What documents are needed for your Maine Home Loan?

Document Checklist and Instructions

A properly documented loan application makes your loan process go smoothly. This checklist will help you gather your paperwork.

Complete and sign the residential loan application, Form 1003, and the attached loan info sheet, credit authorization and fair lending notice. Page 4 of the application is a continuation page in case you need additional space for your assets or liabilities. If you make a mistake while filling out the application cross it out, and make a change. Do NOT use whiteout.

If you are salaried: provide W-2’s for the previous two years and one month of paystubs. If you are self-employed, provide tax returns for the previous two years, including all schedules, and a YTD profit and loss statement. (Note: provide copies of all requested documents. Do not provide original documents.)

If you own rental property, provide recent rental agreements and tax returns for the previous two years, including all schedules.

To speed up the approval process, provide bank statements for the most recent three months, and recent statements for stock, mutual funds and IRA/401K accounts.

If you are requesting a cash out refinance, provide a letter explaining how you will use the refinance proceeds.

If applicable, provide a copy of your divorce decree and settlement agreement.

If you are NOT a US citizen, provide a copy of your green card (front & back). If you are NOT a permanent resident provide a copy of your H-1 or L-1 visa.

If any borrower has filed bankruptcy, provide the Discharge Notice, Filing and Schedule of Creditors.

If you are applying for a home equity line of credit or loan (second loan), also include your first mortgage note. (This should be with your closing loan documents.)

By providing all documentation early, you make your mortgage specialist job much easier and ensure there are no  issues before closing.

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Be prepared – documents you’ll need to apply for a mortgage

When applying for a Maine Home Loan, it’s very important to start putting together all of the documents needed to be approved for your loan.  Long gone are the days of no doc/limited doc home loans.  Borrowers now must provide much more information to prove to your Maine Mortgage Specialist that they do qualify for a new purchase or refinance transaction.  Here is a simple checklist of documents you will need when applying for a new Maine Home Loan.

Refinance and Purchase

_____Last Two Pay Stubs, Borrower and Co-Borrower

_____Last Two Months Bank Statements (Originals, All Pages, not off the internet)

_____Most Recent Asset Statements (Money Market. 401K, etc Originals, All Pages)

_____Last Two Years W-2s, Both Borrowers

_____A Copy of Your Driver’s License, Borrower and Co-Borrower

_____A Recent Utility Bill(s), Showing Borrower and Co-Borrower on the Bill

_____Last Two Year’s Tax Returns, Federal Returns Only, All Schedules

_____Corporate Tax Returns and K-1s if Applicable

_____Copy of Borrower and Co-Borrower’s Social Security Cards

_____A Recent Mortgage Statement

_____A Recent Tax Bill

_____A Recent Homeowner’s Insurance Bill and Policy Number or

_____The Name, Address and Telephone Number of Your Insurance Company

_____A Copy of the Deed

_____Statements for All Debts Being Paid Off at Closing

Purchases Only

_____Listing Sheet

_____Deed

_____Purchase & Sale Agreement

_____Gift Letter

Mortgage lenders require borrowers to provide documentation to verify identity, property information, income and equity/down payment. These documents are known as conditions that the borrower must satisfy in order to receive a full-fledged mortgage approval (up until that point, the mortgage that you are offered is referred to as a “conditional approval”). When you are asked to provide certain documents – such a job letters, purchase contracts or bank statements – it’s important that you provide complete and accurate documents in a timely manner.

Should you talk to a mortgage professional before house hunting?

It’s that time of year. New couples are thinking about that first home together but should you speak with a Mortgage professional first?

Absolutely! Even if you haven’t so much as picked out houses to visit yet, it’s important to see your mortgage professional first. Why? What can we do for you if you haven’t negotiated a price, and don’t know yet how much you want to borrow?

When we pre-qualify you, we help you determine how much of a monthly mortgage payment you can afford, and how much we can loan you. We do this by considering your income and debts, your employment and residence situations, your available funds for down payment and required reserves, and some other things. It’s short and to the point, and we keep the paperwork to a minimum!

Once you qualify, you’ll have a Pre-Qualification Letter (your real estate agent might call it a “pre-qual”), which says that you qualify for a certain amount.

