Top three home-buying misconceptions

  1. How much closing costs cost. All too often, I see borrowers stunned by the amount of the closing costs to finalize the purchase of their new home. Avoid this last-minute shock all together and address closing costs well before you get to the table. When you’re pulling the contract together, know your options. If up-front closing costs are a problem, you can look into mortgage loans that work them into your mortgage payment to work around the up-front costs.
  2. Who is responsible for closing costs. Similar to the way many don’t understand the true cost of closing, they often are unaware of who is responsible for paying them. Be sure to communicate with the seller clearly throughout the home-buying process, as sometimes they will agree to assume the closing costs on behalf of the buyer in order to close the deal. Buyers should understand that even if they don’t have enough cash to cover both the down payment and closing at the time of sale, there are negotiable alternatives.
  3. The value of your credit score. Your credit score is crucial in determining your eligibility for a mortgage loan. So, don’t be surprised if you qualify for high interest rates if your credit score is low. If you’re planning on applying for mortgage loans in the near future, focus on paying off debt to build up your credit score. The strength of these three numbers will make or break your home buying experience. Remember, it doesn’t matter if your debt is $24 or $24,000— if your credit report shows you owe money, that is a reflection of how disciplined you are with making payments and how likely it is that you’ll be able to repay the mortgage.

As president of 1st Mariner Mortgage, Dave Jacobin oversees 1st Mariner Bank’s mortgage division, which operates and lends in all 50 states. Dave began his career in banking at Sovran Bank in 1984. Over the course of his 30-year career, he has developed a deep understanding of the industry and the skill set to drive business growth. Dave joined 1st Mariner Mortgage in 2010, leading the Washington D.C. region before moving into his current role in 2014.