Norwood Bank has helped many people buy their first home, so our residential lending team knows how exciting—and potentially overwhelming—that process can be. If you are considering a home purchase, it pays to educate yourself on what to expect, from mortgages to moving day. Begin with the trusted online resources below, and consider enrolling in one of the free, no-obligation First-Time Homebuyer seminars offered by our home loan experts at Norwood Bank.
Online Resources on Credit & Housing
Not all online information on mortgage loans and the home-buying process is accurate. The following websites provide reliable facts about credit, debt, successful personal financial management and the home-buying process.
- National Foundation for Credit Counseling
- NeighborWorks America
- HUD Counseling Offices in Massachusetts
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
- Annual Credit Report
Getting Pre-Approved for a Mortgage Loan
In order to determine the price range of a home you can afford to buy, you can start by talking to our residential loan officers about how much you can borrow. By getting pre-approved for a mortgage loan, you know exactly how much you can spend, and you have the bank’s agreement to make the loan. (This is an advantage over being “pre-qualified,” which means you have demonstrated creditworthiness, but have not yet been promised a mortgage loan.) Pre-approval allows you to quickly make an offer on a property you want.
What Does a Loan Officer Consider When Approving a Mortgage Loan?
When you apply for a mortgage at Norwood Bank, the residential lending team will consider these factors:
- Your income, including the duration and stability of your job: Will you be able to make mortgage payments each month?
- Debt: What debt payments are you already making, for example, car loan or student loan? What can you afford to pay for a mortgage each month, given these other obligations?
- Credit history: Have you paid your bills on time in the past? What is your credit score?
- Down payment: Do you have money set aside for a down payment?
Once your creditworthiness has been established, your loan officer will help you select a mortgage with terms that meet your needs, from length to monthly payment amount to interest rate and closing costs. Norwood Bank offers a wide range of mortgage programs to meet the needs of all types of first-time homebuyers.
Next Steps in the Home Buying Process
Once you know much money you can borrow to finance your home purchase, you will follow this path:
- Find a broker: Choose someone who understands your needs and honors your price range. Talk with him or her about location and type of property, and wish-list items vs. requirements.
- Find an attorney: Your lawyer can help you make an offer on a property, review sales agreements, help ensure the property has correct title insurance and help manage the closing.
- Find your new home! Be patient—sometimes it takes awhile to find the right home for you.
- Find an appraiser: If you want a second opinion on the value of a property before making an offer, hire a real estate appraiser to determine an appropriate price.
- Make an offer: Your attorney and broker will convey your offer to the seller and help with any negotiations. When your offer is accepted, all parties will agree on a closing date.
- Get insurance: Select an agent to help you determine what coverage your new property requires. Be sure to ask about additional coverage for valuables such as jewelry or computers, and for damage caused by floods or earthquakes, which many homeowners’ policies do not cover.
- Waiting to close: Finalize your mortgage documents with the bank; hire a mover; contact utilities to turn on service at the new property; change your address with the Post Office; pack; review closing documents with your attorney.
- Closing day: Do your final pre-sale walk-through of the property. Don’t forget to take a certified check for your closing costs to the closing meeting.
- Celebrate! Enjoy your first day in your new home!