Home Loans

Helping YOU Become a Homeowner

Whether you’re buying your first home or building your retirement home, partnering with the right financial partner is crucial. With decades worth of expertise and in-depth knowledge of the local market, we’re more than equipped to help.

Our Home Loan Officers

Ryan Venz
Ryan Venz VP, Real Estate Lending Officer NMLS ID: 1633623 Location: Charles City 641-257-5052 Email Me
Apply Online Visit Ryan's Lender Page
Gene Rosenbaum
Gene Rosenbaum VP, Lending Officer NMLS ID: 401695 Location: Clarion & Kanawha 641-494-5822 Email Me
Apply Online Visit Gene's Lender Page
Kelly Rush
Kelly Rush VP, Real Estate Lending Officer NMLS ID: 401697 Location: Mason City West 641-380-3326 Email Me
Apply Online Visit Kelly's Lender Page
Adrian Hackman
Adrian (Abe) Hackman AVP, Real Estate Lending Officer NMLS ID: 400193 Location: Mason City West 641-380-3347 Email Me
Apply Online Visit Adrian's Lender Page
Trever Olsen
Trever Olsen VP, Lending Officer NMLS ID: 1314367 Location: Osage 641-494-5872 Email Me
Apply Online Visit Trever's Lender Page
Elizabeth Brandt
Elizabeth (Beth) Brandt AVP, Lending Officer NMLS ID: 1253808 Location: Mora, MN 320-209-6403 Email Me
Apply Online Visit Elizabeth's Lender Page
Paul Gilbertson
Paul Gilbertson Lending Officer NMLS ID: 2401235 Location: Mora, MN 320-209-6424 Email Me
Apply Online Visit Paul's Lender Page

Our Home Loan Options

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Loans

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Grant Money Options

Depending on the loan product you choose, there may be a number of different grants available to you. 
Ask your loan advisor for more details.

Iowa Finance Authority (IFA)

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Federal Home Loan Banks (FHLB)

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Home$tart® Grant Money

Learn More

Are You Thinking About Buying a Home?

Start with us! View the path to owning your dream home here:  Download PDF Guide

Getting Started

We recommend getting pre-qualified first. We offer FREE pre-approvals, so you can shop for your home knowing that you can afford the mortgage. You can apply for a loan online or at one of our locations!

Apply Online Locations & Hours Contact Us

PLEASE NOTE: First Citizens Bank accepts online loan applications from Iowa and Minnesota. If you're looking outside of this area, please contact us.

Frequently Asked Questions 

How do I get started? 

We’d recommend getting pre-qualified first. Apply online here

How do I lock my rate? 

Contact a home loan expert

Can I apply for a loan before I find property to purchase? 

Yes, applying for a mortgage loan before you find a home may be the best thing you could do! If you apply for your mortgage now, we'll issue an approval subject to you finding the perfect home. We'll issue a pre-approval letter online instantly. You can use the pre-approval letter to assure real estate brokers and sellers that you are a qualified buyer. Having a pre-approval for a mortgage may give more weight to any offer to purchase that you make.

I found a home to purchase and I have been pre-approved. What now? 

When you find the perfect home, contact your loan officer to complete your application. You'll have an opportunity to lock in our great rates and fees then and we'll complete the processing of your request.

I've completed my online application. What's next? 

After your application is completed, a Loan Officer will contact you. Your Loan Officer is a mortgage expert and will provide help and guidance along the way. If your request wasn't approved online, they'll ask you for any information required to make a decision about your loan. You will then be sent an application package which contains papers for you to sign and a list of items we'll need to verify the information you provided about your finances during the online application.

What about my appraisal? 

We'll order the appraisal from a licensed appraiser who is familiar with home values in your area. Depending on your finances and the loan amount requested, different types of appraisals are used. Sometimes the appraiser will need to view the home; sometimes they are able to do their evaluation from the street.

How long does an appraisal take to receive back?

The appraisal process typically takes 2-3 weeks to be completed.  Our appraisals are completed through third party vendors,  The wait time can vary depending on the timing of the year or the appraiser's workload.

What is the difference between assessed value vs. appraised value?

The assessed value of a home is determined by your local government.  The local government authority utilizes this value when determining property taxes.

