Buying a home

/Tag:Buying a home
7 11, 2017

First Ohio Partners with The Veterans Resource Project

November 7th, 2017|Blog|

First Ohio Home Finance is proud to announce a new partnership with The Veterans Resource Project. The mission of the organization is to connect local businesses with Veterans and Veteran organizations in the community in a way that is beneficial to all parties involved. The Veterans Resource Project believes this is a way to strengthen the community as a whole and promotes awareness and respect to those that protect this great nation.

First Ohio Home Finance could not be happier about the program and the partnership. Often, Veterans are unaware of the opportunities they have in regards to home ownership. It is our job as mortgage lenders to ensure Veterans know about their home buying options and that we go above and beyond to help them through every step of the process. Here is some information about VA Loans, who is eligible and the advantages:

What are VA loans?

Veterans Affairs (VA) home loans are mortgages that are guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.   VA loans became available in 1944 as part of the Serviceman’s Readjustment act, also known as the GI Bill. Qualifying veterans have the opportunity to purchase a home without putting any money down, through the VA home loan program. Borrowers must obtain a VA Loan through a participating private lender. The VA doesn’t loan any money; they insure a portion of the mortgage which allows lenders to offer more favorable rates and terms to veterans who qualify.

Who is Eligible for a VA Loan?

Veterans, active-duty personnel, members of the National Guard and Reserves, and eligible surviving spouses may qualify for VA home loans. Eligibility is based on length and type of military service and discharge conditions. In order to apply for a VA loan, borrowers will need to […]

23 01, 2017

Mistakes to Avoid for First-time home buyers

January 23rd, 2017|Blog|

Buying your first home is a huge milestone! You should be extremely proud of yourself for getting to that point in life. The process may seem overwhelming at some points but here at First Ohio Home Finance we want to make it easier for you. Let’s take a look at common mistakes made by first-time homebuyers and figure out how to avoid them.

Common Mistakes

  1. Renting or buying. The first mistake people make it when they casually start looking for homes online, then fall in love with a home and are unsure whether they can afford it or not. It is important to sit down with a financial advisor, real estate agent, housing counselor or lender to decide if buying is the right thing for you or if renting for another year or so in order to save up more money.
  2. Looking at home out of your price range. Getting pre-approved before you start shopping for a home is a great way to avoid buying a home you cannot afford. When you get pre-approved, your lender will look at 2-s, tax returns and pay stubs which will determine how much you can afford and what range of prices of homes to be looking at. Learn more about pre-approval here.

Learn the Process

The more you know, the more confident you will feel about the process. First-time home buyers should spend some time researching the process of buying a home, the different types of people you will be working with and the different loans types before diving too far into the process.

Get Professional Advice

Give us a call! That is what we are here for, our Loan Officers are extremely knowledge, informed and want to help you make the right decisions. We can review your current […]

9 11, 2016

Think Twice Before Renewing your Lease

November 9th, 2016|Blog, Buying a home|

Low section view of a man standing by text Rent and Own with arrow sign represents the concept of home ownership.

Out of the conventional living options, renting often comes with the least amount of pressure. That is not meant to imply that renting is always stress free or that renters do not want security or longevity. They just retain the right to move. With renting you may have a lot of freedom but you aren’t necessarily building equity. Finding the right place to rent takes effort. Most places require renters to sign a 12-month lease. So even though it doesn’t lock you into that place for life, it does require that you pay rent for 12 months. Here are a couple reasons why you might not want to renew your lease this time around.

Rent is going up

You would think tenants would be rewarded for their money invested or for not jumping around from place to place but unfortunately landlords usually do the opposite. Landlords tend to raise rent when it comes time to sign a new lease. Check out the top ten cities where rent is rising the fastest here. Landlords usually send a letter or email to tenants about the raise in rent and sometimes it is only weeks before you have to resign or move out. Don’t let this happen to you, think twice before renewing your rent.

Landlord Issues

Many people start their own business because they want to ‘be their own boss’, well the same thing works for buying a home. Buying a home is being your own landlord, you get to choose the paint colors that you want, if you want to hang stuff on your walls or not and what appliances you will have in your home. It […]

20 10, 2016

Home Inspection Checklist

October 20th, 2016|Blog, Buying a home|

Person Hand With Magnifying Glass Over Luxury House

Inspection day is a very exciting day for home buyers. It is likely the first chance you will have to go inside the home since you made the offer. It is usually the last chance that you will have until a final walkthrough. But most importantly, it is your chance to make sure you know what you are getting yourself into when it comes to the condition of the home. You can experience many different emotions all at one time.

