Earlier this week, our CEO Victor Ciardelli sat down with LifeHacker and curious homebuyers to answer their most pressing questions about buying your first home.
Q: When you make your last payment on your mortgage, what do you need to do to make sure there are no moneys owed and the title gets in your hand?
Victor: Good question! Definitely check in with your lender once you make the last payment to ensure everything has gone through and you have a zero balance. Ask for a copy of the release as well.
Q: I’d like to know – what’s the biggest mistake you see first time homebuyers make?
Victor: Biggest mistake is people who go house shopping without first talking to your lender. Home buyers should make sure to get pre-approved before they start shopping to help figure out what they can afford.
Q: How much is smart to put down when you buy a home, especially for a first time buyer, assuming my credit score is above 700 and I have no bad marks or outstanding debt?
Victor: There are two schools of thought here: 1) Put down 20% to get the best rates, lower monthly payments and have significant equity in the home and 2) you can take advantage of government programs that allow you to put as little as 3.5% down, you’ll get low rates and you’ll have extra cash to pay off other debts or to fix up your house. What’s best depends on each individual’s situation, so talk to your lender to see what’s best for you. For starters, check out our “Demystifying the Mortgage Process” eBook for more info.