Do you know what questions to ask when you are shopping for a mortgage?
When shopping for a mortgage, you will find that most lenders’ loan products will be pretty close to each other in rates and fees. But rates mean nothing if your loan is not approved or can’t close on time! Today, with new strict lending guidelines, you really need to work with a lender who can get your loan approved and closed quickly and efficiently. How do you find such a lender? Here are some questions to ask:
1. Are you lending your own money? As a direct lender, Academy Mortgage controls the process from application through closing and funding. We lend our own money, so we make the decision to lend.
2. How many people will be involved in the loan process? At Academy, it’s the loan officer, processor, and underwriter. That’s it. You will always know what is happening with your loan.
3. Who will do the appraisal and how will it be assigned? Academy uses experienced, local appraisers whom we assign on a rotational basis. Many other lenders use third-party appraisal management companies that put the appraisal out to bid; in such cases, the appraiser with the lowest bid, regardless of experience or local knowledge, often gets the assignment.
4. How fast can you close? Because we are a direct lender, Academy can adjust priorities if necessary. This is particularly important when purchasing short sales where the time frame to close is short after the servicer of the existing loan agrees to the short sale.
5. Can your loan officers work directly with the underwriters? Academy’s loan officers work with in-house underwriters who answer questions, resolve issues, and understand that every loan has individual characteristics that DESERVE PERSONAL ATTENTION.
6. Who prepares the closing package and arranges funding? Academy has closers in our branches who make sure your loan closes on time and without surprises. Many other lenders have centralized closing departments that are unfamiliar with the file and have multiple conflicting priorities with getting packages out.
7. How many days in advance do you typically have the package to the settlement attorney? Academy strives to get packages out at least 48 hours prior to closing. Many other lenders end up sending packages at the last minute, which leads to a lot of stress. Settlement attorneys LOVE Academy because we make their jobs easy. They have a single point of contact (the closer) to get the package and resolve any last minute issues.
Today, it’s all about execution and accountability. Purchasing a home will likely be the largest financial decision you will ever make, so you need to work with a lender who will put your needs first and get things done fast!
10 STEPS TO HOMEOWNERSHIP
From pre-qualification to closing, Academy Mortgage will help you along the road to home ownership. You can count on us for responsible, honest, and ethical service in every step of the process.
1. Loan pre-qualification. Pre-qualification allows you to search for a home that you can afford based on your credit, income, and assets.
2. Home search. Once pre-qualified, start shopping with your real estate agent! When you decide on the right home for you, the terms of sale are negotiated and your agent presents your offer to the seller.
3. Formal loan application and product selection. After the seller accepts your offer, formally apply for home financing and select the ideal loan product to meet your needs.
4. Appraisal and home inspection. As your loan application is being processed, an appraisal is ordered to identify any discrepancies between the sale price and appraised value. An inspection of the property is also conducted if you request it. A home inspection is optional, while an appraisal is required by Academy Mortgage.
5. Processor’s and underwriter’s review. A loan processor reviews the entire loan file and sends all pertinent information to an underwriter who makes the final decision to approve the loan.
6. Final loan approval. Keep in mind that there may be financial conditions or property conditions that need to be met before final loan approval.
7. Closing. Final loan and escrow documents are prepared and signed by you (the buyer) and the seller.
8. Funding. A wire or check for the amount of the loan is sent to the settlement agent.
9. Close of escrow. The loan funds are disbursed to the entitles parties and escrow is "closed."
10. Confirmation of recording. Documents that transfer titles are recorded with the county to legalize you as the new property owner.
Ultimately the final step . . . MOVE INTO YOUR NEW HOME!
What You Need for Your Loan Application
Use the following checklist to be sure you have everything you need for your loan application.
o Purchase Contract (for the purchase of your new home)
o Sales Contract (if you are selling your current home)
o Certified copy of the closing statement (if you have sold your home)
o All original paystubs for the last 30 days (showing your name, Social Security number, and year-to-date earnings)
o Original copies of your most recent two years’ W-2s and complete tax returns
o Proof of other income: Tips, Social Security payments, and investment income (if any)
o If you have a rental property: Your current rental agreement and your most recent two years’ tax returns with all schedules
o If you are self-employed or receive a 1099: Your most recent two years’ tax returns with all schedules and a year-to-date profit and loss statement and balance sheet
o If you own 25% or more of your corporation: The corporation’s most recent two years’ corporate tax returns with all schedules and a year-to-date profit and loss statement and balance sheet
o If you are commissioned: Your most recent two years’ tax returns with all schedules and year-to-date employee business expenses
o Information on residence history (for the past two years)
o Information on all outstanding loans and credit cards
o Originals of your last three months’ bank statements for all accounts
o Information on real estate you currently own
o Information about other personal property you own
o Copy of your driver’s license and another form of identification (Social Security card, passport, etc.)
o Payment for appraisals and credit report fees
o If divorced: All divorce papers
including marital termination agreement and final decree (signed by the court)
o Original certificate of eligibility and DD214 (VA loans only)