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General | Mortgage Tools | Rates & Costs | Loan Decision | Closing

Can I be pre-approved for a loan before I’ve found a property?

Absolutely! We not only support the idea, but strongly encourage it. By getting pre-approved now, you will know exactly what you qualify for before you begin shopping. Realtors and sellers will know you are a serious buyer because your financing is already arranged. This may be an advantage when making an offer. We take into account your current income, debt and credit history in order to pre-approve you and determine the amount for which you qualify. Once you find a property, and sign a sales agreement, we can continue processing your loan.


Why is an appraisal necessary? Can I use the tax value of the home?

Appraisals compare the current market value of your home to other homes in your area that have recently been sold. Tax values can sometimes be higher or lower and may not reflect the actual appraised value of the home. A current appraisal is necessary for the lender to justify the loan amount you’ve requested and is required by our secondary investors. You should not, however, rely on the appraisal for assurance about the condition of your home or as a guarantee of the value of your home.


How is the appraisal obtained?

After you have reserved your funds, we will arrange a date and time for the property appraisal. You will be asked to provide a contact name after you have reserved your funds. The appraiser will call the contact person you list for access to the property. If you are purchasing a home, you can list either your real estate agent or the seller’s agent. Once the appraisal is complete, the appraiser will send us the results, and your personal mortgage processor will contact you.


Who can tell me what my property taxes will be?

The seller and/or your Realtor should provide you with the current taxes for the property. Property taxes are reassessed from time to time, so this amount may change. If you would like to confirm what your taxes would be, you can contact the county Recording Office.


What is a Good Faith Estimate?

Required by federal law, the Good Faith Estimate (GFE) is a written list of the estimated closing costs associated with your mortgage transaction, including the lender’s charges along with the local closing agent’s charges and fees. It also includes estimated amounts for real estate property taxes and homeowner’s insurance. Once you’ve been pre-approved, you can access your GFE online from your “My Loan Status” page.


What is a Truth-in-Lending statement?

Required by federal Law, the Truth-in-Lending statement provides detailed information about the total charges that you will incur over the life of the loan. It includes the Annual Percentage Rate (APR), the amount of interest you’ll pay, the amount financed and schedule of payments, the total of your payments, and late payment charges.


What is a home equity line of credit?

Also known as HELOC, a HELOC is a secure line of credit using the available equity in the applicant’s residence as collateral.


How do interest only products work?

A customer pays interest only payments for the first three, five, seven, or ten years of the loan. During the Interest Only period, the loan will be re-amortized at the remaining principal balance each month, allowing the customer to benefit from any principal curtailments made during the interest only timeframe.

After the fixed interest only period, the loan payments become fully amortized payments of both Principle and Interest for the remaining term. During this time, the interest rate adjusts every year, based on the one-year LIBOR index plus a margin.

General | Mortgage Tools | Rates & Costs | Loan Decision | Closing

How often do interest rates change?

Interest rates change regularly with the fluctuation of the market. The interest rates we quote you on the site are good for two hours. If a quote expires, you will be prompted to resubmit to receive an updated quote. Of course, once you lock or protect your rate, it will not increase as long as you close and fund your loan on or before the rate expiration date.


How can I customize my rate?

Once you submit, we will recommend a loan program for you. This program will be associated with a specific interest rate and possibly with points. If you’d like, you will have the ability to customize this rate. You can add or subtract points and see how this changes your rate and monthly payment. You also may have the opportunity to roll your closing costs into either your loan amount or interest rate. Once you select the program that best fits your financial objectives you will be presented with different rate options. An interest rate is not locked until you request to lock the rate and submit.

When should I start shopping for a mortgage and how do I know what I can afford?

The best time to look for a mortgage is before you look for a house. This way you’ll know exactly the amount of money you can borrow. You can use the calculators on this site to help you determine these numbers as well as your estimated monthly payments. Get pre-approved for a mortgage before shopping for a home and you’ll maximize your negotiating power. It’s free and will take only a matter of minutes to get a decision, and there’s no obligation until you want to reserve your funds.


What factors go into determining my personalized rate?

We evaluate your credit history and reward your good credit with a better rate. We also take into account your loan to value or LTV, as well as your income, your assets, the purpose of the loan and how you intend to occupy the property. Naturally, all of this is impacted by the current market conditions.


Can I lock in a loan program and interest rate online?

Absolutely! Simply complete the home loan process, choose your program, and you’ll be one click away from locking your rate. Once you have chosen your rate lock option you will need to reserve funds with a $350.00 NONREFUNDABLE fee (charged to a credit card) and SUBMIT! No need to call. No need to wait for someone to call you. You are in control! Just another feature that sets Coldwell Banker Mortgage apart from other online mortgage programs.

Once I have selected a program, what are my rate options?

You will be presented with rate options that are applicable to your loan purpose, closing date and qualification. The possible options are listed below.

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General | Mortgage Tools | Rates & Costs | Loan Decision | Closing

How long is my Letter of Approval valid?

If the information you provided to us remains the same, the letter of approval will remain valid until you close your loan. If any of the information you provided to us changes, such as your income or debt, we will need to re-evaluate your approval. We will also need your permission to re-evaluate your credit every 60 days to make sure nothing has changed.

