13 11, 2017

First Ohio Home Finance A+ rated by the Better Business Bureau

November 13th, 2017|Uncategorized|

First Ohio Home Finance is rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau. We are proud to be accredited by the BBB, it is another way First Ohio goes above and beyond to ensure our customers we are the ones to work with!

19 10, 2017

4 Reasons to Refinance Your Mortgage

October 19th, 2017|Home Finances, Refinance, Uncategorized|

Are you considering refinancing your mortgage?

While mortgage rates are expected to rise a little this year, they are still historically low compared to the trend over the last few decades. So, if you are thinking about refinancing, you can still get a great deal!

There are several reasons why refinancing might be right for you. Usually, people refinance their home for one or more of the following reasons:

Does refinancing make sense for you? Use our refinance calculator to analyze your situation. 

If you’re interested in refinancing or would like more information about this option, please contact us.

21 08, 2017

Brandon Cooper Joins First Ohio Home Finance Westerville Office

August 21st, 2017|Uncategorized|

First Ohio Home Finance is excited to welcome Brandon Cooper to our home office! Brandon is joining the team as a Senior Mortgage Banker. He graduated from The Ohio State University and received a bachelor’s degree in business finance with a specialization in Real estate. He has worked in the mortgage business since 2010 specializing in all products (specifically FHA, VA, and Conventional).  He love seeing the satisfaction on customers’ faces when helping them out with their purchase or refinance. He strives himself on communication, integrity and transparency.  Brandon truly does look out for the borrower / buyers best interest, and I’m as honest as they come.  Outside of work, Brandon loves spending time with my 3 year old son, golfing, working out and attending country music concerts.

NMLS ID #: 846512
Phone: (614) 949-9797


13 06, 2017

Starter Homes: Pros and Cons

June 13th, 2017|Uncategorized|


Earlier generations often bought start homes initially and then would move into larger homes are their families and income grew. Now, coming up with a large down payment is a struggle for many. This results in renting and saving up for a down payment for a few years. There is also the option of buying a starter home and staying in it for longer than previous generations and paying down more of the mortgage. In order to help first-time home buyers, guide through these tricky decisions, we are going to look at pros and cons of a starter home.

Build stability quicker

When you buy a home in a certain area, many homebuyers can’t believe how much stability and roots they feel in a community. You are able to make any changes you want in order for it to feel more like your home. Overall home buyers feel a much great sense of stability.


It is no question that moving is not a fun task. Buying a starter home then upgrading in a few years will requires moving twice in a short time span. For some, it might be more cost-effective to save more and buy a bigger home instead of moving twice within a shorter time period.

Build Equity Sooner

If you can commit five to seven years to a home, there is a good chance you will come out on top in regards to building equity. If you make improvements that add value, you can take the equity you’ve built and apply it as a down payment on the next home. In essence, the start home might help you purchase your dream home.


In addition to mortgage payments and property tax, there are extra costs such as furniture, landscape improvements and buying items specific to […]

2 12, 2016

Should you take your home off the Market for the Holidays?

December 2nd, 2016|Uncategorized|

For sale sign sign in front of house in the middle of winter with snow on the ground.  Focus is on the sign.  Space on sign for additional copy.

When selling a home, we often think to only sell during the spring and summer months because that is when the most people are often looking. Even though winter and the holidays are not often thought of as the popular time to be selling a home, that does not mean that you should take your home off the market either.

The internet, smartphones, tablets, and the always-on lifestyle that many people live now has ultimately made the home-buying season a yearlong thing. Now you can set up alerts and notifications (sent directly to your phone) for homes in a certain area and price range.

Here are a couple reasons why you should consider listing your home during the holidays – or even in January.

Buyers check listings 24/7

These days, serious buyers are always real estate aware – and the holidays are no exception. People are on their phones constantly. When they are waiting for the bus or bored before bed, they can check listings with the large number of apps and websites that are available right at their fingertips, literally. People cannot step away, they are always on the go, so the same goes for buying a home. They can’t step away from that either.

Less Competition

Despite our always-on lifestyles as talked about above, many sellers still believe buyers stop looking come the middle of November. Or sellers who have had their home on the market for a while, usually take it off to give it a rest. The net effect is that the inventory for good homes often tightens this time of year. There is […]

18 03, 2016

What is an FHA loan?

March 18th, 2016|Uncategorized|

house and key with Calculator on wooden background

FHA Loans have been helping people become homeowners since 1934. It is the largest insurer of residential mortgages in the world, insuring tens of millions of properties. Borrowers with these loans pay for mortgage insurance, which protects the lender from a loss if the borrower defaults on the loan. Borrowers can qualify for an FHA loan with a down payment as little as 3.5% and a credit score of 580 or higher.

The FHA program was created in response to the rash of foreclosures and defaults that happened in 1930s; to provide mortgage lenders with adequate insurance; and to help stimulate the housing market by making loans accessible and affordable for people with less than stellar credit or a low down payment.

Who are these loans ideal for?

  • First time home buyers: FHA might be just what you need. Your down payment can be as low as 3.5% of the purchase price. Available on 1-4 unit properties.
  • Financial help for seniors: Are you 62 or older? Do you live in your home? Do you own it outright or have a low loan balance? If you can answer “yes” to all of these questions, then the FHA Reverse Mortgage might be right for you. It lets you convert a portion of your equity into cash.
  • Energy efficiency: You can include the costs of energy improvements into an FHA Energy-Efficient Mortgage.
  • Manufactured housing and mobile homes: FHA has financing for mobile homes and factory-built housing. We have two loan products – one for those who own the land that the home is on and another for mobile homes that are – or will be – located in mobile home parks.

