Make sure to ask your bank these 5 questions before applying for a mortgage. We know the many great services they offer, but we specialize ONLY in mortgages, which gives you an upper hand.
#1: Will I be pre-approved or pre-qualified?
As we’ve stated in this previous article, being pre-approved and pre-qualified are two different things and the latter doesn’t have any value when the rubber hits the road. The purpose of a pre-qualification is to give a general idea of what to expect, but nothing is concrete until the more in-depth analysis of the pre-approval process. At Inlanta, we do a lot of the legwork during this step to give you more buying power when it comes time to make an offer.
#2: What does your loan process look like from beginning to end?
Since we are doing an in-depth analysis of your financials upfront the loan process moves smoother and quicker. With your income and assets evaluated from the beginning we are able to streamline the mortgage process and get your loan into our processor right away and on to underwriting. During the underwriting stage you will most likely be requested for a few clarifying documents to complete the process. The underwriter may also request some updates to the appraisal report and purchase agreement. This is done just to make sure everything matches exactly.
You are looking for a mortgage loan process that is smooth and flows cohesively. Many times the person you originally speak to has no control on what the process looks like or what is happening. That can be frustrating for all involved.
#3: How long does it take to close my loan?
This is a much bigger question than it appears. We will start of with the standard answer; most mortgage transactions take 30-45 days. There are an overwhelming number of variables that can cut this time frame down to 10 days but also as many that could extend the loan to more than 45 days.
Generally speaking, Inlanta closes mortgage transactions in 20 days. The reason why we are able to close faster is because of our upfront work to truly pre-approve our clients as well as Inlanta’s commitment to work off of your purchase contract date. We will try to do what is needed to get you to the closing table on your agreed upon date. This does take your cooperation to provide all the documentation and paperwork that is requested by the deadlines given to keep everything on track.
#4: Do you use an appraisal management company?
This seems like a small detail in the grand scheme of things, but it’s an important question to ask. All appraisals are not created equal. An appraisal management company is a third party who has a large number of appraisers signed up to work for them as contractors to insure they are not unduly influenced by the mortgage lender. These appraisers have to do more appraisals to earn the same amount of money and many times will accept orders outside of their area of familiarity.
There is an additional option to have a separate internal appraisal desk that manages the ordering of appraisals to ensure the appraisers are local and complete a thorough report. The biggest benefit of using a local appraiser rather than an outsourced one is that he or she will have first-hand knowledge about the area and neighborhood. Additionally, the appraisers can be vetted more thoroughly.
If you want to get a better idea on what an appraisal management company is and how it came about; read this from NAR: NAR Issue Brief: Appraisal Management Company Q&A
#5: How and when will I be communicated with?
You will be communicated with every step of the way. The mortgage process is complicated, but having all parties involved work together as a team will keep it from being difficult. Keeping everyone in the loop, whether it’s by phone, email, or text, is key to achieving this, and rest assured that Inlanta Mortgage Grand Rapids will do our part to make sure everyone involved is on the same page.