Finding The Right Mortgage In Asheville

While many people look to their home bank as the source of home financing, there are other options that could save you money in the long run. Before settling with any bank, comparison shopping is the best thing that any future homeowner could do. If you are looking to settle in Asheville, NC, there are a few local bank options as well as some online options you can look into. Here are a few suggestions of our own to research before you buy your home.


Asheville Savings Bank

Asheville Savings Bank was recently purchased and is now known as First Bank. Despite the change, their mortgage experts have been processing loans for 150 years and are very knowledgeable at getting you the best loan possible. They have a variety of options including:

  • Long term fixed rate home loans
  • Adjustable rate home loans with a variety of terms
  • Construction loans
  • First time buyer home loans
  • Government sponsored home loans like USDA/FHA/VA
  • Reverse mortgages

At the time of this article, rates varied from 2.875% to 3.875& and APR ranged from 3.061% to 4.096%.  First Bank now offers online applications as well so anyone across the country could easily apply without having to be present for the initial start of the loan process.


Credit Unions

If you have already relocated to the area and are looking to buy a home, consider joining one of our many credit unions. Asheville loves locally grown businesses and the same is true when it comes to our banking. A few of our credit unions are:

  • State Employees Credit Union
  • Mountain Credit Union
  • Telco Credit Union
  • Self-Help Credit Union

Some of the requirements for joining a credit union will vary. State Employees is open to state employees, their own employees, and certain companies contracted with them. Family members can also join. Other credit unions, such as Mountain Credit, only require that you work in the area.

Why a credit union? Well they function like banks but are not-for-profit. This means that any home loan they offer, they keep in house rather than sell it to a 3rd party, a trend popular amongst traditional mortgage lenders. This also means lower fees since they are not in the business to make a profit. Additionally, they can offer loans to those who have slightly higher debt-to-income ratios and trickier sources of income.

Are the rates lower? Not always! While origination fees tend to be lower, most rates and APR’s are comparable to your traditional bank. It’s a great option to look into if your traditional bank has already denied you because of your debt-to-income or because of the sources of your income.


Online Mortgage Lenders

Have you noticed the commercials for Quicken Loans as of lately? Don’t look away, check them out. They have competitive rates that currently start at 3.255% and it is almost as quick as it appears on their ads. The greatest thing about Quicken is that you can truly apply through the app at any given time. However, we recommend checking out their website and looking at their options and mortgage calculator to be sure that it will fit your budget. One of the most attractive options they offer is the Jumbo Loan. If you need a mortgage that is over the traditional loan limit ($424,100), this is for you. Are you a veteran? They also have VA Jumbo Loans that feature a no money down option for those that qualify. A word to the wise: some loans require a minimum credit score of 700 so inquire carefully and check your credit score before you apply.


Between local banks and credit unions, your traditional bank, and online options, you are sure to find the right mortgage and lender to fit your budget and help you buy the house of your dreams. Taking the time to comparison shop will truly empower you to making the best decision possible.

If you have questions, contact Hi-Alta today to speak with an experienced Asheville realtor.

What a Real Estate Agent or Broker Can Do For You

When it comes to buying a home, you learn a lot of lingo. Same can be said for who you choose to help you make your big purchase. There are real estate agents or salespersons and there are real estate brokers. What is the difference? Well let’s just dive in and learn what each of their roles are and what they do for you!


Real Estate Agent Vs Real Estate Broker

A real estate agent acts as a liaison between the seller of a home and the buyer. They have the access to homes that are on the market and can take on the task of making negotiations on your behalf. They understand the tricky business of contracts and understand the legalities of a home purchase. In North Carolina, real estate agents must follow the following criteria:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • US Citizen
  • Complete 75 hours of state approved courses in a live classroom
  • Pass the state licensing exam with at least a score of 75%

North Carolina considers their real estate agents as real estate brokers however, they are not a broker-in-charge and cannot work independently as a broker. They must report to a broker-in-charge.

A real estate broker-in-charge typically does all the same as a real estate agent but they can establish escrow accounts and manages the earnest money deposit. A broker-in-charge typically will work on their own or open their own office and hire brokers underneath them. In order to become a broker-in-charge there is post licensing education required within 3 years of your initial licensing as a real estate agent. There are 3 90-minute classes to complete and a form of intention that must be filed in order to be granted the new status.


Really, What Do They Do For Me?

With all the homes on the market, and several folks trying to sell their home without an agent, why should you truly hire someone to help you buy your home? Let’s first consider the legal ramifications of home buying. There are contracts and negotiations. You will need an inspection done on the home. All of these things are not easy to navigate and the average person has no idea how to navigate them. Real estate agents have the education and experience to know exactly how things should be worded in a contract, how to negotiate effectively, who to contact for inspections, and lead you into the foray without fear.

Your agent is also a buffer. Once you lay out what kind of home you want and the ideal location, they are going to do the searching for you to find the best prospects. Try doing that on your own and you could find yourself spending hours looking at all the wrong properties. What happens if you aren’t 100% sure what you want but you know what your budget is? That agent can at least inform you of what is in your price range and help you navigate your likes and dislikes to whittle away at the options.

Your agent also has the connections. The longer they have been in the business, the more connections they have. Not only to fantastic properties but to reputable contractors, inspectors, and home repair businesses in the area. They can also tell you about the best things the neighborhood has to offer and highlight some of the best things to do in town. That’s an added perk when you are moving into a completely new area or state.

Of course, we don’t recommend you buy or sell your house on your own. Let us help you find the home of your dreams. Real estate agents work hard to make the process as painless as possible so that you can truly be excited for your new home. Isn’t that the point of buying or selling a home?