There are numerous reasons people love Pennsylvania. From a wealth of history, to an impressive and unique culture, to a relatively moderate and pleasant climate compared to the rest of the New England region, Pennsylvania is a state that tops the list of many homebuyers.
Add the fact that real estate markets in The Keystone State have been very stable in recent years, and it’s clear that buying a home in Pennsylvania is a great idea. So here’s some more information about real estate, as well as some tips to get a mortgage in Pennsylvania.
Real Estate in Pennsylvania
Compared to neighboring New York State with a median home price of $264,500, or neighboring Delaware with a median home price of $205,200, real estate prices in Pennsylvania are very affordable. Currently, the median home price sits at $152,200 statewide, notably lower than the national average of $182,800. Looking closer at some of Pennsylvania’s largest urban centers, the affordability trend continues. Philadelphia’s median home price is currently $120,200, with Pittsburgh sitting at an even more affordable $105,600.
In addition to being affordable, real estate in Pennsylvania has historically retained its value, and the markets in the Keystone State are currently quite stable. Last year, property values rose 1.1%, and they are expected to rise another 1.6% over the next twelve months. While this growth doesn’t represent a huge increase in home values, it does prove that in general, markets in Pennsylvania are predictable and not prone to wild fluctuations. If you are looking for an affordable state to purchase a home where your property will retain its value, the numbers prove that Pennsylvania is a great choice.
“The Keystone State”
Pennsylvania originally earned its nickname “The Keystone State” due to its central and important position in the original thirteen American colonies, and this epithet is just as applicable today as ever. Pennsylvania is located between some of the most interesting, important, and historic states in the Union, and has its own incredible historic and modern significance. If the favorable real estate numbers don’t convince you that The Keystone State is a great place to buy a home, the location and historic significance will convince you even more.
Plus, compared to most of the region, Pennsylvania has a fairly moderate climate, making the state a great place to live and retire for New England residents looking to relocate. Philadelphia especially has moderate winters compared to other big cities in the area, and much of the state is relatively temperate. Add the fact that Pennsylvania has beautiful forests and outdoor recreational opportunities, and there are numerous reasons to consider moving to the state.
Getting a Mortgage in Pennsylvania
If you’ve decided that Pennsylvania may be the right place to buy a home, you will likely need a mortgage to finance your purchase. Here are some tips for getting a mortgage in The Keystone State.
#1 Gather Financial Documents Early
Whether you work with a mortgage broker or bank to finance your home purchase, you will need to prove your income, document your outstanding debts, and show the source of funds needed for the down payment and closing costs. The sooner you gather these documents, the easier the process will be to get a mortgage.
#2 Check Your Credit History Thoroughly
The higher your FICO score is, the easier it will be to qualify for a mortgage. But that doesn’t mean you need a perfect or unblemished credit report to qualify for a home loan. However, you will need detailed explanations for any blips in your credit history that might be dragging your score down. If you can dig into your credit before a lender does, and have explanations ready for any negatives, you will be better prepared to answer questions. Plus with a little work, you may be able to raise your FICO credit score quickly.
#3 Find a Qualified Lender
Even though regulations and enforcement have improved since the Great Recession, there are a lot of predatory lenders who will take advantage of borrowers if you give them a chance. That’s why it’s so important to only work with qualified, licensed, experienced lenders or brokers when applying for a mortgage. Pennsylvania requires brokers and lenders to be licensed, so make sure to check licensing documents before working with a lender.
To check their license online, go to NMLS Consumer Access and do a search for both the mortgage company and loan originator with whom you are thinking about working. Make sure that both of these are licensed in the state where you want to purchase a home. For convenience, here are links to the Marimark Mortgage and Mary Catchur license information.
#4 Get Pre-Qualified and Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
Savvy borrowers use both the pre-qualification and pre-approval mortgage process when shopping for a home.
You can be pre-qualified over the phone for a mortgage in just a few minutes, and start looking for a home. Then as you shop for a home, you can work on becoming pre-approved for a mortgage, so you can close quickly once you have a contract on a home.
Marimark Mortgage serves the needs of borrowers in all of Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Florida.
When you are ready to look for a home, please contact us to be pre-qualified and pre-approved. While you look for a home to buy, we will be working on your mortgage so you can close quickly, often in less than 30 days.