Click to EXPLORE YOUR MORTGAGE JOURNEY
THE first-timer | THE Property investor | THE REFINANCER | THE mover | the Rural LANDOWNER
What kind of homebuyer are you?
What is your
Whether it's your first or fifth — homebuying is one of the most monumental and exciting experiences in your life. It can also be one of the most confusing and frustrating. Fortunately, you don't have to go through it alone. Bank of Colorado has the experience to help you navigate the process as your ally in homebuying. As a community bank with deep roots, they know the people and the plays and potential pitfalls of homebuying in the local market. Heck, they might even live in the neighborhoods you’ve been looking at! In a competitive environment, their expertise can give you the upper hand in landing the home of your dreams.
Buying that home doesn't have to be!
Ready to buy a home?
We're ready to help! Click the link below for our fast online application and get pre-qualified in minutes!
discover the Questions You Should be Asking Your Mortgage Lender
When looking to finance the purchase of your new home, there are many places you can go. Both banks and online mortgage lenders are perfectly viable options, but each come with different advantages. Before you make the biggest investment of your life, it’s important to feel comfortable with your lender.
WHAT TO KNOW WHEN PICKING A LENDER
BANKS OR BOTS?
Back to top
Have more questions?
Discover the questions you should be asking your mortgage lender.
Find out more
Download our mortgages guide here
FOUR WAYS MILLENIALS ARE REDEFINING HOME OWNERSHIP
HOW TO SAVE FOR A DOWNPAYMENT ON A HOME
YOUR GUIDE TO UNDERSTANDING THE HOME MORTGAGE PROCESS
More from bank of colorado
Check your credit score and assess your spending potential. Make sure the time is right for you to buy. (Here’s a handy calculator to help crunch the numbers.) And if you are at all unsure, discuss the decision with your banker.
Know the Market
What you’ll have to spend on a home depends greatly on where you want to live. Line up your priorities — whether it’s proximity to work, the school district, or neighborhood amenities — then start shopping.
Get a Letter
No matter where you are buying, right now everywhere is a sellers’ market. Homes are going quickly, often for above asking price and sometimes even for cash. If you don’t have a letter from your bank pre-qualifying you for a loan, your offer might not be taken seriously.
Pick a Loan
First, you need to know that there are different types of loans, each with its own terms. Do you want a 15-year or 30-year loan? Each will have a different interest rate, monthly principal, and interest payment. Also understand the types of interest rates — fixed or adjustable, which fluctuates based on the federal interest rate index.
Plan to Pay
While most loans are amortized — meaning you make regular payments — there are other, quicker ways to pay down your loan. Talk to your mortgage banker about what’s available before you sign for your loan.
click a card to reveal a definition of commonly used home buying terminology
TRY OUR jargon buster
How much can you afford?
Try our calculator
Use our calculator to learn more about the cost of your potential mortgage. The results provided by this calculator are intended for illustrative purposes only and accuracy is not guaranteed by financial institution.
Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) is required for qualified buyers who make less than 20% down payment toward the purchase price of the home.
Money set aside by the lender that will be used to pay yearly taxes and homeowner’s insurance.
The difference between the value of the home and the mortgage loan.
The ratio of gross income to the housing and non-housing expenses.
A clause in the contract that outlines the conditions under which the contract will be executed. These contingencies can be proposed by either party, but must be accepted by both.
Costs the buyer must pay at the end of the mortgage process. These can include recording fees, inspection fees, and brokerage commissions.
The estimated value of a property based on a physical inspection by a professional appraiser and similar houses that have been recently sold.
The schedule of how the loan will be repaid, including monthly interest and principal to be paid.
click a card
to reveal A
It’s time. You’ve waited and saved. You’ve scouted and dreamed. Now you’re ready to put down roots and invest in your family’s future. But what happens after you’ve found your perfect starter home? In this seller’s market, you need to act quickly and decisively. Bank of Colorado can help you decipher all the jargon and lingo and secure the financing you’ll need to put together a competitive offer. And when the sellers and their real estate agents see Bank of Colorado on your prequalification letter or behind your offer, they’ll know you’re serious about buying your first home.
Metro Down Payment Assistance
Colorado Housing and FINANCE AUTHORITY
Colorado Housing aND FINANCE AUTHORITY
Loan Guaranteed by U.S. Department of Agriculture
online "bot" lenders
Go to comparison
Community bank vs
READY TO TALK TO A LOCAL MORTGAGE LENDER?
return to homepage
BUYING A HOME IN COVID-19: WHAT TO CONSIDER
More Money Down
Mortgage insurance generally isn’t available for rental properties, so you’ll need at least 20% down payment on the purchase. Talk to your mortgage banker about the possibility of financing some of that up-front expense.
