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Your First Mortgage: an Interview with Kirsten Quam of Fox Valley Savings Bank you-first-mortgage

By Kirsten Quam

Tell us a little bit about your company and its foundation.

Fox Valley Savings Bank is a community bank since 1934. What this means to our communities is this: local decision making, quick decisions, great value for your money and a true community partner. Our number one priority is to help our customers meet their financial goals. We are dedicated to doing everything we can to meet their financial goals.

What are the basic steps in the mortgage process?

The mortgage process starts out by meeting with one of our lenders to walk through a prequalification process. At that time the lender will review credit scores and current debt owed with the customers. The lenders will also review current employment, job history and existing income. Once all this information is obtained and evaluated, the lender can determine the loan amount the customer is eligible to obtain. Also, a monthly payment is discussed with the customer to meet their expectations and follow current mortgage guidelines. From this point, we would be able to help determine the best loan product that fits the customers' needs while meeting their income boundaries.

Do you have any tips for people applying for their first mortgage?

The best advice is to select a lender who spends the necessary time educating and preparing the customer for the process of home buying. Acquiring a home loan can be an overwhelming process. For the majority of people a home is usually the largest investment a person makes. It's critical to be able to have great communication with the lender so that the borrower feels comfortable asking all their questions. All parties involved in a real estate transaction play an integral part in achieving the goal.owning your own home!

What factors influence a person's mortgage the most if they've never had one before?

If someone's never had a mortgage before the things that they should be thinking of is how much they feel comfortable spending on a monthly mortgage payment, what amount of funds are available to use for a down payment and what type of home is best suited to their needs. Not everyone can buy the home that is a "fixer upper" as not everyone has the skills to complete the fix-up so it's important to be realistic about the type of home to be seeking.

Is there anything else related to the idea of "Your First Mortgage" that you think should be covered?

"Your First Mortgage" is a big deal. Potential home buyers should always be aware of the saying that "If something sounds too good to be true it usually is". Explore, examine and ask questions. Advertisements that offer "No Money, Cheap Payment, Below market interest rates, etc." should raise a red flag and be explored deeply before making a commitment to proceed. Surprises at closing are never good.especially when they mean unexpected costs, fees or delays in the process. The lender that is chosen should be willing to answer all questions and offer insights that make the customer feel confident and secure during the process of securing their first mortgage.

What is the best way for people to reach you and or your company?

The best way to reach any of our lenders at Fox Valley Savings Bank is to call 920-921-7220 or 1-800-242-7880. You can also reach us at www.fvsbank.com

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