First-Time Homebuyer

First time home buyer guide - cover


First-Time Homebuyer Guide

for step-by-step info, tips, and definitions.

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While buying your first home is truly exciting, it also requires a great deal of consideration, research, and financial planning. Below, you'll find answers to the questions first timers may be contemplating when thinking about buying a home. We've also compiled a comprehensive guide for the entire homebuying process with a special emphasis on the first-time homebuying experience.

Happy house hunting!

Information and Answers for First-time home buyers.

If you're thinking about buying your first home, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. Get answers to your questions here:

Are you ready to buy a house?

It’s a big step. There are many aspects to consider. The most important is determining whether you can really afford to buy, and if your budget allows you purchase a home in the area you desire. Other things to take into consideration include the reality of the new responsibilities of home ownership such as property taxes, insurance and maintenance.

Check out our First-Time Homebuyers Guide for all the details. 

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What you need to know before applying for a mortgage loan.

There are a variety of types of loans available, including fixed rate and adjustable-rate mortgages, Veterans Administration (VA) loans for those who served in the military, and Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans, offering lower down payments. The most important factor in determining which is right for you is knowing your credit score, a 3-digit number based on your complete credit history. It’s also essential to know how much you can qualify to borrow and what you can afford for your down payment.

To learn how to check your credit score, steps to get pre-qualified, and the documents needed to apply for a loan, consult our First-Time Homebuyers Guide.

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What happens when I'm ready to buy?

When you’ve pre-qualified for a loan and established the range of your down payment, it’s time to search for your dream home! Engaging a professional realtor is a smart step. They work full-time in real estate and have the experience to guide you through the process. A realtor will help you concentrate on a home in your established price range and desired neighborhoods. They’ll also advise you on your offer to purchase and prepare the contracts. Your lender will take care of all the additional paperwork and arrange for the closing.

Read more about partnering with your realtor and lender to simplify the home buying process in our First-Time Homebuyers Guide.

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What's involved in the closing process?

Closing is that special time all new home buyers look forward to. It’s when the final papers are signed, and you officially become a homeowner. Your realtor and the representatives of the title company will prepare all the papers in advance for your review. After you pay the down payment and closing costs, you’ll get the keys to your new home!

Get more information on closings by opening our First-Time Homebuyers Guide.

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Homebuyer Tools 

Here are some convenient tools to help you navigate the home buying process, including information on accessing your credit score and what it means, a calculator to give you an idea of your estimated monthly payments, a list of documents you'll need to make a mortgage application, and more. We hope you find them helpful. 


Your credit score can have a large impact on your ability to qualify for a loan as well as your interest rate.


You can also request a free copy of your credit report from each of three major credit reporting agencies at or call toll-free (877) 322-8228.

Your credit history is the summary of the money you owe (credit cards, loans, etc.), how long you’ve owed it, and whether or not you make payments on time. Your credit score is based on all the facts in your credit history. It’s listed as a 3-digit number that tells lenders whether you have an excellent, good, fair, or poor credit rating.



Mortgage Calculator

This mortgage calculator provides a general range of your estimated monthly payments but does not include certain costs such as HOA fees. Consult a member of the Jefferson Bank Lending Team for specific information, including current interest rates.*

*This calculator is being provided for educational purposes only and is provided by a third party not controlled by Jefferson Bank. The results are estimates that are based on the information you provided and may not reflect Jefferson Bank product terms. Jefferson Bank is not responsible for the content, results, or the accuracy of information. Speak with a Jefferson Bank Mortgage Loan Officer for more specific information.

Requirement Check list

Documents you will need to provide for your loan application:

These lists include the basic information you’ll need for your application. A member of the Jefferson Bank Lending Team will advise you if more specific documentation is required.

For a conventional loan you'll need the following standard documentation:
  • Confirmation of your employment income for the past month, such as pay stubs.
  • Copies of your tax returns for the past two years.
  • Bank statements for the past two months.
  • Copy of your driver license or state-issued ID for each borrower.
If you're applying for a VA loan, you'll need all of the above, plus:
  • Most recent Leave and Earnings Statement.
  • Statement of Service letter.
  • Copy of Transfer Orders.
  • Certificate of Eligibility.
  • Service Records Request. 
In certain circumstances, you may need additional documents:
  • If you're divorced, a copy of a final divorce decree.
  • Documents pertaining to any resolved or unresolved issues of a credit dispute.
  • If you have filed for bankruptcy, a copy of all bankruptcy documents including discharge notice. 


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Get pre-qualified for your home loan. Start here.

Exceptional home financing starts here.

Exceptional home financing starts here

Fast. Simple. Secure. 

Apply online now.

Why choose Jefferson Bank for your mortgage needs?


The San Antonio area has been our home for more than 75 years. Our experienced team is familiar with the unique needs of the region. We’ve helped thousands of local residents realize their goal of home ownership.

Home Loans Made Easier
Home Loans Made Easier

Manage the entire home loan process with the Jefferson Bank Home Loan App. It’s quick, simple, secure, and free*. Get prequalified and apply on your smart device. Download on the App Store or Google Play.

Personal Service
Personal Service

This is personal to us. Those aren’t just words, it’s the core business philosophy we live by everyday. Our team is dedicated to exceeding expectations with an unrivaled level of personalized service.

Ongoing Support
Ongoing Support

Our commitment to you doesn't end at closing. We’re always here with quick responses to your ongoing needs and questions. We’re your home base for home loans, now and in the future.

Competitive Rates
Competitive Rates

Best of all, you’ll have access to our experience and service while still enjoying competitive financing rates. 

Notices & Disclosures

All home lending products are subject to credit approval.  Rates, program terms and conditions are subject to change without notice. Other restrictions and limitations apply.

Manage your entire mortgage process quickly, easily, and securely.
  • Complete a mortgage loan application in minutes.
  • Scan and securely upload documents using your phone's camera.
  • Receive step-by-step notifications of loan application progress.
  • Request a pre-qualification letter to submit with an offer.
  • Access lender contact info with the touch of a button.
Jefferson Bank Home Loan App

Download the Jefferson Bank Home Loan app* from the App Store or Google Play

*While Jefferson Bank does not charge fees for the use of Mobile Banking or Online Banking, message and data rates may apply. Check with your service provider for details.

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