Q&A

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How do I find the right lender?

Not all Lenders have the necessary experience to assist you with not only the biggest purchase of your lifetime – but with helping you maximize homeownership as a valuable financial resource at every stage of life. I have helped thousands realize the American Dream of Homeownership who now make up my cherished family of customers. People know I have their best interests at heart, and as my success is completely based on referral business, I’m very proud of my “extra mile” reputation, and I work with clients ready to buy now, in a few months, or even clients who are still a year or more away from buying. Give me a call, and let’s develop a strategy to get you a loan pre-approval.

Why is a preapproval so important?

Without the proper guidance home financing can be a confusing and sometimes overwhelming process. I’ll be by your side and in your corner each step of the way from application through closing and beyond, making sure you choose the best program for your personal goals and aspirations – and that you know exactly what to expect and what will be expected from you. Don’t leave a complex process to chance – let’s start this process the right way, with a bona fide Pre-Approval you know you can count on. We will process your file to secure an underwriting approval – far more than just a handshake after a quick conversation.

How do I select a realtor?

Just as not all Lenders are the same – neither are Realtors. You’ll want to choose a Real Estate Agent that is capable of providing exceptional service – someone who will become a team member throughout the entire process. He or she will need a sharp working knowledge of the area in which you’re looking – and be able to assess not only the property itself but also the area itself in terms of school systems and other desired local amenities. I take great pride in being able to introduce my Borrowers to top notch Realtors I’ve had the privilege of working with for years. Call me today if you’d like a referral!

What is a purchase agreement?

Your purchase agreement is the contract that you sign with the realtors and sellers to negotiate the terms of your home purchase. It’s very important that your Purchase Agreement is reviewed by your Loan Officer prior to your offer being made, as the terms of your contract must be eligible for the financing your Loan Officer can provide. Once accepted, this document will control the transaction, and set the terms for your purchase. Did you know that the Seller of a property may reduce the funds you need at closing by offering to pay a portion or all of your closing costs? Let’s talk about the most important aspects of your Purchase Agreement – like how to make and document your required Earnest Money Deposit on the contract.

What is a private home inspection?

An Appraisal is merely an objective opinion of property value that does not warrant the property in any way. When buying a home, you’ll want to arrange for a Private Home Inspection to be conducted by a reputable, licensed Inspector. He or she will conduct an in-depth inspection of the home’s major systems and its structure. You’ll be able to accompany the Inspector as the assessment is conducted, and you’ll receive a thorough written report covering system maintenance and life expectancy. This critically important inspection can save you many costly headaches in the future.

What is a property appraisal?

The property’s Appraisal is a formal, objective assessment of property value made by an independent third-party licensed Appraiser. Although this report does not warrant the property’s value in any way – and shouldn’t be confused with a Private Home Inspection – it is required to establish the collateral for your loan. The debt is secured to the property with the Mortgage, and your promise to repay the loan is made when you sign the Note. The loan cannot be made if the value of the property is not adequate.

What is underwriting?

Once your application is completed, and all support documentation is collected to demonstrate adequate funds, employment, credit and collateral, the Underwriter – an individual authorized to make decisions regarding your application for credit – will thoroughly review your file in its entirety and make a credit decision. At this point you will receive a Conditional Approval. After this has been issued, we will need to address any additional questions the underwriter has, as well as tie up any loose ends, before you will be Cleared to Close.

What is a title search?

Before the Seller can convey ownership to you and the bank providing financing – a thorough Title Search will be conducted. This search ensures there are no existing liens attached to the property that represent unpaid debts that may be legally attached. If there are existing liens, they must be resolved and paid at or before closing before you can move forward. Examples of such liens would be unpaid delinquent property taxes or a delinquent water bill.

What is an earnest money deposit?

An earnest money deposit is a check you write to the Realtor or Title Company when you make an offer. This check must come from your own funds, as the check will be held as proof of your readiness to move forward, and that you’re serious about buying your home. Think of it kind of like your security deposit for a new apartment. When closing rolls around, this amount will be deducted from your total amount to close.

What are closing costs?

Closing costs are fees and costs above your down payment that will need to be paid at closing, either by you, or if your purchase agreement allows it, the seller. These typically consist of your escrow set-up, appraisal, title insurance policy, closing homeowner’s insurance, and discount points. Many other companies may charge additional fees for things like underwriting and processing on your loan, but here at Gold Star we don’t believe in these junk fees.

What is PMI?

You’ll usually be required to get PMI if you take out a conventional loan and make a down payment of less than 20 percent. PMI can help you qualify for a loan that you might not be able to qualify for if you need to make a down payment smaller than 20 percent, but it increases the overall cost of your loan. PMI is required because it protects the lender in the event you stop making loan payments—but it does not protect you from foreclosure if you fall behind on payments. However, you can request that your servicer cancel it after your loan balance reaches 80 percent of your home’s original value—if you meet certain requirements.

Borrowers making a low down payment may also want to consider other types of loans, such as an FHA loan. If you’re not sure which option is best for you, contact us, and we can see which option is the best deal for you.