When you find a house that catches your eye, and you decide to make an offer, being pre-qualified for a mortgage will do a couple of things. First, it lets you know how much you can offer. Your real estate agent will help you decide on an appropriate offer, but being pre-qualified gives you the confidence to know you can follow through.

More importantly, to a home seller, your being pre-qualified is like you walked into their house with a suitcase full of cash to make the deal! They won’t have to wonder if they’re wasting their time because you’ll never qualify for a mortgage to finance the amount you’re offering for the home. You have the clout of a buyer ready to make the deal right now!

With today’s FHA and USDA RD, many people who have never before qualified may for the first time be able to buy that dream home!

You wont know unless you ask 🙂

10 Mistakes to Avoid when Shopping for Home Loans in Maine

10 Mistakes to Avoid when Shopping for Home Loans

Home-buying in Maine should be one of the most exciting experiences of your life. At the same time, it is important not to let the excitement overcome your better judgement. If you just avoid some common mistakes, you can be as excited about your decision ten years from now as on the day you move in. Here are 10 mistakes to avoid when shopping for a property and a home loan:

1. Failing to budget properly. You may think you have a rough idea of what you can spend, but you won’t know for sure unless you take the time to document your past expenses. If possible, use a year’s worth of expenses so you account for any seasonal items. Once you think you know what you could afford to put toward mortgage payments, try setting that amount aside for a few months. This will be a good dry run, as well as a way of raising money for a down payment.

2. Accepting the real estate agent’s definition of what you can afford. Real estate agents often do a rough estimate of how big a home loan you can afford, based on your household income. While you might qualify for that home loan on paper, that doesn’t mean you’d be comfortable with the payments. Go with an estimate based on what your budget tells you.

3. Keeping up with the Joneses. Some home buyers overreach in buying a home, trying to match what their friends purchased or impress their families. Once you move in though, you’ll find the most enjoyable home is one you can readily afford.

4. Not knowing the market. Houses, properties, and neighborhoods are far from uniform, so it can take a while to get a feel for what values are like in a particular area. Don’t fall in love with a house too quickly–the more you shop around, the better you’ll know which characteristics suit you best, and what prices represent a good value.

5. Expecting your income will keep going up. Since people often buy a home early in their careers, they tend to assume that the mortgage may become easier to afford in the future because their incomes will naturally go up over time. More recently though, with unemployment rising and income growth slowing, this hasn’t been such a sure thing. Be sure you can afford your home loan from the start.

6. Neglecting to save enough up front. Closing on a house is expensive. Besides your down payment, there are a variety of fees and expenses for things such as mortgage processing, insurance, home inspection, and lawyers. Make sure you leave a cushion, rather than getting caught short at a crucial moment.

7. Not bothering to shop around for mortgage lenders. Mortgage rates not only vary from day-to-day, but they can also be very different from one mortgage lender to the next. Shopping around gives you a better chance of finding the best rates, as well as giving you a wider choice for choosing a Maine mortgage lender whose service makes you feel comfortable.

8. Leaving points and fees out of mortgage comparisons. Mortgage lenders may quote mortgage rates in different ways–some with points paid up front, some without. Others may offer low rates but make up for it with higher fees. There are mortgage calculators that can help you make comparisons that include points and fees.

9. Not looking into special programs like VA or FHA mortgages. These are mortgage insurance programs that give lenders confidence in making home loans to borrowers with limited or less-than-perfect credit histories. While FHA mortgages require that you pay a mortgage insurance premium, FHA mortgage rates may well be lower than you could get otherwise unless you are a saint with a large down payment. One of the first things you should discuss with a Maine mortgage lender is whether you qualify for a VA or FHA mortgage.

10. Not understanding the risk of adjustable-rate/flexible-payment mortgages. Adjustable-rate mortgages, as well as those with flexible payment options, give borrowers more latitude to take advantage of certain market conditions. However, they also involve the possibility of monthly payments going up in the future, and sometimes by a significant amount. Unless you have a thorough understanding of the risks involved, you may want to lock in your monthly payment with a fixed-rate mortgage.

Face it–you may only buy a home once or twice in your life, so you’ll probably never get a chance to gain much experience with the process. However, you can learn from the experiences of others by avoiding the above mistakes.

Five Key Questions to Ask Your Mortgage Specialist.

