The Mortgage Process

Following these five steps will greatly improve your results in getting a mortgage. Count on
your agent to provide more detailed information on each step in the process and answer any
questions you may have.

Evaluate Affordability
Lenders and mortgage insurers look at a variety of factors, but the two most important are your monthly
mortgage payment and your total debt load, relative to your gross income. As a home buyer, it’s also
important to consider additional expenses, beyond your mortgage payment, that can impact how much
home you can afford. Depending on your situation, these other expenses could include property taxes,
mortgage insurance, homeowner insurance, home maintenance expenses, homeowner association fees,
parking expenses and utilities.

Discuss your Options
Deciding what type of mortgage is best for you depends on your personal situation, your financial
scenario, and your future plans. For example, if your down payment isn’t large enough to qualify for
a conventional loan, an FHA mortgage can be an excellent option. Alternately, you may qualify for an
attractive program offered at the national or local level. Mortgage programs are always changing, so ask
for your agent about current options.

Interview Lenders
Your Agent can provide several recommendations, based on past home buyers’ experiences. Rates
and fees are typically very competitive between lenders, so it’s often more important to focus on other
factors, including the level of service provided and how well they’ve executed transactions for other
buyers. The type of mortgage you are seeking may also impact your choice of lender, since some are
more familiar with certain mortgage programs than others.

Get Pre-Approved
Completing a loan application with one or more lenders will help confirm whether your intended
mortgage financing plans will work out as hoped, or if you must modify your plans. It’s important to
understand since pre-approvals are contingent upon the lender receiving full documentation, your preapproval
does not guarantee that you have a mortgage. Still, it’s an important first step that will also put
you in a better negotiating position with sellers.

Commit to a Lender
As soon as you are under contract to purchase a home, commit to working with one lender to complete
your mortgage application. You will probably be charged a fee at this point because this is when the
lender starts incurring processing expenses on your behalf. Show your lender that you are serious about
working in partnership with them submitting all the required documentation as quickly as possible.

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