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Buy a Home: Frequently Asked Questions

How much cash will I need for closing costs?
How much house can I afford?
What types of mortgages are available?
What are the tax advantages of owning a home?
Should I get prequalify?
How can I lock in my interest rate?
Can I view my mortgage information online?


Have a question that was not answered? Contact us with any questions you may have.


How much will I pay in closing costs?

Closing costs include lender fees, third-party fees, and pre-paid items (interest, taxes and hazard insurance). The lender should provide you with an estimate of the closing costs soon after your application has been received. If you have a specific dollar amount in mind, you may request a good faith estimate from the lender that should include an estimate of the closing costs.

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How much can I afford?

To discover how much you can afford to spend on your new house, you will need to see how much you can afford to pay each month toward a mortgage loan.

In general, lenders prefer that your monthly mortgage payment is about 30% or less of your gross monthly income. Lenders also look at your back end ratio (debt in comparison to income).

Calculator: How much house can I afford?

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What types of mortgages are available?

Traditional Fixed Rate Mortgages

With a fixed rate mortgage, the interest rate is set for the full term of the loan. The monthly payment for principal and interest stays the same for the life of the loan.

Adjustable Rate Mortgages

An adjustable rate mortgage usually starts with a lower initial interest rate than traditional fixed rate loans.

After an initial fixed payment period (usually 3, 7 or 10 years), the interest rate is subject to review and can move up or down based on the index and margin. Your monthly payment changes as the interest rate changes.

Balloon Mortgages

A balloon mortgage starts out the same as a 30-year fixed rate mortgages, but after the initial term, the balance of the loan must be repaid. The loan may be refinanced or simply paid off at the end of the initial term.

FHA Insured Fixed Rate Loans

  • FHA-insured mortgages are assumable, have low prepaid items, without affecting the down payment requirement
  • Gift funds from a relative or employer may be used for a down payment and cost to close.
  • No cash reserves are required after closing.
  • Child-care costs are not considered in the debt ratio.


VA Guaranteed Fixed Rate Loans

  • VA-insured mortgages are assumable
  • No down payment requirement/100% financing
  • Gift funds from a relative or employer may be used for a down payment and cost to close.
  • Seller can pay all closing costs, prepaids and discount points up to 4% of the Sales Price.
  • No cash reserves are required after closing.

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What are the tax advantages of owning a home?

Income tax reductions. Interest paid on a mortgage loan and property taxes can often be deducted from your taxable income. With the tax break, it is sometimes less expensive to own a home than to rent. Advice

Equity loans. The longer you pay on your mortgage, the more equity that builds up in your home. You may borrow money against this equity, and the interest on a loan against equity in a home can often be tax deductible. Please consult a tax professional for more information.

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Should I prequalify?

Prequalifying lets you know how much you can afford to pay for a house, and it demonstrates to the seller that you are serious about buying. Prequalifying also makes the final application process move quicker and smoother.

Some lenders may charge fees for prequalifying. Simmons First collects any fees at the time of application.

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How can I lock-in my interest rate?

To help lock-in the interest rate you want, fill out a mortgage loan application in advance.

To download a printable, conventional mortgage loan application, click here.

Once you have completed a mortgage loan application, take it to one of our convenient locations near you. The interest rate you are quoted on the day your mortgage loan application is accepted is the rate you can lock-in to, if you choose to do so. You are only able to lock-in your interest rate for a certain amount of time called the lock period. One of our friendly mortgage loan representatives will gladly go over your loan application with you to make sure you have considered all of your financing possibilities and to discuss the lock-in rate and period.

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Can I view my mortgage information online?

Mortgage information is available for viewing online. You may also make payments to your mortgage online from any Simmons First checking or savings account.

If you are currently enrolled in Simmons First Bank Anywhere online service, all you need to do is have your Simmons First mortgage loan added to your existing Bank Anywhere online account by clicking here.

If you are not enrolled in Simmons First Bank Anywhere online service and you wish to view your Simmons First mortgage loan online, you will need to enroll in the Bank Anywhere online service. Enrolling in Simmons First Bank Anywhere is fast and easy. Click here to learn more about Simmons First Bank Anywhere and the enrollment process. Fees may apply.

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