What is the difference between pre-approved and pre-qualified?

Pre-qualified indicates that a homebuyer has provided the lender with the necessary [basic] information to determine which type of loan program they would qualify for.

Pre-approved indicates that the lender has collected, verified and presented the information needed from the homebuyer for underwriting and approval.

What is the difference between interest rate and APR?

Interest rate is the monthly cost that is paid on the remaining balance of your home loan. An Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is a combination of both your interest rate and any additional cost or prepaid finance charges. Examples include: origination fee, points, private mortgage insurance, underwriting and processing fees (your actual fees may not include all of these items). While your interest rate is the rate at which you will make your monthly mortgage payments, the APR is a universal measurement that can help you in comparing the cost of mortgage loans offered to you by various mortgage lenders.

What are the closing costs?

Closing costs usually different for each customer due to differences in the type of mortgage, the property location and other factors. They can include: appraisal fees, title insurance fees, attorney fees, pre-paid interest and documentation fees. You will receive an estimate of your closing costs in advance of your closing date for your review, which will be as accurate as possible at the time it is written.

Which amounts are included in my monthly payments?

With amortizing mortgage, portions of your monthly mortgage payment go toward paying down your loan principal and interest. Interest-only mortgage payments include just that, only the interest that is due on the outstanding principal balance. If your mortgage carries mortgage insurance, a portion of your monthly mortgage payment will pay this also, unless the lender has paid your mortgage insurance or you have paid your mortgage insurance upfront. If you have set up an escrow account for your mortgage, then a portion will also go toward your property taxes and homeowners insurance.

What is PMI?

Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) is provided by a private mortgage insurance company to protect lenders against loss if a borrower defaults. PMI is usually required for a loan with an beginning loan to value (LTV) percentage greater than 80%. In most cases, this will mean that you will have to pay Private Mortgage Insurance if your down payment is less than 20% of the value of the home you are purchasing or refinancing. The cost of the mortgage insurance is typically combined into the monthly mortgage payment.

Can I lock my interest rate when purchasing a home?

Yes, you can! We will provide variety of options to lock in your interest rate. Locking your rate means that the lender is agreeing to provide you with your mortgage at that particular rate, and that it won’t change between the time you lock it and the time that you close on your home. With a fixed-rate mortgage, your interest rate will remain the same throughout the life of the loan. Mortgage interest rates fluctuate constantly, so it is always best to try to lock in the lowest possible rate.

What will my rate be?

Interest rates vary based on factors such as the loan purpose, credit history and ability to repay, the value of the collateral and the loan amount.

How do I start the application process for a mortgage?

Contact us at Heritage Financial to get the mortgage application process started.

What is an FHA mortgage?

FHA loans are government-insured loans through HUD, also known as, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. FHA loans are best suited for first-time home buyers, with options such as a low down payment or a low closing cost option.

Quick Facts:

  • Low down payment is required
  • Your own personal savings are not required to pay down payment or closing costs. Gift funds may be used instead
  • You can buy an existing home, or build a new one
  • Some geographic limitations may apply

How does my escrow account work?

An escrow account is a separate account that holds funds for the purpose of paying bills such as homeowner’s insurance and property taxes. The lender collects the funds to be deposited each month into the account along with your monthly payment and then pays the bills for you when they become due. By taking the annual amounts charged for homeowner’s insurance, property taxes and other annually paid items and dividing them by 12[months], a payment amount is determined and is added to your monthly principal and interest payment. Spreading these expenses over 12 months makes it easier for you to budget those expenses and avoids you having to come up with additional cash when bills are due. For some loans, escrow accounts are a requirement.

When is my due date?

Your mortgage payment due date is listed on your monthly billing statement or coupon. A late charge is assessed if the payment has not been received and processed by the date noted. It is very important that you establish and maintain good credit by making sure your payment reaches the lender by the due date each month. Late payments can affect your credit record.

How do I know how much I can afford?

Our complimentary mortgage calculator can help you determine how much you can afford.