Andrew Winkler Home Loans St. Louis A Few St. Louis, MO Mortgage Options 

By Andrew Winkeler 

Goals of Buying a Home in St. Louis, Missouri 

Are you a first-time buyer, tired of renting, and hoping to achieve your dream of homeownership? Are you looking to upgrade, possibly due to your growing family or income? Are you one of the many people frustrated by the lack of inventory in the current market? Are you considering renovating a house to your liking?

Not everybody has the same goals when buying a home. Therefore, there is no “one size fits all” solution when it comes to mortgages. That is why it is imperative that you work with a mortgage lender who will take the time to understand your homeownership goals and help you discuss a long-term ownership plan. First Integrity Mortgage Services offers more products and programs than any other lender in St. Louis, so we can accommodate our customers’ differing ownership goals.

First Time Homebuyers in St. Louis

There are a variety of programs specifically designed for first-time buyers. First-time buyer programs require a smaller down payment, reducing the amount of cash needed to close. Also, there are down payment assistance grants available, which lend the buyer funds towards closing, and are fully forgiven after a specified length of time. Many times, the buyer can negotiate with sellers to help pay for closing costs as well. First Integrity can help you navigate many options that don’t involve bringing a 20% down payment to closing.

Buying Your Next Home in St. Louis 

These days, buying your next home when you already own a home can be incredibly challenging. Many times, buyers plan to use the equity from the sale of their existing home for the down payment on their next home. In many cases, this requires financing to be contingent on the sale of your current home. It can be challenging to get sellers to agree to this in today’s seller’s market. Why? Many sellers know there is a strong possibility that as a buyer, you may not complete the transaction if the purchase of your current house falls through for whatever reason. 

The good news is there may be options that don’t require the sale of your existing home to purchase your new dream home. The plan may still be to sell your existing home, but working around the contingency can prevent you from losing the home you want to buy, especially if you’re not ready to list it. Sometimes, people don’t even realize they don’t have to sell their existing home. They could have the option of retaining as an investment or rental. Knowing all of your options can help you navigate this highly competitive seller’s market.

Renovating a Home - Home Improvement Loans in St. Louis 

The lack of available inventory in the current market drives more people to consider renovation loans, and for a good reason. It can be hard to reconcile offering thousands over the listing price for a house that may not fit all your needs and wants. 

I believe that a home improvement loan can be a great alternative for those thinking about new construction in many situations. With a home improvement loan, you’re able to buy a home and include money needed for simple upgrades, remodeling projects, or even more complex renovations. Monthly payments on home improvement loans are typically lower than personal loans and credit cards, and in some cases, the financing may also be tax-deductible. Although you may be able to pay for the home improvements with a personal loan or other types of financing, these methods often have higher interest rates and, subsequently, higher monthly payments. At this time, with a home renovation loan, you can finance a renovation period of up to six months with only one set of closing costs and absolutely no prepayment penalty. The total loan amount is based on the property’s after-improvement value, and the down payment can be as little as 3.5% after the initial appraisal.

Staying Stress-Free By Getting A Pre-Approved For a Home Loan in St. Louis

It's been my observation that most home buyers seem to share one goal: trying to reduce stress during the process. While stress may seem inevitable in today’s highly competitive housing market, it’s achievable. The biggest tip? You MUST get pre-approved!

Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned veteran, find a mortgage lender you trust and get pre-approved. At First Integrity Mortgage Services in St. Louis, we believe in making sure you get “pre-approved” and not just “pre-qualified”. The pre-qualification process is where a lender will rely on a verbal interview regarding finances, credit score, and debts to produce an amount they could be approved for. A true pre-approval is based on a review of a borrower’s credit report and supporting financial documents like pay stubs, tax returns, and asset account statements, and anything else that might be mandatory. Obtaining a pre-approval from a trusted, local lender like First Integrity is essential to submit a strong offer with confidence.

If you or someone you know is thinking about buying their first home, moving up to their next home, or interested in a renovation loan, have them reach out to First Integrity Mortgage Services in St. Louis, Missouri today.

For more information about the process or if you have any questions or comments, please contact Andrew Winkeler, NMLS# 2001001, at (314) 471-5631 or

First Integrity Mortgage Services is licensed in Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, Arkansas, and California.