Personal Mortgages

If you ever want to own a home, finding a mortgage lender is a necessary part of life. Despite the fact that most people will have a mortgage at some point, many don’t have a basic understanding of what goes into deciding what kind of mortgage is right for you and how to choose which lenders you should apply with.

At PeoplesBank, we’re one of the best mortgage lenders in Pennsylvania and Maryland since the mid-19th century, helping clients understand their loan options and secure the funding they need. We’re a full-service independent bank that provides mortgage lending services and assistance in York, Lancaster, Baltimore and many other cities in the region. Anything that a big bank can provide you in terms of security and industry knowledge, we can match, all while keeping interests local and supporting our community.

Named Best Mortgage Lender 2021 by the
York Daily Record & Hanover Evening Sun

Financing a home is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. Whether you are just starting out, a growing family, looking to refinance an existing mortgage, or build a dream home, our local loan officers will help make the mortgage process smooth and simple for you – no matter where you are in life or what your home buying or refinancing needs may be. We currently lend in both Pennsylvania and Maryland.

Our Mortgage Lending Area

mortgage lending area map

The heart of our service area is York, Cumberland, Lancaster, Harford and Baltimore counties, but our mortgage lending area extends to many of the surrounding counties as shown on the map above.

If you are getting a mortgage loan, you are essentially getting a type of financing to purchase residential property. The loan uses your purchased home as collateral. This means that if you default on the financing the lender can foreclose on the home and sell it to recoup their money.

To keep your credit in good standing and to avoid foreclosure, you need to make mortgage payments in full and on time. Home mortgages come with terms and paperwork, and it’s important to understand the terms before you sign.

One thing you will notice is you are paying not just the amount borrowed (principal) but also interest, taxes and insurance. Sometimes, these parts of your monthly payment are referred to as PITI. At first, much of your monthly cost will go towards interest. Later in your loan, more of your monthly payment will go towards the principal. You can ask your lender for a table of how much you’ll pay through PITI. This table is sometimes known as an amortization schedule.

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Types of Mortgages

Choosing the right home mortgage loan plays an important role in ensuring you can meet your financial obligations. At PeoplesBank, we offer a range of personal mortgages to our clients:

  • First-Time Home Buyer Mortgage: If you have never purchased a home before, first time home mortgages let you buy a home with a few benefits. PeoplesBank first-time home loans offer long-term, fixed-rate loan terms with no mortgage insurance and a fixed term, so your payments stay the same. With this type of financing, you can buy with as little as 3% down, and the mandatory First-Time Home Buyer education allows you to start homeownership right.
  • Zero Down Loan: Available to first-time homebuyers only, the Zero Down Loan requires no down payment on your first mortgage. You can finance up to 100% of the mortgage, giving you outstanding flexibility. You must attend First Time Home Buyer education and participate in the PeoplesBank First-Time Home Buyer Program or Welcome Home Loan to qualify.
  • Fixed-Rate Mortgage: Fixed-rate mortgages are a popular option. These loans have interest rates that stay the same year after year, making budgeting easy. These mortgages are a good way to lock in low-interest rates, and they allow you to build equity fast if you choose a short loan term.
  • Jumbo Fixed Rate Mortgage: This type of mortgage is for loan amounts between $548,250 and $1,500,000 and offers a fixed rate over the term of the loan. The shorter the term, the faster you can build equity and pay off the loan. Both 30- and 15-year terms are available for this product.
  • Physicians Preferred Mortgage: Whether you are buying your first home, interested in building, or refinancing your existing home, we have comprehensive solutions available specifically for physicians.
  • Adjustable-Rate Mortgage (ARM): ARMs allow you to enjoy lower interest rates at first, but the interest rates will go up over time. This may be the right option if you are a new homebuyer and expect your earning power to increase over the term of your loan. You can enjoy lower costs now.
  • Construction to Permanent Mortgage: Want to build your dream home? This ARM loan allows you to enjoy ARM low-interest rates during the up to nine months you spend building your home. Thereafter, it switches to a mortgage automatically. This way, you get the funds you need for building and can continue to pay for your home while you live in it. Since you pay only interest during the construction phase, you’ll have the flexibility to set up your home just as you wish.
  • Refinance Loans: If you own a home and want to streamline your finances, refinancing your mortgage may be the right option for you. With as little as 5% equity, you can reduce your rate and/or your loan term. Refinancing can help you lower your monthly mortgage payment, pay off your mortgage faster, or help to consolidate debt. We can even help you get the extra cash you need for college tuition, home projects, or the purchase of your dream vacation home.
  • Home Renovation Program: Is your home almost perfect? Renovate your home with this great program for existing homes or new homes that need improvement.
  • Lot Loans: If you have a credit score of at least 660, you can use this type of financing to buy the perfect lot to build your dream home.
  • USDA/Rural Housing Mortgage: These fixed-rate mortgages are guaranteed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). If you meet income requirements and are buying eligible rural property, this financing allows you to buy with flexible terms, low insurance, competitive rates and low or even no down payment.

Determining the Best Loans for You

The first step in determining which of these loan options will be most beneficial for you is understanding the two main parts of any mortgage:

  • Principal: This is the loan amount you agree to pay.
  • Interest: Interest is the money that accrues as you pay back your loan over time. It’s calculated as a percentage of the principal added on to the principal cost every month.

