Step by step guide through the home buying process.
Step 1 -- Prequalifying / Preapproval
Buying a home starts with prequalifying for your mortgage. With our online application, or during an appointment at any of our branches, we will capture the important information we need to product loan options that work for your situation. During this prequalifying step, we pull and analyze your credit, assets, and income to determine your price range and work with you to figure out which of the loan options best suits your needs. We will also ask you to provide supporting documents such as paystubs, bank statements, and W-2 forms which help verify the numbers. We may also proceed on to a preapproval, where an underwriter reviews all of your documentation and preapproves your credit package. Once you are prequalified or preapproved, your loan originator will author a prequalification letter. This letter tells sellers that you have applied with and are good to go with a reputable local lender -- a very powerful statement for anyone considering your offer on their property.
Step 2 -- Purchase and Sale Agreement / Loan Disclosures
Once you've identified the home you want to purchase, your realtor will author a purchase and sale contract -- which outlines the details of sale. Once the contract is agreed, most buyers choose to get their home inspected by a professional to look for any items that need repair. These repairs are then negotiated with the seller and that part of the agreement gets satisfied. In the meantime, you, your loan originator, and your loan processor will be ironing out any other questions or documentation needs for your loan and signing your loan disclosures. Once home inspection repair negotiations are completed the appraisal will be ordered through a professional appraiser along with the preliminary title report -- and it's also a good time to get your interest rate locked with your loan originator if you haven't already.
Step 3 -- Processing and Underwriting
Your loan processor will finish ordering verifications, tax transcripts, and other third party documents that are still outstanding. Your processor will also review your application one more time, and package the application, verifications, and supporting documents into the underwriting package. An underwriter will then review your file and issue an approval or a conditional approval. If the approval is complete, you're on to step 4 and ready to start preparing for closing. If your approval is conditional, that means we have some items to iron out or document before we get to final approval. Your loan originator and processor will be working with you diligently to get to final approval, and your help is key during this part of the process.
Step 4 -- Closing and Recording
After your final approval, we will issue your Closing Disclosure, which spells out the finalized numbers and prepares you for your closing. Once you've signed that and the required 3 business days have passed you're ready to sign your final documents at the title company. Any funds need to close should be ready with a cashier's check or a wire arranged with the title company. If one or more buyers can't make it to the closing date, you can arrange a power of attorney with your title company to keep the transaction moving in a timely fashion. Once you've signed final documents, the title company will record the warranty deed and the deed of trust with the state recorder's office, and the property is yours!
Step 5 -- Enjoy Your New Home!
Unpack your boxes, meet your new neighbors, and plan your housewarming party. Share photos on social media and suggest housewarming gifts to friends and family. We would also appreciate it if you gave us feedback on our process and anything we can do to make it better -- via phone, email, or on review sites such as our Facebook page, Google, Yelp and so on. Thank you!