Home Loan features:
Variety, tailored to your needs
Your one stop for a mortgage, and all the things that go with it.
Need money for a house? Condo? Something else? When you choose us, one of our mortgage professionals will take care of you from start to finish. You won't be bounced around from person to person, or from one department to the other. We'll work with you one-on-one to make sure everything is lined up and ready to go for your closing.
Whether you're a first-time buyer or longtime homeowner, you'll find plenty of choices for purchasing a home and refinancing your current mortgage. We're a preferred lender for several U.S. government programs, too, focusing on rural housing, mortgages for military personnel and their families, and people who may not qualify for traditional mortgages.
Our lending team knows our communities and can help you find the right fit for your plan:
- Construction loans
- Fixed-Rate Mortgages
- Adjustable-Rate Mortgages (ARMs)
- Community Land Trust Equity Program
Looking for a program that offers down payment assistance? We can help with that too. Our experience and knowledge of conventional and government loan programs can open the door to homeownership, even without a large down payment.
You're not restricted to using a NorthCountry mortgage just for your primary residence, either. You can finance your real estate purchase or refinance your mortgage on these qualified properties, too:
- Second/vacation homes
- Investment properties*
- Manufactured/mobile homes on owned land
- Shared equity properties**
* Must qualify for conventional financing if located outside of Vermont
** Vermont only
You've got questions, we've got answersView All FAQs
If we encounter no surprises and you submit your documentation to us quickly, we can typically complete the process within 45 days.
A conventional mortgage requires a credit score of at least 620. Other options may have different requirements. Contact us to find your best match.
In general, it should be no higher than 43%.
A typical down payment is 20% of the purchase price, but some loan programs require down payments that are much lower, or require no down payment at all. Talk to us about your plans, and we can help match you with the best home loan option for you.
In general, down payments range from 3% to 5%, depending on the type of property and loan. The exception is manufactured homes, which have a down payment requirement of 20%.
Be wary of pre-approval offers. The limited information they collect isn't enough to provide an accurate picture of how much you may qualify to borrow, which can lead to disappointment and frustration later. They may come with strings attached too, like requiring you to first open an account. And when you're ready to make an offer on a house, you'll still need to fill out an application.
For a better experience, we offer free no-obligation pre-qualification. We ask you to complete the mortgage application first (available online). Based on the information you provide, we'll recommend the mortgage product we feel is best suited to you, provide your approximate loan rate, and calculate how much you can reasonably afford to borrow. When you find the home you want to buy, we'll verify the information you provided and get right to work. We'll have questions along the way, but no more heavy lifting for you! We'll take it from here and get you to your closing as quickly as possible.
Before you begin, ask us for a free prequalification. We can help you figure out a comfortable mortgage amount and provide written verification that financially, you're ready to start shopping. When you've made your offer and had it accepted, here's what to expect next:
Step 1: We verify the information on your application, lock your rate, issue disclosures, and collect supporting documentation.
Step 2: The appraisal and title search are ordered, and we prepare and submit your file for underwriting.
Step 3: In underwriting, your file is reviewed and - if necessary - clarified. Hang in there - the finish line is near!
Step 4: Your loan is approved and your closing is scheduled. That's when you'll sign a few more forms and receive the keys to your new home.
Step 5: Celebrate! You made it! You've purchased your home. If you ever want to refinance it or take out a home equity loan, we hope you'll come to us again.
It isn't unusual to encounter obstacles along the way. Although they may temporarily slow down the process, we can show you how to get back on track. Here are three common challenges people encounter:
- Application Declined. Inadequate income, too much debt, or a weak credit history are common reasons for an application to be declined. If your application is declined, don't be discouraged. We can usually suggest ways to address any issues so you can try again when the time is right.
- Property Appraisal Too Low. If the appraised value of the property is less than the amount being financed, it might make sense to make a counteroffer. Your loan officer can advise you on how to proceed.
- Title Issues: To avoid the cost and stress of having your legal ownership of the property challenged later, it's important to confirm the seller has clear title to the property, and that any issues are resolved prior to closing. Some common title problems include undischarged mortgages, unresolved liens, probate issues, and unresolved boundary/survey issues.
The Shared Equity Program pays up to 30% of your home's value, reducing the amount of your mortgage. When you decide to sell, you sell the home back through the housing trust to another qualified buyer. This keeps the home perpetually affordable for future buyers.
An Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) may help you afford a more expensive home, or keep your payments low if you intend to own your home for a short time. After the initial fixed term expires, the rate is adjusted every year based on the market rates at the time. Consult with your lender about how long you intend to stay in the home, your risk tolerance, and current pricing options to decide which option is the best fit for you.
Yes! Your lender can provide you with the proper web address, but don't hesitate to contact us if you need assistance. For a loan payoff amount, please give us a call during business hours.
This is a good question to discuss with your lender. Two options are available:
- "Cash out" -- If the amount owed on a home is less than its value, the owner may want to pay off the old mortgage and take out a new one at a higher amount. The cash difference is often used to consolidate debt or do home improvements.
- "No cash out" -- The old mortgage is paid in full and replaced with a new one. People typically use this option to take advantage of low interest rates or reduce the length of their loan.