Published in The Oklahoman, written by Paula Burkes – January 30, 2020
What does the current housing market look like?
It’s booming nationwide. Unemployment is the lowest it’s been in nearly 50 years, younger generations are beginning to accumulate wealth and start families, and the overall economy is growing — spurring many Americans to buy homes. The share of American households that own their homes increased during the second half of last year and we expect that trend to continue throughout 2020.
What factors determine how much home a buyer can afford?
The best starting point is to speak with a local mortgage banker to obtain a pre-qualification letter that outlines the expected amount, based on your income and debt. This is called your debt ratio, and some loan programs are more flexible than others. Your credit score will be used to determine qualification and may impact your interest rate. Lenders also may analyze your repayment history to evaluate your likeliness to make future payments on time.
What’s included in a total monthly mortgage payment?
Mortgage principal, or the actual amount borrowed to purchase your home and the amount owed to the lender; the interest on the loan; private mortgage insurance, which offsets lender losses in case the loan can’t be repaid; and homeowners insurance and property taxes.
What’s the best type of mortgage?
There are dozens and the best mortgage is different for everyone. The two main types of loans are government-insured mortgage loans and private conventional loans. The former include FHA, which offers fixed interest rates and lower down payments, making it ideal for first-time homebuyers with less savings, and VA, which offers little to no down payment, no mortgage insurance requirements, flexible qualification, and fixed rates, specifically for active military veterans and qualifying spouses. Conversely, private loans are the traditional type of loan with 10-year to 30-year options. It’s beneficial if you have established a credit history and are looking for a long-term home.
About Gateway First Bank
In May of 2019, Gateway Mortgage Group merged with an Oklahoma community bank to create Gateway First Bank. With bank roots dating back over 100 years and a 20-year mortgage history, a new kind of financial institution emerged. Gateway First Bank is a leading financial institution that provides digital banking and mortgage services for consumers and commercial customers. Headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Gateway funds over $7.7 billion in mortgages annually, maintains $1.5 billion in assets, and operates six bank branches in Oklahoma and 160 mortgage centers across America. With over 1,300 employees, Gateway is one of the largest banking and mortgage operations in the United States.
Learn more at www.GatewayFirst.com.
Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender (NMLS 7233)
The original article was published by The Oklahoman on January 30th, 2020, and can be found here.