Pick Your Spot
While you might not be living there yourself, you don’t want to be left owning property in a declining area. Research recent neighborhood trends in population growth, property taxes, crime rates, and surrounding development and infrastructure.
Double Check Your Rate
Borrowing money is still relatively cheap. But be aware that the interest rates on investment properties are usually higher than those of a typical mortgage. Your mortgage banker can help you look at your options — including a portfolio loan, which, unlike a conventional mortgage, allows you to keep the debt in your portfolio.
Look Before You Flip
We’ve all watched the home-remodel shows on TV. But while buying a fixer-upper and whipping it into shape for a profit or rental might look easy, your profits can disappear quickly if you don’t have the do-it-yourself skills or at least know a contractor who can do the job for cheap.
You’re no stranger to the market. You’ve owned your own house for some time, and now you see interest rates are low and money is cheap. You have some extra cash or a stimulus payment, you have some liquidity, and right now, you see a golden opportunity to expand your portfolio and generate some passive income.
But this isn’t quite like buying your first home. If you intend to rent, the unpredictability of tenants paying regularly on-time can put your ROI in jeopardy. At the same time, if payments do come in on time, there’s a chance at a greater return than most other investments. Knowing the nuances of investing in property can make the difference between losing that investment or having a revenue stream that can help sustain your future.
PROPERTY INVESTOR 101
Any conventional financing loan program both fixed and arm programs available.
Portfolio Loan Program
WHICH HOUSEHOLD PROJECTS HAVE THE BEST RETURN ON INVESTMENT?
THINKING OF BUYING A HOME? DO THESE THINGS FIRST
You’re happy in your home and aren’t looking to move or buy an investment property—but that doesn’t mean you can’t join in on the fun. With interest rates at all-time lows you might be tempted to lower your own rate, shorten the term of your loan or both.
Refinancing can also enable you to tap into the equity of your home to finance repairs or improvements, find quick relief in a lower monthly payment, ditch mortgage insurance, and even switch from an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) to fixed rate. But while refinancing offers some golden opportunities, it’s also a complex process. You need to go into it with open eyes—and an experienced mortgage banker who can guide you.
ACCESS TO HELP
You can access the website anytime, usually get someone on chat, and maybe even get a person on the phone. But if you have questions, concerns, or needs outside of the online forms, it can be difficult to get answers from a real person—let alone a sit-down face to face.
Your mortgage banker wants to know more about you than just your credit score. They get to know your needs and financial goals. They can usually be reached at any hour to answer your questions and walk you through the complicated process.
When it comes to commerce, there’s nothing faster than the Internet. And many online lenders advertise approval in a matter of minutes, which is possible because, in general these companies have more lenient credit requirements.
Because they have less overhead, online lenders can pass that savings on to customers through lower rates. But sometimes the rates they advertise are misleading because you may not qualify for specific deals or programs.
Community banks often offer special rates and discounts to existing customers. Also, a brick-and-mortar bank is more likely to guarantee a specific interest rate and lock you in at the lowest rate.
These companies are typically national, so they know little about your community. And as mentioned, once you’ve closed on your new home, online lenders usually sell your loan to a third party.
It’s in the name. Your local mortgage banker has connections and expertise in the community, which can help you get the house you want and help you resolve any conflicts that might pop up during the approval process. Plus, community banks keep the money in the community, lending it to neighboring families and businesses.
Veterans Affairs (IRRRL) Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan
Conventional Financing -
Conventional Financing -
Rate and Term
Federal Housing Administration Streamline
Make Sure It's Worth It
Don’t forget that, just like your original mortgage, refinancing comes with additional costs. Even so-called “no-cost” refinancing usually just means those closing costs will be covered by a higher interest rate. Otherwise, you might be able to move the cost into the new loan itself, but that increases your principal. Again, an experienced mortgage banker can help you identify the true cost, put it beside your financial goals, and help you decide whether refinancing is the thing for you.
Do the Math
First you need to figure out how much equity you actually have in your home. In general, the value of most homes has increased in recent years. But that’s not universally the case. Talk to your mortgage banker about your specific needs and what programs you might qualify for.
