home buyer consultation

Important questions during a home buyer consultation

A lot of people are unsure about the home buying process because they don’t know what to expect. That’s where we come in, we’ll walk you through each step of the home-buying process. To start you’ll need to sit down with an experienced Mortgage Loan Originator or Consultant for a consultation. This consultation is simply for us to get a feel for your situation and for you to get a feel for the process and what we can offer. Our job during a home buying consultation is to ask a few important questions so that we can find the program that suits you best. We’ve laid out what you can expect during a home buyer consultation and how we use the information you provide us to get you home faster and easier!  

What type of loan are you interested in?

The most important question we’ll ask you is what type of loan you’re looking for. At Semper, we handle both purchase loans and refinances. If you’re in the market to buy a new home, a purchase loan is right for you! If you already have a mortgage and are looking to take cash out of your home, or you’re looking to adjust your rate or term, a refinance loan is what you’ll be going for.

When you’re good to go

  • You’re interested in a purchase loan or a standard rate-and-term refinance
 

When we’ll need more info

  • You’re interested in a cash-out refinance
 

Where do you work?

Another important topic is employment. We’ll ask where you work and how long you’ve been there. Whether or not you’re salaried or have income that fluctuates is important too, so don’t leave that part out! We’ll ask these questions to get a feel for what purchase price range you’d be comfortable in, as well as what monthly payments you’d be happiest with. You can bring in documents to show us income like a W2s and IRS tax statements. For a more detailed list of what to bring to a consultation, check out our article on important mortgage documents

When you’re good to go

  • You have 2 or more years under your belt, and the documents to prove it, of steady employment either with the same employer, or in the same field.
 

When we’ll need more info

  • You are self-employed or have irregular income
 

What do you have for savings, assets, and debts?

We’ll ask you how much money you currently have in the bank, as well as the balance of any stocks, bonds, 401(k)s or other investment accounts. We’ll need to know about outstanding debts you may have, including things like auto loans, alimony, or credit card debt. These questions help make sure you’ll be able to comfortably afford your dream home. This helps us evaluate your DTI – or monthly debt-to-income ratio. Having a high DTI (meaning you have a lot of debt compared to your income) can make it harder to afford your monthly mortgage payments and can affect your approval odds. Acceptable DTI may change from program to program, so it’s important for you to let your originator know about any and all of your debts.

When you’re good to go

  • You can show that after closing you’ll still have a decent amount of money in the bank – we look for at least 2 months’ worth of mortgage payments
  • Your debt-to-income ratio is acceptable for the program you’re interested in.
 

When we’ll need more info

  • You would have less than 2 months’ worth of mortgage payments in your account after closing
  • You have a DTI on the higher side
 

Do you have anything saved for a down payment?

A lot of people thing that you must have 20% of the purchase price of a home for a down payment. These days, that’s really not the case! We’ll ask you about anything you have set aside for a down payment to help us find the right program for you. If you do have 20% – great! You could go with a variety of loan programs. If you have less than 20% – no worries. At Semper we offer a lot of programs that require as little as 3.5%. Our HALO down payment assistance program is also really popular and allows qualified borrowers to buy a home with $0 down. If you’re interested in learning more about the HALO program ask your originator if you would qualify! PleSe also let us know where your down payment funds will come from. You can provide bank statements if the down payment will be coming out of a savings account, or letters from the gift-giver if the down payment will be a gift from another person.

When you’re good to go

  • You’re planning on putting a down payment and can show where the money will come from
  • Or, your originator thinks you may be eligible for down payment assistance
 

When we’ll need more info

  • You do not have documents backing up where your down payment would come from
 

Do you have a particular property in mind?

A lot of people come to us before they’ve picked a property so they can get a good idea of what they might be approved for. This helps narrow down budgets and increases the chance an offer will stick! Other times, people come to us after they’ve found a home – and that’s ok too. If you do have a home in mind, we’ll ask you the address and what type of home it is – e.g. condo, duplex, or single family. Whether you’re still looking or you’ve found a home, it’s also important to tell your originator what you plan on doing with the home. Whether you’re planning on living in it as a primary residence, vacation home, or renting it as an investment property, can change what programs you might qualify for.

When you’re good to go

  • It is a single family home that you plan on living in year round
 

When we’ll need more info

  • It’s a condo or duplex
  • You plan on using it as a vacation home
  • You plan on renting out the home to tenants


To wrap it up…

While it may sound like a lot of information to ask on a first chat, it’s important for our originators to get a feel for your situation. You may qualify for programs you didn’t even know existed, or be able to forego private mortgage insurance with another. The best things you can do to prepare for a home loan consultation is to have your documents handy, and to narrow down your home buying plans. This will help make the process as fast and easy as possible. If you find yourself in one of the situations where we’ll need a little more info, don’t sweat, our originators are knowledgeable and experienced. They can almost always find a program to suit their borrower’s needs and will help guide you in the right direction.

Categories: First-time homebuyers, Home Loan Information