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The Top 5 Most Common Mortgage Questions asked from Lenders

Buying a home is often one of the largest purchases we will make in our lifetime. Because of this, there may be some confusion on what’s true and what is not. That is why we have collected some of the most common questions we’ve seen and answered them for you- to help give more clarity on your home buying experience!

1) Do I Always Need a 20% Down Payment to Purchase a Home?

When I was younger, my parents had always told me that I needed to have a 20% down payment in order to buy a home. While that statement holds some truth, nowadays mortgage lenders have programs that may require much less than a standard 20% down payment.

The common thought process behind this question is that, by making a 20% down payment, you avoid needing to pay the additional Mortgage Insurance (MI) fee.

This does not, by itself, cause you to be eligible or ineligible to purchase a home.

In most cases, you do NOT need to put down a 20% down payment in order to qualify for a home. There are many options to consider that require a much lower down payment.

In some cases, you may be eligible for a loan with a down payment as low as 5%, 3.5%, 3%, or even no down payment at all!

But the only way to find out how much you might need given your financial goals and situation is by working with a qualified mortgage professional. I offer this service free-of-charge for all protective homebuyers- give me a call and we'll see what Sierra can do for you.

2) Should I Check my Credit Score before looking to Purchase a Home?

If you are looking to purchase a home, you should ABSOLUTELY check your credit before you begin the mortgage process. Knowing your credit score, as well as what is being reported will help you correct any inaccuracies quickly.

Correcting issues on your credit report may actually allow you to be eligible for programs you may have not have been considered for previously. Is is because lenders will analyze your credit report to determine which programs you qualify for.

If you'd like a copy of your credit report, consumers have the ability to annually pull their credit for free from each of the three credit bureaus. Visit, to request a free copy of your credit report. Lastly, consumer copies of your credit will not hurt your credit score, either.

3) Can I still purchase a home without having a perfect credit score?

While having a low credit score will not allow you to get the best possible rates, it is absolutely not the be-all-end-all! A credit score is not the only qualifying factor we use to determine your eligibility. In fact, there are many programs that aim to help those with lower credit scores to be eligible to purchase a home.

If you aren’t looking to purchase a home quickly, it is always wise to try to increase your credit score as much as possible before starting the process. This may help save money in the future.

To help improve your credit score, try to pay your bills on time and lower your debt-to-credit ratio. Lenders like to see you owing only about 10% to 30% of your available credit. Again, you can also get free copies of your credit report once a year from each of the main credit reporting agencies. Make sure to correct any discrepancies to ensure your report is an accurate reflection of your actual credit history.

4) Is the Best Mortgage the one with the lowest Interest Rate?

Short answer, "No, not necessarily."

Although getting a low rate is important, there are many other factors that you will want to consider other than going with the lender with the lowest interest rate. For example, you may want to consider professionalism, and the loan officer’s availability, reputation, and knowledge. All these things are worth considering and can be invaluable throughout the mortgage process.

After all, you will want to ensure you are working with a professional lender that will not make a costly mistake for you later on in the process.

5) When Should I Start the Mortgage Process?

In order to set realistic expectations about your budget, consider starting the loan process and finding a loan officer before you have settled on that perfect home.

There may be some things to consider, that you haven’t thought of yet, that could affect your home-buying budget- so it is best to know what price range you want to be in before choosing your dream home.

More about Team Franco


If you're shopping for a home in Nevada, California, Colorado, Arizona or Texas, but are not sure where to begin, give me a call and get a free mortgage quote. I'll help you determine the amount of home you can afford.

Our team's dedication to helping our clients prove how we stand out from our competition. Read our past client reviews and testimonials here.


I'm here to help- call me today!

Franco Manueli

Branch Manager & Residential Mortgage Loan Originator

NMLS #332420

2580 St. Rose Pkwy., Suite #230

Henderson, NV 89074

Office: (702) 420-2250

Fax: (855) 689-6691


Some products and services may not be available in all states. Programs, rates, terms, and conditions are subject to change without notice. Subject to verification of borrower qualifications, property evaluations and credit approval. Terms and conditions apply. This is not a commitment to lend and not all borrowers will qualify. Sierra Pacific Mortgage Company, Inc. may not be the lender for all products offered. Some loans may be made by a lender with whom Sierra Pacific Mortgage has a business relationship. Sierra Pacific Mortgage Company, Inc. NMLS #1788. Nevada Commissioner of Mortgage License #3268. Additional license info available at: Equal Housing Lender.

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