If you have not decided upon a rate lock option, you can obtain a new letter by changing your personal information online and resubmitting.

If you have already chosen a rate lock option and paid your fee, you will need to call your Loan Processor for an updated letter.


What does a mortgage lender consider when making a loan decision?

  • A mortgage lender generally looks at three areas:

Income and Assets: To determine your ability to repay the loan.

Debts and Credit History: To evaluate your buying habits and your history of repaying other financial obligations.

Property Information: An appraiser compares the home you are buying to similar homes in your area to make sure the property provides sufficient collateral for your loan.


How much does it cost to get a loan decision?

It doesn’t cost you anything! We will give you a loan decision free of charge. We do charge a NONREFUNDABLE $350.00 fee, only when you decide to submit your application.


How long will it take to get my loan decision?

In most cases, you will receive a mortgage pre-approval in minutes, after you complete the six easy steps and submit. However, there are always situations that will need further review before we get back to you with a loan decision.

Can I change the loan amount, down payment or program after I’ve received my loan decision?

Yes, as long as you meet the criteria for the new loan amount or new program you’ve selected. Your personal mortgage processor can help you determine if you meet the requirements.

If you have not decided upon a rate lock option, you can make changes to your information online and resubmit for a new loan decision.


I already put earnest money down on the property. Is this included on the Good Faith Estimate?

Yes. Any earnest money paid is listed under “Prepaid deposit for property” on the Good Faith Estimate. Please make sure you list your earnest money in Step 5: Asset Information.


What documents will I need to provide to complete my loan transaction?

We have included a list of some sample documents you may be required to submit. This list is not all inclusive.

    • A fully executed agreement of sale for the property being purchased
    • Financial statements for bank and brokerage accounts
    • A HUD-1 settlement statement on the property you are selling
    • Copy of your most recent pay stub
    • Previous W2s
    • Copy of a rental lease
    • Form 4506
    • Homeowner’s insurance policy
    • Flood insurance policy


What is a 4506 form?

A 4506 form is an IRS form, which authorizes a mortgage lender to obtain copies of a borrower’s tax returns directly from the IRS.

General | Mortgage Tools | Rates & Costs | Loan Decision | Closing

I have to attend closing? What are my options?

It is not required that you attend the closing, if you’ve given an acceptable power of attorney or taken the necessary steps to complete a mail away closing. Your personal mortgage processor can help determine your options based on your needs.


How does it benefit me to let you select the closing agent?

By choosing our closing agent, we can guarantee your closing date on any conventional loan. If we do not meet this date, we will lower your interest rate by 1/8th of a percent for the life of the loan. * Not only that, by using our network, we can assure you that you will receive a competitive price for the closing agent’s services and the superior service that you deserve.

* Approved, conventional, purchase loans only. Closing date to be mutually agreed upon between customer and bank, and customer must provide all required documentation. Timely request for payment under guarantee is required.


Where do I go to close the loan?

In most cases, you will go to a local Title Company or attorney’s office for the closing. If you let us select the closing agent for you, we will work with our network and try to find an agent within 15 minutes of the property.

If you prefer a different location (e.g. your office, home, bank) our preferred closing agents will work with you to try to accommodate your needs. The closing agent will have all your mortgage documents needed for closing. You may need to bring money, picture identification, etc. Your closing agent will let you know what you need to bring.


Can I bring a personal check to the closing?

You will need a cashier’s check or certified check for closing. Since this is such a large transaction, a cashier’s check provides verification that the funds are actually available.


What is title insurance and why is it required?

Title insurance protects the lender or you against losses from disputes over the title of a property. It ensures against the possibility that there may be an unknown lien or any discrepancies in ownership. You may want to consider purchasing a separate buyer’s policy to protect your interests.


How much title insurance do I need?

The amount of title insurance needed is based on the value of your home and the amount of your mortgage. Lenders are covered for the full value of the mortgage. This policy is required and will vary from state to state. There is a one-time fee for the policy that you pay at closing. In addition, you can obtain a separate owner’s insurance policy to cover the full value of your home. However, this additional policy is not required.


How much homeowner’s insurance does a lender require?

Your homeowner’s insurance policy must cover the cost to rebuild the home. The insured amount may be higher or lower than the actual purchase price as long as it meets the program requirements. The insurance company you choose can give you an actual quote based on specific information about the property.


How do I know if I need flood insurance?

We will perform a flood hazard determination for your property. If your home is located in a Special Flood Hazard Area, federal law requires you to purchase flood insurance. Most standard homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover loss due to flood. If you choose, you can obtain flood insurance coverage even if you are not required to do so by the lender.


How are my property tax bills paid?

It depends on your loan program and state requirements. Generally, if your monthly mortgage payment includes money for property taxes, these funds are held in escrow by the lender and the lender pays your property taxes as they become due. Generally, if your payment does not include property taxes, you are responsible for paying them by the due date mandated by your state.


What type of inspections do I need before I close on my home?

Certain inspections may be required under your particular loan program. However, depending on the home and the location, there are a variety of inspections you may want to consider before you close on your new home even if they are not required under your program, such as:

  • Home Inspections
  • Termite Inspection
  • Water Test (for well water)
  • Septic Tank Inspection
  • Radon Test