No Place Like Home
Discover how to make the most of the investment in your home with Arvest Bank.
Pictured above: left to right… Carmen Schaunaman ~ NMLS #1134049, Paul England ~ NMLS #403942, Bridget Oelklaus-Gering ~ NMLS #559055 and John Kelley II ~ NMLS #1484736
Story by Ann Butenas | Sponsored Content
There is something so beautiful and impactful about owning a home. Along with the pride of ownership comes a myriad of other benefits. Consider the appreciation factor. Granted, real estate values do fluctuate and rotate in cycles, but recently the housing values have appreciated and it appears to be on a rather steady track in that regard.
Further, when you own a home, you can take advantage of many tax benefits*. The tax rates favor homeowners, and the mortgage interest may be deductible, provided your mortgage balance is less than the price of your home. Also, each month a portion of your monthly payment is put towards the loan’s principal balance, thereby reducing your obligation. The longer you remain in your home, the more equity you may accumulate.
Home ownership definitely gives you financial flexibility. It is not only a valuable asset, but it can also provide you with a source of collateral when you want to borrow funds for other matters. Further, when you own a home, you not only enjoy the pride of ownership but you also enjoy the financial rewards. If you are considering purchasing a home, the experts at Arvest Bank can help guide you to your new front door.
So, let’s take a bit of a deeper dive into the idea of purchasing a home, which represents not only a lifestyle for you, but also one of the biggest investments you will ever make in your lifetime.
Understand Your Buying Power
Are you at a crossroads when it comes to home ownership? Are you wondering if you should buy a home now or in the near future? Is it the right time to purchase a home? Should I wait for a bit instead? Jason Peters, NMLS #402102, Mortgage Lending Manager and Vice President of Arvest Bank, stands in a position to help you make that major decision, guiding you to follow the path that is right for you and your situation, needs and desires.
“We are not real estate experts but we give the best advice on the lending side,” emphasized Peters. “We are here to help clients understand how to maximize their affordability. This is especially important for first-time buyers so that they can understand all of the components that go into buying a home.”
Peters explained many considerations go into the “How much home can I afford” equation. You should start with the highest payment you can afford and then work through the cost breakdown. Monthly insurance, annual property tax, and any applicable home association dues may factor into your monthly payments. Then, you will want to determine how much of a down payment you can afford and the term of the loan and corresponding interest rate.
Peters indicated some individuals do experience payment shock for the first time. However, the loan experts at Arvest are on hand to confidently help clients navigate this part of the process.
“When you apply for a loan, it is not about what you can qualify for but about what you can afford,” he noted. “We reset expectations as to what clients can afford. We help them to understand what they qualify for but also educate them on other matters, such as unforeseen repairs they might have to make down the road and how this might impact them.”
Paul England ~ NMLS #403942 and Bridget Oelklaus-Gering ~ NMLS #559055
Rent or Own: Deciding the Best Route for You
Should I rent or should I own? No matter the decision, it can affect your overall lifestyle and the health of your financial affairs. That can be a challenging question for some people. Renting does offer flexibility and regular monthly expenses, as well as someone else to tackle the repairs. However, owning a home is viewed as an investment that not only allows you to build equity but also acts as a source of various tax deductions*.
“Everyone’s situation is unique,” expressed Peters. “Overall, home affordability today is more attainable. We are here to help people understand what they can afford.”
Long-term, buying a home is typically less expensive then renting. When you rent a home, you are making payments on property you do not own. That means you are not building any equity. Granted, a home is a significant investment initially, but over the course of time, it can be a more affordable option.
Home ownership allows you to build wealth. When you rent, you are essentially building someone else’s wealth. The appreciation in real estate can provide substantial returns. More than just a place to live, a home is a valuable asset.
Carmen Schaunaman ~ NMLS #1134049 and John Kelley II ~ NMLS #1484736
Understand Your Loan Options to Maximize Your Buying Power
If you are interested in purchasing a home, Peters recommended setting up a meeting with a mortgage officer at Arvest Bank to discuss your options. There are a variety of programs available, including first time programs based on income limits with no down payment for eligible customers.
“There is the myth that you have to put 20% down when purchasing a home, but that is not the case,” emphasized Peters. “There are a variety of loan options available to buyers at all levels, from first time buyers to existing buyers. We help find the best loan product for the buyer’s situation.”
A conventional mortgage is typically geared for individuals with good credit scores and who can afford a larger down payment. These loans also come with fewer restrictions. An FHA loan is ideal for those who cannot afford a large down payment, making it easier to qualify for this loan. These are backed by the Federal Housing Administration with some down payments as low as 3.5%.
VA loans assist eligible veterans with the purchase of a home. These come with 100% financing availability and different underwriting requirements for eligible customers. Rural development loans require zero down payment and are 100% financed with a minimal monthly mortgage insurance. Other programs include physician loans, jumbo loans, standard non-conforming loans, and condominium loans.
“We educate borrowers on different loan options to help them get the best offer,” said Peters. “All situations are unique. There are also many options available to homeowners to reduce the monthly cost once the home has been purchased. We just have to examine whether it makes sense from an affordability standpoint versus a savings standpoint.”
Have Your Lender Help You Maximize Your Buying Power
Having accessibility to a local loan officer is one of the biggest advantages to working with a local lender. A full-service bank, Arvest Bank helps clients prepare for all of their financial needs.
“At Arvest Bank, we service 99% of our loans and are here for our clients even after the loan closes. We also offer a variety of online options and tools for your convenience. It all boils down to giving our clients peace of mind,” said Peters.