Buying A Home: Don't Just Focus On Fast And Easy

BY: Cindy Mack

There are online mortgage companies spending a lot of money advertising how quick and easy it is to get a loan with them. But is fast and easy really the best thing for you? Buying a home is likely one of the biggest investments you will ever make. While we all want the process to be as fast and painless as possible, you really need to make sure you are getting the best loan program for you at the best price.

How to Find the Best Mortgage Loan for You

There’s a lot of great information on the web regarding home loan financing. The Internet is a great place to start. But to get the best information for your specific situation, it’s best to talk directly with an experienced mortgage professional

A good lender will ask you several questions like:

  • How long do you intend on staying in this home? Do you foresee yourself moving due to job or family reasons in the next 5-10 years?
  • How much you are looking to put down?
  • How much do you make?
We ask these questions so that we can narrow down mortgage loan options for you.

A local lender will also be familiar with local programs that are available to those who fit into certain income categories or may be looking to purchase in an area targeted for home ownership.  An online lender will most likely not be in your community and, therefore, will not be aware of these programs.

How to Make the Loan Process Faster

Once you have found a local, knowledgeable lender, you should get pre-approved.  Many lenders say they pre-approve you, but they are only pre-qualifying you.  You can tell the difference between pre-approval and pre-qualification by the amount of documentation you provide.

A pre-qualification typically only requires a conversation with a lender to discuss income, assets, and debts. However, you don’t provide any proof of your income or assets, and credit does not necessarily get checked.  With a pre-qualification, the lender is basically saying that you will likely qualify for a loan based upon the information you have shared.

With a pre-approval, on the other hand, you will supply documentation of your paystubs, bank statements, and possibly even tax returns, and the lender will check your credit. In this case, the lender is actually verifying your income and debts. This process takes a little bit more time and effort, but the difference between a pre-approval and a pre-qualification is huge.  With a pre-approval, you have been approved for a loan and now just need to go find a property you want to buy. Ultimately, a pre-approval will save you time when it counts.

Once you find a home, you already have your mortgage loan application taken care of. Depending upon how long it took you to find that perfect home, you may have to update some of your information, such as providing recent pay stubs or bank statements, but much of the paperwork has already been completed. This allows you to focus on the important aspects of home buying, such as the home inspection and details of getting your move lined up.  There’s a lot to do once you find a home.  It’s nice to have already taken care of the mortgage loan paperwork by going through the pre-approval process.

How to Get the Best Mortgage Loan Rates and Fees

Pricing on mortgage loans can vary significantly from one lender to another.  So, in addition to finding the right loan program, it’s best to make sure you are getting that loan for the best price. 

Once again, researching your options and lenders prior to finding your dream home will enable you to move forward with your loan confident that you have not only found the best loan program for you but are also getting it at the best terms.

Many lenders put their interest rates and fees on their websites so it’s easy to compare rates and fees. Be sure you are comparing apples to apples, though. It’s a good idea to call and talk with a lender to make sure you are understanding the rates and fees they are quoting.

Why State Bank of Cross Plains?

At State Bank of Cross Plains, we offer many mortgage loan options, including:

  • Conventional 10, 15, 20 and 30-year fixed rate loans offered through Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae
  • State VA
  • USDA Rural Development
  • FHA
  • Construction Loans
  • Lot Loans
  • Portfolio loans to include non-conforming condominiums
  • Portfolio 3/1, 5/1 and 7/1 ARMs
  • Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECM), commonly called a reverse mortgage
As you can see, State Bank of Cross Plains offers a mortgage loan to fit pretty much any situation.  In addition to our wide array of products, we also participate in many down payment assistance programs offered in Dane County and throughout the State of Wisconsin.

While I want to make this process as fast and easy as possible, I also want you to have the best mortgage loan for your specific situation so that you can attain your financial goals.  If you would like more information about getting started with the home buying process, call me at (608) 826-3513.

Cindy Mack

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