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----- quick mortgage step summary -----

start with a quick review

step-by-step review

View this quick step-by-step outline of what will be needed to successfully complete and close on your mortgag loan.

Start Your Application with Good Credit:

Your credit report is used by banks and other lending institutions to determine your creditworthiness. The report can be a factor in a lending institution's decision to approve or decline your mortgage application.

You should review your credit report for any errors before submitting your mortgage application.

check your credit report


Stay Within the Range You Can Afford

You need to analyze how much house you can afford (or refi loan you can assume) before blindly submitting an application with too high of a mortgage amount.

Lenders are wary of approving applications that exceed debt ratios.

Use our housing calculator for a quick estimate on how much home you can afford.


Understant the True Cost of a Mortgage

Additional monthly costs such as real estate taxes, hazardous insurance, and other home ownership related fees can add to your total monthly payment and reduce the amount of home your can afford.

Many times buyers ignore these costs when figuring how much of a home. These costs are considered in your capacity ratios that lenders use to approve your mortgage application.

You can find more information about escrow payments


Make Sure You Have the Capacity to Repay

Your capacity to repay the mortgage loan is a key factor that lenders use to qualify you for a mortgage loan. These ratios determine the level of debt you can consume based on the amount of income you have.

Lenders use two debt ratios:

  1. The "housing" ratio
  2. "Debt-to-Income" ratio


How Much Down Payment Do You Need?

Most lenders require at least 20% down payment on your mortgage application. If your home purchase is $100,000, lenders will require you to pay $20,000 of that amount as a down payment and the lender will finance the remaining $80,000 in a mortgage loan.

Some lenders will now finance up to 95% of the home purchase price (meaning that you raise the other 5%). But you will be required to carry Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) in order to qualify.

Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) can add to your total monthly cost. To avoid PMI, you will need at least 20% down.

Your down payment can be in the form of cash or the resale equity value of a prior home.

analyze your down payment position


Don't Forget Closing Costs

Also consider your available funds that will be needed for closing and settlement. Closing costs can average about 3-7% of the purchase price.

We have more information about closing costs


So how much up-front cash will you need to close on your mortgage:

  1. cash for a down payment:
    you need at least 20% of the home purchase price to avoid PMI

  2. cash for closing costs:
    you should estimate about 3-7% of the home purchase price


Let's Add Up the Numbers

This will help figure out what parameters you need to change to fit within your budget and income ratios.

Calculation Notes:

the amount of available cash / equity is the cash you have on hand for your down payment and closing costs. Equity refers to the resale equity value of your existing home if any, that will be available to you once you sell your home.

  • Closing costs is calculated as percentage of the estimated purchase price of the home — this percentage can range between 3-7% depending on your location and number of points.

  • The American Housing Survey shows that the median taxes paid averaged $10 per $1,000 in home value. The property insurance paid averaged $30 per month.

  • You can lookup your property tax assessments by community:

Any percentage LTV that is greater than 80% may require private mortgage insurance, which can add to the total cost of your loan — if your LTV% (calculated below) is greater than 80%, enter 0.005 in the PMI field and recalculate

you can find information about PMI

Estimated Purchase Price of the Home:
Amount of Available Cash / Equity:
Allocated Percentage for Closing Costs:
Enter your home mortgage loan rate (APR): %
Enter the number of months to repay:
Enter the Cost per $1000 for Property Tax:
Enter the Monthly Cost for Insurance:
Enter 0.005 for PMI if LTV% is 81% or more:
Amount Allocated for Closing Cost: $
Amount Available for the Down Payment: $
Mortgage Loan Amount to Borrow: $
Borrowing Percent of LTV%: %
Monthly Mortgage Payment: $
Monthly Taxes:
Monthly Homeowners Insurance:
Monthly PMI:
Total Estimated Monthly Payment: $

* Calculations are based upon the assumptions you entered. Please note that rounding errors can make a small difference in calculations. Your actual lending rate may vary depending on your credit quality and lender. The circumstances surrounding your credit and loan qualifications may result in different calculations.



Loan Pre-Qualification Will Strengthen Your Negotiating Position

Ask at least one lender to pre-qualify you for a mortgage. There is no obligation on you to obtain a loan from that lender, nor does it obligate the lender to provide a mortgage loan.

The lender will analyze your credit position, current income, and outstanding debts to give you a reasonable estimate of your borrowing amount.

You may begin your pre-qualification search through our national network of lenders and brokers: click for the mortgage application


Which Mortgage Loan Type

There are fixed rate loans, adjustable loans, special financing loans, and a number of mortgage loan variations. We have notes on each one of them.

Empower yourself with knowledge to see which one will work for you.

view our summary notes on mortgage loans


Mortgage Rates Change Daily

sample of the average national weekly rates posted daily:



The quoted rate you see may not be the actual rate you receive.

Your actual mortgage rate will be determined by your overall credit score, your credit ratios, your location, and your negotiation skills to shop best rate.

Search rates and view negotiating steps for best rate and term: shop mortgage interest rates


You are Now Ready to Submit Your Application

with the confidence to negotiate best product and terms.

Three important notes:

  1. what information you will need
    to finalize your mortgage application:
    see our notes

  2. download lender comparison sheet
    use this sheet to shop and compare lenders:
    open lender comparison sheet

  3. submit your request to multiple lenders
    (view our lender network)

    use our nationwide network of lenders to negotiate best rate and term: start your mortgage application

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----- end of mortgage step summary -----

What is the Home Worth?

get a home valuation report for:

  1. determine home value
  2. negotiating mortgage loan
  3. estimating refi amounts
  4. stopping PMI
  5. just to know
view your report