How to Buy a House in Mississippi

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Contributor, Benzinga
July 6, 2020

Are you ready to buy a home but feeling intimidated by the process? You not only have to apply for a mortgage loan and find the right house. A home and mortgage come with a long-term financial commitment. 

Don’t be overwhelmed — our complete guide can help you buy a home and find the best mortgage lenders in Mississippi. 

Step 1: Consider Current Mississippi Mortgage Rates

Every mortgage payment includes 2 parts: a principal payment and an interest payment. Let’s take a look at what exactly these payments are.

  • Your principal payment goes towards the total amount of money you borrowed to buy your home. For example, if your monthly mortgage payment is $500 and $200 of that goes towards your principal, it means that your outstanding balance will be $200 lower after you pay.
  • Your interest goes directly to your lender in exchange for servicing your loan. Most lenders calculate mortgage interest in terms of an annual percentage rate (APR).

Mortgage interest rates change over time —  you might even notice rates changing on a daily basis. Your local housing supply, demand for mortgages, bond interest rates and even the overall strength of the U.S. economy can all play a role in how average market rates are changing in Mississippi.

Below you can see a sample of current average market interest rates in your state. We update this information regularly to provide you with access to the most recent data available. 

Loan TypeRateAPR
30-year fixed N/A N/A
15-year fixed N/A N/A
7/1 ARM (adjustable rate) N/A N/A
5/1 ARM (adjustable rate) N/A N/A
Rates based on an average home price of $225,000 and a down payment of 20%.
See more mortgage rates on Zillow

Step 2: Pick a Mortgage Lender in Mississippi

The best mortgage lender for you will depend on a number of factors: the type of loan you need, whether you’re self-employed, the application process you prefer and more. If you don’t already have an idea where you’d like to get a loan, consider a few of our favorite Mississippi lenders below.  

Quicken Loans
Best For
  • Online Service

Best Overall: Quicken Loans®

Quicken Loans is one of the largest mortgage lenders in the United States — and it offers a wide range of loan options. From government-backed mortgage loans to conventional loan solutions, Quicken Loans offers a unique type of mortgage loan for everyone. The company’s YOURgage® option is particularly impressive — choose a completely customizable term between 8 and 29 years.

Quicken Loans’ simple and streamlined application process has made it a favorite lender for first-time buyers. Complete your application in quickly and easily using its straightforward question and answer guide. Most people receive a loan decision shortly after applying. 

Veterans United
securely through Veterans United's website

Best for Veterans: Veterans United

VA loans are a special type of government-backed mortgage loan exclusively for service members and veterans. To qualify for a VA loan, you must meet service requirements, which may vary by branch and the time when you served.

Veterans United is the country’s No. 1 rated VA lender and offers personalized service to those who have served. Veterans United’s team has personal experience going through the VA loan process and can help you get your Certificate of Eligibility (COE) required to qualify for a VA loan. Not sure if you qualify for a VA loan at this time? Veterans United can also help arrange a conventional loan for you as well. 

Best for Exceptionally-Low Rates: Better.com

If your primary concern is locking into the lowest possible interest rate, be sure to consider a loan from Better.com. Better.com is a streamlined mortgage lender dedicated to offering some of the most affordable interest rates available online. Better.com makes it exceptionally simple to compare rates in your area. Just enter a bit of information on your credit and your loan needs and see rate estimates customized to you without a commitment.

Think you might have found a better loan somewhere else? If you find a lower interest rate from a qualified competing lender, Better.com will offer you $1,000 towards your closing costs or down payment under its Better Price Guarantee.  

Step 3: Find a House

After you’re preapproved, it’s time to shop for a home. Your preapproval letter will tell you how much you can afford to borrow in a mortgage loan. Other desired characteristics you might want to define when you begin the house hunt include school districts, property tax rates, neighborhood, ideal size, commute and access to public transportation, local amenities and more.

Most buyers choose to hire a real estate agent at this point in the buying process. A real estate agent is a local property expert who can help narrow down your home search and locate the perfect property for you.

