Home Loan Basics

Home Loan Basics: Understanding the Mortgage Process and Refinance Process

We've streamlined the home buying and home loan refinancing processes so that you can focus on what really matters: your home.

Make sure buying a home is financially feasible. Can you pay the up-front costs of purchasing a house as well the ongoing monthly mortgage and other living and maintenance expenses? We've provided a wide range of calculators for you to use to determine the preliminary answers. Plug in your figures and see how it all adds up.

To make the mortgage loan process as streamlined as possible, we've pared down our loan application to only the most essential information. Here's what we need to know:

  • Borrower Information - The basics about you. 
  • Property Information - The basics about the property you want to finance. 
  • Income - What you make. 
  • Assets - The assets you plan to use for the down payment and closing costs. 
  • Liabilities - What you owe and to whom. We will run a credit report to confirm liabilities and fill in that section of the application for you. (You'll have a chance to review and make any corrections.) 
  • Declarations - A few more questions to complete your application. 

In many cases, we can give you immediate, free credit pre-approval of your loan request. This is a true loan commitment, not just a pre-qualification offered by other lenders. It approves a specific loan amount and loan program based on your income and debts. It is, however, legally subject to underwriting the property you are financing and verification of the information you've provided us on your application.

When we process your loan we verify the information you've provided us on your loan application. We will request supporting documentation to verify assets and income. The property will be reviewed by ordering an appraisal, title report and flood certification on the home. We also set up escrow for the loan closing and send out applicable disclosures so you have a chance to read through them.

You've found a house you love. It has the perfect living room, or that playroom you've always wanted for kids. But it's not yours, yet. First you have to make an offer, in writing, and submit it to the sellers. This is usually done through your agent, and is accompanied by your earnest money, which is a pre-determined amount of money, demonstrating that your offer is "in earnest."

The seller usually has 24 to 48 hours to consider your offer or make a counter offer, which means, under the terms you offered, they want to sell you their house, but they want a change.

When you both agree on terms, you have a deal. You sign a contract, your earnest check goes in an escrow account.

With final loan approval, we prepare the loan documents for you to sign and send them to the title company for signing for closing.