Guide to Buying a Home in the North Country

Ask The Experts

Buying a home is one of the most exciting, and potentially, stressful experiences of your life. There are so many ins and outs to finding the right home, choosing the right mortgage, and then navigating the complex world of taxes. But, if you live in the North Country, you have a partner right down the road that can help you find the right path to homeownership for your unique financial situation.

1. How to Afford a Home

Did you know that there's a difference between pre-qualifying for a mortgage and getting pre-approval on a mortgage? The prequalification process involves providing your income, debts, assets and credit score to a lending officer so that they can estimate how much home you can afford. It's a great starting point if you're just beginning to look at real estate listings. When you're ready to commit to buying, then you're going to want to be pre-approved for a mortgage. This means that your documents and financial situation have been verified by the bank and that you're approved for a specific loan amount and can purchase a home. This part of the home-buying process is all about understanding what you can afford, what your monthly payments will be, and how to pay for the closing costs associated with purchasing a home.

2. Location is Key

Understanding property taxes, school taxes, town taxes – all the taxes you might face when you purchase a home in a specific area or neighborhood – may mean the difference between being able to afford a home and being in over your head. One town may have village and town taxes. The next may only have town taxes, but higher school taxes. Understanding the tax layout of the places where you're looking for homes will arm you with knowledge that saves time and money.

3. Home Condition Can Mean More Than You Think

Some people love the idea of a fixer-upper. Some want a turn-key ready home that doesn't need any work. The condition of the home you're looking to purchase can impact which mortgage and/or loan you're eligible for. If you're looking to purchase a fixer-upper or the home you're buying is a vacation rental or single-wide home, North Country Savings Bank may lend on these types of homes whereas other area banks may not. Very often, home buyers go through the prequalification process only to be denied a mortgage loan because they haven't checked the home's condition first.  Do your homework and talk to your lending officer.  If it's a fixer-upper, you may even qualify for a Purchase-Plus Home Improvement Loan.

4. Keep Your Mortgage Local

North Country Savings Bank makes the home buying process as easy and stress-free as possible. You'll work with a real person who knows your unique financial situation, as well as the region's real estate landscape.
Have questions about mortgages or any part of the home buying process? Contact Nate or Jenny or visit one of our locations throughout the North Country!

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