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The Basics

What to Know Before You Buy a Home

Buying a home can be complicated, but it doesn’t need to be. Arm yourself with the knowledge you need to be an informed home buyer, starting with the basics.

Finding a Place to Grow Old

Rich and Sara weren’t sure they would ever be able to buy a house, but with a young child and a second baby on the way, they knew it was time to find a place where they could put down roots.

Buying a home can be scary, but if you’re willing to #BeBrave, it can change your life. Watch more inspiring stories of homeownership on our #BeBrave video page.

Learn More About Buying a House

Take the mystery out of buying a home with these resources. Learn which home loan options are right for you and how the mortgage process works.

First-Time Home Buyers

If you’re buying a home for the first time, you probably have a lot of questions about the mortgage process. Whether you want to talk to an expert or find answers online, we’re here to help you get started. Here’s a list of links we’ve put together just for first-time home buyers:

Find Out What Your Mortgage Could Be

  • Use our calculator – What price range are you looking at? How’s your credit? Find out how much home you can afford and what your monthly payment might be with our purchase calculator.
  • See today’s rates – Your mortgage rate depends on many factors, such as your credit, home price and down payment. Look at a snapshot of today’s rates, and don’t forget to read the assumptions to see how the rates are computed.
  • Get real numbers with Rocket Mortgage – Rocket Mortgage is our fast, powerful and completely online way to get a mortgage. Automatically share your financial info to get a real, custom mortgage solution based on today’s rates. Then, you can easily move forward with your preapproval letter and start shopping for homes.

Types of Loans

We’ll personalize a mortgage just for your situation. Check out some of our most popular mortgages and home buying programs.

  • FHA loan – The easiest way to qualify for a home loan, an FHA loan gives you a government-insured loan with flexible choices, such as a down payment as low as 3.5%.
  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage – A standard of the mortgage world, a fixed-rate loan is a great option for home buyers looking for a rate that stays the same over the life of their loan.
  • VA loan – Active duty military personnel, veterans and their qualifying family members are eligible for special benefits with a VA loan, such as no down payment and a low interest rate.
  • Jumbo loan – If you need a mortgage between $424,100 and $3 million, we offer flexible rates and terms to help you get the loan that’s right for you.
  • Compare all home loan options – Not sure what kind of loan is right for you? Check out our comparison page.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much house can I afford?

Start with how much you want to spend each month on housing. Most budgets call for earmarking 28% of your post-tax income for house payments, including your homeowners insurance and property tax. For example, if your annual income after taxes is $60,000, 28% of that is $16,800, or $1,400 per month. However, every situation is different. Maybe you have costs in your monthly budget that affect your bottom line, such as childcare, car payments or student loans – the important thing is to find a monthly payment that you’re comfortable with.

Talk to a Home Loan Expert or use our mortgage calculator to see how the numbers add up based on today’s mortgage rates.

Should I buy a house?

If you’re thinking about buying a home, there are a number of factors that can help you decide if now is the right time. Are mortgage rates low? Are you planning to live in the same city for at least five years? Are rents rising in your city? Do you want to customize your home? If the answer to most of these questions is “yes,” then buying a home is a good option for you.

What are closing costs?

Mortgage closing costs, also known as settlement costs, are fees charged for services that must be performed to process and close your loan application. Examples of mortgage closing costs include title fees, recording fees, appraisal fees, credit report fees, pest inspection fees, attorney’s fees, taxes and surveying fees. The closing cost of a loan will vary depending on your geographic location.

Lenders are required by law to provide you with two documents – the Loan Estimate and the Closing Disclosure – which outline your closing costs and help you avoid surprises at the closing table. For more information regarding the loan process through Quicken Loans, call (800) 251-9080 to talk with a Home Loan Expert today.

Do I need a real estate agent? How do I find one?

At first, you may think you don’t need a real estate agent to buy a home. But when you find yourself sifting through papers you don’t understand, you may want to reconsider. There are many things you’ll gain from hiring a real estate agent when house hunting: access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) database, an experienced home price negotiator, legal protection and someone who can fill out all the detailed paperwork for you.

The preferred real estate partner of Quicken Loans, In-House Realty, makes finding a trusted real estate agent quick and easy with their nationwide network of preferred agents. They’ll match you with a real estate agent in your area at no cost, regardless of whether you’re buying or selling a home.

How do I manage buying and selling a house at the same time?

Selling your home while simultaneously buying a new one can be a daunting task, but it CAN be done successfully! First, enlist the help of an experienced real estate agent in your area, or contact our partner, In-House Realty, to get started. You’ll need a professional who understands the dynamics of your unique needs and can handle both sales accurately and expeditiously.

Next, use your negotiating power to extend the window before your closing date. Instead of the typical 45 days before closing, extend your time to 60 or 90 days to ensure you have time to find a home that best suits the needs of you and your family. Most of the time, homeowners need to sell their home first to financially qualify to buy a new home. If the sale isn’t completed first, and you have to temporarily own two homes, you may want to consider short-term financing, such as a bridge loan.