Mortgage Information & Resources
Buying a home is one of the most important purchases people make. Our mortgage consultants will assist you with every step throughout the mortgage process. We offer free pre-qualification, free rate quotes, local processing and competitive rates. Here are some important tips when considering a home purchase:
- Get pre-qualified before you search for a home. Nothing is more disappointing then falling in love with a home that you cannot afford. Pre-qualified buyers have much more bargaining power with sellers when writing an offer to purchase. Sellers are usually more likely to accept an offer written by pre-qualified buyers.
- Set a budget. Know how much you feel comfortable paying each month for a mortgage payment.
- Get your documents together. While you may not need all of your documents right away, it is helpful to know what will be needed in the future.
- Remember your closing costs. In addition to your down payment, you will also have some closing costs to consider. It is best to consult your lender and lawyer to get a more accurate cost.
- Pay off or pay down your debts. Especially credit cards. Lenders look at the minimum monthly payments of each credit card. When you have several small credit cards, the minimum payments could add up. Your credit score is also based on the balance of your credit cards compared to your credit limit. It is best to pay these off or pay them down, along with other monthly loans that you can afford.
- Get a quality home inspection. Although it’s hard to believe, more people pay for inspections before buying used cars than when making the biggest investment of their lives -- their homes. Paying for a qualified home inspection before you buy a home isn't just spending "a little extra" for peace of mind; it's absolutely essential for anyone who doesn't want to spend thousands of dollars for repairs.
- Consider all your options. The loan programs offered today are very different from those in the past. Your mortgage consultant can show you which products will benefit you the most.
First Time Homebuyer
Buying your first home is an exciting and challenging time. Our mortgage consultants have several options available for a first time homebuyer. They will help you find the program to fit your situation. Here are some frequently asked questions when purchasing your first home:
Frequently Asked Questions
- 1. How do I begin the process of buying a home?
If you have not already done so, it is best to meet with a mortgage consultant and get pre-qualified. This will help you determine the price of home you can qualify for financing on. Following are the basic steps in the home buying process:
- Get pre-qualified by your mortgage consultant.
- Find a property and submit a purchase offer.
- Submit the necessary documents to your mortgage consultant. The document checklist will give you an idea of what documents you will need to gather. Once the required documents are submitted, your mortgage consultant’s processor will make sure everything is in order and submit your application to underwriting for approval. The processor will also order the title work and appraisal.
- Once underwriting approval is received, the closing is scheduled.
- Closing documents are prepared. Your mortgage consultant will let you know what you will need to bring to closing. Any funds you need to bring in for closing may need to be in the form of a cashier’s check made payable to the closing company.
- Your closing will take place. It is normally held at an attorney’s office or title company office.
- 2. Am I better off renting or purchasing?
That depends on your individual situation. Any of our mortgage consultants can schedule a free consultation with you to help you understand everything involved so you can decide whether renting or purchasing is better for you.
- 3. How do I know what I can afford?
Your mortgage consultant can assist you. When you get pre-qualified, you will find out the price range of homes you can afford.
- 4. How do I know what real estate agent I should use?
You can interview agents and find someone with which you feel comfortable. Our mortgage consultants have business relationships with several agents. They can give you referrals when you meet with them for your pre-qualification.
- 5. What are the costs associated with purchasing a home?
During the pre-qualification process, your Mortgage Consultant will review with you. Costs vary according to loan program.
- 6. What is included in my monthly payment?
The monthly principal and interest on your loan is always included. Escrow amounts for property taxes, insurance and mortgage insurance (if applicable) are also included.
- 7. Can my parents, friends, relatives give me money for a down payment?
Only family members can gift money for a down payment and the amount that can be gifted varies depending on the loan program. Once you and your mortgage consultant have decided what the best program is for you, your consultant will tell you what amount can be gifted.
- 8. What types of loans are offered?
Valley Bank offers a variety of loan types:
- Conventional Loan Programs
- FHA Loan Programs
- VA Loan Programs
- Adjustable Rate Mortgages
- Bridge Loans
- Construction Loans
- Jumbo Loan Programs
- USDA Rural Development Loans
- First Time Homebuyer Programs
Valley Bank is authorized to use many state, local and community grant programs. Often your mortgage consultant can help you secure state, local or county assistance to help fund your transaction.
- 9. What is the best loan for me?
Because financial situations and goals are different, your mortgage consultant will give you the options so you can decide what the best product is for you.
- 10. Do I get any tax breaks for purchasing a home?
The interest you pay on the loan is tax deductible. There may be other closing costs that are deductible, but you should consult with your tax advisor to determine if anything else can be deducted.
- 11. What documents does my loan officer need from me?
Click here for a list of needed documents. For first time homebuyers we will need 3 years of tax returns.
- 12. How can I look up my credit history?
You can get a free credit report once a year by going to www.annualcreditreport.com, calling 1-877-222-8228 or by mail to:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
PO Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
When you apply for a loan, your mortgage consultant will run your credit as part of their process and you can request a copy of that report. It is a good idea to check your report annually. However, multiple credit requests can adversely affect your score so keep that in mind. When you get your credit report, carefully review it for accuracy. If there are discrepancies you will need to correspond directly with the credit reporting company.
- 13. How long does the loan process take?
The process varies, but normally once you have found a home, the application to closing process can be completed in 45-60 days.
- 14. What is mortgage insurance and do I need it?
Mortgage insurance protects the lender if you default on your loan and the equity in the property is not sufficient to cover any losses the lender incurs as a result of that default. If the loan you are requesting exceeds 80% of the market value of the property, you are usually required to pay for mortgage insurance. Your mortgage consultant is able to determine if you will need mortgage insurance and tell you how much it will be.
- 15. Do I need to order an appraisal or title?
No, the loan processor will make sure an appraisal is ordered and the title work is complete.