STEP ONE: Get Pre-Approved
1. Gather up your documents (Last Two Years of Tax Returns and W-2s, Last Two Months of Paystubs, Last Two Months of Bank Statements, Last Quarterly 401K or Retirement Account Statement), Divorce Decree, and copy of your driver’s license or state issued ID (front and back).
2. Either Apply on our Website or schedule an appointment by calling (815) 324-9760.
3. Within 24 business hours, we’ll give you an answer. It will be either yes, you’re pre-approved or not yet. If it’s a not yet, we’ll tell you what you need to do to get there.
STEP TWO: Work with a Realtor to Find your Home
1. If you’re not working with a realtor, we can refer one to you. Or if you’ve had friends that have had good experiences with their realtors, get their information from them.
2. Once you’ve selected your realtor, let us know who you’re working with. We’ll then be able to provide them with your pre-approval letter and we’ll let them know if there’s anything you would like negotiated in your contract. An example of this might be that you would like the seller to cover a portion of your closing costs. We’ll communicate with the realtor how much you need and how much the seller’s credit can go up to based on your loan program.
3. Once you find the home you love, have your realtor negotiate the contract on your behalf, and send us a copy when you’re finished.
STEP THREE: We will Submit your Application to the Wholesale Lender
1. We’ll send you some disclosures to sign from us and then the lender will send their disclosures to e-sign as well. Nothing is binding to you in these disclosures, but it will enable us to get your application to the underwriter who will be issuing you an initial conditional approval.
2. After 48 hours, we’ll have what’s called an initial conditional approval. This is the lender telling us which documents they’ll need from us and you as the borrower in order to get the final approval (which is also called the clear to close).
STEP FOUR: Order the Appraisal
1. After we have the initial conditional approval, the appraisal will need to be ordered. An appraisal is a report that tells the lender how much the home is worth. It will also specify that the house meets the qualifications of the mortgage loan program. Appraisals generally range from $485-$545. This will need to be paid upfront with a debit card or credit card. The reason this is paid upfront is the appraiser needs to get paid for their work regardless of if you follow through with the mortgage application or not.
2. If the condition of the house does not meet the loan program, the deficiencies will be noted and will need to be repaired. An example of one such deficiency would be peeling paint. If the appraisal is marked as needing work, a second appraisal will be needed after the work has been completed. This is called a final inspection and costs $175. This will also need to be paid upfront with a debit card or credit card.
STEP FIVE: Finish Processing your Application with your Processor
1. Your processor will get as many of the documents needed on their own. If they need your help getting anything or have any questions, they’ll reach out to you with an email and by phone. It is important that you respond to them as quickly as possible. Your contract is typically only good for 30-45 days, so we must complete the entire process within that timeframe.
2. Once the conditions have been cleared on the conditional approval, you have your final approval and the clear to close. That means you’re ready to schedule the closing!
STEP SIX: Go to the Closing, Sign a Bunch of Papers, and the Home is Yours!
1. You try to resist doing a happy dance, but screw it, you do one anyway.
2. Give us a high five!
3. Bring us any of your friends and family that we can help too.
What to Expect
You may need to prove more money in your bank account than you will need at the end of the process. Sometimes lenders want to see that you can make the whole transaction before factoring in seller’s credits and tax credits.
We may need to get updated documents along the way. As an example, even though you’ve already given us bank statements, we may need to request additional ones if you haven’t quite hit your funds number to get your final approval.
If you’re getting your down payment as a gift from a relative, you will need to show the last 30 days of their bank statement and the check leaving the account. If this is a print out, the bank will need to stamp it and sign it. After that, you will need to show a 30-day bank statement showing the deposit going into your account. Again, if this is a printout, you’ll need the bank to stamp and sign it. In addition, you and your donor will need to sign or e-sign a gift letter that we will provide you stating that the funds are a gift and that no re-payment is expected. The reason we need to show their account activity is you cannot borrow funds in order to get a mortgage and neither can they. Any large deposit over 1% of your contract amount will need to be explained and sourced (proven where they came from).
Your interest rate is based on your credit score and how much you’re putting down.
After you’ve received final approval and the clear to close, the title company and the lender will go back and forth balancing your transaction. When they’ve completed the process, you will receive an email and phone call from us stating what number you need to put on a cashier’s check and who the cashier’s check should be made out to.
From the time we submit your application to the closing table is generally 30-45 days. The faster you work with us, the faster we can get you there.
After the home is yours, you will receive a welcome package from the lender. This will give you instructions on how to submit the payment. You have complete control over how you want to submit the payment.