Step 1: Get good advice

Step 2: Prequalification

  • Once you have determined that a mortgage is in your best interest, let’s make sure you know the amount for which you qualify. Many factors go into determining how much money you can borrow under what terms you can borrow the money.
  • This is where we serve you the best: being your guide through the quagmire of loan guidelines, regulations, and mortgage products. There is not one mortgage product fit for everyone and we take into account your specific loan scenarios.
  • What we need to know:
    • Detailed information about your income. That means if you are self-employed or have multiple jobs, we are going to dig in deep to better understand your income and the likelihood of it continuing.
    • Confirming you have enough assets to qualify for your particular loan scenario. The amount required varies depending on how much money you want to put down on the house and how much you need in reserves.
    • Understanding your credit history. This seems to be the main key to the proverbial castle. We will inquire if you have sufficient credit history to qualify and guide you through any derogatory history you may have like late payments, collections, bankruptcy, and previous foreclosures.
    • Apply for the loan!
      • We can meet in person
      • Take the loan application over the phone
      • At your leisure by applying online here
    • One step further: Pre-approval
      • For full certainty on your ability to qualify for a purchase, we can collect all of your documentation and underwrite your file prior to shopping for a home.
      • It is a great negotiating tool to say that you are already qualified for a loan and all you need is a contract, title work, and an appraisal!

Step 3: Documents to sign

  • We will send you loan documents to sign. Don’t be surprised, there will be between 40 and 70 pages to review to cover all of the required disclosures!
  • Sign electronically from your computer, tablet, or phone. Ah, technology saves paper and time!
  • For those who prefer paper, we can meet with you or send them to your home to sign.

Step 4: Lock or not Lock

  • Timing the lock is dependent on a few factors like market conditions, length of lock needed, and rate desired. We like to educate you and let you make the final call on when to lock, but here are a few pointers.
    • Rates rising – it is safer to lock in a rate that works for you early and eliminate the stress of watching and waiting for a dip in the market. If the market lowers, we can go back and renegotiate your lock.
    • Rates lowering – makes it easy to wait and see what the market is doing. We tend to advise locking in un-predictable times.
    • Short time line to closing – lock and race to closing.
    • Long time line to closing – consider waiting because short term locks are priced better than long term locks. Long term locks are any period longer than 80-90 days.
    • Once you have locked, we will send you documents to sign confirming the terms of your loan

Step 5: Appraisal

  • Most loan scenarios require an appraisal of the home. It can only be ordered after you have signed the Intent to Proceed and the Loan Estimate.
  • Costs have increased significantly in the last few years due to high demand and increased regulations. Expect to pay between $500 and $750 for most properties.
  • This is the only fee that the client is obligated to pay and we will ask that you pay for it via credit card or check around the time we order the appraisal.
  • Property Inspection Waiver (PIW) – in a few cases, underwriting will not require an appraisal on a file and we will give you the option to waive the appraisal. This is most common on rate and term refinances.
  • Once the appraisal has been received, you will receive a copy of the appraisal in your inbox. Please download it immediately and let us know if you have any questions.

Step 6: Loan Processing

  • This is by far the most arduous part of the process. We need to document your financial life at a very detailed level prior to submitting your file to underwriting. Be patient with us, we are going to ask a lot of questions and ask for a lot of documentation.
  • The sooner and more complete you can provide the documents we need, the smoother the process will be. Let’s get this done quickly so you can plan on what colors to paint the walls of your new home!
  • Third party verifications and Quality Control are required for the following:
    • Tax Returns – expect to receive a form 4506T to sign from us to send to the IRS.
    • Employment – we will independently verify your employment initially and right before closing
    • Self-employment – we will verify your self-employment status though either the Secretary of State or your CPA.
    • Credit-Report – not only do we pull one up front for underwriting, we will pull another one within five days of closing to ensure nothing major has changed. Please don’t open new account or make major purchases without notifying us. It could delay your closing or cause a denial on your loan!

Step 7: Underwriting

  • After fully processing the loan, we send it off to the underwriter to review and finalize the file. The goal is to get in and out of underwriting as quickly as possible and we can only do that if you help us properly document your file.
  • Underwriters confirm guidelines, verify income and assets, check for irregularities in the file, and ask questions about your file. We work closely with our underwriters to ensure they have a clear understanding of your file and will communicate with you anything they need.

Step 8 – Closing

  • Technically called “Consummation” after October 1, 2015, we have a few steps to prepare your file to close.
  • Closing Disclosure – this document itemizes your costs and terms of the loan and is required to be signed three days prior to close. There is no exception to this, so please communicate with your loan officer where you will be three to four days prior to close and make sure you have internet. The form can be signed on your computer, tablet, or smart phone.
  • Review your closing documents prior to signing – we recommend you read all pages before signing to ensure you have a full understanding of the terms and your obligations. We can get you a copy the documents to preview prior to closing so you can feel confident walking into closing.
  • Bring ID – we need to verify you one more time, so please bring a valid ID, like a driver license or passport.
  • Cash to Close – Should your transaction require you to bring money to closing, you will be asked to either wire the funds or prepare a cashier’s check. Your Title Company or Loan Officer will guide you through the process.
  • Right of Rescission – some loans, especially for a primary residence, have a three day right of recession. This means you have three days to decide if the refinance was the right move for you. Please contact your Loan Officer or the main office should you decide to rescind the loan. It also means you will have to wait three days to receive any funds that are due to you after closing the loan.

Step 9 – Celebrate

  • Congratulations! You either own a new home or just restructured your mortgage.
  • We are honored to be your guide through the mortgage process. Nobody ever said it would be fun or entertaining, but we really enjoy working with you.
  • Now, go celebrate!