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Top 5 Myths About Home Buying in 2020

Buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions and commitments many will make. Unfortunately, there are several outdated and false ideas surrounding the home buying process and what exactly is needed to qualify for, and purchase a home in 2020. In this list, we are breaking down five of the most common home buying myths.

1) 20% Down

If you have ever considered buying a home in the past, one of the first things you may have heard is the need for a 20% down payment. Times have changed! Some loans, such as an FHA loan, now require as little as 3.5% down. Customers applying for through the VA loan may require little to no down payment at all. There are even conventional loans that require only 3% down! There are disadvantages of putting a smaller down-payment on your home, such as potentially higher monthly mortgage payments and more interest paid on the loan over the term of the loan. On the other hand, this means that the savings period before buying a home may be shorter than many people think. Talk with your Benchmark Mortgage loan officer to see what your down payment options are, and see what works best for your situation.

2) Excellent Credit

Many people just assume that you need a stellar credit score to qualify for a home loan, but this is also false. If you have a low credit score, some lenders will look at bill payment and rent history. While a higher credit score could mean a lower interest rate, a less stellar score does not necessarily exclude you from getting a mortgage. This will vary from lender to lender, but going to a lender like Benchmark who will consider your unique situation and work with you on credit repair or seek alternative payment history sources is always a good idea.

3) Lowest Interest Rate

When starting the search for a home, the first thing most potential homebuyers look at first is the interest rate a lender can provide them. While the interest rate is an important factor when choosing a lender, it shouldn’t be the only thing that goes into choosing who you get your mortgage from. At Benchmark, we take “total payment” and your long-term financial outlook to heart, far beyond the scope of the interest rate alone. If a lender is offering an Adjustable Rate Mortgage(A.R.M.) at a very low initial interest rate, be warned that interest rate could potentially rise as the market fluctuates throughout the term of the loan. Be aware also, that if a lender is giving you an extremely low rate, it could mean higher up-front fees, or fees that will be factored into your closing costs. This brings us to our next home buying myth.

4) Closing Costs

Most people buying a home for the first time forget to factor in the closing costs of your home. This is an additional cost on top of your down-payment. These costs usually cover your home inspection, appraisal, application and origination fees. There are some exceptions to when you’ll have to pay the closing costs such as the seller agrees to pay, this is rare but can be negotiated depending on the situation. Talk to your loan officer during your loan process and assess the how much will be due at closing to avoid any surprises!

5) Student Loan Debt

This is another big-time home buying myth. Simply having student loan debt will not prevent you from qualifying. Most often, lenders want to see a consistent payment history on the loans in question. If you have been consistent, and/or are on a payment plan, that could increase your chances of qualifying for a loan. Understanding your debt-to-income standing is also key to knowing if you’re ready for home ownership or not. So before completely writing off the possibility of homeownership because you have student loans, consult a Benchmark mortgage specialist, and assess your eligibility. If you’ve been consistent on payments and have a decent debt-to-income ratio, you may be surprised at what you could qualify for.


Ready to get started?

If you want to explore whether you’re ready to buy a home, get in touch with a Benchmark Loan Officer to learn more about your financing options.we would be happy to answer any questions. If you are ready to get started, you can start your application now, or contact us today!you can call me, contact me, or if you are ready, you can apply now! It would be my honor to help you plan your financial goals.

Benchmark brings you home.

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Two hands in a handshake, symbolizing agreement, congratulations, or relational warmth.

New VA Loan Changes start on January 1st, 2020

Two hands in a handshake, symbolizing agreement, congratulations, or relational warmth.

Effective on January 1st 2020, there will be several changes to the VA loan program.

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Mortgage Quick Tips - VA Loan Update 2020
Effective on January 1st 2020, there will be several changes to the VA loan program. The VA loan is a mortgage loan program that provides many great benefits for veterans and their families. With the passing of the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019, several changes are coming that every v

The VA loan is a mortgage loan program that provides many great benefits for veterans and their families. With the passing of the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019, several changes are coming that every veteran considering applying for a VA loan needs to be aware of.

Removal of the Loan Limit

As of January 1st 2020, the VA will no longer cap the price of a home with no money down when purchasing a home with a VA loan, if the buyer has full entitlement . Previously, buyers in higher cost markets were sometimes unable to get VA loans that matched the price of their desired home. With this change, veterans looking to buy with a VA loan will be able to compete with conventional buyers. VA applicants will still have to qualify for the loan and meet the income and down-payment requirements.

