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Becoming a First-time Homebuyer

What you should know before buying your first home.

Making the leap from "renter" to "owner" can be more complicated than it seems. Before you're handed the keys to your new home, there are several options to consider, such as saving for your down paymentgetting a loan pre-approvalcalculating your monthly payments, and researching loan rates and terms, for starters.

Thankfully, you've got experts on your side who can get you headed in the right direction, no matter what your homeownership dreams might be. Before you fill out a mortgage application, make sure you're on-track with our suite of mortgage calculatorsapply for your mortgage pre-approval, or get to know a Mortgage Loan Officer in your area.

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Rent vs. Buy Calculator

Should you rent or should you buy your home? It takes more than looking at your mortgage payment to answer this question. This calculator helps you weed through the fees, taxes and monthly payments to help you make a decision between these two options. This report is based on the original purchase price, fees and taxes payable at that time. Insurance and tax costs can fluctuate from year to year. Take a closer look at our Rent vs. Buy Calculator

When it comes to your first mortgage, you have options.

  • Fixed Rate Mortgage Find peace of mind knowing that your principal and interest payments will stay the same because the rate and term are locked for the life of your loan.
  • Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARM) - Reduce your monthly principal and interest payment for the initial period of the loan (1, 2, 3, or 5 years) with an Adjustable Rate Mortgage. Often more flexible, an ARM can be a good option if you have unique income or asset situations when it comes to loan approval.
  • Home One - Low down payment option for purchase or refinance of single family property. No income or geographic restrictions.
  • Home Possible - Perfect for the entry level homebuyer for a 1-4 unit property, with low down payment and closing costs. Benefit from the security of fixed rate financing and while utilizing grant funds. Income limits do apply.
  • Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority‚Äč (WHEDA) - If qualified, this state agency may be able to help you as a first time homebuyer purchase your first home with options for a lower down payment, reduced closing costs, as well as expanded underwriting guidelines. Income limits do apply.
  • Grants for down payment - Grant funds from local, federal, public, and private agencies can often be a significant help to purchase a new home if you qualify. In many cases, grant funds do not need to be repaid. Income limits do apply.
Five Steps Toward Home Ownership If owning a home is in your future, make sure you read this. Find Out More
Stay on track: Mortgage Application Checklist

5 Frequently-asked Mortgage Questions

We get a lot of questions about home buying, and here are a few that stand out as our "top five":
  • What is PMI and why might I need it?
  • Do you offer first-time homebuyer programs?
  • What is my minimum down payment?
  • How much can I afford?
  • What if I need approval assistance?
To help provide answers to these questions is Susan Liedel, one of our Mortgage Loan experts!

Watch the video to learn more.
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Still have questions?

Contact us with additional questions: Email | 877-672-2265