Sort the Mail
Ever since you first bought your home, your mailbox has likely been flooded with a steady flow of letters urging you to “take advantage of historic rates” and “refinance now.” But as with any home loan, refinancing is a complex process that can’t be accurately summarized in a mailer. It’s usually best to take the rates that have caught your eye to your trusted mortgage banker so they can help you sort out the junk mail.
No matter what mortgage rates you see advertised, understand that rates change constantly, even hour to hour. Your mortgage refinance rate is based mostly on your credit score and how much equity you have in your home.
TAPPING HOME EQUITY ISN'T LIMITED TO LOANS. SEE IF ALINE OF CREDIT IS A BETTER CHOICE FOR YOU.
Potential Downsides of Downsizing
Sure, downsizing seems like an easy save money with lower bills across the board. But as with anything, there is a cost. Will sale of your current home bring the money you need moving forward? How many expensive repairs might your house need to get it market-ready? Will your current furniture and appliances fit in the new space or will you need to splurge on an entirely new spread? A mortgage banker can help you identify the devil in the details.
Home Sweet Town Home
If you’re trying to escape maintenance woes, town homes and condos might seem like the ticket. But some communities come with the added expense of homeowner’s association fees. Also, if you ever want to add on or make a sizeable renovation to your property, there are potential assessment fees and other bureaucratic hoops to consider.
As with many moves you might’ve made in the past, you’ll be trying to simultaneously sell your old house while buying a new one. It’s important to make sure you have enough equity in your current home to afford you the financial stability to weather this turbulence and have the cash on hand for a down payment on the new place. An experience mortgage banker can help you maximize your leverage in this situation.
Maybe you’re the empty nester that no longer needs all those bedrooms for your grown-up family. Are you’re looking to move from your starter home to your dream home? Maybe climbing the stairs to a second- and third floor isn’t as fun as it used to be. Or maybe you’re just tired of the upkeep on a big house.
Downsizing or Upsizing can be a move for house-savvy people who want to save money. The bigger the home, the higher the utility and maintenance bills can be, so moving into a smaller place can save you big! Living lean allows you to save, and maybe you want to invest that money into a bigger place as your family grow. Whether you’re considering the changing costs of living, changing ability to work remotely, or the needs of your family, moving is a great way to break the routine, without skipping a beat — or breaking the bank.
But while moving into the right home might simplify your daily life, the process of buying it is just as complicated as any other mortgage.
The savings account designed to help you manage rising healthcare costs
Colorado Housing and Finance Authority
Loan Guaranteed by the
U.S. Deptartment of
Rural Living Home
Farm Real Estate
Thinking of Buying a home? Do these five things first
RURAL LANDOWNER 101
Know the Market
What you’ll have to spend on a home depends greatly on where you want to live. Line up your priorities—whether it’s proximity to work, the school district, or neighborhood amenities—then start shopping.
Get a Letter
No matter where you are buying, right now everywhere is a sellers’ market. Homes are going quickly, often for above asking price and sometimes even for cash. If you don’t have a letter from your bank pre-approving you for a loan, any offer is likely doomed before you make it.
Pick a Loan
First, you need to know that there are different types of loans, each with its own terms. Do you want a 15-year or 30-year loan? Each will have a different interest rate, monthly principal, and interest payment. Also understand the types of interest rates—fixed or adjustable, which fluctuates based on the federal interest rate index.
Plan to Pay
While most loans are amortized—meaning you make regular payments—there are other, quicker ways to pay down your loan. Talk to your mortgage banker about what’s available before you sign for your loan.
You might be retiring and ready to escape the bustle of city or suburban life. Your kids might be graduating high school, so it no longer matters what district you live in. Or maybe you’ve transitioned into a fulltime telecommuter who can live anywhere you please.
There’s also a unique sense of pride and personal legacy in owning a piece of America. Colorado has more than its fair share of beautiful and clean wide-open spaces, where there is plenty of room to stretch your legs — and your dollars. Rural and small-town America not only offers the opportunity to lower your general cost of living, but land is always a solid investment to add to your portfolio.
Rura Living Home Mortgage
Farm Real Estate Program
RuraLiving Home Mortgage
rural landowner 101
When looking to finance the purchase of your new home, there are many places you can go. Both banks and online mortgage lenders are perfectly viable options, but each come with different advantages. Before you make the biggest investment of your life, it’s important you are choosing the right lender for you!
Obviously online lenders are easy to access from the comfort of your home via laptop, tablet, or smart phone. Usually ease of access is a higher priority than a person to help you navigate the complexity of buying a home.
