Saving For a Home 101

Learn savings strategies to purchase your next home.

To help you determine how much you can afford, check out our mortgage calculators. You can simulate various financial scenarios and identify if additional savings are required.

Plan for upfront costs

It’s important to prepare for the upfront costs in the home-buying process. Once you find the right home and submit an offer, the seller will likely require an earnest money deposit that’s typically around 2% of the price of the home. This deposit demonstrates that you’re serious about the purchase. It’s also recommended that a qualified professional is hired to conduct a home inspection to examine the condition of the home and provide you with a report of the repairs and maintenance the home may require immediately, and over time.

As you approach your closing date, you will need to provide funds for the down payment and closing costs. Down payment amounts can range, typically between 3-20% of the purchase price of the home. Keep in mind that a substantial down payment works to your advantage – the more you have, the less you have to borrow and the lower your monthly payment. Closing costs can average between 3-5% of the purchase price and include the fees required to execute the sale transaction such as attorney fees, title insurance, appraisals, points and tax escrows.

Start saving

Since most people do not have immediate access to the funds required to buy a home, a savings plan is necessary. Visit our Creating a Budget 101 page for additional resources. Then, calculate the amount of money you need and divide by the number of months you have to save.

Example: If you want to save $15,000 in three years, then you’ll need to set aside about $416 every month ($15,000/36 months). If this is not realistic, consider expanding your time frame, saving for a less expensive home or making adjustments to your budget.

By taking control of your financial situation and actively saving, you can be one step closer to achieving the dream of homeownership.

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Frequently Asked Questions

You can apply by calling 301.779.8500 ext. 5401 or online through our Mortgage Center

Yes, our loan officers are available to answer any questions Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. Please call 301.779.8500 ext. 5401.

We offer fixed-rate and ARM loans for the purchase or refinance of a primary or secondary home. We offer financing up to 97% of the appraised value.

The Credit Union accepts First Mortgage applications online in all of the contiguous United States and the District of Columbia. We are not currently accepting applications for properties in Alaska and Hawaii.

No, our Credit Union only offers financing for primary residences and second/vacation homes.

Our first mortgage rates can be found in our Mortgage Center. Our Rate Watch lets you set up rate thresholds and receive email alerts when those levels are met.  

Yes, we offer rate locks for up to 60 days for refinances and 90 days on purchases. 

We are a direct lender and we always retain the servicing of your mortgage. You will always make your payment to the Credit Union and if you have any questions, a Credit Union representative will assist you.

Mortgage payment details can be found on your monthly mortgage statement and in Digital Banking. 

The Credit Union has multiple payment options available for you:

Automatic recurring payments: You can set up a recurring payment to your mortgage through Digital Banking. Choose “Internal Transfers” from the left menu and select “Transfer Money”. Then, complete the payment fields and select “Monthly” for the frequency.

One time transfer of funds: You can make a transfer from your Credit Union account to your mortgage through Digital Banking. Choose “Internal Transfers” from the left menu and select “Transfer Money”. Then, complete the fields to submit the transfer.

Payments from another financial institution: Payments can be sent from another financial institution and applied directly to your mortgage loan.

Mail: Payments can be mailed in using the coupon attached to the monthly mortgage statement.

In-person: Payments can be made at any of our branches. 

Over the phone: Payments can be made over the phone by calling our Contact Center at 301.779.8500 during normal business hours.

No, we do not accept partial payments, however, alternative savings and payment structures can be set up to help you budget based on your unique pay schedule. A separate savings account can be opened to deposit sufficient funds for the monthly mortgage payment. This will help you keep the funds for the mortgage payment set aside to ensure they are available when the monthly payment is due.

First mortgage payments are always due on the first of each month. Payments received after that date are considered past due but a late fee is not assessed until after the 15th of the month. To ensure payments coming from another financial institution are received in a timely manner, we recommend having the funds available and sending the payment no later than the 10th of the month to avoid any delays that many occur in the availability and posting of the payment.

There is a 15 day grace period for loan payments.

Any additional amount over the scheduled payment amount will automatically be applied to the principal.  

A 1098 form is sent to members with mortgage accounts that had $600.00 or more of interest paid during the year. Additionally, the monthly mortgage statement reflects how much interest has been paid in the current year.

Payoff requests can be faxed to 301.985.4667 or emailed to [email protected]. Please provide a wet signed copy of the borrower’s authorization. Verbal requests and electronic signatures are not accepted as they cannot be validated or authenticated. Please allow five business days for processing.

Lien release requests can be faxed to 301.985.4667 or emailed to [email protected].

Subordination requests can be faxed to 301.985.4667 or emailed to [email protected].  

Questions about your current mortgage can be emailed to [email protected]. You can also call our Mortgage Department at 301.779.8500 ext. 4045. 

A monthly mortgage statement is generated each month separately. This statement is specific to your mortgage loan only.

Your payment may fluctuate if there have been changes to your property tax amount or homeowner’s insurance premiums. Each month, a portion of your mortgage payment is set aside in your escrow account to make sure funds are available for the payment of your property taxes and homeowner’s insurance when these payments are due. 

If you are in any jurisdiction other than the state of Maryland, please email the bill to [email protected].

Email a copy of the new policy along with any invoice for the premium due to [email protected]. If you are receiving a refund from the cancelled policy, it is suggested to deposit the refund into your escrow account to limit shortages in your escrow account.

We are here to help. If you have more questions please call us at 301.779.8500 ext. 5401 or send an email to [email protected].