The industry is always looking for ways to streamline and finesse the mortgage loan process, and ideally, lenders should start with the very first step—pre-approval. For borrowers, it really does pay to work with a lender who asks the right questions and procures all the appropriate documents, as they’re less likely to make a misstep and stall the process.
A common lender mistake is simply not doing enough research. Even if a buyer has a pre-approval letter from an esteemed mortgage lender, the loan application will be declined if the lender hasn’t looked into tax returns and credit reports sufficiently to find out that the borrower has, for example, already financed the maximum number of properties as dictated by Fannie and Freddie.
Given the importance of credit, many people have their credit report run every year. Although this is primarily to watch for suspicious activities on one’s credit card, knowing your credit score is an important step if considering a home purchase or refinance.
Self-employed borrowers also pose problems when it comes to income, as institutions won’t issue a loan based only on assets. If a borrower isn’t able to demonstrate any income—he or she is starting a new business, for example—the application will be declined, even if the borrower has several million in the bank and a pre-approval letter from a well-regarded lender.
Oversights like these leave everyone with a bad taste in their mouth—the seller loses time in selling the property, and the buyer loses time in searching for a property and has to cover the cost of the appraisal, at the minimum. Time and energy is wasted by all, and the mistakes are entirely preventable if lenders are diligent throughout the pre-approval process.
$10,000 HHF DAP Available
Kentucky Housing Corporation (KHC) is proud to announce a new round of Hardest Hit Fund (HHF) Down payment Assistance Program (DAP), a total of $5 million will be available for new reservations beginning:
Tuesday, January 9, 2018, at 10 am, ET. The HHF DAP will be available on a first-come, first served basis, based on the completion of the first mortgage and HHF DAP Reservations.
HHF DAP Program Guidelines:
- $10,000, zero-percent interest, forgivable second mortgage loan with a five-year term.
- Property must be located in one of the four counties:
- No New-Construction properties allowed.
- Property has to have been previously occupied.
- Secondary Market Purchase Price and Income Limits apply - $130,725 - Kenton Co
- Borrower must be a first-time home buyer (no ownership interest in the last three years).
- Most recent three-year federal tax returns or tax transcripts required.
- Pre-purchase homebuyer education required for all borrowers.
Please contact us today for more Information.
Loan officers come across people who have never owned a home, and don’t even know how to go about it. The American Bankers Association is offering tips to help consumers prepare for one of the first steps in the home buying process: saving for a down payment. Before transitioning from renter to home owner, potential buyers must typically save between 5 and 20 percent of the home’s value for the down payment – and it may not be as difficult as renters think!
First, develop a budget and timeline. What kind of home does the renter have their eye on? What is the price estimate? Determine how much the borrower will need for a down payment, and then work backwards to create a budget and calculate how much should be, and can be, saved every month. That will help the borrower gauge when they will be ready to transition from renter to homeowner. Some renters establish a separate savings account for the down payment to lower the temptation to spend it. Make the monthly contributions automatic.
Potential buyers should shop around to reduce major monthly expenses on current expenses such as car insurance, renter’s insurance, health insurance, cable, internet or cell phone plans. Not that only renters should do this, but there may be deals or promotions available that allow anyone to save hundreds of dollars by adjusting contracts. On the flip side, monitor spending. With online banking, keeping an eye on spending is easier than ever, and seeing where most of one’s income is going is very enlightening.
Lastly, loan officers can help potential borrowers look into state and local home-buying programs. Many states, counties and local governments operate programs for first-time homebuyers. Some programs offer housing discounts, while others provide down payment loans or grants.
There are plenty of benefits to home ownership, and buying one is an event to be celebrated – but laying the groundwork is critical! And originators are in an ideal place to help borrowers on their way
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You’ve done the right thing. Taken the advice of your realtor and gotten a pre-approval from a lender. Now on to the buying process! However, are you really approved? Has your file gone through the underwriting process? Did you provide documents to verify your income and assets? If not, then you might not really be “pre-approved.” This is considered more of a pre-qualification process when those two things don’t happen. If so, then you shopping for a home could potentially end in disaster and you not purchasing that home of your dreams!
So what do you do to avoid potential disaster? Ask your lender the following questions:
- What documents do you need from me to get me pre-approved by your underwriter?
- When will my file go into underwriting?
- How long will it take to get an answer back from underwriting?
- How quickly will I be able to close after I get an accepted purchase agreement?
- When can I lock my rate and for how long?
- What could delay my approval or closing?
These questions are crucial to a successful purchase and closing of a home. If any of those questions cannot be answered easily by your lender of choice, then you may want to consider shopping around. Of course, other things are important also: loan type, rate and costs. However, none of that will matter if you are not able to close the loan.
In today’s market, most lenders are going to be close when it comes to costs and rates. Where you see higher costs and rates is typically lenders who market online and in the media. Someone has to pay for the costs of all that marketing. Who do you think they are going to pass it on to? In most cases it’s the consumer.
With that in mind, your ultimate goal is homeownership. That’s why who you choose to do business with is so important. You want a lender who has proven over and over again that they can get the job done. Also, they can get it done within the timeframe you need it done. Anyone can talk a good game, but can they perform. So don’t be afraid to ask the questions above. This will ensure a smooth process and the end result of you buying the home of your dreams.
IN 23815; KY MC81345
Louisville, KY 40216
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When embarking upon the mortgage loan journey, the typical borrower’s number one concern is how they can get the lowest interest rate possible. It’s inevitable that the rate question is asked early on, as it’s an essential part of judging if taking out a mortgage is a sound financial decision. Borrowers, whether they shop around or not, want to rest assured that they’re not being swindled, particularly at a time when “rock-bottom rates” are making headlines.
Consumers should be aware, however, that it’s very possible that the rates they see published won’t apply to their particular situations. Property type, down payment amount, amortization term, credit score, and rate-lock duration are all variables that factor into the equation, as do points paid or rebates credited against closing costs. As such, loan originators aren’t able to quote a rate (an accurate one, anyway) on command, as it takes a bit of time to obtain and analyze that information.
Given that they’re dictated by the whims of the market, rates are also subject to massive fluctuations over the course of a day, which makes pinning down the absolute lowest possible rate unlikely. Some lenders do offer the option to lock a loan a second time if rates fall, but “floating down” comes at a cost that is passed onto the borrower. Floating can also backfire if rates rise instead of fall.
Concisely stated, mortgage loan transactions are too complex for lenders to quote rates on a lark or simple supply and demand. Some borrowers contact multiple lenders and shop around for the best rate, which the federal government endorses—lenders are required to present borrowers with documentation that encourages consumers to make comparisons—but it’s tough, if not impossible, to outsmart the market. In the spirit of capitalism, compare Lender A with Lender B; however, it’s unlikely that one will quote a rate that’s life-changingly lower than the other.
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