Sometimes, there are more questions than answers, but this should never be the case when you’re pursuing home ownership.

When you’re preparing to purchase a home of your own, it’s important to have a list of good questions that will help guide you through this rewarding process.

As you prepare for the next step in buying a home, here’s a list of five questions you should ask your loan officer. These are designed to give you the upper hand and prepare you for the exciting road ahead.

What fees will I need to pay?

Buying a home represents one of the most significant purchases you’ll make. Because of that, it’s important to know what fees associated with purchasing a home you’ll be on the hook for.

Some fees are included in the closing costs while others are not. As you begin negotiations with the seller, some of the closing costs can be paid for by the seller or shared. You may also consider purchasing discount points before ever making your first mortgage payment. The inspection and closing costs may also come into play.

Because fees vary, it’s important to ask upfront what to expect so you know your options.

What loan programs am I qualified for?

Once you begin shopping for a loan, you’ll quickly see the many options available to you. In fact, you may qualify for various programs, including down payment assistance, depending on your unique financial circumstance.

If you’re unsure about what mortgage route is suitable for your needs, this is a question you should definitely expand upon with your loan officer. Be sure to take your time and review the options and benefits of all the specialty programs put before you.

What do I need to know about APR and interest rates?

With this kind of investment, you want to pay attention to where your money is going. Borrowing funds for a home requires a long-term commitment, and the price of annual percentage rate and interest rates.

The APR is derived by crunching various numbers, including the interest rate and fees, divided by the term of the loan.

There are a lot of variables when we talk about APR. Take the time to dive into the numbers with your loan officer to get a clear picture of what your investment will look like.

What will my monthly mortgage be?

Buying a new home means a lot of things. New location and a new budget are just some of the new realities for homeowners.

Once you select your program and price range, you can ask your loan officer about a loan estimate that will break down every cost. This will be extremely beneficial as you make a financial transition.

Monthly payments may include principal, interest, taxes, private mortgage insurance and HOA fees.

What will my down payment be?

The amount of what you’ll pay for a down payment rests on several factors. The type of loan, down payment assistance and what you qualify for will set the parameters for how much of a down payment you’ll need. Whether you also have to pay for private mortgage insurance will factor in.

It’s possible that you’ll pay zero down with a number of available programs. If you want to avoid paying mortgage insurance, however, your down payment may be more substantial.

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