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Frequently Asked Questions

Buying a house is likely to be one of the biggest financial decisions you make. Asking the tough questions – and even the easy questions that seem obvious – is what’s going to help you make your strongest investment.

  • What's Pre-Qualification? And should I get pre-qualified before looking for a home?
    You wouldn’t go shopping for a new car without knowing how much you can afford. Why would buying a home be any different? Pre-Qualification Today = Less Stress House Shopping Tomorrow Let’s face it. One of the most stressful things about buying a home is adjusting to your new mortgage payment. Knowing your financial boundaries before shopping for your new home can make the process go much more smoothly. Your pre-qualification is an essential tool when house shopping, because it… Determines what homes are in your price range Assures real estate brokers and sellers that you are a qualified buyer Can be used to your advantage in future negotiations
  • What are the advantages of owning a home?
    There are many advantages to homeownership! When you carefully choose a home you can afford, the payoff can be great. As a homeowner, instead of paying rent to a landlord, each month when you make your mortgage payment, you are building equity in a place of your own. The more mortgage payments you make, the more equity you’ll have. And unlike most things you buy, a home can actually appreciate in value as time passes, building more equity. Other advantages include: Tax advantages – The mortgage interest and real estate taxes you pay are tax deductible which can reduce your tax bill. Real estate is marketable. You can make your own decisions about design and décor. You can invest in upgrades that will not only bring you pleasure but can also add to the value of the property over time. You have control over the piece of property. You are not answering to a landlord.
  • What is Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)?
    Private Mortgage Insurance or PMI is provided by a private company to protect the mortgage lender against losses that might be incurred if a loan defaults. It can make a big difference in how quickly your mortgage loan is approved and how much money you spend on a down payment. It is required if the loan amount is more than 80% of the home’s value. This insurance benefits lenders and investor, but it also helps homebuyers too. Because Advantage Mortgage is protected by mortgage insurance, we can offer loans with low down payments. Without mortgage insurance, we would need to require a down payment of at least 20% of the loan amount. We understand that even if you have enough money for a large down payment, you may prefer to use it for other purposes. And if you don’t have a 20% down payment, it can take a long time to save it. While you’re saving, the price of your dream home is likely to rise – perhaps faster than you can save! Private Mortgage Insurance can be a big help if you’re like most borrowers in this type of situation.
  • How long will it take to close my loan?
    Our goal is to have your loan ready for closing as soon as possible! Generally the items that take the longest to receive are things such as the appraisal and the title work and the conditions that you need to provide us with. We’ll want to get the appraisal and title work ordered as soon as possible to avoid any delays. If you are purchasing a new home, we’ll do our best to meet the date you and the seller have agreed upon.
  • Are there any programs with lower down payments?
    Yes! We offer programs with lower down payment options. These products are designed to help borrowers overcome the two primary barriers to homeownership – lack of down payment funds and qualifying income. These programs have lower down payment, cash reserve, and income requirements than traditional conventional mortgages.
  • How do I know which program is right for me?
    The first step in deciding which program is right for you is to take a realistic look at your individual situation. How much do you have for a down payment? How long do you plan on staying in the home before selling? Are you willing to pay points up front for a lower interest rate? Do you expect your annual income to increase in the near future or will it stay the same throughout your career? Does your income vary from month to month? How is your credit history? Are you purchasing an existing home from a seller? We offer a great variety of mortgage programs so you can be sure to find the program that best suits your needs.
  • What information should I have when I'm ready to apply?
    For your initial pre-qualification we'll ask questions about your income, assets, credit history and employment. In addition, you will be required to pay a minimal fee to cover the cost of your credit report so that we can verify your credit history. Once you start the application process, we'll need to verify the information you gave us with specific documentation, such as your last two years of income tax returns, bank statements, pay stubs and documents pertaining to other personally owned real estate. You'll receive notification in writing of required documentation needed to obtain a final approval. In some cases, Underwriting may request additional information.
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