Thinking about buying your first home?

Our Home Loans Specialists will help you understand the programs that are available to you in CT and MA, and walk you through the entire process from start to finish.

Tips for first-time homebuyers

Just because it’s a buyer’s market doesn’t mean you need to buy right now. You’ve probably heard that current housing market conditions make it a great time to buy. It’s true — affordable homes coupled with historically low interest rates have encouraged many people to purchase their first house. Before buying a home, ask yourself a few questions: Do you have good credit? Is your job secure? Are you able to commit to staying in the same place for at least a few years? If the answer to these questions is “no,” it might make more sense to wait until your life and finances are more stable.
You may qualify for more than you want to spend. Use our loan calculators to estimate what you can afford and what you are comfortable spending. Then, speak with one of our Home Loan Specialist to discuss next steps, including:
 

Prequalification

To get prequalified1, you will need to provide your basic debt, income and asset information. Call toll-free 877-376-2265 or email us to get started.
After evaluating the above information, one of our Home Loan Specialists can give you an idea of the mortgage amount for which you qualify.
 

Identify your home expenses

There is more to factor into your finances than just the monthly mortgage payment. There are other fees and expenses you’ll need to be prepared for when you become a homeowner including insurance, property taxes, utilities and maintenance, to name a few.
Use our Monthly Budget Calculator to estimate expenses.
 

Know your home loan options

Research the home loan options available so that you'll understand which works best with your budget and home-buying goals.
Call a Farmington Bank Home Loan Specialist at toll-free 877-376-2267 with questions or concerns. We're happy to help!3
  • Request a free copy of your credit report* from all three major consumer reporting companies (Experian®,TransUnion®, and Equifax) and read them carefully.
  • Notify the companies of inaccuracies that may be negatively affecting your credit score.
  • Hold off on making any big purchases, such as a car or furniture, until after your closing.
  • Start saving pay stubs and other documentation that you may need to apply for your mortgage.
There are many federal, state and local programs geared toward helping first-time homebuyers with down payments, interest rates and loan terms. The government offers home loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA) offers a variety of specialized programs.
Even if you don’t have children, buying a home near sought-after schools can help with resale. That old real estate adage — location, location, location — really is true. The most important aspect of a home’s value is the neighborhood it’s in so shop for homes in the best areas you can afford. These properties hold their value. If you can't afford a neighborhood, look for a fixer-upper at a low price. These homes will need work, but they’ll have built-in property value.

Before you make an offer on a home, you'll need to determine the property’s market value. Have your agent do a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). He or she will compare the home you want to buy to recently sold homes in the area with the same square footage, construction, age and other characteristics. The CMA will show you what buyers were willing to pay for similar homes giving you a good starting point for your offer.

The written offer includes:

  • Purchase offer: This written proposal specifies the price you're willing to pay as well as all the terms and conditions of the purchase.
  • Earnest money: This is money you put toward your new home with your purchase offer to show the seller your commitment. A real estate professional or attorney usually holds your earnest money and that becomes part of your down payment or is returned to you if your offer is declined.
  • Negotiation: Your realtor can help prepare you for the back-and-forth with the seller on both the amount of your offer as well as terms and conditions of the purchase.
  • Purchase agreement: Following any negotiation and modifications to your offer, and once a final price for the home is reached, you and the seller both sign off to create a final binding contract. This is the document you will need to start your mortgage application.
When you fall in love with a home, you may be prepared to do anything to get it. You may even be tempted to make an offer without getting a home inspection or an appraisal. Don’t do it. For such a momentous purchase, you want to know exactly what you’re getting into and have the option to walk away if things don’t go as planned.

The amount of money you'll need will usually cover these fees and expenses:

  • Inspection: Costs vary depending upon a number of factors including your location, the age of the home, the expertise of your inspector, how they charge (by the hour or the size of the home), etc. It's wise to ask for a quote up front.
  • Downpayment: Typically ranges from 5% to 20% of the purchase price.
    • If your downpayment is less than 20%, you may be required to purchase private mortgage insurance and, depending on your loan, you may be required to pay your first premium as part of your closing costs.
    • Talk to your Home Loan Specialist about downpayment options.
  • Closing costs: This includes fees paid to the state and local governments as well as bank fees associated with obtaining and originating your mortgage. Closing costs are typically 2% to 6% of the loan amount.
    • Prepayments: You will have to make initial prepayments of any applicable real estate taxes and insurance, including homeowners, title, flood or private mortgage insurance.
    • Points: If you decide to pay points to secure a lower mortgage loan interest rate, that fee will be included in your closing costs.
    • Seller concessions: If the seller has agreed to pay all or some of your points or closing costs, the fee(s) will appear as a credit on your closing statement.
All loans are subject to the credit approval process.
1 A prequalification/estimate are guidelines; the estimate is not an application for credit and results do not guarantee loan approval or denial. All loans are subject to the credit approval process.

All home loans feature...

Local Underwriting
Competitive Rates
Flexible Terms
Simple Applications

Contact Us