||STEP 6: APPLYING
FOR A MORTGAGE
You’re within one mile of the finish line to becoming a homeowner, and there’s no stopping you now. Once your offer has been accepted and the Purchase and Sale Agreement is signed, you will need to apply and be approved for a mortgage. There are numerous finance options, so gathering the right information is key to making a good decision.
These tools will help:
Obtaining a mortgage
This is uncharted territory for most people, since this is your fist time purchasing a home. You likely have many questions and luckily we can help. Take some time to read our Info About HMFA Mortgages page, which outlines a variety of programs that may help you to get a loan.
To obtain an HMFA loan, you can contact a participating lender. Visit our list of approved lenders to find one nearest you.
Pre-qualification vs. pre-approval
Before you make an offer, you can pre-apply for a mortgage loan. You can visit a mortgage lender and supply your personal financial information. The lender will estimate the loan amount that you may qualify for based on your income and credit history.
While you’re shopping around for a loan, you may hear the terms “pre-qualified” and/or “pre-approved.” It is important to understand the difference between these terms. Pre-qualified means that you would qualify for a mortgage but it does not guarantee you a mortgage or a rate. Being pre-qualified is useful in the negotiating process because it will give the seller confidence that you’ll be able to get a mortgage once the time comes. Pre-approved, on the other hand, guarantees you a mortgage at a specified rate.
It's important to note that obtaining a pre-qualification or pre-approval from a lender does not obligate you to get a loan from that lender.
Where to apply
Be a smart shopper and prepare yourself to make a wise decision about your mortgage. After you get pre-qualified or pre-approved, you can still continue to shop around for better rates and terms. You may have to make a lot of phone calls and do lots of research, but it’s worth it and could save you a significant amount of money in the long run. You should choose a lender that you trust and a loan that will stay in your budget for many years. Consider exploring options from:
- Mortgage companies
- Savings and loan institutions
- Federal credit unions
- Other financial institutions
The loan terms
Because each lender will have different terms to its mortgage, you can compare some key points to understand which deal is the best for you.
- Interest rate
- Whether the rate is fixed or adjustable
- Whether the rate can be locked in when you apply for the mortgage. For how long?
At what cost?
- Closing costs
- Other fees charged by the lender. Do all lenders charge these fees?