For many people, especially those entering the market for the first time, looking for mortgage loans can be an intimidating process. There are several steps along the way that you have to navigate properly, and some people are unsure of certain areas.
At Primary Residential Mortgage, we’re here to help. Let’s walk through the basic steps to the mortgage process, from pre-approval to finding a mortgage lender to getting approved.
Pre-approval is basically a pre-screening for your finances. It comes before you even begin shopping for a home, and is a good barometer for the kinds of price ranges you’ll be able to search for. A lender reviews your finances and tells you what kinds of amounts you’re likely to be approved for, and then provide you with a letter to prove that.
Once you’ve been pre-approved, you can begin shopping around for homes within your price range. You won’t make any offers yet, but your pre-approval letter will allow you to have a better idea of the kinds of homes you can afford, so you can begin to narrow the search.
Once you’ve found a home you want, it’s time to get a loan application in. Most lenders use the same standardized Uniform Residential Loan Application (URLA) form, for which you can find a basic sample online.
Once you’ve completed your mortgage application and have a purchase agreement with a seller, you move to the processing stage. Loan processors collect documents related to both the borrower and the property being purchased, confirming all details are correct. They will also order credit reports and begin verifying income as well as the value of the home.
During underwriting, a third party known as an underwriter will closely examine all loan documents to verify their legitimacy. The underwriter can reject a loan if it doesn’t meet criteria for both the borrower and property – the underwriter primarily focuses on your capacity to repay debts, your credit history, and whether the property serves as proper collateral for the loan based on its current value.
If the underwriter is satisfied, your home will be labeled “clear to close” and you’ll be set to finalize things. Not you just have to provide supporting documentation and sign the pertinent documents, and the home is yours!