The appraised value is completed by a qualified, licensed appraiser.  The appraisal determines the fair market value of the property.  The value is determined by using comparable sales similiar to the home being purchased in the area, square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, lot size, location, and condition to name a few.  The lender is verifying the home is valued at the amount of the buyer's purchase price.

Do I need title insurance? 

Title insurance will be necessary. If you are purchasing a home, we'll work with the real estate broker or seller to ensure the title work is ordered as soon as possible. If you are refinancing we'll take care of ordering the title work for you. We'll use the title insurance policy to confirm the legal status of your property and to prepare the closing documents.

What is the loan closing process? 

After we receive your application package, the appraisal, and the title work, we'll contact you to schedule your loan closing. If you are purchasing a home, we'll also schedule the closing with the real estate broker and the seller. A few days before closing your Loan Officer will contact you to walk through the final information.

 

 

Glossary

There are a lot of unfamiliar terms that get tossed around during the mortgage process. Here is a short glossary of common terms that you may need a more clear description of. 

Amortization

A loan repayment plan, which enables the borrower to reduce his debt gradually through monthly payments of principal and interest.

 

Appraisal

An analysis performed by a qualified individual to determine the estimated value of a home.

Appraised Value

An opinion of a property’s fair market value, based on an appraiser’s knowledge, experience and analysis of the property.

Assessed Value

The valuation placed on property by a public tax assessor for purposes of taxation.

Balloon Payment

The final payment that is made at the maturity date of a balloon mortgage and pays the loan in full.

Earnest Money

A sum of cash paid to a seller by a buyer prior to the closing to show that the buyer is serious about buying the house.  The earnest money is deducted from the purchase price at closing and is not an additional cost.  Sometimes referred to as a binder deposit.

Escrow

Funds paid by one party to another to hold until a specific date when the funds are released to a designated individual.  Generally, an escrow account refers to the funds a mortgagor pays to the lender along with their monthly principal and interest payments for the payment of real estate taxes and hazard insurance.  This is also referred to as impounds.  The money is held by the lender to make payments when they are due. An escrow can also refer to funds that are held by a third party to ensure the completion of repairs or improvements that must be completed on the property but that cannot be done prior to closing.

Origination Fee

A fee charged by a lender as a way to cover processing expenses or to increase their profitability for originating a mortgage loan.  Most commonly, the origination fee is expressed as a percent of the loan amount.  For our comparison purposes, the origination fee is considered to be a lender fee.

Points

Fees that are collected by the lender in exchange for a lower interest rate.  Commonly called discount points, each point is equal to 1% of the loan amount.  For our comparison purposes, a discount point is considered to be a lender fee.  To determine if it is wise to pay discount points to obtain a lower rate, you must compare the up front cost of the points to the monthly savings that result from obtaining the lower rate.

Prepayment Penalty

A monetary penalty charged by a lender if all or part of a loan is paid off before it is due.

 

Principal & Interest

The monthly payment required to repay a mortgage in accordance with its terms.  Sometimes referred to as "P&I".

Private Mortgage Insurance

Insurance provided by a private company to protect the mortgage lender against losses that might be incurred if a loan defaults.  The cost of the insurance is usually paid by the borrower and is most often required if the loan amount is more than 80% of the home's value.  Sometimes referred to as mortgage insurance.

Property Taxes

Taxes based on the assessed value of the home, paid by the homeowner for community services such as schools, public works, and other costs of local government. Sometimes paid as a part of the monthly mortgage payment.

Rate Lock

An agreement by a lender to guarantee the interest rate offered for a mortgage provided that the loan closes within the specified period of time.

Seller Credits

Seller credits are funds the seller gives to the buyer at closing to help pay for the buyer's loan closing costs. The seller credit amount allowed on a mortgage transaction can vary on the loan type.  

Title Insurance

An insurance policy that protects the lender (and sometimes the property owner as well) against loss due to disputes over the ownership of a property and defects in the title that were not found in the search of the public record.  For our comparison purposes, the title insurance cost is considered to be a third party fee.

 

Title Search

An examination of the public title records to determine the legal ownership of a property, and to ensure that there are no liens, encumbrances or other claims outstanding.

Underwriting Fee

A fee charged by some lenders to cover the cost of the lender's analysis of the risk associated with a loan. For our comparison purposes, an underwriting fee is considered to be a lender fee.

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