Forget the jargon and jumping through hoops. While the mortgage process is thorough, it doesn't need to be daunting — even for a first-time homebuyer. Walk through these four steps to get a clearer picture of what's ahead and what to do next.
Step 1: Get Your Rate (and Prequalified).
WHAT HAPPENS: Answer a handful of questions about the house you’d like to purchase, your down payment and credit history. Your loan officer tells you what interest rate, monthly payments and closing costs you can expect to pay for your mortgage.*
DOES IT AFFECT YOUR CREDIT? Getting a rate quote does not affect your credit. With accurate credit and property info from you, we can build a rate quote that reflects what you can expect without pulling a credit report.** Getting prequalified, however, does require a credit inquiry.
WHY YOU SHOULD GET PREQUALIFIED: It's an estimate, in writing, of the mortgage amount you’ll likely qualify for, based on your financial factors. Prequalification is a powerful tool in your house-hunting journey — and real estate agents recommend you get one before setting foot in a house.
IT TAKES LESS THAN THREE MINUTES: Walking through your rate quote or prequalification with your loan officer takes no time at all — and can save you plenty of time in the long-run.
WHAT'S NEXT? Once you find the house, make an offer (that's where that prequal comes in) and get that offer accepted, it's time to complete your application.
Step 2: Complete Your Application.
WHAT HAPPENS: If you completed a rate quote or prequal with a Union Home Mortgage loan officer, s/he will verify the information you’ve already provided. That’s when things get official. Your loan officer will be your single point of contact until the end. We'll pull your credit history, collect details about your finances and the property you’re buying to verify your qualifying rate and terms.
UPLOAD YOUR DOCUMENTS: Your mortgage application is unique. While you can expect to provide documentation that verifies your income, employment and assets (think paystubs, offer letters, bank statements, tax returns), your loan officer will tell you exactly what documents you need to upload, and where, before we move your application to the underwriters.
WHAT'S NEXT? As your mortgage application is evaluated by our underwriting team, your loan officer will keep you updated about what’s happening, any news or additional requirements to process your application.
Step 3: Get Approved.
CONGRATULATIONS! Let us be the first to congratulate you! You’re one step closer to purchasing your house with Union Home Mortgage.*** Pretty much the second it happens, your mortgage advisor will contact you to let you know you’ve been approved!
WHAT'S NEXT? When your mortgage advisor delivers the good news, s/he will outline the closing process, including what needs to be reviewed, signed and paid, when, where and how.
Step 4: Close On Time.
HOW IT WORKS: With your loan approved, your loan officer will tell you the amount you’ll need to pay for down payment and closing costs (via certified check). Documents to transfer the property to you will be thoroughly reviewed, and then you (the buyer) and the seller will be scheduled, separately, to sign and finalize the transfer.
WHAT TO PREPARE: Your loan officer will work with you and a closing agent to arrange a date to sign your closing documents. Signing day makes your mortgage official. Submit all documents and complete all tasks on schedule and you can close on time.
WHERE DO YOU SIGN? Your mortgage advisor will work with you and a closing agent to arrange a date to sign your closing documents and provide your down payment and closing costs. Depending on your state and loan type, you may be able to electronically review and sign your closing documents. Talk to your loan officer about these options.
Bonus Round: Move In — and Keep In Touch.
Congrats on your house! Buying a home is no small feat — whether it's your first or fifth. You should be proud. Wherever you finance your home, be sure to keep in touch with your loan officer, who can help you understand, year over year, whether you're in the right mortgage. Rates may change. So might your credit score. Checking in with your loan officer once a year can help you get ahead of market expectations and on top of your financial goals.