House-Hunting? Read These Tips From a Loan Officer Before You Buy

Blog featured graphic with image of Fidelity Federal Loan Officer Heather Montgomery

Ups, downs, high prices, higher interest — anyone looking to buy a home right now has had to fasten their seatbelt. 

You may be wondering if it’s really the right time to buy. We sat down with Heather Montgomery, a loan officer at Fidelity Federal, for her take. Here are three things to keep in mind when purchasing in today’s real estate market. 

Tip 1: Don’t Be Afraid to Buy 

Some people are hesitant to make a purchase with interest rates creeping up, but Montgomery advised not to let that stop you. 

“If you find something you like, I wouldn’t be afraid to buy something right now,” said Montgomery. “The market’s still good.” 

She noted that refinancing down the road is always an option if more favorable interest rates become available. Another popular option right now is renovation loans used to update an existing home instead of purchasing a new one. 

Finally, Montgomery said she’s also seeing buyers purchase lots now and plan to wait until rates settle before beginning to build

Tip 2: Consider an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) 

A traditional fixed-rate loan means you’ll owe the same amount of interest throughout the life of the loan. By contrast, an ARM will start at a certain rate typically a lower one than a fixed-rate mortgage for a specified term, but the interest rate will then fluctuate over the course of the loan. 

An ARM can be a good choice if you anticipate interest rates staying the same or dropping over the life of the loan. 

“A lot of people are now doing ARM loans, hoping that the rates will go back down since the rates are currently high,” said Montgomery. “The initial rate is locked in for five full years.” 

Tip 3: Take Advantage of Special Rates and Funds From Fidelity 

First-time homebuyers can access a special mortgage available through Fidelity Federal, which offers a low down payment and no private mortgage insurance (PMI) required. 

There’s also the Welcome Home Program, which will re-open in July 2023 and remain open until funds are depleted. It’s an annual program that offers grants of up to $15,000 for low- and moderate-income homebuyers. The funds can be used to help pay for down payments or closing costs.

This year, the funds will become available on July 6. Honorably discharged veterans, surviving spouses of military personnel, and active-duty military personnel are eligible to receive up to $15,000. All others may receive up to $10,000. 

Explore Mortgage Options From Fidelity Federal 

At Fidelity Federal, we offer personal loan services from origination to payoff. All loans are closed locally. Our loan officers originate, underwrite and close your loan.You’ll never have to talk to a phone center about your home loan concerns.

See Mortgage Options