Home inspections not only provide you with a list of problems, but you also want to negotiate with the seller to fix some of the problems or you could even back out of the dealer altogether. It will provide you a detailed report that is something of a “new owner’s manual” for the home. This will also include tips and a schedule of when everything needs done next.

Finding an Inspector

It is important to find a professional for the job. You can find an agent through Zillow’s Agent Finder Tool, this gives you a chance to check out their online reviews and make sure they are someone you can trust to get the job done right. It is vital to be clear on what exactly is and isn’t included in the inspection price. Most inspectors are in a similar range of $300-500 and may fluctuate in price to pay for the inspection that you get. Early in the home buying process start researching inspectors and have at least a couple in mind, especially if the market is busy. You’ll need to be sure you can get an inspection scheduled within your contract timeline as well!

Inspection Day

You should plan on being there and your agent should be […]

22 09, 2016

Why you should buy a home this Fall

September 22nd, 2016|Blog, Buying a home, Home Finances|

Driveway to front walkway view of partial front of residential home during early autumn season.

Everyone loves fall. The leaves are changing, the temperatures start dropping, football season, pumpkin flavored everything, are some of the reasons why fall is so lovable. One of the other awesome things about fall is the housing market slows down, which is good news for buyers. There are a couple reasons why fall is a good time for home buyers, let’s take a look at some.

  • Less competition. As summer comes to an end and the school year starts up, there are fewer families who want to move because they do not want to have their children change schools or school districts during the middle of the year. This is one of the reasons why competition for buying homes drops off in the fall. Fall is considered to be off-season realty. Don’t be discouraged by that though, in some cases there is just as much inventory in the fall as there is in spring and summer. This puts you in a great position to negotiate especially because some sellers will definitely want the move and sale to happen before the holidays.
  • Sellers are worn out. Sellers that still have their homes on the market during the fall might have priced their homes higher than what buyers have wanted to pay in the spring and summer months. After months of no actions, these sellers are often ready to make a deal. Sellers are going to be worn out after months of work. They are likely to take a smaller offer rather than wait another six months for spring to be back around.
  • Sellers means business. Just because a home is on the market in the fall doesn’t necessarily mean that […]
25 05, 2016

Buying a Home with Student Loans

May 25th, 2016|Blog, Buying a home, Home Finances, Mortgage 101, Tips & Advice|


Young couple meeting financial consultant for credit loan

The housing market has been waiting for millennials to settle down and start buying homes instead of renting or remaining in their parent’s home for a few years now. If you ask any millennials, many of them will say these decisions are being prolonged due to the amount of student debt haunting them. The average Class of 2016 graduate has $37,172 in student debt, up six percent from last year according to This is a huge financial burden to be facing, but we are here to tell you how you can still buy a home even with student loans.

Shop for a Home you can afford

This should be a rule of thumb for any purchase in life, if you can’t afford it, you probably should not be buying it. Home shopping can be tempting. You may be looking at multiple car garages, completely new appliances, high ceilings and much more. It is important not to get carried away. If you are a first-time home buyer, you may have to go with a starter home instead of your dream home but that will come with time.

Minimize Debt from Credit Cards and Car Loans

When applying for a loan these are the main factors taken into consideration:

  1. Income.
  2. Savings.
  3. Credit Score.
  4. Monthly debt-to-income ratio.

Your debt-to-income ratio shows the lender your total financial obligations including car payments, credit card debt and student loans in comparison to your income. To keep yours low, keep off as much debt as possible before applying for a mortgage.

Lower your monthly student loan payments

Even if you do not have any other types of debt, having a high student loan monthly payment could give you a high debt-to-income ratio. To lower that ratio […]

19 01, 2016

Advantages to Buying a Home During Winter Months

January 19th, 2016|Blog, Buying a home, Home Finances|

Home For Sale Real Estate Sign in Front of Beautiful New House in the Snow.

An analysis of sales statistics shows that central Ohioans get a better deal buying a home in the winter, rather than the summer. The median sale price of a central Ohio home in the three winter months averaged $130,630 over the past five years compared with $156,201 during the summer months. The average price per square foot dropped from $96.81 in the summer to $82.36 in the winter.

Another advantage is that a deal is likely to close more quickly because lenders, title companies, appraisers and others are not as busy during these months. This is fortunate for anyone who is trying to move quickly through the buying process. Central Ohio home sales, along with those nationally, drop precipitously during winter. During the past five years, an average of 1,456 Columbus-area homes sold during the three winter months, compared with 2,559, during the summer months.

Why are the prices lower in the winter? People marketing homes in the winter often must sell, experts say, and therefore tend to be receptive to offers, especially with fewer people buying homes during this time. If a home is on the market over the holidays or middle of January, a person typically has to sell it, limiting negotiating leverage. If seller do not have a specific timeline, then they will hold out till spring or summer when the market is better.

