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Home Loan FAQ's

As you consider buying a home you should learn about your financing options, what's available in terms of grants, down payment assistance, and types of loans. We hope this easy guide clarifies the many questions you have as a buyer.

Home Loans for First Time Buyers

No Money Down USDA Home Loans: A USDA home loan is part of the Guaranteed Rural Housing Program, and the rules are simple. Request a USDA No Money Down Home Loan on this page, (even if you're not in Ohio) and then find a home on our Ohio Homes No Money Down page. Just choose a county, then a community to browse the homes available.

♦  VA loans: are for military men and women, and also a means of buying a home with no down payment. You can request VA financing of a home on this page through our Home Loan Services.

♦  FHA Loans: This is the perfect answer for most first time buyers, if the home is not in a USDA or OHFA designated area, FHA loans are only 3.5% down on a residential property and can include funds for repairs. Get an FHA Home Loan. You can still get a grant to save the down payment expense with an FHA loan.

♦  Conventional Loans: Conventional home loans are simply traditional loans, in most cases 20% is put down.

Grants for First Time Buyers

$2,500 to $20,000 grants are often available to first time buyers and offered by cities and counties. Typically part of an ongoing government projects to stablize neighborhoods and protect property values.

Do you need a grant to buy a home?

Down Payment Assistance

We can help with down payment assistance in any state. States offer different types of down payment assistance, in Ohio it's OHFA (Ohio Housing and Finance Authority) and grants 2.5% of the final sales price of the home towards the down payment. Very convenient if you're already down to 3.5%, leaving you to only come up with 1% for a down payment. We help those seeking down payment assistance in any state. We can help with programs in your area.

Do you need down payment assistance?

What is earnest money?

Earnest money is a good faith sum that accompanies any offer. Earnest money is deposited only when your offer is accepted, and into the real estate brokerage's depository account for safe keeping, and your receive the amount back at the closing table. Should inspections reveal repairs or damage that are unacceptable, you have the right to your earnest money back. This requires the agent to make the offer contingent upon satisfactory inspections with an inspection addendum. Should you fail to perform your end of the contract with financing or funding, you forfeit the earnest money to the seller.

Earnest money helps the seller have faith in the buyer, and is compensation should a buyer not be able to follow through on the purchase. Typical amounts are $500, but can range much higher especially with luxury homes.

Bad Credit Home Loans?

If you're concerned about your credit health, we encourage you to apply for a loan regardless. Let our experts take a look and we do have lending associates that can work with lower credit scores. If the score is too low we have an excellent program offered by our credit service partners to fix bad credit.

We hope this was helpful to you, Home Experts Realty.


Home Loan Services

 Pre-Approvals for First Time Buyers with Little or No Money Down

home-loans-for-first-time-buyers_211Our Home Loan Services can save First Time Buyers thousands. Our expert lending partners work with First Time Buyers and pre-approve: No Money Down loans like USDA and VA. ♦ Down Payment Assistance Loans ♦ FHA 3.5% Low Down Payment Loans ♦ First Time Buyer Grants ♦ Credit Issues ♦ Getting Closing Costs Covered.

Grants and Down Payment Assistance for First Time Buyers.











We can help, even if you have ...

  • Filed bankruptcy in the last 2 years.
  • Filed Chapter 13.
  • Had a foreclosed loan or short-sale service in the last 3 years or delinquencies on your current home loan.
  • Had any charge-offs, repossessions, actions by collection services, or judgements on your credit report.
  • Had any tax liens or other types of liens filed against you.
  • Have a lot of old or inaccurate information on your credit report.
  • Received a credit score at 600 or below.

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Buying your own home is exciting and for some, it can be overwhelming. Before you begin, it is important to consider several factors. Buying a home is one of the largest financial investments you make in life, so it's wise to be well prepared. Home Experts Realty will help you with each step, and simplify complex processes for you. Go Back to Home Loan Services.

Renting or owning, what's best for you? While owning a home may seem the better option, that might not necessarily be the case for everyone. The important thing to consider is all the factors, both good and bad, that come with home ownership. Once you have made your comparisons between renting and owning you are then ready to make the best decision for your unique circumstances. Owning is often less expensive than renting, provides tax benefits, and in most cases improves your credit profile. Our Home Loan Services and preferred lending partners guide you through safely.