Purple Heart Funding Fee Exemption

Another big announcement regarding the VA Loan is the elimination of the funding fee for any active duty Purple Heart recipients.

VA Funding Fee Increase

The VA funding fee will see a slight increase in January 1st 2020. Under the new provisions, the fee will be bumped from 2.15% up to 2.30%. Some will be exempt from this increase, such as those with service related disabilities.

 To learn more about the changes to the VA loan, and to better understand your options and benefits, it is crucial to consult with a Benchmark VA Home Loan Specialist. They have studied the VA loan inside and out, and understand how to get veterans the most from their hard- earned benefits. Schedule a consultation today, and start learning from the experts about the VA Loan program.

Benchmark never quits.

Savings could add up with an interest rate reduction refinance loan.

What is an IRRRL VA refinance loan?

An IRRRL, or Interest Rate Reduction Refinancing Loan, is a quick VA refinance option with fewer qualifications and less paperwork than other refinance loan options. It’s meant to be a quick and non-complicated refinance option for qualified VA homeowners, and there is no appraisal requirement. Read more

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What to look for when touring the home you want to buy.

If you are looking for your first, or next, home, you will likely tour several before finding "the one." Before you let yourself be swept off your feet, stay grounded and take a closer look. While you will want to get a professional inspection, it's a good idea to get a good idea on your own. Doing so may save the cost of a professional, if significant issues are discovered, or if the home needs more work than you are willing to take on.

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2019 Summer Market Update With Jim McMahan: Is it a good time to refinance?

In this video, Jim McMahan, President of Benchmark Mortgage, talks about the market, interest rates, and debt strategy to help you decide whether refinancing might be a good option for your financial goals.

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Keep your home for a cheaper price without sacrificing your timeline with an odd term mortgage with Benchmark!

How to Refinance Without a New 30-year Commitment.

Now, you could get a refinance loan for any term between 15 and 30 years! Get a better rate without "starting over". Benchmark presents: Odd Term Mortgages.

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20 Years of Benchmark: STRENGTH and REPUTATION

Celebrating 20 Years Of Mortgage Excellence

20 Years of Benchmark: STRENGTH and REPUTATION

In 1999, a couple of friends who worked as loan officers decided that they could do more. The mortgage industry needed something new and better. The time was right to prioritize the client experience. They knew that doing better meant putting the best team together. They wanted to create a company that would set standards; a company that would lead the industry not only in numbers, but most importantly, in their signature first-class home buying experience. In August of the same year, Benchmark Mortgage was born.

Starting the way many great companies have, Benchmark has grown from a single office in Dallas, Texas and a small team to over 100 branches in 47 sates across the nation. We were founded on core values that we have based, and continue to base every business decision on. These values – Success, Excellence, Positive Attitude, Dynamic, and Relationship – have shaped us into the company we are today. We are grateful for our team, their relationships with real estate partners, and the thousands of clients who have trusted Benchmark to finance their first home, their next home, or to refinance their forever home. We couldn’t have made it this far without you, and the tapestry of our story is embedded with the thousands of threads in our progress so far.

At Benchmark, it has never been enough to do things well. We are proud of our commitment of striving to exceed expectations. We are proud of being more than just a mortgage company. Benchmark created an event to give back to, and celebrate, the brave men and women who have served our country. In 2012, the first annual Boot’n & Shoot’n event took place to raise money for veterans. Boot’n & Shoot’n has become a staple for our nationwide family to come, join, and give back to our veteran and first responder heroes. As we reflect on our 20th year, we celebrate that Boot’n & Shoot’n 2019 raised over $1million for the Brain Treatment Foundation.

Benchmark’s love for helping those who serve never wavered, and in 2017 we launched our initiative to change the way VA lending is done. Veterans deserve better. With our history of striving to excel, it was only a matter of time before this same model was applied to help veterans make use of their VA loan benefits. In 2018, Benchmark sponsored the Patriot Tour by Team Never Quit.

If you are a past client, you are part of our story. If you are a current or future client, welcome to the family. We are Benchmark.

Here’s to a bright future!

Benchmark brings you home.

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The Google home page on an android mobile phone on a white marble surface

Your Top Google Searches about Buying a Home: We’ve Got the Answers! 

With the summer home buying season heating up, we are here to help with some of your top Google searches about buying a home. We looked at the data from Google Trends to find out your top questions about homeownership.

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