Category: Financing (3)

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.

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New Home Loan Decision

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.

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Mortgage Tools

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

How much down payment will I need?

The minimum down payment required depends on the mortgage program you select. Usually at least 3% is required. If you put down less than 20% on your rate may be subject to our Low Down Payment Rate Adjustment.

If you are concerned about having enough money to purchase a home you may want to consider our options for rolling your closing costs into either your interest rate or your loan amount. You will still need to come up with money for your down payment but this will help reduce the amount of additional money that you will need to bring to close.


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.


Do I need to sell my existing home before I apply for a new mortgage loan?

Absolutely not! You can apply for a new mortgage loan before you sell your current home. However, depending on your income and debt levels, you may need to sell your current home before you can close on your new home.


Why is the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) different from the interest rate?

The annual percentage rate is intended to reflect the total cost of your mortgage loan. To calculate the APR, lenders consider the interest rate on your mortgage loan, the term of the loan, and other loan fees such as closing costs, points, etc. Your monthly payment is calculated based on the mortgage note rate, not the APR. The APR will be higher than your interest rate, especially if you are paying any points.

To be used as a valid evaluation tool the APR must be loan specific. The actual APR will show up on the Truth-in-Lending statement that you will see once you have submitted your information and reserved your funds. When comparing loan programs based on APR make sure you ask each lender their criteria for determining the APR.


Can I be pre-approved for a loan if I have credit problems?

Mortgage providers offer mortgage loan options to customers who may not have perfect credit. If you are concerned about your credit, or have other questions about credit, speak to a mortgage professional about your credit history.


Calculators and Other Tools

Click here for various calculators and tools to help you understand what you can afford and what your monthly payments will be for a given home.