Buying your first home is an exciting time in your life. Perhaps you’ve rented before or you’re moving out of your childhood home – either way, becoming a homeowner yourself is a whole new experience. As a result, you probably have several questions about what to expect during the home buying process.
Below, we’ve provided some answers to some of the more frequent questions that new home buyers often have. You can also view our FAQ page for more questions and answers.
WHAT’S FIRST – THE HOME OR THE LOAN?
Well, both… sort of. When you begin searching for your new home, it’s helpful to have an idea of how much you can afford. Luckily, trustworthy mortgage companies including Supreme Lending, can provide a pre-qualification letter. This letter is basically an estimate of the maximum loan amount you might qualify for. The idea is to provide you with a guesstimate in order to assist with you with determining your purchase price range. It’s important to understand that because this information is just an estimate, it’s not a guarantee that you’ll actually qualify for that exact loan amount. The good news is that we can provide you with this letter within 24-hours of your request and most real estate agents ask for this before they even show you a new home.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT DURING THE HOME LOAN PROCESS?
Once a formal contract is signed between the buyers and sellers the loan process begins! If a pre-qualification letter was issued by the same mortgage company where you are requesting a loan, you will save yourself some time!
Basically you will be asked to provide some critical information so the lender can get a better feel for your credit history and other financial details. Information requested will include:
- Recent pay-stubs
- Prior W2’s and Tax returns
- Social Security Number
- Bank Statements
- Additional information may also be needed
☞ From there, your mortgage consultant will be responsible for submitting your loan through the approval process. This includes:
- Submitting your information to the lender.
- Requesting a home appraisal. The lender will require an appraisal of the home to confirm that the home is actually worth the amount of money you are requesting for the loan to buy the house. Typically you are required to pay for this at the time of service. Your mortgage consultant will coordinate the appraisal day/time with you and the appraiser.
- Submitting your information to the title company. The title company is responsible for ensuring a clean title on the home. They will examine the chain of previous owns to insure there are not problems with obtaining clear title to the property. They will also be responsible for issuing title insurance, a must-have before you settle on the home.
- Fulfilling any stipulations or additional requests from the lender (oftentimes this requires needing additional information from you in the form of explanatory letters, additional financial statements, etc)
- Obtaining lender approval of the loan
- Once approval is received, your mortgage consultant will mail the preliminary lending paperwork to you for review. This will include your estimated closing costs along with some additional key information about your loan and will also require you to send the signed paperwork back to your mortgage consultant.
Once these steps are fulfilled, your mortgage consultant will receive a “clear to close” from the lender and will then work with you and your real estate agent to coordinate a settlement date. Your mortgage consultant will not need to be present at settlement – that is the responsibility of the title company.
Once the paperwork is signed, you along with the title company and your mortgage consultant will all receive a copy of the paperwork. The title company will submit the loan to the county and state of residence to ensure you are now on file as the new homeowner! The mortgage company will also communicate back to the lender that the settlement date has occurred. As a result, you will receive information in the mail from the lender on where and when to make your next mortgage payment.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET MY FIRST HOME LOAN?
Typically you can expect this entire loan process to take anywhere from 15 to 60 days, depending on the complexity of the loan and your financial history. Acquiring a pre-qualification letter from the same mortgage company where you expect to apply for a loan, can help speed up this process a bit.