Know the answers to these questions before you sign on the dotted line.
Now more than ever, Americans are discovering the importance of having a handle on their finances. Budgeting projected monthly expenses and future investments helps consumers determine whether or not home ownership is financially feasible. By addressing the following key questions with one of our mortgage specialists you can gain a better understanding of the mortgage process and ensure you obtain the product that best fits your needs and circumstances.

  • What documents must I provide and what might delay the mortgage approval process?

    Prepare to be inundated with personal, income, employer, asset and liability questions. Get a head start and avoid any potential delay in your mortgage approval by checking your own credit file and gathering the required documents a couple of months prior to shopping for your mortgage.
    The following are just a few of the necessary documents you will need to supply in order to complete your mortgage application:
    • Earnings: W-2 forms, recent pay stubs and tax returns for the past two years.
    • Employment: Copy of a recent paycheck stub that displays your full name, Social Security number, your year-to-date earnings and the name and address of your employer.
    • Additional income: Documents to show you have other sources of income, which may include a second job, overtime, commissions and bonuses, interest and dividend income, Social Security payments, alimony, child support, VA and retirement benefits.
    • Debts: A full list of your outstanding debt and creditors, such as credit cards, car loans, student loans, child support, etc., along with the minimum monthly payment and balances.
    • Assets: Records of investments including real estate and auto titles, stock/bond certificates and mutual funds.
    Get a full checklist of application requirements by contacting your Maine Mortgage Specialist.

    • What are the qualifying guidelines for my loan?

      Once you have completed the mortgage application, you will be presented you with the products that best fit your financial situation. The loan programs offered will require that you meet several income, employment and credit guidelines.

      • How will my down payment affect the cost of the loan?

      The more money you can afford to put down the better. A large down payment will either reduce your mortgage payments and/or enable you to purchase a bigger, more expensive home. Generally, lenders require a down payment anywhere between 2 percent and 20 percent of the home sale price.

      • What is the annual percentage rate of the loan?

      Use the annual percentage rate, or APR, as a general guideline when comparing your loan options. The APR is designed to represent the true cost of the loan, preventing lenders from concealing fees and upfront costs from the borrower. Though the APR is a good comparison tool, it does not always include all costs that you will pay. Ask your  mortgage professional to clarify what is and is not calculated into your loan”s APR so that you can determine which program best fits your financial needs.

      • Is there a prepayment penalty on the loan?

      Prepayment penalties ensure that your lender is compensated for a certain amount of money when you, the borrower, decide to pay off your loan earlier than what was originally agreed. Not all loans enforce prepayment penalties, but those that do, have penalties that range anywhere from one to three percent of the loan amount.

      By asking the right questions, you can gain a better understanding of the mortgage process and be confident that you are getting the product that best fits your financial situation.

      Can Maine Save the USDA RD Mortgage?

      The USDA Rural Development Loan is a congressional funded program. Due to the fact they are obviously showing interest in other issues at this time, we must contact them immediately explaining (and reminding them of) the obvious impacts.  We have an obligation as tax paying citizens to voice our concerns and displeasures to our local Senators and Congressman.  We have an obligation to work to reinstate this for our current and future clients.

      Contact your Maine  representatives here:

      Collins, Susan M. – (R – ME) Class II
      413 DIRKSEN SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
      (202) 224-2523
      Web Form: collins.senate.gov/public/continue.cfm?FuseAction=Contact…
      Snowe, Olympia J. – (R – ME) Class I
      154 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
      (202) 224-5344
      Web Form: snowe.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=ContactSenat…

      You may want to write something such as this sample letter:

      Dear __________,
      It has come to my attention that the funding for USDA Rural Development Loans for Single Family Residences will be exhausted by the end of April 2010.  This funding is vital to so many Maine home buyers in todays current economy.  The fact that these funds will expire in conjunction with the termination of the federal tax credit will be a detriment to the real estate and housing markets here in Maine and across the country.  Please consider applying additional funds for Maine’s USDA Rural Development Loans for Single Family Residences and/or extending the federal tax credit for first time and repeat home buyers.  Our economy depends on it.
      Sincerely,
      ____________________

      Feel free to cut/paste information from this blog post as needed.  Please feel free to re-blog this information…send it to your friends, family, real estate agents, mortgage professionals, and anyone else you can think of to help. Please take time yourself to act. I ask that you please spend the very small amount of time to accomplish this request. This affects the real estate industry as a whole.

      When Maine works together, we make a difference.