- Purchase & Refinance Options
- First Time Homebuyers
- Home Equity Loans & Lines of Credit
- HomeAdvantage Program
- Mortgage Assistance
Are you actively looking for your first home? Or maybe just starting to think about it? Here’s a quick presentation on things to consider about planning for home ownership.
Learning more about the benefits of owning a home can make the process of buying a home less intimidating. To summarize, you should:
- Learn about your past
- Know your credit history
- Define your budget
- Set goals
Take a few moments to reflect on these questions, then utilize our Loan Consultants to help find the answers you need or learn about our various loan options on your own.
1. Delve Into Your Past
Know your credit scores1 and employment history.
2. Determine Your Present
How much can you spend? What kind of place would you like to call home?
3. Define Your Future
Based on what you know about your past employment history, try to project what your income level might be: 1-3 years, 5-10 years, 15-30 years in the future. You should also consider future family growth because the loan you choose today can affect your life tomorrow.
Benefits of Home Ownership
Although the real estate market moves in cycles – sometimes up, sometimes down – over the years, real estate has consistently appreciated.
Mortgage Interest Deductions
Home ownership is a superb tax shelter, and our tax rates favor homeowners. As long as your mortgage balance is smaller than the price of your home (and the improvements you’ve made) mortgage interest is fully deductible on your tax return. Interest is the largest component of your mortgage payment.1
Property Tax Deductions
Real estate property taxes paid for a first home are fully deductible for income tax purposes.1
How to Get a FREE Full Credit Report: AnnualCreditReport.com provides consumers with the secure means to request and obtain a FREE credit report once every 12 months from each of the three major credit reporting agencies, in accordance with the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT Act). Visit AnnualCreditReport.com or call (877) 322-8228 to order.
Please consult a tax advisor about mortgage interest and property tax deductibility.
Types of Rates
Whether you’re in the market to purchase a new property – or preparing to refinance an existing one – it’s always good to understand the choices that may present themselves.
Looking for some stability in your loan? Maintain the original interest rate throughout the entire life of the loan in 30- and 15-year terms.
This ‘traditional’ type of loan maintains its original interest rate throughout the entire life of the loan. Therefore, fluctuations in market rates over the term of the loan won’t have any impact on the loan payment.
Typically, interest rates on shorter term fixed-rate mortgages are lower than their longer term counterparts.
Get a loan where the initial interest rate is set for 3 or 5 years. With lower than standard fixed rates, your initial payments will be lower and adjust later.
Unlike a fixed-rate mortgage, adjustable-rate mortgages are subject to rate adjustments during the life of the loan. Because of this, they have lower initial interest rates than fixed-rate mortgages.
The lower rates (and the accompanying lower monthly payment) can help the borrower qualify for a higher loan amount. Typically, interest rates on adjustable-rate mortgages with shorter initial fixed-rate periods are lower than their longer initial fixed-rate period counterparts.
SF Fire Credit Union Lending Practices
As a community-based organization whose primary goal is to protect its members, we choose not to make sub-prime loans. Sub-prime loans can be defined as those which do not meet Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac guidelines, and they are much riskier for both lenders and consumers. (Examples of sub-prime loans include Alt-A, Stated Income, and NegAm.) The credit union has always followed strict underwriting criteria which meet the guidelines set forth by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. By taking this proactive stance, we are helping to insure the financial well-being of the broader community.
Equal Housing Lender
SF Fire Credit Union is an Equal Housing Lender. We do business in accordance with the Federal Fair Housing Law and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. Find out more by clicking here.