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First-Time Home Buyer Program

If you’re getting ready to buy, here are 10 reasons why we’re a smart choice for your first home loan:

  1. 1.You can trust us to guide you through every step of the process – from helping you decide whether to purchase a home to taking ownership.
  2. 2.We offer a full range of fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgage options with competitive rates and terms up to 30 years.
  3. 3.You can set up a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our friendly mortgage specialists. We’ll even come to your home or office.
  4. 4.We offer free, local home buying seminars throughout the year where you can learn tips for creating a budget and saving for a down payment.
  5. 5.You can review your credit report with one of our mortgage specialists, and they will explain how to fix any issues that may affect your mortgage application.
  1. 6.We offer a free Mortgage App that provides a handy mortgage calculator, educational videos and current rates.
  2. 7.We provide free Pre-Qualification Letters stating how much home you can afford, which can give you an advantage over other home buyers.
  3. 8.Our Marquette Bank Affordable Housing Foundation Grants offer up to $5,000 in home buying assistance to those who qualify.
  4. 9.You can get pre-qualified, fill out your application and receive updates and alerts through your computer and smartphone.
  5. 10.We’ve been helping residents of Chicago and its southern suburbs buy homes for more than 70 years.

Overview of the Home Buying Process

It always helps to have step-by-step directions, so we've outlined them here:

Set Up a Free Consultation

Schedule a time to talk with one of our friendly mortgage specialists. They will answer your questions and provide helpful advice. There is no cost and no obligation.

Get Pre-Qualified for Free

If you decide it’s the right time to buy a home, the next step is to get pre-qualified. You do this by filling out a short online application. In about 24 hours, you’ll hear back about whether you qualify and how much home you can afford. This will guide your home shopping. From this point forward, you should not make any major purchases that will affect your credit or your debt-to-income ratio.

Find a Real Estate Agent

Talk to at least a few qualified real estate professionals, and then pick one you feel comfortable with. Show them your Pre-Qualification Letter, explain your needs and ask them to help you find a great home in your price range.

Submit an Offer

Once you’ve found a house that meets your needs, work with your real estate agent to submit an offer. Your real estate agent will help you determine the amount and the terms of the offer.

Settle on a Price

After you submit your offer, the owner may provide a counteroffer. Your real estate agent will help you decide on the price, get the home inspected and negotiate the cost of any repairs.

Complete Your Application

Once you’ve settled on the purchase price and terms, your Marquette mortgage specialist will provide you with a list of necessary documents, fill out your application, schedule an appraisal of the property you intend to purchase and initiate a title search.

Insure Your Home

You will need to protect your investment by insuring it. Your mortgage specialist will help you find a suitable insurance provider if you don’t have one. You may also wish to get a home warranty to protect yourself against unexpected costs.

Close on Your Mortgage

Your Marquette mortgage specialist will schedule a time to gather all necessary participants and sign the paperwork, which will transfer ownership of the property from the seller to you.

Enjoy Your New Home!


Home Buyer FAQs

We consider many different factors when we review your mortgage application.

These include:

Credit score. Your credit score reflects your payment history, how long you’ve had credit, how much you’ve borrowed in the past and other factors. This helps us determine your ability to make monthly loan payments and the interest rate you may receive. A credit score of 720 or above can help you get the best terms. It is a smart idea to review your credit report before you start looking for a home to make sure there are no mistakes. If you need help, one of our mortgage specialists can review your credit report with you and suggest ways to fix mistakes or improve your score if necessary.

Debt-to-income ratio. This is based on how your monthly expenses (such as rent, credit card bills and other payments) compare to your gross monthly income. This ratio helps show the monthly payment you can afford.

Down payment. The amount of money you will pay upfront is used to determine eligibility. Also, a higher down payment can help lower your interest rate.

Employment history. We will also consider your employment or other source of steady income to ensure you can manage monthly payments.

