Mortgage Education Center

Make an informed choice for your future

We're here to help you at every stage of the mortgage process:

Saving for a down payment

Choosing a home

Choosing the best mortgage options for you


4 ways location will impact your home's value

If there's one thing to know about real estate, it's "where it's at."

Bidding wars: How to stay cool in a hot housing market

Knowing what to do when you find yourself in a bidding war can help you avoid endangering your long-term fiscal health.

Ready to make an offer? Here are the 4 steps

Congratulations on finding a home you want. Here's what to do next.

You're prequalified: Here's exactly what that means

The door to homeownership has been opened with a prequalified stamp of approval. Let's walk through what that really means.

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Personalizing the mortgage experience

Mark Shaw

Learn how one client bought his first home and then later refinanced—with the same mortgage loan officer.

I worked hard. All these years of overtime, working holidays, weekends, and you finally achieve your goal. I didn't even sleep the first night I was in the home.

My name is Mark Shaw. I'm an aircraft mechanic. And I'm also in the Air National Guard.

I've been married for 14 years. And I have a nine-year-old daughter. We have two dogs, a typical lifestyle. When I was in my 20s, I made some mistakes, had to put a lot of work in trying to clear up my credit to prepare for homeownership.

Your house is the quintessential thing we all work for. This is the biggest ticket item you'll ever buy in your life, so you want to make the right decision when you do it, making sure you are financially sound, making sure you think things through, and then you go talk to the experts at BB&T.

What I enjoy most about being a mortgage loan officer at BB&T is the opportunity to share with my clients the knowledge that I've learned over the years and how to incorporate that knowledge into coming up with the best mortgage solution for somebody.

When I picked out the house, we approved what you were going to finance on a house, and how the deal went down. It went down just by the numbers. And not only that, when I was at the closing, Vincent Spadea actually showed up. People told me it was unfounded that a bank institution would actually show up to the closing of the house. So actually it was just a great experience.

The closing is really the final opportunity to visit with a client, to shake their hand, congratulate them, look them in the eye, see the smile on their face, then it really makes the job rewarding. It's a partnership. We work together with our clients so that we can best design the mortgage solution that's going to meet their needs.

The first time I refinanced my house, comps went down in my neighborhood because of all the debacle with the economy at that time, my mortgage loan officer managed my expectation. He spent time doing that. It did not go through. A year later, it did go through.

I truly know that people are thankful that we came into their lives, and we had this new partnership. At BB&T, that's the beginning of a long-term relationship.

All throughout the process, I felt support, honesty, and trust. I go in there and it's like home.

Dr. Ketan Patel

Find out how BB&T treats its mortgage clients like family, with personal connections based on open communication.

The newness of it, the excitement. And for us, it was starting a new life. Just walking through those doors where there's no furniture, just some carpet and some walls, and it's yours.

My name is Ketan Patel. I'm a podiatrist. As a kid, I knew I wanted to be a physician. My uncle was a physician, and I always looked him as a mini superhero. He goes around helping other folks. And watching that, that was an unbelievable gift.

The best part about working with my mortgage officer is that he's always willing to help. He's always there to just be a sounding board. There's so many times that he's mentioned to me before that, hey, if you've got a question, just give me a ring, or if there's something that just doesn't make sense, give me a call. One of his big fortes is communication.

A lot of my clients, they have day jobs, so a lot of times people want to talk with us perhaps during their lunch hour, oftentimes in the evenings. If the client needs to talk with me, I need to be available.

I met my mortgage loan officer to a mutual friend from high school. He was able to help out my brother, several of my other friends. And naturally, when it came time for me to buy a place, he was the easiest guy to go to.

This really is a personal relationship. At BB&T, we believe that the client is almost like part of the family.

Working with him is very seamless. It's accurate, it's fast. You can pretty much take it to the bank. Whatever he tells you, it's gonna happen.

You can tell it's kind of the banks of old, where you knew your banker, they knew about your lifestyle, your needs. You have a relationship. I really feel like I'm at a small bank, but I know that they have the power of a larger institution.

The mortgage process is pretty daunting. There's all kinds of information in the marketplace about perhaps how difficult it is to get the mortgage. Some of this information is accurate, some of it's not. So we like to kind of put the client at ease, prepare them for the process.

To me, knowledge is everything. So anytime you're going through an experience or you're trying to achieve a goal, education should be your first step. That first step is crucial, and it sets you up for success or for failure. And that's what's been pleasurable about my experiences with BB&T is the first discussion point is what is our objective, how are we gonna get there, and what are the pros and the cons behind that process.

Call BB&T. Don't think twice about it. You'll be more educated about a process that you're undergoing. You may end up finding a good relationship and a good friend that will help you in your future endeavors.

There's a lot of factors that go into it that people initially don't consider. And if they'll give us the opportunity to speak with them, typically they realize, wow, I learned things that I didn't realize were important, and they helped me to make a better decision.

You're not a number. You're not a statistic. You are a person that they have a vested interest in and want to help.

Jackie Baker-Johnson

Hear the inspiring story of a first-time homebuyer fulfilling her dream.

[MUSIC PLAYING] My road, hmm-- my road, golly day-- actually it starts back, way back and I had a really rough patch along the way. My daddy always owned his home. I had in my mind, however, that one day when I grow up I'd like to buy a house. And I find myself at this age in my life a widow woman, retired, with five children and five grandchildren.

