At Fifth Third, we want to make everything we do a Fifth Third better. That includes helping our customers achieve the dream of homeownership. That's exactly what we were able to achieve for James Minor and his family.
When James Minor walked into his local Indianapolis Fifth Third Branch, he was on a mission to retrieve his bank statements, with one goal in mind: to buy a home. What he didn’t know when he entered the building that day was that Fifth Third could offer him exactly what he needed.
While financial center manager Shana Quattrocchi was pulling up his bank statements, she was making casual conversation with Mr. Minor, a long-time customer. He shared that he was starting to work with a broker to buy a home and she asked him why he wasn’t going through Fifth Third for financing. Mr. Minor wasn’t aware that Fifth Third offers financing for homes, but as a loyal customer, he was interested in finding out more.
Ms. Quattrocchi knew that Luann DeMott, CRA loan specialist, would be the right person to help Mr. Minor. Ms. DeMott contacted him immediately and began guiding him through the home-buying journey. She worked diligently with him to ensure he was confident in the process and that he was very well prepared along the way. He said of Ms. DeMott, "It was amazing how she was helping me through this. She made it a lot easier than I expected it to be. I've heard a lot of horror stories about long lists of things and asking for things two times, but she was on it."
As part of his preparations, Mr. Minor attended, not one, but two homeownership classes that Fifth Third held. In the second class, he even began using the information he was learning to reassure some of the other attendees.
Ms. DeMott helped Mr. Minor qualify for the Fifth Third down payment assistance program, Welcome Home funds, and the Fifth Third Community Loan. Instead of the $11,000 that the broker told him he needed to close and a monthly payment over $700, he took no cash to the closing table and got a significantly lower payment through Fifth Third.
Working with a local CRA loan specialist can help home buyers combine programs to help them with their down payment and closing costs.
Now Mr. Minor is already busy with home improvement projects. "I’ve been wearing my tool belt around for the past week, fixing up whatever I can." The walls are painted, the new carpet is installed and he’s ecstatic to move into his condo, where his 12-year old twins will have their own bedrooms. Sharing in his joy, his coworkers at Community Hospital North in Indianapolis helped him count down the days to closing.
Mr. Minor cannot say enough about Fifth Third. "The slogan about being a Fifth Third better is true."
Fifth Third offers four mistakes consumers make when buying homes, and tips to avoid them:
Passing up help. There are more than 200 federal, state and local programs to assist consumers to make their down payments or pay their mortgage closing costs. Some programs are only for first-time homebuyers, others could be for veterans. Fifth Third offers its Down Payment Assistance Program, but its mortgage specialists such as Ms. DeMott can help find what work best and which can be combined with Fifth Third’s program to save consumers the most money.
Tip: Make sure to research programs in your region. The easiest way to see if you qualify: Work with your Fifth Third mortgage loan originator to see which programs work for you.
Believing you make too much money to qualify. Some buyers think assistance programs are only for low-income households. Some programs assist first-time homebuyers no matter their income levels depending on where they purchase a home. Fifth Third’s Down Payment Assistance program, for example, helps low-and moderate income buyers in purchase homes in low- and moderate-income areas.
Thinking you don’t have enough money for a down payment. Fifth Third’s Down Payment Assistance program, for example, helps low-and moderate income buyers in purchase homes in low- and moderate-income areas.
Relying on a one-size- fits-all loan. Many homebuyers likely had a 30-year-loan on their last house. But it’s not the default loan anymore. For each purchase, loan originators look at the buyer’s financial situation and goals, and might suggest a loan with a shorter term. Work through the financials on several options with your loan originator to see what puts you in the best financial position to meet your family’s goals.