The advantage of buying in the winter has risen as the housing market has recovered. If you are looking to buy during these winter months or any month we want to help! Contact us here today.   

5 01, 2016

Predictions for the 2016 Housing Market

January 5th, 2016|Blog, Buying a home, Home Finances|


The New Year brings fresh expectations for just about everything and, of course, that includes the housing market. When buying a house location is always important, this is not changing in 2016. For most people, location, cost and nearby amenities will remain the most important criteria when searching for the perfect home.

We also expect to see more first-time home buyers looking at suburbs, preferably ones that are more densely populated and walkable. If this proves true, it will likely increase condominium sales in 2016.

A year or so ago, 2015 was predicted to be the year for Millennials to begin buying homes since they were older and the real estate market was more recovered. But that did not seem to be the case. For 2016, we aren’t expecting much different. Millennials will become a bigger and bigger force in the market going forward, but it is unlikely that we will see a flood of home buying activity from them in 2016. The millennials will trickle in when they see fit. They are taking their time getting into the housing market because they are getting married and having children later in life. They want their home buying decisions to support these prominent milestones in life – and rightly so!

New Year’s predictions for 2016 wouldn’t be complete without a quick look at new housing trends. In 2016, for the first time since 2006, total sales for existing and new homes will reach 6 million; this resulted from a strong gross domestic product increase of 2.5 percent and continued job creation. The new construction market will continue to see more significant gains in 2016 as new home starts increase 12 percent year over year and new home sales grow 16 percent year over year. The improvement […]

22 12, 2015

Interest rates are going up, what does this mean for home buyers?

December 22nd, 2015|Blog, Buying a home, Latest News, Mortgage 101, Tips & Advice|


The Federal Reserve raised interest rates last Wednesday for the first time in nearly a decade, meaning that the U.S. economy has overcome the wounds of the 2007-2009 financial downfalls. The U.S central bank’s policy-setting committee raised its benchmark interest rate from a range of 0-0.25 percent to a range of 0.25-0.50 percent, ending a lengthy debate about whether the economy could withstand higher borrowing costs.

It is still unsure what the long-term effects of this change will be but for now we can speculate on what this will mean for home buyers:

  • The feds have been signaling that interest rates will be raising very slowly, which will probably have very little effect on mortgages and saving accounts.
  • Mortgage lenders have already been working the increase into today’s mortgage rates because an increase has been approaching for some time.
  • Real estate agents and home builders do not feel there is a sense of urgency for home buyers to purchase before the rates go up, buyers should take the time needed to make good decisions.
  • With that said, if buying a home is on the horizon, it does not hurt to pay attention to these changes.

In the United States right now the average mortgage interest rate is 3.95%. Most experts do not think mortgages rates will go much higher than 4% anytime soon. Even an increase to 4.5% would only add about $700 a year to the monthly payments for a $200,000 home. The early indications are that rates barely budged after the announcement by the Federal Reserve last week.

Buying a home can seem like an overwhelming process but do not let this recent news about interest rates scare you away. Have a personal timeline for when you want to have certain steps in the process accomplished and […]

14 11, 2015

Questions You Should Ask When Buying a Fixer-Upper

November 14th, 2015|Blog, Buying a home|


There is no shortage of TV shows nowadays where people buy fixer-uppers only to turn them into unique and beautiful homes. It is really inspiring to watch some of these outdated and under-utilized homes turn into beautiful and functional homes. While buying a fixer-upper has a lot of advantages (i.e, lower cost to purchase) there are some things you should ask when shopping the housing market for the perfect fixer-upper.

  1. Ask your agent what is the neighborhood like- The dynamics of a neighborhood become critical when buying a fixer-upper. Will the home require a significant amount of money to remodel in order for the home to be cohesive with the rest of the block? If you put too much money into the update, therefore increasing the value of the home, and the other homes in the area are not valued at that amount, it may be difficult to resell the home and get your money’s worth out of it.
  2. Ask your agent if the home is in a Historic District- Purchasing a beautiful Victorian home may sound lovely, with all of the beautiful details like crown molding and wainscoting just to name a few, but it can come with a hefty price tag. Because most homes in Historic districts require prior approvals before major renovations can be completed, this can cause delay and more money being spent to meet certain criteria.
  3. Ask the inspector what is the state of the home’s major systems-  It is a given that a fixer-upper will likely come with a lot of work and cash being spent. It is important that you choose your inspector wisely and make sure to listen carefully. It is common for cosmetic work to be needed but if there are problems with the foundation, electrical, and plumbing systems, this could mean that you […]
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