How much home can you afford? It's important when buying a home to secure a comfortable monthly payment. Home ownership should not be a financial stress. We don't want you to buy a home, only to be in jeopardy later. After you have considered the contributing factors and conclude that home ownership is the best choice, you're next step is to figure your comfortable monthly payment, and that will determine your price range, and give you a starting point for your property search. Knowing what you can afford will help drive your property search with focus.

What type of home is right for you? Once you have determined affordability, consider the type of home and what community or neighborhood is the best match for your specific needs. Before you begin your property search, have you considering the differences between a single-family home, a condominium or other housing choices? Give it some thought and you'll save valuable time and frustration.

Put the power of the experts on your side. Buying a home doesn't have to be an emotionally straining endeavor. Surround yourself with our team of professionals who's valuable industry expertise will help you achieve the dream of home ownership. Your Home Experts Realty preferred lenders and Realtors have the knowledge and experience to simplify the process, protect your best interests and save you thousands. Find a home on this site, and just click "inquire" or "schedule a showing" and you'll be matched with an expert local Realtor familiar with the local market and buying process. Go Back to Home Loan Services.


Being Prepared. Evaluate how prepared you currently are for a home purchase. Perhaps you have been making steps towards this goal for a while or maybe this is all new to you. Either way, how you have prepared for home buying will be a major factor for which loan program you choose. Our lenders can guide you. Do you have an amount for a down payment? What is your income to debt ratio? How is your credit status? Go Back to Home Loan Services.

Your Monthly Payment. Your next concern starts to be which loan program fits your needs and how to structure your monthly mortgage payments. Our lenders can change the type of approval you have depending on the home in question if needed. Before moving forward, you'll want to consider those items that comprise your monthly payment and factors that influence them.

PITI: Principal, Interest, Taxes and Insurance. The initial amount you borrow for a home purchase, and outstanding balance for the life of the mortgage loan is called the PRINCIPAL. The charge for the loan is the INTEREST you pay. TAXES are collected into an escrow account, assessed by your local government and then typically paid to your lender as a portion of your payment. Lenders then pay these taxes to the government upon their due date. INSURANCE is handled similar to your taxes and is collected by your lender and placed a separate escrow account. Home Owners Insurance is comprised of two types of coverage. Homeowner's insurance protects your investment from damage inflicted by unanticipated hazards such as (but not limited to) wind, fire, floods and earthquakes. Mortgage insurance (PMI) typically is required for those making a smaller down payment on their loan; and protects your lender in the instance that you are unable to fulfill the mortgage requirements.

Interest Rates, a Common Concern. One of the issues that most concerns homeowners is their mortgage interest rate. This is for good reason as the interest rate directly affects the monthly payments for the life of the loan. Because of this, home buyers search for steps they can take to obtain the lowest rate available. Our preferred lenders offer very competitive rates, and lower closing costs which Home Experts Realty is very successful at getting covered for you. Contributing factors to the interest rate include whether the home buyer decides to select a fixed or adjustable rate pay discount points, choose a short or long term loan. There are other special considerations our lenders will guide you with. Go Back to Home Loan Services.

Mortgage Calculator with PMI and Taxes


You've made your decision to buy a home, you've done the homework and now you're prepared. Now it's time to obtain a pre-approval so you can move forward on a purchase and have the ability to make on offer on a home. Pre-Approval is necessary before you can even think of making an offer on a home.  Go Back to Home Loan Services.

Why Bother? Sellers will not even entertain your offer without a pre-approval letter from a lender, they required it so they are satisfied you can actually follow through on buying their home or property. It may seem frustrating to add a step before you go house hunting, however, there are several advantages to being prequalified. You wouldn't want to find the perfect home, only to watch it sell to another prepard buyer in the time it takes you to get your prequalification letter.

Getting the 'green light'. Common sense dictates you wouldn't just dive into a pool without knowing how deep it is, so you wouldn't want to go house hunting without knowing how much you could afford. That would be pointless. Once you have determined that buying a home is your best option and you know what a comfortable monthly payment for you is, it's the perfect time to talk with with our Home Loan Services about being prequalified.

Pre-Approval. In a prequalification letter, the lender has been provided the buyer's financial details and after details have been verified, agrees to furnish a home loan to the buyer. A credit report is not necessary at this point in the process.

