Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

When it comes to soliciting or taking advice, it's only natural to turn to those we know, like and trust. The problem can be that we don't always really know if that advice is good. Trusting the source may be different from trusting the actual information. Forgive our brashness, but we spend our days helping others like you. We know about loan programs and guideline changes. We stay on top of the latest trends and in-depth market analysis. We work every day with other professionals who spend their lives helping others achieve home ownership. Together, we've closed loans successfully many hundreds of times over. Here are just a few of the questions we recieve frequently from firsttime homebuyers:

Q: How do I know what I can afford?

A:The pre-approval process, which entails full documentation and credit check, is the best way to determine the numbers that are right for you. Early in your search, you can identify any potential hurdles and focus only on homes truly available to you. This entails document verification, a credit check and automated or actual underwriting. If all is in order, you will receive the equivalent of a loan commitment that's subject to a contract, appraisal and title work. Your pre-approval gives you and the seller confidence in your ability to close the deal once you find your perfect home.Check out our article on Pre-Qualification v. Pre-Approval to learn more about the imprtance of becoming pre-approved.

Q: How do I choose a loan program?

A: Please watch the short video for an overview of the three most common mortgage types. You can find details about the loan programs we offer in our Home Purchasing Guide! When you're ready, we can run some numbers to see how each of these might look for you.

Q: How does the home loan process work?

A:This is a time when the Internet doesn’t have all the answers. The process varies for many reasons, including area and custom. Generally, purchases include: Offer, Acceptance, Inspections, Contract, Loan Application, Appraisal, Title, Loan Approval, Closing/Funding and Moving In. Many little steps can fall in between, and the process won't always occur in a given order. It pays to speak with local experts early.

Q: Should I work with a real estate professional?

A:This may be good idea, especially during your first homebuying experience. Here are five reasons to consider hiring a real estate professional:

  1. Paperwork -They help with all disclosures & paperwork necessary in today's heavily regulated environment.

  2. Experience -They are well educated in and experienced with the entire sales process.

  3. Negotiations -They act as a "buffer" in negotiations with all parties throughout the entire transaction.

  4. Pricing -They help you understand today's real estate values when setting an offer to purchase.

Q: Is No Credit Just as Bad as Poor Credit?

A: It can be. You need to have at least a few established credit accounts to develop a score, and you need a score for most loan programs. It's great to keep your spending under control by only using cash, but if you ultimately need to finance the purchase of a home, the sooner you solidify a good payment history the better. Without using credit, there's nothing for the bureaus to use as a basis for their scoring algorithms. A good mix makes for the best start. For example, get a bank overdraft credit line, a credit card and an installment loan, such as an auto or personal loan. For tips on understanding and managing your credit score, check out our Credit Clean-Up Guide now.