The loan process can seem complicated and overwhelming, especially if you’re a first-time homebuyer. Everyone has their part to play, and knowing what to expect can help you plan and prepare. Your Loan Officer and our experienced Support team will answer your questions and help you every step of the way.
Obtain a Mortgage Pre-Approval
It’s never too early to contact a Loan Officer and set the loan process in motion. A homebuyer with a Pre-Approval Letter is highly desirable in today’s competitive market; many realtors will not work with clients without one. We highly recommend obtaining a Mortgage Pre-Approval, which is a more detailed and reliable evaluation of your income and assets. It is required for you and for any co-applicants on the loan.
We will begin by discussing your needs and goals: What does a comfortable monthly-payment look like for you? And what can you comfortably provide as a down payment? These questions help us determine the price-range you should focus on when house-hunting, and which Loan Program will suit you best. In order to obtain a complete credit and financial analysis, you will need to provide the following Required Documentation.
Find Your Home & Make An Offer
A reputable, experienced Realtor will help you find the right home for your needs, and assist you in making an offer to the Seller. The seller will either accept, reject, or counter your offer.
Once an offer has been accepted, you have the opportunity to complete a recommended Home Inspection, request repairs, and review the Seller’s disclosures.
It is also your responsibility to provide an Earnest Money Deposit, in a timely manner, as a sign of good faith to the Seller. Earnest Money is held by the Title Company and will go toward your down payment and/or closing costs.
Initial Underwriting Approval
Now the loan underwriting process begins, and the first thing that happens is:
- You: Provide any additional documentation or requests from our underwriting team, as well as your Home Owner’s Insurance contact information if not already provided during pre-approval. If you do not have a Home Insurance provider, we recommend you set that up as soon as possible to ensure an efficient and seamless timeline.
- We: Provide Loan Disclosures for you to read and sign. These are initial—not final—documents and do not obligate you to anything. Don’t hesitate to ask questions. Many disclosures are purely informative. Other disclosures authorize Mortgage Trust to complete certain tasks on your behalf so it is recommended you return signed disclosures in a timely manner, as we cannot proceed without them.
Once you have completed your Home Inspection period, and returned your signed Loan Disclosures, Mortgage Trust will order the Appraisal from our select pool of certified and experienced Appraisal professionals.
A Home Appraisal determines the current market value of a property. It protects you from paying more than the home is worth and Appraisals are generally required by lenders on all loans (your Loan Officer will advise you of any exceptions).
Final Loan Approval
When the Appraisal report is back, your Loan Processor will submit your file to Underwriting for final review, along with any remaining required documentation. You will receive confirmation when your loan has achieved Final Approval.
Sign Your Final Loan Papers
Following Final Approval, your Final Loan Documents will be prepared and emailed to the Title & Escrow company, usually within 48 hours. The escrow team will work up all the figures and send us an Estimated HUD-1 Final Settlement Statement. After we review the figures and confirm they are in line with our projections, we will send you a Final Loan Summary email, detailing the terms of your loan. Please read prior to signing, ask any questions, and make sure you are fully prepared to sign.
Receipt of the Final Loan Summary email is a signal that you may schedule your signing appointment. Typically, signings take place at the Title & Escrow office during normal business hours, a couple of days before the actual close date. Contact your Escrow Officer directly with scheduling and location questions.
Please note that Escrow companies only accept “certified funds”. Therefore, plan to take a cashier’s check or wire funds. The aforementioned “final loan summary” email will provide additional information on this, including the exact amount of cash needed to close.
After signing, the loan documents are reviewed one last time by Mortgage Trust’s funding department. The loan is funded, the sale is recorded with the county, and then ownership of the property is transferred from the Seller to you. You are now officially a homeowner. Congratulations!