Getting a Mortgage FAQ

Getting a Mortgage

Q: How do I find out how much I qualify for?
A: The only way is to contact a lender and start the pre-approval process. This usually takes about 15-20 minutes on the phone and you should be able to get an answer within a few hours.
You should never have to pay to obtain the pre-approval! If a lender asks for money upfront you have the wrong lender. Feel free to contact me for a list of trusted lenders in our area or click here.

Q: What do I need to make an offer?
A: If you are obtaining a mortgage then you always should start with a preapproval. Once you are approved, you’ll have a better idea of the price range where you should be looking plus sellers want to see a preapproval when you make your offer. If you are paying cash then you will need to provide proof of funds to make an offer.

Q: Can I go to my local bank or credit union in my state?
A: As long as you bank/credit union is licensed in the state of Florida you can use your local resource. Sometimes credit unions have arrangements with other credit unions across the country so you should check with them.

Using a Florida bank or mortgage broker will save you time and headache. The biggest issue is closings being cancelled or postponed because an out of state lender was not ready in time. This could mean the loss of your deposit because you did not meet the closing date.

Q: Would it help if I paid cash? Can I get a better deal on the home?

A: While cash does make a difference it’s usually not going to get you a substantially better price on a home. More often it will help get your offer accepted if there’s more than one offer. On a cash transaction, a 10% escrow deposit is typically required.

Q: How much down payment do I usually need?
A: You have several choices- VA loan would be a zero down mortgage, FHA would be 3 ½% and conventional loans require at least 5% down. Of course each loan has its own guidelines so you’ll need to consult with a lender.

Q: Do they do many VA loans?
A: Different lenders have different loans. If you are interested in a VA loan, or have served in the armed forces and know you have one available to you, I am happy to guide you towards a veteran friendly lending institution. By the way, thank you very much for your service to our country.

Q: Who would you recommend if I want a loan approval?
A: Our team has a few lenders that we’ve worked with before that each offer unique incentives for choosing them. Feel free to email or call me for their names and contact info.

Q: How long does it take to get pre-approved? Does it cost anything?
A: The pre-approval process is quite simple, many lenders even offer a secure site where you can upload all of your information for them to review. Other lenders may require a phone call or to sit down with you in person. No matter what the circumstance it only takes about 3-5 days to get a pre-approval. Not to be confused with a pre-qualification, which may only take a day and doesn’t really reflect a solid agreement from your lending institution. As always, you should never have to pay for a pre-approval either.

Q. Can I use my lender if I’m buying a home from a builder?
A: Yes and no. If your lender offers a construction-to-perm loan AND if your builder gets approved by your lender, then yes. If your lender does not offer a construction-to-perm loan OR your builder does not get approved by your lender, then you may need to seek out a lender the builder has worked with before OR a different lender altogether.
There is also a chance that the builder (depending on how big an operation they are) will have their own lender that offers better incentives than yours may. It’s best to research 3 or 4 and get a clear idea across the board about how they each compare to one another.


For more information on buying and selling in SWFL click here.


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