We offer the same online and mobile access that online lenders do, as well as in-person options to help you every step of the way! Local Lenders live in the areas you likely are trying to buy. While branches might have business hours, most community banks have the same online tools, available when it’s easiest for you.
Your mortgage banker wants to know more about you than just your credit score. They get to know your needs and financial goals. They can usually be reached at any hour to answer your questions and walk you through the complicated process. We are your “life-long” trusted mortgage advisor, you are not just a number or a one-time transaction. We help provide the knowledge and resources so you are informed and feel comfortable throughout the entire homebuying process.
ACCESS TO HELP
Banks today have every online tool at the ready to help you get fast quotes and pre-qualifications. They can have different credit requirements and more deliberate approval processes, designed to help make sure you’re getting the right loan, not the fastest loan. When you call, you talk to a human, not an automated system. We are responsive and reliable.
Community banks often have the same competitive rates! Sometimes offering special rates and discounts to existing customers. Also, a brick-and-mortar bank is more likely to guarantee a specific interest rate and lock you in at the lowest rate. We are transparent with our rates and fees. We have the ability to shop around with different investors to get you the most beneficial program and lowest rate for your unique scenario!
These companies are typically national, so they know little about your community or real estate market. And as mentioned, once you’ve closed on your new home, online lenders usually sell your loan to a third party.
It’s in the name. Your local mortgage banker has connections and expertise in the community, which can help you get the house you want and help you resolve any conflicts that might pop up during the approval process (local Underwriting). Plus, community banks keep the money in the community, investing it back into your neighborhoods. We KNOW and care about our customers and the communities we live and work in. Working with a well-known and respected local lender gives buyers an advantage in having a more competitive offer. Local agents want to work with local lenders. Giving back to our community is important to us.
TAP EACH TAB TO EXPLORE MORE INFORMATION
“In Lending (OR Real Estate), who you work with MATTERS!”
Wider variety of loan programs. We offer the same loan programs that online lenders do, and then some! Portfolio & DPA programs, Construction, Bridge, HELOC etc. Closing Success rate is higher than online lenders – more in-depth due diligence during pre-qualification process.
What loan options are available and relevant to my circumstances?
Here are the Questions You Should be Asking Your Mortgage Lender
Buying a home is one of the most exciting and important financial decisions you’ll make. The exhilarating part might be house hunting and finding your dream home, but it’s equally important to research your mortgage loan options. If you’re ready to buy a home, here are a few crucial questions you should ask your mortgage lender.
Look at all the loan options available to you. Be sure to ask the following questions:
Are there any other costs to consider, such as appraisal fees, credit fees, escrow, inspection fees, recording fees and taxes?
Are there any additional fees or penalties, such as closing fees or prepayment penalties?
What is my estimated down payment amount?
What is the interest rate? Is it fixed-rate or adjustable?
What is the estimated monthly payment?
Do I qualify for any special loan or payment programs, such as VA loans or FHA loans?
Will I have to pay mortgage insurance?
How quickly can I close?
What information will they need for my prequalification? What is the turnaround time?
If and when should I get prequalified for a loan?
When will they pull my credit score?
What does the home-buying process look like with the lender?
You want a loan that’s right for you, so go over these details with your mortgage lender. Going over different loan options may uncover a loan you may not have considered before that will suit you best.
Where will my closing take place?
After going over the specifics of your loan, ask your lender about their specific timeline of the home-buying-process – from prequalification to closing, asking these questions will help you know what to expect.
Communication is key to the mortgage process. Keeping an open line of communication can result in a smoother mortgage process. So, if a certain communication method works best for you, make sure to let your lender know.
Here are some other important questions to ask:
with my lender?
How will i Communicate
Who will be my main point of contact? Is it someone different than who I spoke to first?
Is there an online portal I can access to submit documentation and view my loan status and progress?
You’ll likely find that your mortgage lender will answer these questions and more before you even ask. However, with this list, you can have the confidence of knowing that you’re receiving relevant information that you need when you’re ready to buy a home.
Working with the right mortgage lender leads to a more rewarding, and less stressful, home-buying experience. If you have questions about the mortgage lending options available at Pinnacle Bank.
Find your local lender
Find your lender
BANKING TOOLS FOR YOUR BUSINESS
Navigate the homebuying process with confidence, partner with one of our experienced mortgage lenders today!
FIND A HOME LOAN