Ask the Expert: What to Do Before Buying a Home

If you’ve never bought a home—or it might have been a while since you did—buying a home can feel like a complicated process. There’s lots of paperwork and even more industry jargon to weed through. So, we asked BayCoast Mortgage Senior Loan Officer Simon Theberge to teach us what you need to do before buying a home.

“I like to take more of an advisory role,” Theberge said. “The key to helping future first-time homebuyers is to make sure to simplify the process.

“It can get overwhelming, especially for someone who is going through it for the first time,” he continued. “The good thing with BayCoast is that in addition to a great first-time home buying program, we have an array of competitive lending options to help clients get their best deal.”

How do I know how much home I can afford?

“First, you need to establish what you want to spend monthly. We can help you determine what you can afford from a debt-to-income standpoint, but ultimately, only you know your lifestyle. For example, you might have monthly financial obligations that aren’t calculated into the ratios—things that only you know about and could make a big impact on how much you can afford.”

What types of things factor into the equation?

“Your income, credit, liabilities, and the amount of money you have available for a downpayment all play a big role in determining what you can afford. Once we’ve reviewed all of that information, the next step would be to issue a pre-approval letter you can take with you as you look for your new home.”

Are certain types of mortgages only available to certain people or in certain areas?

“Yes. VA loans are only available to veterans or active-duty military members and their eligible family members. Additionally, there are affordable housing programs available based on geographical income limits set by HUD, as well as state housing agencies (like those in Massachusetts and Rhode Island) with specific loan options limited to their state.”

What’s your favorite thing about helping people find the right financing?

“I obviously like to help people achieve their dreams of homeownership, but I also like to help people refinance when I know I can save them money.”

We’re Here to Help  

When it comes to the type of mortgage you choose, there’s really no right or wrong answer—every family’s goals and dreams are different from the next. Contact us or call 877-466-2678 and let one of our experienced BayCoast Mortgage lending professionals help you decide if an FHA loan is right for you.


Simon Theberge is a Senior Loan Officer with BayCoast Mortgage Company. He has served homeowners within the mortgage industry for 17 years, and lives in Rehoboth, MA, with his wife, Abby, their three children, and three dogs.