The following are some additional tips on how to be prepared and what to expect when buying a home.

Step 1: Get Pre-Approved
Step 2: Determine which loan best suits your needs
Step 3: Contact a real estate agent and start shopping
Step 4: Review your loan application and update your loan file
Step 5: Lock your rate
Step 6: Home inspection and appraisal
Step 7: Loan approval, signing, and closing

Step 1: Get Pre-Approved
Once you’ve decided to buy a new home, you should determine what payments you can comfortably afford. There are many tools available like an affordability calculator that gives you a general idea of what your payments would be, but to get a better idea of the price range of homes to view, you should get pre-approved. A pre-approval is beneficial in many ways. First, it gives you an idea of what loan amount and purchase price you can afford. Second, it strengthens your offer to the seller and the seller’s real estate agent. Third, by getting pre-approved, you’re getting a jump start on the approval process. Once you find your home and execute a purchase contract with a seller, you’re already a few steps ahead. Get pre-approved today.

Step 2: Determine which loan best suits your needs
There are many loan options available from first-time buyer programs to traditional conventional, jumbo, and FHA loans. There are 30 year and 15 year fixed loans as well as adjustable and hybrid loans such as a 5/1 ARM or 3/1 ARM. With all the options available, you need expert advice to help you choose the right loan for your situation. Be sure to visit our loan options page to learn about all the options that are available and if you have more questions, you can call one of our home buying experts at 1-888-353-1558

Step 3:Contact a real estate agent and start shopping
This is the fun part. Once you’ve been pre-approved and have an idea of what price range you qualify for, you will work with a real estate agent to view homes for sale in the areas you’d like to live. Once you find a home you like, you can work with the real estate agent to draw up an offer and complete a purchase agreement. The seller has the option to submit a counter-offer and you may go through a few rounds of counters. Once you and the seller agree to the price and terms, escrow will be opened. Typical escrow periods are 30 days but 45 and 60 day escrows are not uncommon.

Step 4: Review your loan application and update your loan file
Depending on how much time has passed since we issued your pre-approval, we may need to collect some updated information and documents from you. We probably have everything we need, but we will update you on what we need to update and secure your full loan approval.  Once we have updated your file, your home buying specialist will go over the details of your loan program, confirm the rate that you want, and go over your closing fees. We’ll make sure that you understand every detail of your loan program and answer any questions you have before moving forward.

Step 5: Lock your rate
At this point, if you’d like to secure your interest rate, your home buying specialist will send you a lock agreement to confirm the terms of the loan and rate.

Step 6: Home inspection and appraisal
Shortly after escrow is opened, it is advisable to schedule a home inspection with a professional who will walk you through the property to look for any red flags such as structural damages or appliances that may not be working properly and other items that may need to be fixed. It is a small investment for some peace of mind. Any major issues would need to be addressed before the close of escrow date. While your loan is being reviewed and processed, we will schedule an appraisal appointment with the seller’s agent to confirm the value of the home. Unlike a home inspection, that appraisal is a requirement to determine that the home is worth what you are paying for it.

Step 7: Loan approval, signing, and closing
Once we have everything we need, your account manager will submit your complete file to the underwriting department for final approval. Once approved, we will prepare loan documents for you to sign and coordinate your closing with all main parties including the seller, closing agent and real estate agents. A few days before closing your Loan Advisor will contact you to walk through the final information so that there won’t be any surprises at closing. You will typically sign your loan documents at a title company or attorney’s office which usually takes between an hour and an hour and a half.  Your loan will fund that day, the seller will give you the keys to your new home and congrats will be in order!!

Why talk to one of our Licensed Loan Advisors??

Talking to a Licensed Loan Advisor is an important step to getting the right mortgage loan. Everybody has different loan needs and a mortgage banker knows which questions to ask in order to best match you with the right loan and monthly payment. Since we have a strict No Steering policy, you can be assured that the loan option suggested to you will fit your needs.

Your loan advisor will also explain all the steps–from getting started, to locking in your low rate, to closing your loan fast, in little as 30 days or less!!. Because we are a direct lender, if you have any questions during the loan process, you will have one direct number enabling you to get quick answers straight from the source.

Client Testimonials – What Our Customers are Saying

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The service and personal attention we received from Michael Minkoff was exceptional and beyond what we were expecting! His knowledge of the local and national market and his commitment in finding us the best rate helped us in our search for our dream home. As first time home buyers everything was new to us and the most important thing we wanted was someone we could trust to give us the best advice. After patiently going through every figure and explaining what each payment was for, Michael made sure we were comfortable and sure of our decisions. He was there for us every step of the way. I'm glad we chose his services and would recommend him to anyone buying a home.

Thomas Coyle Clearwater, Fl June 9, 2015

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