As a first time homebuyer in Oklahoma, you may be wondering how the mortgage process works and what the best mortgage companies are. Read on to learn more about how to find the best mortgage for you.
The Best Mortgage Lenders in Oklahoma
The Housing Market in Oklahoma: An Overview
The housing market in Oklahoma is on an upswing. Home values are rising, and there are many opportunities for buyers and sellers alike.
Total households: 1,342,293
Median list price: $178,000
3 most expensive cities in Oklahoma to buy:
- Nichols Hills
- Forest Park
3 most affordable cities in Oklahoma to buy:
Preparing for a Mortgage
The mortgage process can be intimidating. It’s important to find lenders and loan officers who can provide you with the customer service and support you need to feel comfortable in your mortgage decisions.
Before you start, consider your finances and what you need in a home. One thing to consider is your debt-to-income ratio. You can calculate this by dividing your monthly debt payments by your gross monthly income.
If you plan to buy a home that you’ll stay in for the long term, consider what you’ll need from it in the years to come. If you want a home you only plan to stay in for a few years, you might be more flexible with what you need. This will also steer you to the right mortgage type for your situation.
You’ll also want to take a look at your credit report. Your credit report summarizes your debts, credit lines and your credit score. Lenders use your credit score to determine your eligibility for a mortgage and your interest rate. Your lender wants to see that you’ve made on-time payments and have a credit history to show that you’re a responsible borrower.
With this information, you should be ready to get a purchase quote. After this, you’ll want to gather the documents you need to receive a preapproval on a mortgage. Most lenders require:
- Income information: Lenders want to see proof of reliable employment history and the ability to afford your mortgage. It’s a good idea to get together your W-2 forms, tax returns and pay stubs from the past 2 years.
- Proof of assets: Beyond income, lenders also want to see that you have other assets available to pay your mortgage even if you lose your employment. You can submit statements from your checking, savings, retirement and investment accounts to prove you have other financial resources. If you own a vehicle or any other valuable items, you can submit this information to the lender.
- Court documents: If you have a court order to make or receive any other payments, lenders want to see these. One of the most common examples is a Judgement of Divorce, and paying or receiving alimony or child support.
Next, you’ll want to explore your mortgage type options. This will help you determine which mortgage types you may be eligible for. Some mortgage types can help save you money over the lifetime of your loan.
Conventional: Conventional mortgages are the most easily accessible mortgage type. They have fewer eligibility requirements than other mortgage types and are offered directly from lenders. Conventional mortgages come in a number of terms, including fixed and adjustable rates that can vary between 5 and 30 years.
FHA: FHA mortgages are part of a mortgage insurance program offered by the Federal Housing Administration. FHA loans are an attractive option for many buyers and especially for first time homebuyers. One of the benefits of FHA loans is that they typically have a lower requirement for minimum down payments.
USDA: USDA mortgages may be an option for you if you’re planning to buy a home in what is considered a qualified rural area. These mortgages are offered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to promote rural homeownership. Eligibility requirements for USDA loans include income thresholds. Your adjusted household income cannot exceed 115% of the area’s median income.
VA: VA loans are offered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to qualifying military members and their families. The benefits of VA mortgages are wide-ranging and include the ability to finance 100% of your home purchase. This means that if you choose a VA mortgage, you will not need to make a down payment on your home.
Jumbo: Jumbo loans finance more expensive homes or homes in highly competitive markets. These loans are an option if the price of the home you’re looking to buy exceeds the maximum financing limit set by the Federal Finance Housing Agency. Most lenders require higher credit scores and incomes for jumbo mortgages.
First Time Home Buyer Programs in Oklahoma
Luckily, if you’re a first time homebuyer in Oklahoma, there are a few programs available to you. Oklahoma-specific programs include:
OHFA 4Teachers: This program is available to first time buyers who are teachers in the state. To qualify, you must hold a current Oklahoma State Department of Education Teaching Certificate and be under contract with an accredited school. The program also requires that your credit score is 640 or above and your debt-to-income ratio cannot exceed 45%. There may also be limits on your income and the purchase price of your home.
OHFA Gold: The OHFA Gold program offers down payment assistance of up 3.5% of your home purchase. Requirements of this program include a minimum credit score of 640 as well as income and purchase price limits. Your mortgage also cannot exceed a debt-to-income ratio of 45%.
OHFA Shield: The OHFA Shield program is available to first time buyers who are current Oklahoma firefighters or law enforcement officers. The program offers low interest rates and down payment assistance of up to 3.5%. To qualify, you must have a credit score of 640 or above and a debt-to-income ratio that does not exceed 45%.
Current Mortgage Rates in Oklahoma
Mortgage rates are the interest rate that you will be paying along with the principal payments on your mortgage. This rate will be set by your lender when your financing is finalized. Your mortgage rate is based on a number of factors, including your credit score and the mortgage type you choose.
