Thinking of buying a new home? Now may be the best time to buy. Watch Lee and James to learn more.
From February KATV Interview with Lee Maris
No headphones? No problem! Read the transcript below!
James: "Welcome back to good morning
Arkansas Lee Maris with Bank of Little
Rock Mortgage is here this morning to
explain what a buyers market means and
some important things to know if you're
ready to jump into home ownership
specifically a lot of people want to
know what is a buyers market before you
know you get into its buyers market
let's go buy a house right we got to
have some of the background in from
Lee: "Buyers market essentially I think
is you know more sellers and buyers
buyers were kind of in control we've
kind of had a seller's market the last
few years no inventory well they're a
lot more houses are being built spring
selling season's coming up so hopefully
buyers will have the edge"
James: "Yeah okay and
what do we want to look for if we're
looking to buy a house what is one thing
you want to look for?"
Lee: "Gotta have the
money, so get pre-approved"
James: "and getting pre-qualified what does that mean?
Lee: "You know basically we're gonna do the due
diligence on the front end realtor's you
don't want to drop someone around all
weekend or all week and then find a
house and come to realize they can't
qualify for a loan."
James:"Yeah it's just a waste of time"
Lee: "Yeah if you got cash
that's one thing but if you need a loan
you got to get pre-approved you
know call us at Bank a Little Rock"
James: "So that's something you guys
Lee: "Absolutely mm-hmm and
we can get you
pre-approved in a day
James: "So it
doesn't take long at all no how long
should the home buying process take
Lee: "Well with all our wonderful
government regulations it's kind of
stretched it out and we can still get
loans done and you know if it's a solid
loan we get it done in three weeks."
James: "Okay so you're look at a process of a month right."
James: "So if i was going to be looking to buy a house as a new buyer,
is the process a little different than
somebody who's maybe up sizing or
Lee: "Not necessarily, there's a
learning curve you know you've been
through the process before you probably
expect and understand how important it is to
be timely getting us documentation etc.
you know sometimes first-time home buyers
don't understand the urgency you
know if we ask for something please get
it to us."
James: "So don't wait around"
Lee: "Yeah we're trying to help you, you know get into
James: "So at Bank of Little Rock Mortgage you
guys have Realtors with that you
guys work or"
Lee: "No we partner with
realtors and try to get them to send us
business and that's the one thing they
want to get you know they're gonna a
realtor is gonna send John Doe to Lee
Maris and wants me to get John Doe
James: "Yeah so getting
pre-qualified is that first step and now
if you meet the qualifications you got a
house you want to go get what's the next
Lee: "Well the realtor is gonna want a
pre-approval letter so we're gonna
you know provide a pre-approval letter
and you know a lot of times when you get
pre-approved we're gonna
tell you a max you can go look for you
know go look for a house under X
and so really you want to get
pre-approved before you go look for a
James: "Absolutely okay so you don't just
want to hop online I like that house I'm
gonna go get this"
Lee: "Right I mean you know a lot of times people
don't know what their credit
scores are and a lot of times
they might be able to afford or get
approved for a lot more house than they
think we see that a lot"
James: "oh wow I bet they know the home owning
process especially for people who are
younger is very foreign to them they
don't know how it works and they
might if they knew more about it they
might go out and try to do more try to
get a buying process underway just don't
know and don't want to go through the
work to find out but it's actually not
as hard as people think.
Lee: "It's not rocket
science we're looking at income, we're
looking at credit, we're looking at your
debt and then you get a number and
you go from that."
James: "Exactly that's
very very good so what kind of documentation does a
potential home buyer need in order to
get this process started"
Lee: "Generally we're
gonna need the last two years w-2s or
tax returns get you're self-employed
we're gonna need your tax returns
if your salary w-2 a couple pay stubs
we're gonna need to know where you
now payments coming from some bank
statements driver's license I mean that
you know if you've been divorced we
probably need your divorce decree stuff
James: "So a lot of people ask this
how much cash do you need down payment
for getting a house"
Lee: "We can go from zero
down to whatever you got you don't have
to have any but no there's there's a lot
of zero down programs out there
especially for veterans to be zero down"
James: "As far as like what you see on day to
day basis what percentage you say you get for downpayments?"
Lee: "On average, I would probably say on average five to ten
James: "Okay i was thinking more of twenty percent"
Lee: "Yeah I mean
that's ideal because you're gonna avoid
mortgage insurance yeah but we see a lot
of three and a half, percent five percent
I mean all day long and you can go up to
three hundred thousand with three
James: "Okay so the more the house
is you put less"
Lee: "Well not necessarily it
used to be that if you had a very small
down payment you were kind of limited to
what price range around but now
they've expanded it and you can I mean
we can do loans 300-350K.
James: "What is
Lee: "Mortgage insurance is
basically a safety net for the lender
so back in the old days you had to
put 20% down
he gave the lender a spread if they were
ever to foreclose on that person I had
to sell the house mortgage insurance was
developed basically it's a it's a
monthly premium that you pay if you're
only putting five percent ten percent
down so if something were to happen that
mortgage insurance company will step in
and pay the loan down to give the lender
James: "Okay so that just helps the
it's a safety net for the lender. So if I was gonna go buy a house
I would probably look to do something
where I didn't want to get mortgage
Lee: "Yeah but I mean a lot of
people don't know a percent ups a lot
right as well and there's a ways around
mortgage insurance yeah well less than
James: "Well alright, for all the home
buyers out there where can
they go to find more information?"
Lee: "Our website
BLRmortgage.com or you can
call us at 501-219-9100. On our website
there's tons of tools and calculators
that you can play around with and figure
out how much you can"
James: "That's always real
fun to do oh yeah so I guess you're
saying the best thing you can do is get
get information get pre-approved it's
best step alright well Lee Maris from
Bank of Little Rock Mortgage this