Not every agent is created equal — it’s crucial that you spend a little time interviewing multiple agents before you choose. Some questions you might want to ask potential agents include:

  • How long have you been working in my area?
  • How many clients are you currently working with?
  • What does the process of buying a home with you look like?
  • What services do you offer buyers?
  • Why should I choose to work with you over other agents?

Remember, you don’t only need an agent who’s experienced in your state’s market — you also want an agent you feel comfortable with. Don’t be afraid to take plenty of time finding the right “match” before moving forward.

After you select an agent, he or she will have a meeting to discuss your budget and wants and needs. It can be helpful to define your ideal property and differentiate between “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves” before you begin the process of looking at homes. 

Step 4: Make an Offer

When you find a home you want to purchase, you’ll communicate with the seller via an “offer letter.” An offer letter is a written document that tells your seller a little bit about yourself, the home you want to buy and the conditions under which you agree to purchase the property.

Though there’s nothing stopping you from writing your own offer letter, this task is usually better left to your agent. Allowing your agent to write your offer letter has a number of benefits for you, including:

  • A legally-binding offer. Real estate agents are experienced and understand how to use language that legally binds the seller after acceptance.  
  • Assistance determining how much to offer. Real estate agents are local experts in your housing market — and they understand what is (and isn’t) acceptable to ask for in your offer.
  • Inclusion of contingencies. Many buyers who write their own offer letter don’t know that they can specify that certain things must be repaired or conditions must be met before the sale can go through. Real estate agents know how to utilize contingencies and concessions to protect your financial interests.

After you submit your offer letter, wait for the seller to respond. If the seller accepts your offer, you can close on your mortgage. If the seller rejects it, you can create a new offer or move onto another property. If your seller offers you a counteroffer, you may choose to accept it or continue negotiations. Your real estate agent will be helpful in determining how much to offer and when to explore other housing options. 

Step 5: Closing Time

If you and the seller are able to reach a set of mutually agreeable sale terms, it’s finally time to close on your loan. Most closing processes include 3 parts:

  • Appraisal. An appraisal is a professional estimate of what your home is worth. Lenders require that you get an appraisal before you can get a mortgage loan because they can’t loan you more money than your property is worth.
  • Inspection. During an inspection, a home condition expert will visit your property and test your home’s appliances. He or she will also examine the home’s systems and structures to locate any damage the home has. At the end of the inspection, your inspector will present you with a detailed report that tells you everything that needs repaired, replaced or renovated in the home.

Most lenders don’t require that you get an inspection before you buy a property. However, an inspection ensures that you don’t unknowingly buy a house with expensive repair needs — so don’t skip this step.

  • Underwriting. During inspection and appraisal, your mortgage lender will work on underwriting your loan. During underwriting, your lender examines your financial documents to ensure you qualify for the loan you’ve requested.

After all 3 steps of closing are completed, your lender will send you a document called a Closing Disclosure. Your Closing Disclosure will contain the final terms of your loan, including your interest rate and what you owe in closing costs. Acknowledge that you’ve received and reviewed your Closing Disclosure with your lender.

Your lender will then schedule a closing meeting to finalize your loan and transfer ownership of your new property. Be sure to bring the following items to closing:

  • A government-issued photo ID (like a passport or driver’s license)
  • Your Closing Disclosure
  • A cashier’s check or proof of electronic funds transfer for your closing costs and down payment
  • A list of key contacts (like your lender or lawyer) in case any questions arise

Move In Day in Mississippi

When you finally move into your home, it can feel like the battle is finally over. However, being a homeowner is about more than just choosing the right furniture and paying your mortgage payments on schedule. 

You also have a responsibility to maintain your property, keep it safe and secure, ensure that your homeowners' insurance coverage doesn’t lapse, and set aside enough money for property taxes. Plan ahead and enjoy the financial commitment of owning your own home.

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.

About Sarah Horvath

Sarah is an expert in the insurance, investing for retirement and cryptocurrency space.