Purchasing a home is incredibly exciting and stressful. Knowing as much as possible before you purchase is the key to reducing stress.
Getting A Mortgage � From Beginning to End
The mortgage process can often be a confusing one. Most homebuyers are interested in their dream home, not their lender. Throw in endless forms and document requests, and the mortgage process can quickly become miserable. Here is an overview of how it works, which will hopefully cut down on your stress.
Searching for the best loan is the first step. The best loan for you is entirely dependent upon your situation. A low interest rate may be a key for one person, while a low down payment might be critical for another. Other factors include your credit score, length of the loan and so on. I highly recommend you don�t apply with the bank where you have a checking account. If they know it is your first loan, you are going to get a poor deal. Shop around or use a mortgage broker to do so.
Getting pre-approved is not a required step, but you should do it. This single step will cut the stress factor of buying a home by at least half. Instead of sweating your loan application during escrow, you can relax because you are already approved. This free time gives you the opportunity to nag the seller for breaks on the home purchase.
The next step is to file a mortgage application. Many people make the mistake of providing the minimum amount of information possible. Don�t. If you have credit problems or some other negative, the lender will find them. Provide as much information as possible on your application.
Part and parcel with your application is supporting documentation. This is where a mortgage broker can really help. A lender is not going to take you application at face value. Unlike applying for a credit card, the lender wants to see supporting documentation. You will commonly be asked to submit tax returns, pay stubs, bank account statements, investment account statements and so on. The lender will inevitably lose some of these and ask for them again. Welcome to the mortgage loan process!
Appraisals, inspections and title searches will next be ordered on the property. The lender wants to make sure the seller has the right to sell it, the home is in good shape and it is worth enough to justify the loan. There isn�t much you can do during this step, so relax.
At this point the loan is processed to get everything in shape for the underwriter review. The underwriter is the �buck stops here� person for the lender. The underwriter will approve or deny the loan. They may also ask for additional information or offer adjusted terms. If this occurs, you can make counter offers.
Assuming the loan is approved, commitment time is the next step. Yep, you will sign the loan documents. This sounds simple, but many people can�t help but get nervous about committing to the repayment of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Just do it!
Assuming everything is going well with the purchase, the next step is closing. The lender will wire money to the title company, escrow will close and you are the proud owner of a new home and hundreds of thousands in debt!