Buying a home can be one of the most exciting times of your life, but it can also be confusing and stressful. If you’re getting ready to buy your first home, make sure you read our guide to finding the right property, submitting an offer and working with the best mortgage company for you in Oklahoma. Here’s our guide on how to buy a house in Oklahoma.
Step 1: Consider Current Oklahoma Mortgage Rates
One of the first things to consider when you make the decision to buy a home is your local market interest rates. Mortgage interest rates change throughout the year. During particularly turbulent periods, local interest rates might change on a daily basis. Bond market rates, your local housing supply and even the overall state of the economy at large can all influence what you pay for your loan.
Keeping track of how interest rates change over time can help ensure that you lock into the lowest possible rate. Here’s a sample of current mortgage rates in Oklahoma. We update this information regularly with the most current and accurate rates.
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Step 2: Pick a Mortgage Lender in Oklahoma
There are multiple types of mortgage loans and dozens of lenders offer loans in Oklahoma. If you don’t know where you want to get your loan from, consider a few of our top picks below.
1. Best Overall: Quicken Loans®
One of the best lenders for first-time buyers, Quicken Loans is known for its simple application process, fast approvals and wide range of loan options. Quicken Loans has a mortgage option for everyone. Terms are also equally as customizable, with personalized terms available between 8 and 30 years.
First-time buyers love Quicken Loans because the company’s platform is easy enough for anyone to master. Apply for a loan from your computer, phone or tablet in as little as a few minutes and receive a decision instantly in most cases. If you’re self-employed, Quicken Loans requires more information from you to finish your application. You’ll receive a call from a representative shortly after you apply.
2. Best for Veterans: Veterans United
If you’ve served in the armed forces and you want to buy a home with less money down, you could consider a VA loan. VA loans are a special type of government-backed mortgage exclusively for veterans and active-duty service members that may allow you to buy a home with $0 down.
No lender can beat Veterans United for VA loans. Veterans United offers personalized service and assistance for VA loan applicants and employs a full team of former service members. Its team can also help you determine whether you qualify for a VA loan and can set you up with a conventional loan if you cannot take out a VA loan at this time.
3. Best for Affordable Interest Rates: Better.com
Locking into the lowest possible interest rate can save you thousands of dollars by the time you fully own your home. If you’re interested in getting the lowest rate possible without contacting dozens of lenders, be sure to get a quote from Better.com. Better.com is a streamlined online lender that focuses on offering the lowest interest rates available. You can get a quote from Better in as little as a few minutes by entering details on the home you plan to buy and information about your credit.
Better.com is so confident that it has the lowest rates that the company provides you with $1,000 toward your down payment or closing costs if you get an offer it can’t beat.
Step 3: Find a House
After you apply for a mortgage loan, your lender will send you a preapproval document called a Loan Estimate. Your Loan Estimate tells you what you can expect to pay in closing costs and how much money you’re approved for in a mortgage loan. After you have your preapproval, you can start shopping for a home.
When you begin comparing properties, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the number of options on the market. Creating a list of “wants” and “needs” for your future home can help you shop more effectively. Some questions you might want to ask yourself when you begin shopping include:
- How many bedrooms and bathrooms do I need?
- Do I plan to scale up or downsize?
- Which neighborhoods would I like to live in? How much can I afford to pay each year in property taxes?
- Am I willing to do work on my new home or do I need a turnkey property?
- Do I need to take school districts into account when I shop?
You may want to hire a real estate agent to help you find your new home after you’re preapproved. Working with a real estate agent can make finding properties that fit your needs easier. Your agent may be able to give you access to properties that aren’t available on public real estate databases.
Step 4: Make an Offer
Once you find a home you think you want to buy, send the seller an offer letter. An offer letter is an official document that tells a home seller that you’re serious about buying that property. Your offer letter will often also include a small down payment called an earnest money deposit. If the seller accepts your offer, your earnest money deposit goes toward your down payment. If the seller rejects your offer, you get the earnest money back.
Most buyers allow their real estate agent to write an offer letter on their behalf. Though you can write your own letter, this isn’t recommended because agents know how to write a letter that’s legally binding. Your agent can also help you add safeguards and contingencies into your offer to protect your financial interests.
After you submit your offer, it’s up to your seller to respond. If the seller accepts the offer, you can move to close your loan. If the seller rejects your offer, you may choose to create a new offer or move onto a different property. The seller might also give you a counteroffer, which is a new offer with an adjusted set of terms. If this is the case, the ball is back in your court and you’ll get to decide how to proceed.
Step 5: Closing Time
When you and your seller reach an agreement, you can move to close on your mortgage loan. Most closing processes include 3 parts:
- Appraisal: An appraisal is a professional estimate of what your property is worth. During an appraisal, a home value expert visits your home and does outside research to assign an official value to the property you want to buy. Lenders require appraisals before you buy a home with a loan because they cannot loan out more money than the property is worth.
- Inspection: An inspection isn’t the same thing as an appraisal. During an inspection, an inspector tests your home’s systems and creates a list of everything that must be repaired and replaced. Most lenders don’t require you to get an inspection before you buy a home. However, you should never skip the inspection step because a professional inspection will help you avoid buying a home with hidden, expensive damage.
- Underwriting: While you’re getting your appraisal and inspection, your lender will underwrite your loan. During underwriting, your lender verifies all of the information you submitted on your application to be sure that you qualify for your loan.
Once all 3 steps in underwriting close, your lender will send you a document called a Closing Disclosure, which includes the final terms of your mortgage. Your Closing Disclosure should be very similar to your Loan Estimate form. If everything looks okay on your Disclosure, your lender will schedule a closing meeting.
At your closing meeting, you’ll pay your down payment and closing costs, sign on your new loan and get the keys to your property. Be sure to bring the following items to closing:
- A government-issued photo ID
- Your Closing Disclosure
- Proof of funds for your down payment and closing costs
- A note with your real estate agent and lender’s contact information
Move into Your Oklahoma Home
Managing your new home is about more than just choosing fun furniture and keeping up with regular maintenance. As a homeowner, you have a responsibility to ensure that your mortgage payments are up to date, you’re current on your homeowners’ insurance and that you’re setting aside enough money to cover property taxes. Keep your finances organized and your payment due dates clearly marked to avoid unintentionally falling behind on your loan or lapsing on your insurance coverage.
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.