HUNTSVILLE, Alabama (WAFF) – June is National Homeownership Month, a time dedicated to helping interested buyers navigate the home buying process.
“With a large percentage of people still working from home, I think homeownership has become more important,” said Drew Miller, Head of Financial Relations and Welfare at Regions Bank.
Miller is helping people in northern Alabama prepare to get that first key and encourage potential buyers to use Regions Next step, the bank’s financial education program.
“We try to give people as much information as possible so that they come into the process informed and educated,” Miller said. “That way there are no surprises in the home buying process.”
As you enter the market, Miller has a few key suggestions. He said the first step is to understand the costs of buying a home, apart from the purchase price. For example, Miller said people need to factor in the down payment, closing costs, and home inspection.
Following these steps will help you determine how much you can afford, another key step in the home buying process.
“You want to make sure that you are comfortable and that you can still maintain your lifestyle while you are buying a home,” Miller said.
Miller recommends speaking with a licensed mortgage advisor throughout the process to make sure you find the right programs.
“A lot of people aren’t even aware of the types of loans available as part of the mortgage process,” Miller said. “There are loans that don’t require a down payment. If you are an active military or a veteran, the VA loan is something very popular for this group of people.
Check out the free mortgage calculators available at Regions.com for more help.
Miller also wants potential buyers to know that down payments shouldn’t stop you from getting into the market. If you talk to the right professionals, you should be able to make a plan.
“Get their advice. Maybe they can help you set goals that you can achieve over the next three, six, or nine months that you can actually have that down payment, ”Miller said.
Another tip for people who are looking for a new home: get pre-approved.
“You will be able to come in, basically with a letter saying that you are pre-approved and that will really help the seller move forward with you instead of someone else who is not pre-approved,” Miller said.
Finally, Miller said that maintaining good credit is vital.
“The government actually allows people to withdraw their credit on a weekly basis, until April 2022,” Miller said. “And that’s super important because it keeps you on top of your credit, to monitor your credit.”
If you want to know more about managing your credit, you can join a free “Your Credit Report” Webinar via the next step of the regions.
REGIONS NEXT STAGE SURVEY
According to a recent homeownership survey conducted by Regions Next Step, consumer sentiment about homeownership has changed, in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, the survey found that people prioritize space over location.
Here are the details, according to Regions News Online.
- About one in five Americans (21%) plan to buy their first or next home or apartment in the next 12 months.
- When asked to select all of the items on their wishlist, the top two responses were to have room for family or friends (30%) and want a large outdoor space (28%).
- Only 16% had lived in a fun, vibrant place on their wishlist.
The survey also found that potential buyers need help navigating the home buying process, which is why Regions Next Step plays an important role, Miller said.
“The advantage of everything we have on our Next Step page is that it’s open to the general public,” Miller said. “You don’t need to have a Regions account to access any of these tools or information. “
The Regions Next Step page offers a variety of free homeownership tools and resources, including podcasts, calculators, courses, and articles.
Miller is encouraging interested homebuyers to participate in a live webinar on June 23. You will learn about the mortgage application process as well as the pros and cons of owning a home.
Check out the Regions Next Step website here: Regions.com/NextStepHomeOwnership.
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