Friday, March 7, 2014

Applying For a Mortgage?

10 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Applying For A Mortgage
If you're considering applying for a refinance, it's important to understand the mechanics of your mortgage loan. Before you sit down to speak with your loan officer, you should consider preparing a list of questions you feel may need to be answered.

1. What Type Of Loan Is Best For Me?
Your loan officer can discuss the various loan programs available to help you refinance. Some borrowers will benefit greatly from adjustable rate mortgages while others prefer fixed rate. Discuss various loan terms such as 30-year or 20-year mortgage loans.
2. What Documents Are Required?
Be prepared to provide your loan officer with several documents. The most common documents include pay stubs, bank statements and tax returns. Loan officers will also need a complete list of debts including auto payments, credit card payments, and student loans.
3. What Costs Are Involved?
Prior to a loan closing, you will be required to pay some costs up front. These may include appraisal fees, credit report fees, and application fees. Discuss all these costs with the loan officer to determine how much money will be required prior to the loan being approved.
4. Can I Select My Own Appraiser?
When you apply for a refinance loan, lenders will require a property appraisal. Lenders typically maintain a list of approved appraisers and supply those lists to the loan officers. Typically, the loan officer will assign an appraiser to review the property. 
5. When Will I Get A Good Faith Estimate?
Good Faith Estimates (GFE) must be issued after you have completed your loan application. A second GFE is typically presented along with the HUD1 prior to closing. Keep in mind, the GFE is only an estimate of costs and that actual costs may be slightly higher or lower.
6. How Long Until We Can Close Our Loan?
Loan closing times are based on a number of factors. Closing dates may be delayed if there are missing documents or other underwriting delays. Speak with the loan officer to get an estimate on the time from application to closing.
7. What Possible Delays May I Face In Closing?
There are a number of delays that often cannot be avoided. However, some can be avoided by making sure you provide your loan officer with all the documents they request in a timely manner. In some cases, there may be a delay in getting the appraisal completed or for title searches. Your loan officer can discuss other reasons why a delay may occur.
8. Do I Need An Attorney For Closing?
When you are ready to close your loan, you are welcome to have an attorney representing you. Generally, there will be an attorney present at the closing however, they are there to represent the lender. If you feel more comfortable having an attorney present, discuss this with your loan officer to ensure the attorney receives the date, time and location of closing.
9. Should I Lock In My Interest Rate?
Before locking in a rate, it is important to understand there may be fees associated with an interest rate lock. Bear in mind, should rates decline during the period between application and closing you will not be able to take advantage of those lower rates.
10. When Will I Get A HUD1 Statement?
As a borrower, you are entitled to review their HUD1 statement prior to closing. Your loan officer should make arrangements with you to provide the statement one or two days prior to closing for your review. This will give you an opportunity to review loan terms, interest rate and costs of the loan.
Never hesitate to ask your loan officer any questions you may have. The more questions you have addressed during the application process, the less likely you will be to be confused at the time of your mortgage closing. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Guide To Title Insurance For Your Home Purchase

When you buy a home or other real estate, the title company will search the public land records to make sure the seller is the legal owner of the property. If the title company finds a problem like an incorrect deed or a lien on the property, it can be fixed before closing. Most people don’t run into title problems after they buy a home, but it does happen. This is why you should have title insurance.
  • Types of Title Insurance. Title insurance falls into one of two categories: lender’s title insurance and owner’s title insurance. If you get a loan to buy your real estate, your lender will require a lender’s policy based on the amount of your loan. An owner’s policy is purchased at closing and lasts as long as you hold an interest in the property.
  • What it covers. A basic title insurance policy protects you from any problems with a title that were not found during the title search. Human error can lead to mistakes on public records and forged deeds. This can and does happen. Names and legal descriptions are recorded incorrectly, back taxes may be owed, and people die without wills specifying their heirs.
  • How it helps you. Say, for example, that you buy a home with a utility easement in the backyard, and the title company did not disclose this. You may not be able to add on to your home or build a swimming pool in your yard because of this easement. This devalues your property, and the title company will have to correct this situation for you. In this case, your title insurance will cover the claim and protect your investment.

As your real estate agent, I will help take the guesswork out of the closing process. Let me help you find the real estate that fits your needs. Call me today at 832-200-5676 or email me at RichardSkotak@remax.net.