Home Ready: A Quickstart Guide to Ownership

Preparing for Homeownership

Buying a home is a huge milestone, and it’s important to prepare before you dive in headfirst. After all, this is likely the largest investment that you will ever make. The more prepared you are, the more confident you’ll feel in your home search and home financing journey. Here are some steps you can take to help you prepare for homeownership:

Understand Your Credit

Your credit can affect where you live, what types of loans you’re eligible for, how much money you can borrow, the interest rate you will pay and might even have an effect on aspects of your personal relationships. Checking your credit score will allow you to know what you’re working with, so you can start updating your credit, if necessary.

Save for a Down Payment

A down payment is the percentage of your home price that you will pay upfront. It represents the initial amount of equity, or ownership, that you will have in your home. It’s a common misconception that a 20% down payment is required to purchase a home. This is not always the case, especially as a first-time home buyer. So how much do you need to put down? The answer is different for everyone. Your down payment depends on your lender, your mortgage type and your financial situation.

Each loan program will have its own down payment requirements:

  • FHA – Backed by the Federal Housing Administration, the FHA requires as little as 3.5% down.
  • VA – Backed by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, these loans are for qualified active-duty, retired and reservist military members (and some surviving spouses) and typically do not require a down payment for homes that do not exceed the VA limit.
  • Conventional – We offer Conventional loans starting at just 3% down.
  • USDA – Backed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, these loans are for rural and suburban home buyers and also start at 0% down.

While these loan programs may not always require a 20% down payment, you will be required to pay private mortgage insurance if you put less than 20% down—unless you are using a VA Loan. The private mortgage insurance will protect the lender on their investment in case you are not able to make your monthly payments, and in some cases can be removed once you reach a certain amount of equity in your home.


Source: https://fitzgeraldfinancial.net/blog/mortgage/preparing-for-homeownership/

No matter your situation, we have a loan to fit your needs


Monica Atkins

NMLSR # 455845
Mortgage Loan Officer

Phone: 240-335-0178
Fax: 240-335-0188
Mobile: 571-215-6602

5010 Regency Pl, Suite 101
White Plains, MD 20695

Featured Loan Officer

Monica is one of the preferred mortgage lenders who meet my high standards of service and reliability, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free home-buying experience for my clients.

About Monica Atkins

The guidance of a trustworthy and experienced mortgage professional can simplify any home financing experience. FitzGerald Financial Group has a wealth of knowledge and resources to assist you in finding the best loan to meet your individual home buying needs. We pride ourselves in providing excellent customer service and establishing long lasting customer relationships.

As an experienced lender, Monica Atkins is available to guide you through the home financing process. Whether you are purchasing your first home, an investment home, refinancing or just need mortgage advice, Monica Atkins can help.

Visit her website: www.fitzgeraldfinancial.net/monicaatkins

Learn How to Lock in an Interest Rate Before Finding a Home

Lock in a low interest rate BEFORE finding your new home.

Looking for a new home takes time, which can be stressful if rising interest rates are a concern. With our new Lock & Shop program, you are able to lock in your interest rate today while still searching for your perfect home. And you may be able to take advantage of falling interest rates as well.


  • No property address is needed to apply for a loan or lock in your low interest rate
  • Lock your rate up to 90 days
  • 30 year fixed rates. Conventional, FHA, VA and USDA options
  • Conforming and high balance options available

Contact us today to find out more information!

Nick Mautino

Mortgage Loan Originator | NMLS# 146613

Office: 443-917-2788
Cell: 240-417-8181
Fax: 240-465-0506

10632 Little Patuxent Parkway Suite 333
Columbia, MD 21044

Claudette J. Davis


Office: 301-850-0255
Mobile: 240-305-2174
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Licensed in Maryland, Virginia and District of Columbia; Assisting Globally
Samson Properties
16701 Melford Boulevard, Bowie, MD 20715