December 11, 2018

What to Know as You Prepare to Enter the Possible Realm of Homeownership

By J. Mansisidor

With the current climate for qualifying to purchase a home quickly changing, there are some key elements to be aware of, not only in choosing the product/program that fits your needs the best, but also in finding the right lender that equally meets your expectations.  

Make no mistake, there will be some stress accompanying this process, but managing that stress throughout and not letting it spiral out of control is the key. Enter the Loan Officer.   

Where to start your search?  Ask friends, family, colleagues, or Realtors preferred or favorite lenders are.  Keep in mind that just because other people like them or feel they did a great job, it doesn’t mean that they are the right fit for you and your family.  

Interview your prospective loan officers. Find out how many years of experience each one has working with medical professionals.  Make sure he offers the products you need.  Make sure he can work around your unique schedule.  Ask him how quickly they can process your loan and get it to closing.  Finally, does he have testimonials you can read?  A good to great Loan Officer will make your home buying experience one to remember for all the right reasons.  A bad Loan Officer will make this a memorable one for all the wrong reasons, including possibly losing out on your home of your dreams.  

Stage One:  The Loan Application and Qualifying is a simple process.  A loan application will be taken by your loan officer or their assistant either by telephone, online, or in person.  Typical information needed would be your name, date of birth, Social Security number, two years of residence history, tax returns and W2s, pay stubs, K1s if you have any ownership of a business, (School transcripts in lieu of for medical students), and assets accounts that will be used to show funds sufficient to cover any down payment, as well as closing costs. 

Stage Two:  Once you have a ratified contract, the loan officer can lock in your interest rate, order your title and order your appraisal.  The Loan Processor will contact you for any additional items (if needed) before forwarding your file to underwriting.  The underwriter will validate the findings and all documentation received.  They will review and sign off on the appraisal and any final conditions needed for final approval.  Once that is done your processor will do a verification of employment along with a couple of standard checks and clear your loan to close.  The closing department will clear the title and send the closing package to the settlement agent, and you are now ready for the final stage closing day.  

Stage Three:  Closing day.  Your attorney or settlement company will provide a closer to go over your closing package and all the forms you are signing.  Once you have gone over the package and are comfortable signing it, you are now a new home owner, congratulations.  

Until next time, happy house hunting!

J. Mansisidor is a Senior Loan Officer with Fulton Mortgage Company, a division of Fulton Bank, NA.  www.fultonmortgagecompany.com