We know getting a mortgage can be a scary and exciting thing, and there are often a lot of questions that arise. Here is an FAQ to answer the questions we get the most:
What is a mortgage loan?
A mortgage loan, also referred to as simply a mortgage, is a loan offered to a person/entity in order to purchase real property. A mortgage can also be used to place a lien on a property being mortgaged in order to raise funds for whatever reason. This is often referred to as a second mortgage.
Are there different types of mortgages?
Yes! There are many different types of mortgage loans. We offer a few, and you can read more about them here: Loan Types
What kinds of loans are available to home buyers?
The types of loans available to home buyers will differ based on their financial situations, certain programs the government is offering at the time, and what type of house they are looking to buy. Here are a few of the different loans we offer: Loan Programs
What can I do to prepare for a home loan application?
While the ideal situation would allow for you to save a large amount of cash for a 20% down payment, that isn’t always possible. Save what money you can, but aside from that, you can begin getting your affairs in order so as to prove who you are, that you are employed, and that you have sufficient cash to close.
We have a great checklist of things to gather before you apply for a home loan here: Loan Checklist.
What is the debt-to-income ratio?
There are many things we take into consideration when evaluating a loan application. One main determining factor is your debt-to-income ratio. The debt-to-income ratio is exactly what it sounds like: it’s the amount of debt you have compared to your income. For example, say you and your partner make $7,000 a month before taxes (your gross income), but you have student loans, a credit card payment, and a car loan that equate to $1,000. That makes your current debt-to-income ratio would be 14.
In general, you’d like to keep this number as low as possible. Your lender will show you what you can afford based on your debt-to-income ratio. Some lenders are stricter on where they’d like to see your DTI ratio. Some programs also allow for higher DTI, like the VA and FHA loan programs.
The DTI is something we can help you calculate. Depending on your situation, you may need to pay off a loan or consolidate debt in order to lower your DTI before you can purchase a home. These are all things we can help you with, so give us a call!
What do I need to qualify for a loan?
In order to determine if you are qualified for a loan, you should start the application process! You can do that with one of our helpful loan officers either in person or over the phone, or you can apply online here.
There are many items to check off the list in order to qualify for a loan, including having sufficient funds, a job, and a good-to-excellent credit score. From there, we would go through the loan process, which we’ve laid out here: Loan Process.
What happens when I find a house I want to buy?
You put in an offer! First, though, you should be preapproved. The preapproval letter is a great way to show the home seller that you’re serious and that you can back up your offer. Depending on the real estate market in your area, getting preapproved before you find a home may be a good idea.
Either way, a preapproval is normally good for at least 30 days. After 60 days, your credit report, employment verification, and asset verification will need to be done again. In markets where homes are selling fast, you’ll need to make decisions and offer quickly, so get your preapproval done as soon as you’re serious about buying a home.
What happens after I put in an offer on a home?
Depending on the terms in your offer, the seller usually has a short window of time to respond to your offer, either with a counter offer, declination, or acceptance of your offer. Your real estate agent is your advocate in this transaction and will negotiate on your behalf, or decline a counter offer for you. Getting your offer accepted is just one of many steps in the home-buying process.
What are some things I shouldn’t do when waiting for a house loan to close?
If you’ve already completed the application, had your offer accepted by the seller, and are now in underwriting, you are still under scrutiny. Your credit, employment, and finances are being watched, and they will be checked until you close your loan. During this time and until the loan has funded and you’ve signed the papers, do not:
- Open a credit card.
- Buy a new car.
- Change jobs, or quit your job.
- Spend all of your savings.
If you have a desire to do any of those things, wait until after your loan closes.
What happens after the loan is closed?
There are three steps in the closing process:
1.) Going to signing, where those who are purchasing the home and the sellers sign all of the documents.
2.) Those are sent back to the lender, who then agrees that it’s good to go and funding is approved.
3.) Your loan records with the county/state.
Funding is the actual act of the lender wiring the loan amount funds to the title company, who will then release the funds to the seller. Once this happens, the purchase will be recorded with the county. Once that is done, the buyer receives the keys.
When do I get the keys to my new home?
This will depend on the seller’s terms. There are situations where this can be negotiated, but the keys are normally given to a buyer after the loan has funded. If you are trying to occupy your home before the loan funds, you will need to get that included in the contract. Talk to your real estate agent about early occupancy if you need to move into a home before it can close.