Fifth Third Bank Offers Guidance on How To Make Homeownership a Reality in Challenging Environments

Jun 22, 2023 2:30 PM ET
A person in a home setting looking at a laptop.

Many potential homebuyers are concerned about making one of the biggest purchases in their lives, whether because of high interest rates or the competitiveness due to a low inventory of homes. Fifth Third Bank, National Association, has some tips and guidance to ease fears and find homebuying opportunities.

“A lot of customers are getting discouraged by high rates and lack of inventory,” said Jay Plum, head of mortgage at Fifth Third Bank. “But there are many state programs and down payment programs available to help. The key is to ask a lot of questions.”

Questions to ask when you’re buying a home:

  • What is affordable for me? Look at payment instead of interest rates.
  • What type of mortgage is best for me? Should I base that on how long I plan to live in the home?
  • What kind of down payment assistance programs are available in my area? What do I need to do to see if I qualify?
  • What agencies are in my community that can help me through the homeownership process in conjunction with a mortgage loan officer?
  • What are the minimum qualifications that must be met to purchase a home (credit, job history, etc.) and what documentation is needed to determine what I qualify for?
  • What is mortgage insurance, and will I have to pay for it?
  • What costs will I pay at closing?
  • Having a good realtor on your team is critical. When searching for a realtor, be sure and ask: What is your area of expertise? What geographical area do you cover? How do you advocate for your clients? What is your commission rate?

The U.S. Department of Housing and Development also offers a list of common questions. And Freddie Mac provides a variety of free financial education programs, including its CreditSmart Homebuyer U, which helps potential homeowners understand the homebuying process step by step.