Mortgage Process Explained for Buyers

Mortgage Process from A to Z

Are you a first time homebuyer or been a while since you last purchased a home?  Then, we have prepared a comprehensive summary of what to expect from prequalification to closing.  Therefore, we describe each step of the mortgage process so that you know what to expect.  Our process divides into 3 major segments called Gather, Process, and Move-In.  In addition to reading the list, check out the more detailed explanations, as well as relevant article links.

Mortgage Process Comprehensive List


  • Initial discussion of buyer goals and scenario
  • Completing loan pre-application & pull credit report
  • Loan Pre-Approval
  • Provide detailed list of items needed to…

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Gift Funds, When is a Gift a Gift according to FHA?

Gift Funds Guidelines for FHA Loans

Gift funds are a very popular way of paying a down payment or for paying closing costs & pre-paids when purchasing a home.  On most mortgage loan programs, a gift is an acceptable source of funds as long as they are:

  1. Truly a gift and there is no expected or implied repayment back to the donor,
  2. The gift is fully sourced and documented, AND
  3. The gift is from an allowable source.  A buyer can actually purchase a home with none of their own money as it can all be a gift.Gift funds for fha purchase

Acceptable Sources for Gift Funds on FHA Mortgages:

  • Family member:  FHA defines a family member, regardless of actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity,…

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Which Mortgage Lender Can Make or Break a Purchase

Which Mortgage Lender?  It is That Important!

As we always say, the mortgage lending process comes down to Communication and Execution.  There are actually more specific factors to determine which mortgage lender.  But, in our opinion, the basics come down to these two key factors.  Too many lenders fail in these areas, so obviously this is a common realtor & buyer complaint.  Although our process is built to provide communication, unbelievable service throughout, great products & rates, and an efficient process.  So let’s discuss the keys to choosing which mortgage lender & why we are that lender.

Keys to a Successful Closing – Use to Determine Which Mortgage Lender to Represent Your…

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FHA Approved Condos Search

In order to purchase a condo with an FHA loan, the complex must be approved.  FHA approved condos combine simple living with affordable financing.  But in order to use FHA, the complex must be on the FHA Approved Condos website.

Directions for Searching for FHA Approved Condos:

Follow these steps to find FHA approved condos quickly.  The site is a picky one, so make sure you try several ways

FHA approved condos search online

When using FHA to purchase a condo, you must search for approved condos first

  • Click here FHA Approved Condo Search
  • Choose to search by state or city & state
  • Best not to type the name of the condo complex
  • Try searching different ways because often a condo will not show in a particular city.  Yet it will show…

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Veterans, How to get Your VA Award Letter for Your Mortgage

VA Award Letter to Document Your Income

Initially, when you purchase or refinance a home, mortgage lenders will require documentation of your income.  So, if you receive VA disability or retirement income, VA loans require a current VA Award Letter.  Furthermore, this will provide the exact amount of your VA income and the level of disability.  Additionally, the VA Award Letter will be used to calculate debt ratios and residual income.  Many Veterans are not sure how to get their Award Letter, so we have provided the easiest way below.

Steps to Get Your VA Award Letter Online

  • Go to the VA e-benefits page for letters by clicking here
  • Login using your VA login credentials…

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Buying Your First Home? Starting 10/17/16 we have $15,000 in Down Payment Assistance Available!

$15,000 Down Payment Assistance (DPA) – Wow! Close to FREE Money!  Beginning 10/17/16!

First time buyers in Cabarrus, Cumberland, Guilford, Johnston, or Mecklenburg Counties have a great opportunity.  These buyers may be eligible for the $15,000 down payment assistance program ($15,000 DPA funds).  In addition, this program offers 0% interest and has no required payments.  But guess what???  It is FULLY FORGIVEN AFTER 5 ONLY YEARS!

Most of the time something like this is too good to be true.  In this case, it is True!  Last year this program was available to the first 1,000 loans.  But, this time the $15,000 DPA will be available to the first…

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Have you ever thought, "I can't seem to find exactly what I'm looking for!"

Then the Custom Home Building Route might be right for you. Custom Home Building affords the buyer certain advantages not available in the typical home buying process. Consider these advantages:

1. The Buyer's Home can be Built to their Specific Tastes. In general, when buyers are deciding between Tract Homes and Custom Built Homes, some buyers will gravitate toward Custom Built Homes. Unlike Custom Builds, Tract Homes are built with very little variation and are designed to fit into a "built-in community" feel. 

2. The Buyer has the Ability to Choose the Location of their Home. You can choose everything, from your desired community down to the street and lot you'd…

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Top 5 Things to Consider When Buying a Home

Buying a home can be a daunting process. Don't get overwhelmed, Check out these helpful tips:

  1. Visit the Home at Different Times of Day- The best way to see what it would be like to live a particular neighborhood is to ride through the area at different times of day. This will allow you to see how quiet or how busy the area truly is.
  2. Look at the Crime Report- Most local police offices can provide you with the crime statistics, but there are also many online resources you can use. The website: This site allows you to search by zip code. 
  3. Test Your Commute- Nothing can negatively affect the joy you'll receive from a property more than a long commute time. Weekend…

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Military Family Realty Patriot Program Offers Huge Savings

Military Veterans can receive big discounts off closing costs and even pay off bills by using the Military Family Realty Patriot Program.  Team Move Mortgage and Only Way Realty Carolina have joined to provide this wonderful program that saves Veterans money.  This product is available throughout NC and the surrounding areas. As a result, Veterans, Service Members, and surviving spouses have a better way to buy a home!

The Military Family Realty Patriot Program combines the benefits of a VA home loan with additional savings and credits of up to $1,000 with Military Family Realty, LLC as well as a 1% lender credit from Team Move Mortgage.  So check out this chart for details.

These credits…

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Homebuyer Series: “I Want to Buy a Home-In a Year or Less” No to Low Down Payment Financing Options

Homebuyer Series: Understanding no to low down payment options


No to Low Down Payment Options

In this series, we are providing tips to avoid the Most Common Roadblocks to Home Ownership.  So far in previous weeks, we have discussed how to solve 1) limited or bad credit, 2) no down payment, 3) not having a budget, 4) documenting rent history, 5) not understanding a Buyer’s Agent role.  Today, we are discussing Roadblock # 6:  Understanding the no to low down payment options. 

Many say, “I have heard of FHA, but that is about it for mortgage loan knowledge”.  A lot of buyers misunderstand mortgage requirements.  Often buyers believe the options require perfect credit, 20% down, or an FHA loan. …

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