Hmm. Can retired people buy homes? And I was told, why, yes. Your money is as good as everybody else's, and so I ventured to buy a house. Then my oldest brother died, and the money that I was saving for my house I had to take out to help bury my brother. I pondered-- I seriously pondered what to do. Because I felt as though if I took my house money, that that's my American dream pssh gone up in smoke. Because I was doing this on my own.

There was a lot of anxiety attached to it. Because I knew that it was so important to her. My desire was to immediately say, it's not a lost cause. It's not a lost hope. You're going to have a house, I believe you're going to have a house.

But I received a phone call from one of our housing partners and they felt that I would be a good fit to work with Ms. Jackie. And I got a call from a nonprofit that had some windfall money. She was the first person that came to my mind. I just thought about what her journey had been and what in a blessing the-- that-- for her to have that additional money-- and that meant a lot. For her to be someone who thought it wasn't going to happen and not only was it happening, but it was happening and it was going to be less than was paid in her rent. I'm just one of many standing behind her, and we're all out there chanting for that first time home buyer.

They held me up and they gave me the confidence of knowing that I could do it and helped talk me through this and let me know that all is not lost. Yes, you had a ripple, but that's all it's going to be is a ripple. And it's just like the sky started opening up. I get the phone call saying we found a house, you need to come see it. So I'm driving down the street, and I'm looking on the right, I'm saying, ooh. I'm looking on the right I said, ooh. And guess what? Ta-da, it's this house.

I was so excited to the point that I ran up to my husband in the middle of a church service and said, you've got to tell everyone how amazing this is.

It's a great feeling to know that you've helped someone reach a goal that they didn't think they could achieve.

I love coming home. I love sitting in the backyard, on the front porch, because I have both of those amenities. We have all of our holidays, dinners-- just being a family unit. This is where I'm supposed to be. This is where I belong and my family. And so I love BB&T.

I call my first time buyers my babies. All I see is an opportunity to make dreams a reality for my clients.


Hmm, yeah, it's just so warm, and cozy and fuzzy.

Deputy Dustin Francis

Find out how our first-time home buyers get help at every step of the process.

[MUSIC PLAYING] It was the house that I grew up in. I wanted to go somewhere that I knew I had a bunch of memories, that not only I had memories, but my wife and I had memories with as well. Most of our first dates were just coming over, watching the movie, just kind of hanging out.

My name's Dustin Francis. I'm a deputy sheriff. I'm in charge of the crime prevention program for the Halifax County Sheriff's Office in Virginia. We teach the kids to have a positive life, have a positive effect into the community. And they remember you for years to come. I'm Deputy Dustin.

Your first time buying a house, you don't have any experience with stuff. You don't know what to expect. You're nervous. You're scared. And they kind of took that out of the way for us. They put us at ease.

We all do take the time to learn about our clients needs. We want to prepare them not only for the mortgage, but also for the process.

I'd never done anything like this. At 22 years old, I was just green. I was a rookie, so to speak. The biggest fears are just the inexperience, the unknown.

In doing a mortgage, we're dealing with their family, we're dealing with their home, we're dealing with their finances or their money. What we want to keep the focus on is making sure that we learn about the client's individual needs, what makes them tick, what their plans are for the future.

My mortgage loan officer, he kind of stepped in as coach, maybe as a parent, so to speak. And he kind of just explained to me every step of the process. He gave me routine phone calls, e-mails. He just stayed in touch with me.

This really is a personal relationship. At BB&T, we believe that the client is almost like part of the family.

It's very obvious, when you first deal with them, that they're genuinely interested in making sure that you're taken care of. You're not looked at as just a client, you're the client to them. So it was just a no-brainer for us to move into that house that I grew up in. It's a dream come true.

Edward Arias

Find out how a first-time homebuyer marked a major milestone with the purchase of his first home.

[MUSIC PLAYING] There's a point in your life where you need to move forward. And I was getting to that point in my life, I was starting 25, and buying my first home is pretty much securing a future for me and for those who come after me. When, I started I was looking for something closer to my parents. But they didn't come along so then I started looking more towards the city and we came along this building.

It's funny because when I was younger I used to come out here to the movies, to have dinner and I'll just look at the tower and say, wow, what would it be to live there? Finding this property took me about two months, I looked around a lot, had multiple deals go south. But then this one went in the market, it didn't last more than two days. I put my offer in and it was approved right away. I went directly to the same loan officer that my parents worked with because I wanted the same experience.

When we came to this property, it was actually a little bit out of my budget. But I called Joe, I told him, look, this is a property that I like. I feel comfortable, I think this I think is the right property for me.

It's exciting for the first time home buyer because not only are they excited about purchasing their first home, but for me it gives me satisfaction to be able to see that joy in them to be able to achieve their financial dream.

I recommend BB&T to all my friends. Those who are starting the process, they've seen I purchased and they said OK, I want to take that step too and they asked me how you did it. And I told them, you know this is the bank that you should go to, this is the loan officer you should talk to because they will get you through that process. When my parents come over, I love it, it feels great, seeing their smiles, seeing how they enjoyed seeing me happy, seeing that I'm progressing that I'm moving forward with my life. I think that smile that you see in them is worth a lot.


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