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What It Takes to Buy a House in the Highland Lakes

Local banks and mortgage brokers have closed thousands of home loans in the Highland Lakes. Their experience can help potential homebuyers secure a loan and close on the house of their dreams.

With a median home price in Burnet County of about $251,000, you might think coming up with a 20 percent down payment is too great a burden. Never fear! Some loans require zero down payment, while others just 3.5 percent. A minimum down payment on a median-priced home in Burnet County comes out to about $8,800.

Four types of loans are available from local mortgage companies and banks: conventional, FHA, VA, and USDA Rural Development.

A mortgage broker or bank will tell you which products they offer and what suits you best. (See the Highland Lakes Financial Guide for more information.) Getting pre-qualified before you begin shopping is a good idea in the sellers market that is Highland Lakes real estate.

Once you’re pre-approved, your mortgage broker or banker will give you a pre-qualification letter that your Realtor uses to present a contract to a seller.

Russ Roper at HomeCorp Mortgage in Marble Falls shared some insight into what not to do before closing on a home.

Roper, who has closed thousands of loans across Texas in his career, advised homebuyers against doing anything that would affect their credit score before a closing date.

“Don’t go out and open a bunch of credit cards or new lines of credit,” Roper said.

Most loan programs have minimum credit score requirements, he said. The USDA program requires a credit score above 620. FHA loans can be acquired with credit scores in the 500s under certain circumstances, Roper said.

In fact, Roper said he closed a loan with a man who had a credit score in the 500s from financial problems five to six years ago. He reestablished his credit, had a steady income, and was able to get a home loan despite the low score.

“Just because you missed out years ago doesn’t mean you can’t get a mortgage now,” Roper said.

Before closing, it’s also best to avoid behavior that might make you look risky to lenders examining your finances. Beside limiting new lines of credit and credit inquiries, large deposits or purchases should be avoided before closing. Don’t give a lender a reason to question your finances.

Mortgage brokers and banks in Burnet and Llano counties will gladly accommodate your needs when searching for a home.

“I work to 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. every night,” Roper said. “That’s when most people are off work.”

Whether accommodating your schedule or answering your questions through the process, banks and mortgage brokers in the Highland Lakes Financial Guide will provide the service you deserve.

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