Credit issues and challenges that may prevent qualification are discovered and addressed early in the process when you ask for a pre-approval. You can then shop the housing market confidently because you know where you stand, and the financial backing that is available to you. Home sellers typically see more strength in offers from prequalified buyers, and won't consider offers without a prequalification letter attached. Prequalification letters provide sellers with confidence that the lender is willing to move forward with the loan. Go Back to Home Loan Services.


With the groundwork laid and the financial backing that comes from being prequalified with our home loan services in place, you can begin the house hunt with confidence. Find the home of your dreams with our property search. You can easily customize a detailed property search and find exact features you require. Find the link at top of the our site. Simply click "Inquire"  or "Schedule a Showing" on any property on one of our expert licensed Realtors local to the area and market will respond and assist you. Go Back to Home Loan Services.


At some point of your search, you'll know. You'll know when you find the home that best fits you and your needs. When you find a great match, you'll want to take those next steps that can make that home yours. Go Back to Home Loan Services.

Purchasing a home is one of the few transactions that involves heavy negotiations. A Home Experts Realtor is a valuable resource to have on your side as you determine the appropriate initial offer to extend. Again, simply find the homes and properties on our site,  just click "Inquire" or "Schedule a Showing" and one of our local expert agents will assist you.

During this part of the process, you'll need to consider the following: To demonstrate financial backing and genuineness of your offer, you'll want to have the pre-approval letter from our home loan services to submit with it. For your protection, our expert Realtors will facilitate all your negotiations in writing. This provides a complete record of deals, details and decisions made, and help clarify any misunderstandings. To show the seller the seriousness of your offer, you will submit an earnest money check, or "good faith" deposit with your offer. This is only deposited in an escrow holding account if your offer is accepted and due back to you at closing. While the amount varies depending on your location, the typical amount is $500-$1,000.

Prior to closing. As you come to the closing stage, you've entered the final stretch. At this point, you'll want to be sure to you cover a few things. Our preferred lenders will guide you:

  • Review the loan commitment with your Home Expert Realty preferred lender and be sure you understand your loan's rate terms and review any additional established requirements and details.
  • Obtain hom eowners' insurance and, if required flood insurance. Home Experts Realty recommends Meridian Insurance for quality coverage with great savings. See our "Help for Buyers" link above. Using your loan commitment and purchase agreement as guides, work with your Realtor to establish a closing date, time and location.
  • Make your preparations for moving.
  • Do a final inspection of the home you are about to purchase. Once you're handed the keys, you have no recourse.
  • Confirm that you meet all the guidelines and required conditions of the purchase agreement established by the selling entity.
  • Bring the total owed for closing costs in the form of a certified or cashiers' check to your closing appointment. Typically, personal checks and/or cash are not acceptable. Your Home Experts Realtor will review the final settlement documentation and provide you with an exact amount.

The Purchase Agreement. A legally binding contract between the buyer and the seller of the property, the purchase agreement outlines all terms and features of the final transaction. This can include:

  • The property address and legal description.
  • The final sales price, total loan amount, down payment and deposit.
  • The names of every party involved including the buyer, seller, buyer's agent, seller's agent, the mortgage broker/banker and any attorneys.
  • Time limitations applicable to the transaction. Any contingencies that must be addressed prior to completion of the transaction (such as the sale of the buyer's current home.)
  • Issues revealed during the home inspection that might need to be repaired, etc.)

Because of special and unique features of every home transaction and the varying needs of each home buyer and home seller, purchase contracts are not exactly the same. One of our expert licensed Realtors, a title company representative may assist in the negotiations and execution of a purchase contract.

The Closing Date. As the closing appointment draws near, the more you will want to know what to expect at the closing table. Every transaction is unique, and your Home Experts Realtor will keep you informed. Go Back to Home Loan Services.


We can help, even if you have ...

  • Filed bankruptcy in the last 2 years.
  • Filed Chapter 13.
  • Had a foreclosed loan or short-sale service in the last 3 years or delinquencies on your current home loan.
  • Had any charge-offs, repossessions, actions by collection services, or judgements on your credit report.
  • Had any tax liens or other types of liens filed against you.
  • Got a lot of old or inaccurate information on your credit report.
  • Received a credit score at 600 or below.

Home Loans ♦ First Time Buyers ♦ No Money Down Loans

Go Back to Home Loan Services