Is a down payment required?
Typically yes. Down payment requirements vary by mortgage product and usually range from 3-5% of the purchase price. There are some mortgage loan options that do not require a down payment. A down payment of less than 20% - 25% of the loan amount may require private mortgage insurance (PMI) which protects the lender against potential financial loss if the borrower defaults on the loan.
Taxes and Homeowner’s Insurance
Property Taxes Local governments assess taxes on residential properties based on the property evaluation for their area. Homeowners are responsible for paying their property taxes when billed unless they have established an escrow account with the mortgage lender. Having an escrow account allows the lender to collect tax payments from the homeowner on a monthly basis (usually included in the monthly mortgage payment) and make them on the homeowner’s behalf. When you apply for your mortgage, talk with your PCU Mortgage Loan Specialist about which option is best for you.
As a condition of your loan closing, you will be required to purchase homeowner’s property insurance which protects you against loss as a result of property damage. Your PCU Mortgage Advisor will inform you of the type of coverage you need to meet this requirement. Be sure to share this information when you shop for property insurance to ensure that your coverage is adequate and that all policy and loss payee information is accurate. PCU has a partnership with Liberty Mutual offering discounts on auto and home insurance just for being a credit union member. Check it out!
The Benefits of Owning a Home
There are many benefits to owning a home rather than paying rent to someone else every month. Depending on the home you purchase, your monthly house payment could be the same as or less than the rent you’re paying. To learn more, talk with a PCU Mortgage Advisor.
Income Tax Benefits
Unlike renting, income tax laws allow homeowners to claim tax deductions for the interest paid on their mortgage. Ask your tax advisor about mortgage interest and how this may benefit you.
The Responsibilities of Home Ownership
While the rewards of owning a home can be considerable, there are also expenses you'll be responsible for above and beyond your mortgage payment, including property taxes, utilities, repairs and renovations. Be sure to take these costs into account when making your purchase decision.
More Resources for First-Time Homebuyers