Alexander “Sandy” Gaulin, Consumer and Mortgage Loan Officer, NMLS #161909
The Internet is much more than a tool for casual browsing. It’s ingrained in everything we do—from paying bills to shopping for a home.
Among all generations of home buyers, the first step taken in the home search process was to look online for properties, according to the National Association of Realtors’ 2022 Home Buyer and Seller Generation Trends report.
With so much information available at your fingertips online it can be hard to make sense of it all—especially for a process that can be as complicated as the purchase of a home. Let these three simple tips help inform your journey when shopping for homes or mortgages on the web.
Home Buying Tip #1: Connect with an Actual Lender
There are a multitude of web resources that say they can “help” you demystify the homebuying process…but a cookie cutter web page isn’t factoring in your unique financial needs and budget considerations.
The instant gratification of shopping online is nice, but when it comes to a large purchase like a home, having an experienced lender in your corner can make a big difference in lowering your stress and raising your confidence.
That’s where a financial partner like Waterford Bank, N.A. comes in. Our expert lenders can help explain not only what you can afford and what to expect during the process, but other specific factors to consider when determining the right time to buy, what type of loan to get, and a variety of other details that will make your mortgage experience tailored to you.
Home Buying Tip #2: Explore all your Options
If you begin your mortgage search online, you’re going to have a lot of data and acronyms (APR, ARM, LTV, etc.) thrown at you. While sites may advertise your best rate or loan, you need to make sure you understand all your options – and some of the more specialized products or programs may not necessarily be advertised or at least not advertised as heavily as traditional loans are.
For those who are ready, there are several options available in addition to conventional loans, including mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration. FHA loans feature low down payments and more flexible requirements than conventional loans (though buyers will have to refinance if they want to avoid paying private mortgage insurance for the life of the loan).
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and U.S. Department of Agriculture also offers generous borrowing terms through a VA or USDA loan, requiring no down payment. In addition to available federal homeownership, Waterford has several programs and discount options that can help make the mortgage process more affordable. Are you a first responder or a doctor? Don’t have a traditional down payment? From our Rate Match Review* service to our Doctors Only Loan Program** we offer a variety of mortgage options that may benefit your unique situation.
Home Buying Tip #3: Technology is your Friend…but We’re Still Here to Help
In today’s virtual world, we are leveraging technology to move faster, become more productive, and stay connected better than ever before.
Loan documents can be created, uploaded, signed, stored, and transmitted electronically, eliminating the risk of lost or missing documents and enabling automated data verification.
With today’s technological advancements you can complete paperwork faster than ever, but it’s nice to know there is still a person you can connect with directly if you need help or have questions.
So, whether you’re taking advantage of our convenient, online application, tracking the status of your app, or are simply keeping in touch with your lender – our web platform is helping make the mortgage experience faster, more secure, and less expensive.
Finally, this National Homeownership Month, we want to remind you that you can always contact us directly for help with the homebuying process. If you are not ready to take the plunge just yet, we’re still here to educate you on your options and answer any questions, so that when the time is right, you’ll have the know-how and the confidence to secure the keys to a home of your own.
*Certain restrictions will apply. All loans subject to credit approval.
** Available to medical doctors who have a minimum of an M.D., D.O., D.M.D., or D.D.S. degree and an employment contract. All loans subject to application and credit approval, satisfactory appraisal and title insurance. Terms and conditions subject to change; other terms, conditions, and restrictions may apply.
About the Author
Alexander “Sandy” Gaulin is a trusted lender, who has spent the last 20 years in Consumer and Mortgage Lending. At Waterford, he uses that experience to help individuals and families with some of their biggest personal financial decisions. In the community, he is an avid cyclist and annually treks 300 miles across Michigan to raise funds for children through Make-A-Wish. If you’d like to connect with Sandy or learn more about our mortgage lenders, please contact us here.