Some of the FHA Loan Requirements:

  • Must have a steady employment […]
11 03, 2016

Topics to Discuss with your Loan Officer

March 11th, 2016|Uncategorized|

Young businessmen discussing data at meeting


In order to have the most successful and efficient loan approval process, communication with your loan officer is crucial. The Loan Officers here at First Ohio Home Finance go above and beyond to create lasting relationships with their customers. Before the process begins, here are a few things you might want to discuss with your loan officer.

Communication – Everyone has their go to form of communication. Depending on the person, they may choose email, phone calls or texting. During the loan process, some issues will need to be dealt with quicker than others so it is important that your loan officer knows the best way to get ahold of you in those situations.

Goals – Do you plan on living in this house from 3-5 years or a couple decades? Do you plan to pay off your mortgage quickly? Is this house going to become a rental property soon? All of these answers can help the loan officer present the best possible loan programs for your situation. Our loan officers here at First Ohio Home Finance care about choosing the loan programs that best fit your financial goals and want to help you achieve those goals as quickly as possible.

Be Upfront – You don’t want to take the risk of not getting a loan because you were not upfront with your loan officer. We are here to help, we do this every day, and most importantly we have heard it all. Some examples of what to be upfront about would be: other rental properties, income restraints, a short sale, foreclosure or bankruptcy or anything unique. It will help both parties in the long run to be upfront from the beginning.

Timeline – If you have a strict timeline for the […]

19 02, 2016

When does Buying a home top Renting?

February 19th, 2016|Uncategorized|














Every month when that rent payment is due it can feel like you are just throwing money down the drain. This can get pretty discouraging after a while, it is important to know when buying a home tops renting. Let’s discuss a few times it would be better to buy than rent:

  1. If you value owning assets. Every payment that you make on a mortgage increases your equity in your home and moves you closer to owning it outright. Homes can also appreciate in value, increasing your equity automatically. If you are looking for a way to invest your money even as you spend it on housing, buying can be a good move. Especially now with the mortgage rates being as low as they are.
  2. How long do you plan to stay? This is a very important thing to consider when deciding to buy over rent. Do you love where you are at? Or have you always been dreaming of living somewhere else you are just waiting on the right time. If you can see yourself living in the same place for more than 9-10 years, then buying would be the best option because the initial fees can be spread out over a longer period of time.
  3. You have the money. Buying a home is a financial commitment, so you have to be prepared for that. When buying a home, you will need enough money upfront for a down payment, as well as to cover closing fees. A healthy place to start is 20% of the home’s value, but you may need a minimum of at least 3% to 5%. On a $200,000 home, a 20% payment is $40,000, while 5% is $10,000. An addition, you have to factor in transaction costs, which can be […]
12 02, 2016

What is a Conventional Mortgage?

February 12th, 2016|Uncategorized|

financial investment of purchasing home

If you are currently in the market for a new home you probably have already started doing research on the different types of mortgages. Whether you have a large amount to put down or just a little bit saved up there are always options. Let’s see if the conventional mortgage is right for you.

A conventional mortgage refers to a loan that is not insured or guaranteed by the federal government. A conventional, or conforming, mortgage adheres to the guidelines set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It may have a fixed or adjustable rate.  These loans are offered by private entities such as banks, credit unions, private lenders and savings institutions. This is why conventional loans are only given to those in good financial standing.

The terms of a conventional loan are usually 15, 20 or 30 years. If you want to obtain a conventional loan you will need to have a larger down payment than for an FHA loan.

A conventional mortgage is ideal for the borrower with good to excellent credit. In addition to requiring higher credit scores, there are minimum down payments and lower debt-to income ratios required to qualify. However, conventional mortgages generally have fewer hurdles than FHA and VA loans and are usually processed faster.

So to recap, if you have excellent credit score, your debt-to-income ratio is low and can contribute up to 20% of the cost of the home towards a down payment then you are a candidate for a conventional loan. It is always important to talk to your mortgage lender about your options and what loan would be best for your unique situation. If you would like to talk to someone further about the different loan options, contact us here!

15 01, 2016

Reasons for Refinancing

January 15th, 2016|Blog, Home Finances, Uncategorized|

hand press on refinancing button on virtual screen

The Federal Reserve announced in December that for the first time since the before recession that interest rates will go up gradually. Even though lenders are offering lower interest rates now experts believe they will begin to increase. So it may be time to think about refinancing your mortgage. Besides saving money, here are some reasons to refinance your home.

If you have an interest rate of 4.1% on a 30-year loan but you can get a 3.3% interest on a 15-year loan, the amount of time it will take to pay off is half of that while only adjusting your payments slightly each month. If this is in your budget then it might be a good time to refinance.

If you have an adjustable rate mortgage, it may be time to switch to a fixed rate.  The rate may not change but the payment would be stable allowing you to save money over the course of the loan. Locking in a low rate now will ensure savings as opposed to ARM going back up over the next several years.

If you have equity, refinancing could allow you to access cash to pay off higher rate loans such as credit cards or student loans. You could also use the extra cash to start a business or invest in rental property.

If you have a second mortgage on the home, or a home equity line of credit, you can use your refinance to combine the two therefore getting rid of the home equity line of credit. Borrowers may do this if they are fearful of rates going up in the future on the equity line.

If you are facing a family issues, like divorce or needing money to help a family member out […]

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