A Guide for First-Time Homebuyers in Oklahoma

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HOMEOWNER. Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?

If you’re looking to purchase your first home in Oklahoma or Arkansas, you probably have questions about the mortgage process, too. After all, saving enough for a down payment and budgeting to buy your first home can seem daunting for many first-time home buyers. Luckily, Armstrong Bank is here to help. Our experienced lenders can answer your questions and help you apply for a home loan in Oklahoma or Arkansas. Here are some essential steps you can take to determine which loan is right for you and how to get your finances in good shape to prepare for home ownership.

Get your finances in order.

Perform a basic budget audit to determine how much “wiggle room” you have between your monthly income and expenses. Becoming a homeowner isn’t just a matter of trading your rent for a mortgage payment. Keep in mind, you’ll also have insurance premiums and local taxes to pay, which can be included in your monthly payment. Plus, you should aim to save additional funds for regular maintenance costs and unexpected repairs that undoubtedly occur with home ownership.


Understand your Debt-to-income ratio.

Mortgage lenders use this calculation to evaluate your existing monthly debt payments in proportion to your income. If your existing debt-to-income ratio is above 28-30 percent, you may need to consider spending time paying off a little more of your debt before applying for a mortgage.


Choose between a 20 percent down payment vs. Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)

If putting 20 percent down is out of reach, you might want to apply for a lower-down payment mortgage option, such as a VA, USDA, or FHA loan. Depending on the type of loan you apply for, and the size of your down payment, you may have monthly Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) premiums added to your mortgage payment. Not sure where to start or which mortgage product is right for you? Discuss your needs with one of our friendly, knowledgeable bankers to learn which option works best for you and your needs.


Get Pre-Qualified

A pre-qualification letter often carries more weight than a pre-approval. It shows that your lender has looked at your credit score and basic financial information and determined that you could be a worthy borrower. Sellers who receive multiple offers are more likely to choose a pre-qualified buyer over a non-pre-qualified one.


Learn more about Home Loans in Oklahoma and Arkansas

Armstrong Bank has been helping Oklahomans become homeowners since 1906. Our locally-based mortgage lenders are here to be an educational resource for you. We can help you through every stage of the home buying process with friendly and personal service. Visit one of our convenient locations or give our bankers a call at 1-888-680-2655.