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Purchasing FAQs

What’s the first step I should take in buying a home?

Your first move is to get pre-approved for a loan. After you’ve been pre-approved, you can know more specifically the price of the home that you can afford.

What is the difference between pre-qualifying and pre-approval?

A pre-qualification is an estimate of what you may be able to borrow. This is a fast way to get a look into the price range for your home. Pre-approval means a financial institution has partnered to work with you and has reviewed your finances arming you with more leverage when making an offer.

Why is a pre-approval so important?

A pre-approval is the lender’s written commitment to finance your home purchase up to a specific amount. Getting pre-approved is a smart idea for the serious home buyer. Real estate agents and sellers of homes want to make sure you are a bona fide buyer. With a pre-approval letter in hand, they will not have to wonder if they are wasting their time with you. You have the clout of a buyer ready to make a valid offer right now!

How much money do I need for a down payment?

The good news is you no longer need 20% for a down payment! There are different loan options, but the average down payment is now 3% to 5%. You also don’t have to put any money down if you, or the property you’re purchasing, qualifies for a VA or USDA loan. Learn more about the different types of loans Ultimate Lending Team offers.

What is mortgage insurance?

Mortgage insurance compensates a lender for losses in the event of a default on a mortgage loan. In other words, if a borrower falls behind on obligations, mortgage insurance covers the lender. PMI is generally required for mortgage loans for those who cannot generate at least a 20 percent down payment for the conventional loan, however there may be options available to you that we can tell you about!

What is an escrow?

An escrow is used to fund insurance, property taxes, and homeowner’s association dues. This is managed by a third-party, done through your mortgage payments. It tends to prevent late fees, coverage delays, or liens on your home.

When can I back out if I change my mind?

You can always walk away from a deal, but in some cases you might have to give up your earnest money. This normally amounts to about 1%-2% of the price of the house.

How quickly can I close on a mortgage?

The Ultimate Lending Team is built for speed. You can close on your new loan in as soon as 2 weeks.

Refinancing FAQs

How do I know if I should refinance?

Consider refinancing your mortgage if your payments are too high, your interest rate is higher than the market rate, if you wish to consolidate payments, or if you want to own your home sooner.

How can I access cash from my equity?

Request a cash-out refinance. You can use your home equity to pay off debts or student loans, improve your home value with renovations, invest in another property, or anything else you choose.

How can I lower my monthly payment?

Get a rate quote and see what your monthly payment would be with a lower rate along with the closing costs. The Ultimate Lending Team will provide you with all the information you need to make a decision whether or not a refinance is right for you.

How can I increase my home equity?

Equity naturally increases when you pay off debt balance or as a home appreciates. You can also help it increase by performing home maintenance or renovation projects.

Can I refinance to remove private mortgage insurance (PMI)?

Yes! If you wish to remove your private mortgage insurance, you generally will need at least 20% home equity. However, you can still refinance even though you’ve built up less equity and depending on the appraisal, can remove PMI. Ultimate Lending Team will help establish your best course of action to remove PMI.

Do I need an appraisal before refinancing?

Not always. Much of the time, it depends on the loan program and the form of refinancing (rate and term vs. cash out). Ultimate Lending Team will be able to explore the valuation options further during the refinancing process.

How long does it take to refinance?

At Ultimate Lending Team, we are proud to deliver closings that are faster than the industry average, typically 2 to 3 weeks.

What documents are needed to refinance?

New guidance and technology has reduced the documentation needed for a home loan. Every homeowner’s situation is different. So once we have your loan application, we can let you know what is needed to close. Be sure you have pay stubs, bank account statements, tax returns, and proof of outstanding debts ready.

How often can I refinance?

There is no cap to how many times you refinance, but many lenders require a certain period of time between assessments. This is normally the case with cash out refinancing as well.

What will refinancing cost?

Similar to a purchase loan, refinancing involves closing costs, but these costs differ based on the case. In certain cases, refinancing may have little to no cost, depending on how we structure your loan. Ultimate Lending Team can coach you on options and a break-even point so that you can figure out how long you need to prepare to stay in your home for refinancing to be financially beneficial.

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