Mortgages and home buying: What to know

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich (WOTV) – The housing market in West Michigan offers great opportunities to make your next move, whether it’s buying your first home, upgrading, or changing housing styles.  Lots of people are considering their options when it comes to housing…either moving to a new house or looking at refinancing for a better cash position and home improvements.  Either way, with mortgage rates still very low and an affordable housing market, it’s a good time to consider your options.


  • Take your time and do your research. Don’t overstretch your finances. Remember there are other impacts than the monthly mortgage payment such as insurance, utilities, maintenance, and property taxes.   All things to take into consideration for affordability now and tomorrow.
  • Very important to make sure you get the mortgage that is right for you. Use a lender that provides you with good quality financial advice.  It’s always a good practice to use local professionals – they know the market.  Some credit unions and banks have unique mortgage programs that are designed to save you time and money, check them out.
  • Not sure about refinancing – not sure if this is an option? Contact your lender to find out more.  Know that there are programs out there to help you, and in most cases, there is no cost or obligation to find out your options.

Most Important…Deal only with a reputable local lender.  It only makes sense to work with your local financial institution that you trust.  While there are many internet mortgage lenders, keep in mind that your home is one of the biggest investments you will make and it needs to work financially in your favor. Your local financial institution provides you with personal service, local market expertise, and most of all, is safe and secure.  Your mortgage remains local and not somewhere on the internet.  This is very important when you want to make changes, sell your home, or consider leveraging the equity you may have.

There are a wide variety of home loans for purchase, refinance, vacant land, vacation homes and home equities.

First Step for any Buyer:

Get a mortgage preapproval. With a preapproval, you will know what you qualify for, how much of a home you can buy and how that fits into your budget.  If you’re concerned that you might not qualify for a mortgage, we highly recommend that you go for pre-approval. It will put your mind at ease while you search for your new home and make the entire experience much less worrisome.

Preapproval letters confirm that a mortgage lender has verified that you’re approved for a mortgage of a certain amount over a fixed timeframe. They remove some of the uncertainty in the home-buying process to help you concentrate on finding the right home for you.

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