Home Buying During Challenging Times
May 12, 2023 Mortgage
Make your dream of home ownership a reality
By Melinda Golde
Senior Vice President and Director of Mortgage Banking Division
Stock Yards Bank
Buying a home can be an intimidating experience, whether it’s your first purchase or you’ve been through the process multiple times. I’ve spent more than 25 years with Stock Yards Bank, most of those in mortgage lending. I love helping people achieve their dreams of home ownership, which is possible during both economic highs and lows. Counseling buyers through this experience is in my DNA.
Understandably, the current housing market is creating anxiety for some potential home buyers. I always share these tips to ease their concerns and help open the door to a successful home buying experience.
For most people, buying a home is the biggest financial purchase of their lifetime. Allow yourself plenty of time to research your options, both in selecting a property and determining the financing options that work best for your needs. There are many new programs available to first-time home buyers who may not be able to afford the traditional 20% down payment.
For instance, Stock Yards Bank offers the Right at Home Program, designed for borrowers who are interested in going from renting to owning a home. Other options such as FHA and VA loans, offer low down payments and closing costs, as well as more favorable qualifying terms.
Interest rates have risen in recent months and are continuing to fluctuate, but don’t let that alarm you. Rates were in the double digits when I started in the business; the range we see now is manageable for the majority of buyers, and signs point to stability in the short term.
We advise first time home buyers to reflect carefully about what they can truly afford. That can mean broadening or narrowing the search for properties to meet an affordable price point.
The good news is, once you lock in a mortgage rate, you know what you’ll be paying for the foreseeable future, versus the likely probability of rent increases. Home ownership allows you to begin building personal wealth sooner and, at the same time, build equity and credit that can help shape a brighter financial future.
Do your own homework, then talk to the pros.
Buyers have a wealth of information available to them online, making it much easier to search for rates and financing. You can lock in an interest rate on your phone now, which helps buyers to pre-qualify for a home purchase in many cases.
But with so much information at your fingertips, first-time home buyers don’t speak to a lender until the closing, limiting the opportunity to ask questions and explore all the financing options available.
At Stock Yards Bank, we work to ensure that the mortgage process is personal and customized for every buyer. Programs like our Home-Work First Time Home Buyers Seminar — offered by our team of experienced loan officers in communities where we do business in Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio — includes topics including establishing credit, pre-qualification and pre-approval, types of loan products, and more. Visit our website or social media channels for information about upcoming seminars, which are offered.
Making your dream a reality: Let’s talk.
If home ownership is your goal, Stock Yards Bank wants to help you achieve it. Even with fluctuating rates and limited housing stock, owning a home is still within reach. Talk to a trusted lender and get ready to forge ahead.
Loans subject to credit approval and Stock Yards Bank lending policies. Restrictions apply. Speak to a loan officer for details.