Interest is then broken down into two types — fixed-rate and adjustable-rate, as explained above. Whatever loan you choose will be a part of your life for a long time, likely decades, so it’s important to take your time and understand the possibilities available with every loan. Here are some things to consider to make the decision a little easier:

  • Determine what’s important to you: Ask yourself what’s most important for your loan to do — a rate you can anticipate? Equity buildup? A short payoff period? Deciding on what you want your loan to do for you will help you narrow down your options.
  • Look into current mortgage rates: Different loan types and lenders apply different mortgage rates. By understanding the current average mortgage rates in Pennsylvania and Maryland, you can know from the start if you’re getting a good deal or if you need to keep looking.
  • Shop around: Buying a house is likely the biggest purchase you’ll make in your lifetime. Make sure you’re doing it right by exploring all your options for mortgage assistance in Pennsylvania before deciding on lenders to pursue.

Although you should always shop around for the best deal in big purchases like this, PeoplesBank strives to provide the best deals and rates for every client, just like we’ve done since our beginning in 1864. Now, we’ve had over 155 years of experience in serving your community. You can trust that our bank can get you on your way to enjoying your new home.

Bank Mortgage Calculator: How Much Can You Afford?

As you consider your options for buying or refinancing a home, you also need to determine where your finances stand. Using our mortgage calculator with taxes and insurance for Pennsylvania and Maryland, you can estimate much you can afford to spend on a home or determine whether refinancing makes sense for your situation. Gather your essential financial information, including the following:

  • Cost of the home
  • Local taxes
  • Insurance rates
  • The amount you owe on the house if you are refinancing
  • Appraised value

The calculator will guide you through the steps and prompt you to plug in numbers. You can adjust the numbers to find what would work best for your budget. For example, try increasing or decreasing your down payment to see how it can impact your monthly payments. You can also see how insurance and tax payments will affect your monthly rate. While most people keep these in escrow, you can choose to pay them separately.

Bank mortgage calculators offer insights into what mortgage program could be right for you and how much home you can afford. Though they provide a good guideline, keep in mind that final mortgage numbers may differ slightly. Use the calculator as an estimate to prepare for how your finances could look.

Applying for a Residential Mortgage in Pennsylvania & Maryland

Reviewing and approving mortgage applications in thriving towns like Lancaster, Pennsylvania, or Baltimore, Maryland, can take a month at minimum, and usually lasts between 35 and 45 days. That’s why PeoplesBank suggests you start looking into mortgage assistance and lending options as soon as possible when you find a home.

Before you submit your application to a mortgage lender, start by taking care of these things to ensure the process goes as smoothly and quickly as possible:

  • Gather documents: One of the first things your potential lenders will want to do is see a range of financial records to identify if you’d be a good fit for their loans. They’ll likely ask to see information like current pay stubs, bank and retirement statements, and W-2 forms or other tax documents. Be sure you can easily access this information from at least the past two years — create a folder on your computer or print them out and keep them together somewhere safe.
  • Understand your finances: What’s your gross monthly income? Your potential lender will want you to factor in bonuses, tips, alimony, child support and any other financial adjustments to your income. They’ll also want to know if you’re self-employed or work on commission, among other things.
  • Keep watch on your credit: During the mortgage approval process, you’ll want to keep track of your spending more than ever before. Try to stay on top of other payments and keep your credit card balances as low as possible if they aren’t fully paid off. Also, although any lender you apply with will need to check your credit scores, try to keep the number of institutions checking your credit small, as too many inquiries will negatively affect your score.
  • Get pre-qualified: If you haven’t already, contact a lender like PeoplesBank and get pre-qualified for a loan amount. A pre-qualification gives you an idea of your buying budget and what a lender is likely to approve you for once you find the home of your dreams. It allows you to shop within your means based on your credit report and financial history. It will also show lenders that you’re serious about buying a home, which can help move the official application process just a little faster. Fill out our pre-qualification form today!
  • Get an appraisal: Although a property appraisal is part of the mortgage application process, getting one on your own beforehand can save you a lot of hassle if there are any concerns with your potential home.
  • Start saving for upfront costs: Proving you have the funds to supply a decent down payment, as well as cover closing costs, can help lenders feel more secure in approving your loan.

PeoplesBank Cares About You and Your Family

Recognized as one of the top mortgage lenders in York, Pennsylvania, and the surrounding areas, PeoplesBank focuses on strengthening the community through banking and lending. We are growing throughout south-central Pennsylvania and central Maryland. We embrace the opportunity to help clients across these areas get into new homes or find ways to expand their businesses.

We offer outstanding Pennsylvania and Maryland mortgage rates competitive with other lenders across York, Lancaster, Baltimore and nearby cities. We know these areas and understand your unique concerns about the local economy. We can get you through uncertain times and stand behind you when you need assistance. Our personal touch makes conversations about finances pleasant and easy to understand.

Learn More About Homeownership

We know your life is busy enough as it is without searching for reliable information on homeownership. Explore the benefits and costs of buying and owning a home through the interactive playlists available in our Financial Learning Center.

In less than an hour, you can gain a basic understanding of mortgages, property investments and other considerations all homeowners should know. With seven easy-to-navigate modules ranging from five to 10 minutes long, you have time to learn on a lunch break, during your kids’ nap or any other time you have a few minutes to spare. Get started today, and be sure to reach out to PeoplesBank with any questions. We’ll be happy to help you gain a deeper understanding of any homeowning concepts.

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