Q&A

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How do I find the right lender?

The key to choosing a good Lender surrounds around experience. Not all Lenders have the necessary background to assist you with not only the biggest purchase of your lifetime, but also help you maximize this valuable financial resource. I have helped thousands realize the American Dream of Homeownership throughout the years, allowing me to gain a very extensive knowledge base. I’m very proud of my “extra mile” reputation, and I’ve worked with all types of clients. Give me a call, and let’s develop your home financing strategy!

Why is a preapproval so important?

Without proper guidance, home financing can be both confusing and overwhelming. A Pre-approval is just the first step in this process, but you don’t have to manage it alone. I’ll be by your side each step of the way from application through closing and beyond. It is my duty to make sure you choose the best program for your personal goals 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 the right way, with a bona fide Pre-approval you know you can count on!

How do I Select a Realtor®?

 

Just as not all Lenders are the same – neither are Realtors®. You’ll want to choose a dedicated Real Estate Agent who is capable of providing exceptional service. He or she will need a working knowledge of the neighborhood in which you’re looking so they can assess not only the property itself, but also the school systems and other desired local amenities within the area. 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 Realtor® and Seller to negotiate the terms of your home purchase. It’s very important that your Purchase Agreement is reviewed by your Loan Officer prior to making your offer because once it is accepted, this document will control the transaction and set the terms of 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? I am more than happy to talk with you about all of the most important aspects of your Purchase Agreement.

What is a Private Home Inspection?

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 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, 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 address any additional questions the underwriter may have, as well as tie up any loose ends.

What is a Title Search?

Before the Seller can convey ownership to you, 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. 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 small portion of the Sale Price paid at the time you make your offer that shows you are making the offer in good faith, and demonstrates you are a serious Buyer. Also known as a Good Faith Deposit, it typically represents one to three percent of your offered price.  This deposit must source from your own funds, and will be held in escrow by your Realtor® or Settlement Agent until closing when it will be credited to your total amount due. Should your purchase transaction not close due to insufficient property value, or problems clearing property title, your Earnest Money Deposit will be refunded.

What are Closing Costs?

Closing costs are fees in addition to your down payment that will be due and payable at closing. These can be paid by you, or if your Purchase Agreement allows it, by the Seller. These typically consist of your escrow set-up, appraisal, title insurance policy, homeowner’s insurance, and discount points. Many other companies may charge additional fees for things like underwriting and/or processing of your loan, but at Gold Star, we don’t believe in charging what are commonly referred to as ‘junk fees’.

What is PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance)?

You’ll usually be required to obtain PMI if you borrow funds with a conventional loan and make a down payment of less than 20%. PMI can help you qualify for a loan if you need to make a down payment smaller than 20%, but it does increase the overall cost of your loan as well. 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.

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 loan option is best for you, contact us and we can discuss an action plan together!