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What’s New for First-Time Homebuyers?

With the low interest rates on home loans from credit unions and great deals to be had in the housing market, the mantra these days seems to be “now is the time to buy!” If you’re in the market for a home, now is the time to check out the many home mortgage options you have with Navigator Credit Union. You can view credit union loan rates online. And when you’re ready to move ahead, you can apply online for home loans.

Here are some general tips you need to know before becoming a homeowner:

1. Put more money down. While there are still many first-time homebuyer programs out there that require smaller down payments, making a larger down payment of 10% to 20% of the home’s purchase price can be a smart move. Having a larger down payment will show lenders that you are responsible, and may make getting a loan easier. Also, mortgage insurance premiums on low down payment government-backed Federal Housing Administration mortgages doubled from September 2010 to April 2011, and may continue to rise.*

2. Plan to stay longer. As anyone who purchased a home in 2006 planning to sell in three to five years can tell you, a home is not the short-term investment it once was. A sounder plan is to buy with the long term in mind. Don’t buy a home you think you’ll outgrow quickly, or one that requires renovations that may be outside your comfort zone. It’s hard to predict where the housing market will go, but buying a home instead of an investment is always a smart move.

3. Come see us. The changing landscape of the housing market is hard to keep track of, and if you’re thinking of making the leap to homeownership, you’ll want someone experienced on your side. The mortgage professionals at Navigator Credit Union keep abreast of all the latest rules and regulations and can walk through the process of prequalifying for a mortgage. Visit www.navigatorcu.org or call 228-475-7300 for more information.

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Source: The New York Times, Feb. 24, 2011.