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First Time Homebuyer Information

Buying your first home is an exciting and challenging time. As you embark on this major purchase, there are a few things to help you make this purchase a very simple and hassle free transaction.

First Time Homebuyer Tips:

  • Get Pre-Approved! Nothing is more disappointing then falling in love with a home that you cannot afford.
  • Set a budget! Know how much you feel comfortable paying each month for a mortgage payment.
  • Consider all your options! The loan programs offered today are very different from those in the past. Your mortgage consultant can show you which products will benefit you the most.

Below are some frequently asked questions you may have about the home buying process.


1. How do I begin the process of buying a home?

If you have not already done so, it is best to meet with a mortgage consultant and get pre-approved. This will help you determine the price of home you can qualify for financing on. Following are the basic steps in the home buying process:
  • Get pre-approved by your mortgage consultant.
  • Find a property and submit a purchase offer.
  • Submit the necessary documents to your mortgage consultant. The document checklist will give you an idea of what documents you will need to gather. Once the required documents are submitted, your mortgage consultant’s processor will make sure everything is in order and submit your application to underwriting for approval. The processor will also order the title work and appraisal.
  • Once underwriting approval is received, the closing is scheduled.
  • Closing documents are prepared. Your mortgage consultant will let you know what you will need to bring to closing. Any funds you need to bring in for closing need to be in the form of a cashier’s check made payable to the closing company.
  • Your closing will take place. It is normally held at an attorney’s office or title company office.
2. Am I better off renting or purchasing?

That depends on your individual situation. Any of our mortgage consultants can schedule a free consultation with you to help you understand everything involved so you can decide whether renting or purchasing is better for you.

3. How do I know what I can afford?

Your mortgage consultant can assist you. When you get pre-approved, you will find out the price range of homes you can afford.

4. How do I know what real estate agent I should use?

You can interview agents and find someone with which you feel comfortable. Our mortgage consultants have business relationships with several agents. They can give you referrals when you meet with them for your pre-approval.

5. What are the costs associated with purchasing a home?

Click here to see potential closing costs for mortgage loans.

6. What is included in my monthly payment?

The monthly principal and interest on your loan is always included. Escrow amounts for property taxes, insurance and mortgage insurance (if applicable) are also included.

7. Can my parents, friends, relatives give me money for a down payment?

Only family members can gift money for a down payment and the amount that can be gifted varies depending on the loan program. Once you and your mortgage consultant have decided what the best program is for you, your consultant will tell you what amount can be gifted.

8. What types of loans are offered?

Valley Bank offers VA, Rural Development, and Conventional loans, and is authorized to use many state and local grant programs. Often your mortgage consultant can help you secure state, local or county assistance to help fund your transaction.

9. What is the best loan for me?

Because financial situations and goals are different, your mortgage consultant will give you the options so you can decide what the best product is for you.

10. Do I get any tax breaks for purchasing a home?

The interest you pay on the loan is tax deductible. There may be other closing costs that are deductible, but you should consult with your tax advisor to determine if anything else can be deducted.

11. If I am not working but my significant other is, can we purchase a home?

As long as you and/or your significant other qualify for the loan program.

12. How can I get a lower rate?

For conventional mortgages you can buy down your rate by paying points. This is not an option for the first time homebuyer programs at this time.

13. What documents does my loan officer need from me?

Click here for a list of needed documents. For first time homebuyers we will need 3 years of tax returns.

14. How can I look up my credit history?

You can get a free credit report once a year by going to www.annualcreditreport.com, calling 1-877-222-8228 or by mail to:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
PO Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
When you apply for a loan your mortgage consultant will run your credit as part of their process and you will get a copy of that report. It is a good idea to check your report annually. However, multiple credit requests can adversely affect your score so keep that in mind. When you get your credit report, carefully review it for accuracy. If there are discrepancies you will need to correspond directly with the credit reporting company.

15. How long does the loan process take?

The process varies, but normally once you have found a home, the application to closing process can be completed in 45-60 days.

16. What is mortgage insurance and do I need it?

Mortgage insurance protects the lender if you default on your loan and the equity in the property is not sufficient to cover any losses the lender incurs as a result of that default. If the loan you are requesting exceeds 80% of the market value of the property, you are usually required to pay for mortgage insurance. Your mortgage consultant is able to determine if you will need mortgage insurance and tell you how much it will be.

17. Do I need to order an appraisal or title?

No, the loan processor will make sure an appraisal is ordered and the title work is complete.

Bill Payer Customer
Service (866)628-4055
available 24/7