Loan Process

Knowing how much home you can comfortably afford is key! Let's estimate your buying power based on what lenders typically look for. By answering a few quick questions, we'll get you on your way to finding your perfect home within your budget. We use standard lender guidelines to give you a clear picture of what's possible. Let's get started!

Click here to Pre-Qualify.

While you can estimate your buying power, getting pre-approved for a loan adds an extra layer of confidence. This involves verifying your income, credit score, assets, and liabilities to get a clear picture of what you can borrow. 

 Here's why pre-approval is a smart move:

  • Focus on homes that fit your budget: Narrow your search to properties that align perfectly with your pre-approved loan amount. No more time wasted on dream homes outside your reach!
  • Negotiate with power: Having a pre-approval shows sellers you're a serious buyer with the financing secured. This strengthens your position when negotiating for the best price.
  • Close faster, celebrate sooner: With the pre-approval legwork done, the closing process on your dream home can be much smoother and quicker. You'll be celebrating in no time!

    More on Pre-Qualification
         LTV and Debt-to-Income Ratios
         FICO™ Credit Score
         Self Employed Borrower
         Source of down payment

    LTV and Debt-to-Income Ratios

    LTV, or Loan-to-Value ratio, tells you how much of the home's value the lender is willing to finance. The good news is, lenders can be flexible, especially for borrowers with strong credit. They might offer loans for up to 100% of the value in some cases!

    Another factor lenders consider is your debt-to-income ratio (DTI). This ratio compares your monthly debt payments (car loans, student loans, etc.) to your monthly income. Ideally, your mortgage payment shouldn't take up more than a third of your gross income. So, if you have a high DTI, you might need a larger down payment to bring down your LTV and qualify for the loan.

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    Understanding Your Credit Score: The Key to Great Rates

    Your credit score is a big deal! It's a number used by most lenders to assess your creditworthiness, basically how likely you are to repay a loan on time. The higher your score, the better your chances of getting approved for loans and securing fantastic interest rates.

    Here's a breakdown of what goes into your credit score:

    • On-Time Payments: This is a major factor! A history of making payments on time shows lenders you're reliable.
    • Credit Utilization: This refers to how much credit you're using compared to your total limit. Keeping this ratio low is a plus.
    • Length of Credit History: The longer you've managed credit responsibly, the better it looks for your score.
    • New Credit: Applying for a lot of new credit in a short time can ding your score a bit.
    • Credit Mix: Having a healthy mix of credit types, like credit cards and loans, can positively impact your score.

    Myth Busting: Credit Inquiries and Your Score

    When you're shopping for loans or credit cards, lenders might check your credit report. This creates an inquiry, which can slightly impact your score. But here's the good news: these inquiries typically have a minimal effect, especially if they happen within a short window (like 30 days). So don't be afraid to shop around and compare rates!

    Our advice? Be strategic when applying for new credit. Once you've narrowed down your options and are ready to move forward, then you can authorize the lender to run a full credit check.

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    Self-Employed Homeownership: We Can Help!

    Being self-employed shouldn't hold you back from homeownership! While there can be extra steps involved in the mortgage process for self-employed borrowers, we're here to guide you through it seamlessly.

    The key thing for lenders is understanding your income stability. Unlike traditional pay stubs, self-employed individuals rely on tax returns to document their income. Typically, lenders need tax returns for the past two years to get a clear picture of your financial situation.

    We understand navigating this process can feel overwhelming. That's why we're here to answer your questions and make getting your mortgage smooth sailing! Let's chat and get you on the path to your dream home.

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    Down Payment Options: Let's Find What Works for You! 

    Every homeowner needs a down payment, which is essentially your upfront contribution towards the home's purchase price. Lenders typically prefer a down payment from your own savings.

    But what if you haven't saved the full amount yet? There are still options! In some cases, "gift funds" from a generous family member or friend can contribute to your down payment. These gifts need to be documented with a signed letter stating they are truly gifts and not loans that need to be repaid.

    We can help you explore all your down payment options and find the strategy that best suits your financial situation. Let's chat and get you closer to homeownership!

