buyers.

 

Customer Reviews  |  Educational Resources  |  Home Buyer Checklist & Tips

  • Wondering if you're qualified to become a homeowner?

    A: There are a range of home loan programs with varying minimum qualifications and features such as low to zero minimum down payment. Depending on your goals, you more than likely qualify for at least one of the home purchase products.  If not, our skilled Loan Officers can help you with a game plan to get qualified in the near future.  You are probably closer than you think. Get Started with a free, no obligation consultation with an experienced GMFS Mortgage Loan Officer.

  • Concerned about your credit score?

    A: Your credit score is one of the key factors in determining what type of mortgage and interest rate you qualify for. Of course, the higher your score the lower rate and more options that you may have.  However, there are lots of programs available where lower credits scores are acceptable and you can accomplish your dream of home ownership.  Some of these options even offer very little or no down payment.   You are entitled to order a free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each of the major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) through www.AnnualCreditReport.com. This site is the only one that is government authorized to provide you with FREE copies of your credit report. Dispute any errors on your credit report and get them resolved as quickly as possible. Also, do not open any new accounts within at least six months of applying for a mortgage. For more tips about building or improving your credit, Get Started with GMFS Mortgage.

  • Concerned about saving for your down payment?

    A: Several home loan programs now have minimum down payment options ranging from 0%-3% of your loan amount. Keep in mind, the total cost of your financing decreases as your down payment amount increases. That being said, there are circumstances when the lower down payment options make sense as well. Your GMFS Mortgage Loan Officer can review the best options for your situation and also let you know if there are any homebuyer assistance programs featuring non-repayable grants, available in your area that you qualify for. Get Started

  • How does student loan debt affect your ability to become a homeowner?

    A: Having student loan debt does not automatically preclude you from qualifying for a home loan. As with any financing, your Debt-to-Income (DTI) Ratio is a significant factor in qualifying for a loan. Certain home loan programs weigh student loan debt differently when calculating your DTI. Your GMFS Mortgage Loan Officer can review the best options for your situation. Get Started

  • Are you a Louisiana first time homebuyer needing a Purchase Advantage?

    A: Purchase Advantage powered by CAFA is a unique program to jump-start Louisiana homeownership through the benefit of a non-repayable homebuyers grant of up to 4% of the original mortgage amount to eligible homebuyer families in eligible Louisiana parishes.

Home Buyer Resources

 

Wondering how to buy a house?
Wondering which home loan is best to finance a house?
Wondering about current mortgage rates?
Ready to apply OR request a free consultation to buy a home?

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Popular Home Purchase Loans:

  • A Conforming Fixed Rate loan can be used to refinance your home (max. loan amount is $453,100)
  •  FHA loan is typically the most flexible mortgage product with lower minimums for down payment and credit score, while allowing a higher debt-to-income (DTI) ratio
  • USDA Rural Development loans offer 100% financing for properties in eligible rural area designated by USDA and can be used to purchase your primary residence or refinance for rate term
  • VA loans are typically the best option for first time home buyers if one of the borrowers is a U.S. military veteran
  • Purchase Advantage powered by CAFA is a unique program to jump-start Louisiana homeownership through the benefit of a non-repayable homebuyers grant of up to 4% of the original mortgage amount to eligible homebuyer families in eligible Louisiana parishes.
  • 100% Financing (No Down Payment) home loan options
  • See more Loan Options (e.g. First Time Buyer, Second Home/Investment property, etc.)

GMFS MORTGAGE CUSTOMER REVIEWS

Tips & Checklist for Buying a Home

  • 1. Start saving for your down payment as early as possible

    Even though there are many options that allow as low as a 5% down payment, it is significantly better to have more money up front than less. Be sure to know how much home you can afford before determining how much money you have to save. If you plan to only save 5% of your down payment, keep in mind that 5% of $200,000 is $10,000. In addition, Putting down less than 20% may mean higher costs and paying for private mortgage insurance (PMI). Know how much down payment you need, set a goal, and work hard to reach that goal.
  • 2. Check your credit score

    Your credit score is one of the key factors in determining what type of mortgage and the interest rate for which you qualify. As soon as you know you may want to buy a home, begin work on your credit score. Dispute any errors on your credit report and get them resolved as quickly as possible. Also, do NOT open nor close any accounts within at least six months of applying for a mortgage.
  • 3. Budget for closing costs

    Whether you plan to pay for the closing costs up front or are planning to roll them into your mortgage, you need to have an idea of how much your closing costs will be. Be sure to do some research yourself and shop around and compare prices for certain closing expenses, such as homeowners insurance, home inspections and title searches. Also, never be afraid to ask the seller to pay for a portion of your closing costs or negotiating your real estate agent’s commission. Closing costs typically run between 2%-5% of the total loan amount.
  • 4. Budget for move-in costs