If you select a fixed-interest rate, your mortgage rate will not change throughout the entire lifetime of your loan. However, an adjustable interest rate will fluctuate depending on the current housing market and economy. If the economy is doing well and there is competition for mortgages, interest rates may increase. If the housing market has slowed down, you may find that interest rates decrease.
Benzinga monitors current mortgage rates and routinely updates this chart to reflect the most recent data.
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Closing a Mortgage
When you’ve found the right home for you, you’ll make an offer to the seller. Once your offer has been accepted, you then enter the negotiation stage. During this time you arrange a home inspection and appraisal. These identify any issues in the home that should be addressed. You can negotiate with the seller to determine which issues are their responsibility to fix and what condition the home should be in before it becomes yours.
You’ll also set a closing date during this stage. Before your closing date, you will secure and finalize financing with your lender. You’ll also make your down payment and any other required payments at this time. In the days before your closing date, you will need to perform a final walkthrough of your home to confirm the home’s condition is what you had originally agreed upon. Finally, on your closing date, you will receive your keys and the home will be yours!
4 Best Mortgage Lenders in Oklahoma for First Time Home Buyers
Mortgage lenders today recognize the need for specialized assistance for first time buyers. Some of our favorite lenders for first time buyers include:
1. Best Overall: Rocket Mortgage®
Rocket Mortgage® is a completely digital mortgage lender. It offers simplified preapproval and loan application processes to make getting a mortgage less stressful for borrowers.
Rocket Mortgage® also offers a mobile app to make the process even more accessible for borrowers on-the-go. You can expect customized mortgage solutions and responsive customer service from this lender.
2. Best for In-Person Customer Service: Bank of America
Bank of America is a longtime, reliable lender that offers the benefits of online and in-person mortgage processes. You can get preapproved for your mortgage online, however, most of your mortgage process will be completed with a loan officer in one of Bank of America’s branch locations.
This allows you to receive more personalized experience and answers in real-time.
3. Best for First Time Home Buyer Programs: Wells Fargo
Like Bank of America, Wells Fargo can offer the benefits of both online and in-person mortgage processes. Wells Fargo offers specialized mortgage products, including the First Mortgage loan program.
This program is for first time buyers with low-to-moderate incomes. The benefits of this program include down payments as low as 3% and a $750 credit toward your closing costs if you complete a homebuyer education course.
4. Best for VA Loans: Veterans United
If you’ve logged some time in the military, Veterans United’s loans will likely be the best deal. Unlike other veteran-marketed loan programs, Veterans United only accepts active duty and veteran military members.
In addition to no-down-payment loans, you’ll also eliminate the private mortgage insurance you’ll have to pay with other mortgages.
Veterans United is also more forgiving of lower credit scores. Interest rates are lower than average.
Which Mortgage is Right for You?
If you’re ready to begin the mortgage process, you’re on the right track. There are several mortgage options available to first time buyers no matter what your circumstances are.
If you need help figuring out which mortgage type is right for you, you should reach out to a loan officer. Each lender has loan officers that can work with you to determine which mortgage types you’re eligible for and what will work best for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
1) Q: How do I get pre-approved?
First, you need to fill out an application and submit it to the lender of your choice. For the application you need 2 previous years of tax returns including your W-2’s, your pay stub for past month, 2 months worth of bank statements and the lender will run your credit report. Once the application is submitted and processed it takes anywhere from 2-7 days to be approved or denied. Check out our top lenders and lock in your rate today!
2) Q: How much interest will I pay?
Interest that you will pay is based on the interest rate that you received at the time of loan origination, how much you borrowed and the term of the loan. If you borrow $208,800 at 3.62% then over the course of a 30-year loan you will pay $133,793.14 in interest, assuming you make the monthly payment of $951.65. For a purchase mortgage rate get a quote here. If you are looking to refinance you can get started quickly here.
3) Q: How much should I save for a down payment?
Most lenders will recommend that you save at least 20% of the cost of the home for a down payment. It is wise to save at least 20% because the more you put down, the lower your monthly payment will be and ultimately you will save on interest costs as well. In the event that you are unable to save 20% there are several home buyer programs and assistance, especially for first time buyers. Check out the lenders that specialize in making the home buying experience a breeze.
Get Ready for Take Off
Rocket Mortgage® is an online mortgage experience developed by the firm formerly known as Quicken Loans®, America’s largest mortgage lender. Rocket Mortgage® makes it easy to get a mortgage — you just tell the company about yourself, your home, your finances and Rocket Mortgage® gives you real interest rates and numbers. You can use Rocket Mortgage® to get approved, ask questions about your mortgage, manage your payments and more.
You can work at your own pace and someone is always there to answer your questions — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Want a fast, convenient way to get a mortgage? Give Rocket Mortgage® a try.