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    Fixed vs. Adjustable Rate Loans

    When it comes to home loans, there's no one-size-fits-all approach. The best loan for you depends on your financial goals and situation. Here's a breakdown of the two most common types of mortgages to help you decide:

    Fixed-Rate Mortgages:

    • Stability you can count on: With a fixed-rate loan, your interest rate and monthly payment stay the same throughout the entire loan term (typically 15 or 30 years). This provides peace of mind knowing exactly what your housing costs will be each month.
    • Ideal for long-term plans: If you see yourself staying in your home for more than 7 years, a fixed-rate loan offers security and predictability.
    • Benefits those who value stability: Do you prefer a consistent monthly payment you can budget around? A fixed-rate loan is a great choice!

    Adjustable-Rate Mortgages (ARMs):

    • Potential for lower initial payments: ARMs often start with a lower interest rate than fixed-rate loans, which can translate to lower monthly payments in the beginning.
    • Flexibility for shorter stays: If you plan to sell your home within 5-7 years, an ARM may be a good option.
    • Works well for growing income: Are you expecting your income to increase in the future? ARMs can be a good fit if you anticipate being able to handle potential payment adjustments.

    Choosing the Right Loan:

    By considering your financial goals, risk tolerance, and how long you plan to stay in your home, you can select the loan that best suits your needs. We're here to offer professional guidance and help you find the perfect mortgage match! Let's chat about your options and get you started on your homeownership journey.

    Getting your mortgage approved can seem complex, but we're here to guide you through it step-by-step! While lenders follow general standards, loan approval guidelines can vary depending on the specific loan program. The main factors considered are:

    • Your ability to repay the loan: This includes your income, employment history, and overall debt situation.
    • The value of the property: An appraisal will be done to determine the market value of the home you're interested in.

    Once you submit your loan application, we'll get to work verifying all the information you provided. This might involve:

    • Income and Employment Check: We'll confirm your income is sufficient to comfortably cover the monthly mortgage payment.
    • Credit Check: Your credit report will be reviewed to assess your history of repaying debts on time.
    • Asset Verification: We'll need to confirm you have the funds for the down payment and closing costs.
    • Property Appraisal: A professional appraiser will determine the fair market value of the home.

    Helping Your Application Shine:

    Here are some tips to streamline your loan approval process:

    • Complete Accuracy: Fill out your loan application thoroughly and accurately. You can even use our convenient online forms to expedite the process!
    • Fast Response is Key: Respond promptly if we request additional documentation. This is especially important if you have a locked-in interest rate or a closing date approaching.
    • Maintain Financial Stability: Avoid large purchases or transferring money in ways that could raise red flags about your financial situation. If you're receiving a gift towards your down payment, be sure to have a proper gift letter prepared.
    • Hold Off on Big Spends: Wait to make any major purchases until after your loan closes. This will help maintain a healthy debt-to-income ratio.
    • Plan Your Schedule: Try to avoid being out of town around your loan closing date. If travel is unavoidable, consider a Power of Attorney to ensure a smooth closing process.

    We understand navigating the mortgage process can feel overwhelming. That's why we're here to answer your questions and make getting your loan approved a breeze! Let's chat about your homeownership goals and get you started today.

      Once your loan is approved, it's time to celebrate! You're just a few steps away from owning your dream home. Closing refers to the final meeting where you'll officially sign your loan documents. Here's a rundown of what to expect:

      • Reviewing the Documents: You'll receive a final set of loan documents to review and sign. Take your time to carefully examine everything, ensuring the interest rate, loan terms, and property details all match what was agreed upon.
      • Signing with Confidence: The signing typically takes place in front of a notary public to verify your identity.
      • Closing Costs: There will be closing costs associated with finalizing the loan and transferring ownership of the property. Be prepared to bring a cashier's check for the down payment and closing costs (personal checks are usually not accepted).
      • Proof of Insurance: You'll need to provide proof of homeowner's insurance, and possibly flood insurance depending on the property. Bring copies of your policies and payment confirmation.

      Important Note: For owner-occupied refinance loans, federal law mandates a 3-day waiting period after you receive the final loan documents before the closing can occur. This allows you ample time to review everything thoroughly.

      We'll be there every step of the way to guide you through the closing process and answer any questions you might have. Let's get you settled into your new home!

      Get Your Mortgage Questions Answered Today!