The most common questions I get asked
If you’re starting to think about buying a new home or refinancing your current mortgage, I know you’re full of questions. You’re also probably a little bit nervous about reaching out to mortgage loan officer to ask, what you think are simple or silly questions (they’re not, they’re very common). So, let’s see if I can guess some of the things you’re wondering about.
If you’re thinking about buying a home…
Here are some of the common questions I get:
- What credit score do I need to qualify? Qualifying for a mortgage requires an underwriting of a borrower’s complete credit profile, but as it relates the credit score specifically, most lenders are looking for a credit score above 620. There are loan programs that will consider borrowers below this score and with specific compensating factors, but this is a pretty good rule of thumb. If you don’t know your credit score, you can get your free credit score and report here.
- How much of a down payment do I need? Although down payment requirements might vary by loan program and qualifying factors, here are some general guidelines: As low as 0% for VA loans, 3% for first-time homebuyer programs, 3.5% for FHA loans, 5% for fixed-rate mortgages on primary residences, including high balances, and from 10-25% for ARMs and jumbo loans, second homes and investment properties.
- What are mortgage rates? Interest rates can vary from day-to-day, based on market conditions and your specific credit profile. Check today’s prevailing mortgage rates on our rates page.
- What is the process to buy a new home? The first step is to talk with a licensed mortgage loan officer to take a loan application and review your credit profile. From there we can present you all of your options to achieve your financial goals. Once you have decided on your best mortgage option, your loan officer will request a variety of documents to support the application, which will be underwritten for final approval. After approval, you will sign and ‘close’ on your mortgage loan agreement.
If you’re thinking about refinancing…
- When should I consider refinancing? Refinancing your current mortgage involves a lot of different factors, including the rate and term of your existing mortgage, future financial goals, and the current state of the mortgage and housing market. The best places to start evaluating whether you should refinance is either by talking with your loan officer or by running scenarios through one of our Velocity Lending mortgage calculators.
If you’re thinking about a second home or investment property…
- What is the difference between a second or vacation home and an investment property? A second or vacation home is typically a home, other than your primary residence that you have purchased for your personal use. In contrast, an investment property is purchased to rent to others and generating income. An investment property is not used by you as a primary or occasional residence.
- What are the requirements to qualify for a second or investment home? Mortgage loan qualifications and guidelines vary from time-to-time, but generally, a second home is underwritten and priced more like a primary residence with only slightly higher down payment requirements. In contrast, an investment property often requires a significantly higher down payment and stronger credit profile.
- How many homes can I finance? Although guidelines and qualifications can change without notice and depend on your credit profile, as of this publication date you can finance up to 10 properties.
What other questions do you have? Feel free to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.