How long does the process take?

Generally the process takes 3-4 weeks to go from application to closing. Some loans can be done a little quicker and depending on the loan program some loans take slightly longer.

How can I improve my credit?

One of the ways you can improve your credit is to pay down your credit card balances to one half or less of your approved maximum limit. Anytime you carry balances more than half of your approved credit limit it is considered a derogatory on your credit rating.

Another way to improve your credit rating is to payoff collection accounts and make sure there are no errors in your credit report. If you do find errors on your credit report, resolve them as soon as possible.

How do I qualify for a loan (what factors will be considered)?

You need to have a minimum 620 middle credit score to qualify. In addition to meeting the minimum credit score you need to qualify based on your income. We will handle all of the calculations for you, but generally we are looking for the proposed house payment plus all existing debt to be 45% or less of your total gross monthly income.

Is home ownership still a safe investment?

Your home is probably going to be your largest investment, but also one of your safest investments. As with anything, home values will fluctuate up and down. However, as long as you don’t buy more house than you can afford your home will be your biggest and safest investment.

Can I afford a home?

Only you can determine the amount of monthly payment that you are comfortable making for your home. As a general guideline for qualification purposes, your proposed house payment should not exceed 29-31% of your gross monthly income and your total monthly payments (including the proposed house payment) should not exceed 42-45% of your gross monthly income.

When should I consider refinancing?

Generally when you can save yourself .75% to 1% in interest rate it is worth it to consider refinancing.  You may also find yourself in need of some extra money to finish a basement, build an addition, or consolidate debt. Refinancing is a good way to get the extra money you may need.

Will an appraisal be required?

It depends on the loan program. Some loan programs that are currently offered do not require an appraisal. However, most loan programs will require an appraisal. We can inform you whether one will be required on your specific loan program early on in the application process.

When can I lock-in the interest rate?

The rate can be locked at application if you would like. However, the shorter the lock period the better the interest rate. Generally we get the loan submitted to underwriting and have a loan number assigned before we lock-in the rate to hopefully insure the lowest interest rate.

Is buying down the interest rate worth the cost?

That Depends…the simple way to determine the answer is to calculate the savings in monthly payments with the varying interest rates. Divide the cost of the buy-down by the savings to determine how long it will take to be money ahead. Then try to estimate how long the mortgage will be out or how long you plan to live in the house to determine if or how much money you will truly save. Generally speaking…buy-downs cost a lot of money and take some time to re-coup the costs. Only you can determine for sure how long you will have the mortgage to determine if it really is worth the cost of buying down the interest rate.

Can I buy down the interest rate?

Yes. Determining the cost of the buy-down depends upon the market each day. Therefore the cost of buying down the rate will change from day to day.