Mortgage Basics


You're buying your first home. Our mortgage guide makes it easy.

Owning a home is a great feeling. And having a mortgage that you know works for you, that's a great feeling, too. At Fifth Third, we're here to help you through the home buying process. The information below gives you tips and tools that will make your home search and selection easier. When you're ready, our mortgage loan originators will help explain everything you need to know and connect you with the right mortgage for your financial situation.

How to use our mortgage basics guide:

Here are five easy to follow steps that can get you into your new home without all the complications and confusion that buyers typically face.

Use the tools included with each step to help you keep track of notes, find necessary information, organize and prepare documentation and make informed decisions.

1 Preparation

The first step in purchasing a new home is to understand the benefits of owning a home. Aside from the pride of being a homeowner and the ability to make that home unique to your tastes and lifestyle, homeownership also has a number of financial benefits. For instance, it can bring you significant tax benefits* and the possibility of building equity.

It is important to start by first determining how much home you can afford. Many home buyers start looking at homes before they have a real idea of what they can afford. This wastes time and money and unnecessarily complicates the process. Use our mortgage calculators to help you determine how much home you can afford.

Now that you have an idea of what you can reasonably afford, you need to be able to show that you can access the finances. This is done by securing a pre-qualification letter from the lender. This letter will provide you with two very distinct advantages when shopping for a home: First, it will help assure the seller that you are able to buy and can assist in the negotiations once you are ready to make an offer. Second, this letter will help streamline your financing during the mortgage process. Gather the information listed below and have it ready to present to the loan originator when you meet with them. Remember, a little preparation on your part will allow all this to run smoothly.

For your convenience, Fifth Third can prequalify you before you begin looking for a home. This gives you peace of mind as well as the purchasing leverage you need to help find the home that fits your budget. This process is both quick and easy. When you qualify through Fifth Third's pre-qualification program, you will receive a letter that verifies your "ready-to-buy" status, and puts you in a comfortable position to negotiate the purchase of your home. Let's get started!


First Time Home Buying Family

2 Shop For Home

Now that you are certified Ready-to-Buy, you need to find your home. Here is where the excitement begins! The most difficult part of looking at homes is keeping track of all the information. Make sure that when you spend all day searching you can remember what you saw when you get home. The best tip here is to take your time and take notes.


3 Making an offer

Now that you have found the home you are ready to call your own, it is time to make the purchase offer or bid. Your real estate professional can assist you with designing a letter of intent that can be presented to the seller serving as an official offer to buy the property. Once the seller receives the letter, they have a specific time frame to consider the offer and either accept or submit a counter offer to you. Once you and the seller reach an agreement and the letter of intent is signed, you are ready to finalize your financing.

Happy Couple


Shop for a Fifth Third Mortgage

4 Shop for a mortgage

When you're looking for a home you want to look for the best option to suit your financial situation. Buying a home signals the beginning of a long relationship with a financial institution. Choosing the right mortgage lender to finance your home is just as important as the home you select. The right kind of loan at a competitive rate is important, however, depending on your needs you will have many options to evaluate.

Consider Fifth Third your mortgage resource. We have a wide selection of financing options; so chances are, you're sure to find the type of mortgage that suits you and your lifestyle.

Click here for the mortgage options we offer.


5 Closing on the loan

Now that all the hard work is done, it is time to finalize the sale and pick up your keys. This is the last step of the home purchase process and where you take ownership of your new home. In the closing, the loan documents are signed, the balance of the loan costs are calculated, funds are disbursed and the transaction is complete. Make sure all your documentation is in order and you have copies of all the original required documents.

First Time Home Owners


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*Fifth Third does not provide tax advice; consult your tax advisor.

The Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry offers NMLS Consumer AccessSM, which is a free service for consumers to confirm that the bank or mortgage company and the mortgage professional with whom they wish to conduct business are registered with the federal system or licensed, if required, in the state in which they conduct business. To access this free service please go to View a listing of Fifth Third Mortgage Loan Originators and their National Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS) unique IDs.