When deciding how much you can spend on your new home, it is important to consider the complete cost of homeownership. In addition to your mortgage payment, you will need to pay property taxes, homeowners insurance and the cost of maintenance and repairs. If your down payment is less than 20%, you will also need to pay for mortgage insurance. One rule of thumb is that your home should not cost you more than 30% of your pretax income. Your mortgage consultant can provide valuable guidance and help you work though the numbers during your free, no-obligation consultation.

A fixed-rate mortgage comes with predictable monthly payments and an interest rate that’s locked in for the life of the loan, which can protect against future rate increases.

An adjustable-rate mortgage provides a lower fixed rate for a set number of years before switching to a variable rate for the remainder of the term. Borrowers who plan on refinancing or moving in the near future often prefer this option.

We offer a wide variety of loan options, repayment terms and rate structures to support our customers’ home loan needs. The best mortgage for you depends on a number of factors, including:

  • How long you plan to stay in your home
  • Whether you’d like to lock in your interest rate or pay a lower rate early on
  • If you expect to refinance later
  • The cost of the home

You and your mortgage specialist will discuss your goals and financial situation to help you make your decision.

Your rate will be calculated based on today’s mortgage rates and current pricing in the housing market, as well as factors unique to you. These factors include your credit score, down payment, loan type and term, loan amount and where the property is located.

Our Marquette Bank Affordable Housing Foundation Grants offer up to $5,000 in home buying assistance to those who qualify. Plus, our mortgage specialists can help you understand if you qualify for city, state or federal government assistance programs. If you are a veteran or currently in the military, you may qualify for a VA loan. You can learn more at our free, no-obligation consultation.

You should talk to several real estate agents before deciding which one to use. Ask friends and family for recommendations. Make sure the agents are licensed by the state and real estate is their full-time job. Consider their experience. Since local knowledge is critical, make sure the agent is active in the area in which you wish to purchase a home. They need to know about specific neighborhoods, market trends, and proposed development plans.

You will need to gather an assortment of documents that will provide your lender with a complete understanding of your financial status. These include:

  • Recent pay stubs for each applicant
  • W-2s and tax returns for the past two years
  • Bank statements for the past three months
  • Employer names and addresses
  • Proof of other nonpayroll income (e.g., dividends, bonuses, child support, Social Security or disability payments)
  • Paperwork regarding your loans and other financial obligations (e.g., car loans, student loans, credit cards and alimony)
  • (If self-employed) A P&L statement in addition to two years of tax returns

Your mortgage specialist will let you know if you need any additional documents.

This important step provides an assessment of the property from an unbiased third party, which can help you make an informed decision regarding the purchase. Your home inspector will examine the inside and outside of the house and note the condition of the structure and major systems. If possible, you should accompany the inspector so you can observe and discuss the findings. The inspector will note necessary repairs and potential issues and document them in a report. Based on the inspection report, you may decide to ask the seller to fix the problems or reduce the selling price or you may decide not to purchase the property.

Yes, lenders such as Marquette require appraisals to ensure the property justifies the purchase price. We will select a qualified appraiser, and the appraisal fee will be included in your closing costs.

Mortgage insurance helps protect lenders if borrowers fail to repay their loans, and it allows borrowers to purchase homes with smaller down payments than they would otherwise need. It is required for down payments that are less than 20% of the sale price. How the mortgage insurance is paid depends on the type of loan: VA loans require a funding fee; FHA-insured loans require a mortgage insurance premium; and conventional loans require private mortgage insurance. With a conventional loan, mortgage insurance is no longer needed once the balance of the loan drops to 78% of the sale price and mortgage payments are current.

Closing refers to the meeting where your home purchase is finalized. At this point, your loan application has been processed and the inspection and appraisal are complete.

We will work with you and your real estate agent to schedule the closing.

Typically, the buyer (you), the seller, the real estate agents, the lender (us) and a representative from the title company will be present. At the meeting, the seller will sign documents transferring ownership. You will sign mortgage documents and ownership papers, pay closing costs and make escrow payments. Note: Your real estate agent may recommend doing a walk-through of the property the day before to make sure the home is in the agreed-upon condition.

There are two ways to get started:

  • Schedule your free, no-obligation consultation with one of our mortgage specialists.
  • Get pre-qualified now by filling out our short online application.