    In addition to insurance, inspections, home title, real estate agent’s commission, and all of the other costs involved in buying a home, many people forget that the actual moving process costs money. Be sure to save enough money for things such as cleaning supplies, food to restock your cabinets and refrigerator, new rugs, paint, and anything that you would like to change cosmetically to the home.
  • 5. Know what type of property you want to buy

    Now that you have your budget, it’s time to consider what type of property you want to purchase. If you already have your heart set on a single-family home, then you know you’ll be getting a lot more room with more maintenance. On the flip side of that, you may want to have less work and more amenities, which would steer you toward a condo or town-home.
  • 6. Research mortgage options

    Did you know that a 30-year, fixed rate mortgage isn’t the only option for purchasing a home? If you can afford larger monthly payments, you can get a lower interest rate with a 20-year or 15-year fixed loan. Or you may prefer an adjustable-rate mortgage, which is riskier but guarantees a low interest rate for the first few years of your mortgage. Speak with a GMFS Mortgage  Loan Officer to determine what is best for you and your future. Loan Options
  • 7. Get pre-approved

    Many realtors will not show you homes without a pre-approval letter these days. The pre-approval process shows your realtor how much home you can afford. It also proves to the sellers that you’re serious about purchasing a home, which can give you a leg up over the competition if they do not have a pre-approval letter. Get Started with GMFS Mortgage
  • 8. Hire the right realtor

    Buying a home is stressful enough without having to do your realtor’s job. You need to hire someone who you can get along with and who will work for you! The right realtor should know exactly what you’re looking for, take you to open houses, and schedule home viewings around your schedule.
  • 9. Stay under your pre-approval limit

    Understand that while you can technically buy a home for your pre-approval amount, it is the ceiling of your limit. Instead of maxing out that amount, leave some room for unexpected expenses.
  • 10. Consider more than the obvious

    How long will this home and location meet your family’s needs?
    Is the property in a flood zone?
    Is there any pending new construction or zoning changes that may effect your property value or view?
    Is there any pending new construction or zoning changes that may effect your commute time?
    What is the area like after dark, after a heavy rain and during other seasons?
    Have you researched crime reports and statistics for the area?
    How important is the quality of local schools to you and to potential future buyers?
    If new construction, have you properly budgeted for window treatments, furniture needs, fencing, yard care, landscaping, etc.?
    If there is a Home Owner’s Association have you considered the cost of dues and understand the community rules & restrictions?
    If the home is more than 9 years old, are you prepared for potential major maintenance costs (e.g. appliances, AC, pool, roof, etc.)?
  • 11. Be prepared to compromise

    Don’t get caught up in the paint color, the blind choices, or the terrible wall paper choice. These things are easily and inexpensively changed after buying a home. Think carefully about what is a need and what is a want when negotiating. You NEED to make sure the seller replaces the broken air conditioner, you WANT the color in the living room to be almond instead of yellow.
  • 12. Make a strong offer, but prepared to negotiate

    Your realtor should be experienced and will guide you through the negotiation process. A lot can be up for negotiation in the homebuying process, which can result in major savings. Are there any major repairs you can get the seller to cover, either by fully handling them or by giving you a credit adjustment at closing? Is the seller willing to pay for any of the closing costs? Will it be mutually beneficial to you and the seller to either close sooner or later than normal? If you’re in a buyers market, you may find the seller will bargain with you to get the house off the market. During negotiations try to keep your emotions in check and not take things personally, keeping in mind that at some time in the future your role may be reversed and as a seller you will want to maximize the price you can get for your home.
  • 13. Don't forget homeowners and flood insurance

    Before you close on your new house, your lender will require you to buy homeowners insurance. Shop around to compare for the best price offering the most coverage with a deductible that makes sense for you. Keep in mind that homeowners insurance is not the same as flood insurance. Even if flood insurance is not required for your property, consider the peace of mind offered for the low annual cost. Note that most flood insurance policies only cover your main home structure (not detached buildings) and that contents coverage is typically an optional add-on.
  • 14. Know what is included on your home inspection

    After your offer is accepted, you will need a home inspection. However, not all inspections test for mold, radon, pests, etc. Be sure to know what’s included. Don’t be afraid to ask your inspector to take a look — or a closer look — at something and ask questions. In addition to a professional home inspection, conduct your own inspection. Is the water pressure adequate upstairs? Will you need to replace some flooring? Are there any leaky faucets? Any electrical issues with lots of appliances running at the same time? Any evidence of termite damage or treatment? Any evidence of water damage to the interior/attic ceilings, walls or floors?

Educational Resources

Additional Mortgage Resources (Calculators, FAQ, Glossary, etc.)

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