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Things you wish you knew about the Mortgage Process


As most people know; unless you are buying a house with cash, you're going to need to finance the purchase of a new home using a mortgage or home loan. For first-time home buyers, financing a new home can be a terrifying thought. Hold tight, real estate professionals, Roger Lee and Donavan McFadden of the Marching2More team along with Atlantic Bay Mortgage’s senior loan officer, Cara Erickson, will walk you through all the things you wish you knew about the mortgage process.


During this Marching 2 More Podcast, Cara Erickson, shares knowledge gained through her 11 years of guiding clients through the mortgage process. Here are a few of her frequently asked questions:


What are some Mortgage Myths?


  • If you are a military home buyer and you are utilizing your VA home loan benefit you are able to have multiple VA loans out at once as long as you qualify.


  • She also dispelled the misconception that FHA loans can only be used to buy your first home or a single-family home. This is not true.


Pre-qualification Vs. Pre- Approval



Many people wonder what’s the difference between pre-qual

ification and pre-approval. Throughout the podcast, Cara simply explains that a pre-qualification is simply a preliminary interview where the lender gets basic information about a potential buyer who wants to apply for home financing. It becomes a pre-approval when the lender receives all the documentation that is needed to support all the information provided in that initial interview. That is typically your pay stubs, W2’s, tax returns…etc.


What are some different types of Loans and Required Credit Scores?


If you are interested in buying a house, you may wonder what are some loans that I can take out or even what’s the required credit scores for these loans. Cara stated, “We have different programs. Our government programs such as VA and FHA we require a 600 credit score. For our conventional loans, we require a 620 credit score.”


Down Payment vs. Closing Cost


What’s the difference between down payment and closing cost is what someone might ask when trying to buy a home. Ask your real estate agent, your lender, or even better ask Cara.“So down payment is the initial investment from a buyer of a purchase of a home, an FHA loan is 3.5% of the sales price so for easy numbers let’s say $200,000 sales price, it will be a $7,000 down payment minimum. Closing costs are actually the cost that is charged from all the 3rd parties that work on a loan…”


Grants and Assistance


Homebuyers would love to get some assistance or even some grants when buying a home. Here are some of the ways, Virginia housing that’s probably the #1 grant agency that we’ve got in the state of Virginia. They do offer grants but they also offer down payment assistance in the form of a loan. Individual cities also offer grants depending on your first-time home buyer status, your income & your household size. Norfolk has a great program through Norfolk redevelopment and housing authorities, of up to $240,000 that can be used towards the down payment, closing cost or combination of the two.”


Portsmouth and Chesapeake both have a come home program where you can qualify for up to a $25,000 grant to assist with your down payment, and your closing cost.




How can Homebuyers Work Best with Lenders



  • First and foremost the biggest thing is just, to be honest. The more honest information you provide, the better your lender can create an effective plan and advocate on your behalf.

  • Have your documents ready. Paystubs, Tax returns, proof of employment, at least 2 bank statements, and photo ID. If you're self-employed or if you own another property go ahead and add 2 years in tax returns in there as well.

  • Finally, just be open-minded. If you are using a veteran lender, odds are they have done this before and have a plan for how to best take of you and your needs.

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