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Getting Started

Buying a home is probably the biggest financial challenge any individual will face; but, whether this is your first home purchase or you are looking for a vacation or retirement home on the coast, First South Bank has the best loan for you.  And, our free pre-qualification process provides you with even more buying power out in the market.

A few things to consider/remember as you work toward your purchase:

What Can You Afford

Before you begin to look for a home, you need to determine how you are going to finance your purchase.

Use the Home Mortgage Calculator to help you determine how much you can afford.

Reduce Your Debt

The fewer credit cards you carry and the lower the balances the better. That is especially true if you have other debts such as a car or student loan. However, do not pay down or pay off balances with cash intended for a down payment. Even if you choose a low-down payment option, you are going to need cash available to pay the down payment and closing costs.

Review Your Credit

When you look for a mortgage, lenders will review your credit report. Your credit report is a history of how you have managed your finances and repaid your debt. Your credit history is pulled together by three private companies. You may receive a copy of this report by contacting one of the following agencies:


PO Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374
Phone: (800) 685-1111

National Consumer Assistance Center
PO Box 2002
Allen, TX 75013
Phone: (888) EXPERIAN

Trans Union LLC
Consumer Disclosure Center
PO Box 1000
Chester, PA 19022
Phone: (800) 888-4213


Choose An Area

Choosing the right area in which to purchase your home may take a lot of homework. Do you want something close to work or in a certain school district? Below are some factors that may help you choose a particular neighborhood.

  • Overall Appearance
  • Community Services
  • Zoning and Building Regulations
  • Property and City Taxes
  • Environment Conditions
  • Public Safety

Download Home Buyers Checklist for Buying a Home


Make An Offer

When you make an offer, the seller of the home can accept or reject it, make a counter-offer or not respond. Many buyers believe that even though they have made an offer, they can still look at other homes. However, if you are notified that the seller has accepted your offer, it's a legally binding contract. If the seller rejects your offer, makes a counteroffer or doesn't respond, your options remain open. You can accept the counteroffer, make another offer or reject it and keep looking.


Obtain Financing

After you are notified that the seller has accepted your offer and before the transaction is complete, you will need to obtain a loan. You should become familiar with the types of loans available.

Gather The Information
You will be required to provide some information to your loan officer. Because of the different types of loans available, loan officers may require different information. Be sure to verify all needed information with your loan officer.  For a list of what information will need to be provided, see Home Mortgage Essentials.


Consider Your Options

In addition to providing your financial information, you will also need to communicate with the loan officer the type of loan you are interested in, the amount of money you want to borrow, the down payment you will be making, the date you would like to close, and the interest rate you would like to secure. If you have questions about any of these steps, a First South Bank Mortgage Loan Officer will be glad to assist.


Up Front Fees

Although costs and terms vary among different loan programs, you should be prepared to pay some fees (appraisal fee, credit report fee, flood certification fee, and income verification and analysis fee). Check with your Mortgage Loan Officer on which ones to expect and when the up front fees are due.

Close The Sale

The final step to buying a home is the closing. The closing is the process in which all of the players come together to complete the sale. These players usually include:

  • You, the home buyer
  • The seller of the home
  • The real estate attorneys for the buyers and sellers
  • The mortgage lender
  • The real estate professional

You will sign a number of documents related to the mortgage, as well as pay closing costs. Your closing costs may be part of your mortgage or they might be paid by the seller or builder of the home. Each closing is different.

For more information on Home Mortgage Options, click here to send us your questions, or contact us at 1-888-993-8754.

Home Mortgage Essentials

Be prepared to provide the following information to your Mortgage Loan Officer during your first meeting.

Personal Information:

  • Name, social security number, and date of birth
  • Present address and telephone number
  • Number of years at current residence
  • Name and address of your present mortgage company or landlord
  • Amount of monthly mortgage or rent payment
  • Previous 2 years' W-2 forms
  • Last 2 years of signed Federal Tax Returns and all schedules
  • Pay stub from the last 30 days
  • Most recent two months' bank statements (to include checking, savings, stock, retirement, etc.)
  • Copy of valid picture identification


Employment Information:

  • Name, address, and telephone number of employer or employers
  • Position or title
  • Length of employment
  • Salary, commission, bonuses, and overtime pay


Self Employment Information:

  • Last two years of signed business Federal Tax Returns and all schedules


Other Information:

  • Source of other income, such as retirement or rental income
  • Name, address, account number, monthly payment, and present balance for installment loans or credit cards
  • Name and address of attorney handling your home purchase
  • Check for credit report fee
  • Copy of contract, if you are purchasing a home
  • Copy of settlement statement from sale of previous home if sold within the past 12 months 

Information for Refinancing:

  • Above information, as well as:
  • Copy of your deed (if your mortgage is not currently with First South Bank)
  • Copy of your Homeowners' Insurance Policy (if your mortgage is not currently with First South Bank) 

Information for Building:

  • Above information, as well as:
  • Copy of your deed to lot or offer to purchase on lot you intend to purchase
  • Complete set of plans and specifications
  • Signed construction contract
  • Survey of lot, if available


Find a Mortgage Loan Officer in your area.
Home Mortgage Calculators

For more information on Home Mortgage Options, click here to send us your questions, or contact us at 1-888-993-8754.