Valley Updates

Home Buying - What You Should Know

The decision to buy a house whether you are a first-time homebuyer or planning to move from one home to the next can be an intimidating process. Here are three things you may want to consider to help make purchasing your home easier.

1. Know your score: An average credit score of 680 or better is optimal for being able to qualify for a mortgage.  In many cases a credit score of 580 or higher can also be used to qualify for a home mortgage depending on the financing program used.  Your credit history and score are extremely important and a key component to the home buying process.  Credit worthiness is how lenders determine how much your interest rate will be, how much of a down payment you will need to make and if they will extend the funds needed for you to purchase a home. If your credit is not where it needs to be for you to get a mortgage you can take efforts to improve your score such as, cleaning up negative credit and by making timely payments on your debts. There are three major credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax).  You are allowed one free credit report a year from each.  The free report usually shows the history only and if you want to obtain the score there could be a charge. 

2. Know your finances and how much home you can afford: Your Mortgage payment will likely be the largest of your monthly expenses therefore it is important to buy a home you can comfortably afford. Calculate your monthly household income and bills/expenses to determine where you stand. When thinking of how much home you can afford as a rule of thumb your mortgage payment should not exceed 30% of your household gross pay. For example, if your household gross pay is $5,000 a month you should be able to make a mortgage payment of $1,500.

3. Know who to turn to for a Mortgage: Credit, your financial position and knowing who can help you on your journey to buying a new home is essential.  You are not alone.  Pioneer Valley Credit Union Mortgage professionals understand purchasing a home is one of the largest purchases you may ever make and want to be there for you every step of the way.  It may surprise you that a Mortgage payment could be just about the same amount or less than your monthly rent.  Already a homeowner? We may be able to refinance your home for lower monthly payments.  Curious to see where you stand? Get pre-qualified for a Mortgage today!

For more information on our Mortgage programs and rates contact 413-730-4152 or

View our video series,"Talk to Tony!", to learn more about what to expect when purchasing a home.