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Mortgage Tips for First-Time Homebuyers: An Interview with Jim Ferriter of Union Home Mortgage Corp.

By Jim Ferriter

Tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

Since our inception in 1970, we have used a customer-centric system to help us grow in to a company with annual loan volume of close to $1 billion. We are a full-service mortgage banking company with headquarters in Strongsville, Ohio and licensed in 18 different states.

Is there a common misconception that first-time homebuyers have about home loans?

I believe the biggest misconception is that first-time homebuyers think they have to have a large amount of cash for a down-payment. In reality new programs have been put into effect that allows first-time buyers to put as little as 3% down.

What's the most important thing that banks will be looking at in the application?

The biggest red-flag they look for is credit score and your ability to repay your mortgage.

Can you briefly describe the difference between working with a mortgage broker and a direct lender?

Union Home Mortgage is a direct lender. So we sell our loans to a Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and Ginnie Mae. A direct lender provides the money for the borrower and performs the whole loan origination process. A mortgage broker helps with loan products and counseling then once ready hands the files off to a lender you will fund the loan.

What are some of the biggest regrets you've seen first-time homebuyers have when it comes to the mortgage process?

First-time homebuyers need to understand the importance of maintaining good credit. We see a lot who have a good down payment, strong employment but very low credit score because they have been irresponsible or late in paying student, car or other loans or not paying their credit card bills.

What advice would you give to first-time homebuyers in Pennsylvania to help them get the best loan terms as quickly as possible?

Make sure they meet with a Loan Officer that can pre-qualify them before purchasing a home and assist them throughout the whole process.

What's the best way for people to contact you and your company?

UHM has 5 offices in PA and you can find information like phone numbers, Loan Officers, or emails through

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About The Author

Jim Ferriter is National Retail Sales Manager at Union Home Mortgage.

Phone: 717-467-1900

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