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Home Buying Center
The dream of homeownership is becoming a reality for more and more Americans. There are plenty of reasons it makes sense to own your own home; it gives you a place to raise your kids, plan your future and is an investment in your community. Homeownership lets you build equity and is the single biggest tax break available to most consumers. The benefits are endless…but where do you begin?

Your home loan toolkit: A step-by-step guide” can help you through this sometimes overwhelming process.

Download “Your home loan toolkit: A step-by-step guide.”  »

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Q. Should I get pre-qualified before looking for a property?
A. You don't have to apply for a loan before looking for a property, but it's a good idea to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a home loan before you find a home to purchase. When you get pre-approved, you know ahead of time how much house you can afford, what you can expect your monthly payment to be and how much money you will need for the down payment and closing costs. Also, many realtors may take your offer more seriously if you have been pre-approved.

Q. How much can I afford?
There are numerous variables to consider when answering this question. You benefit the most by talking with one of Unison’s mortgage loan specialists. They will want to know your gross income and what your debts are to help them get started. Keep in mind that, on average, your mortgage (principal and interest), property taxes and homeowner’s insurance should not exceed 25-30% of your gross monthly income. Your total debts (including mortgage) should not exceed 36-40% of your total gross monthly income.

Q. I have submitted my mortgage application, now what?
A. There are five main steps in the mortgage process:

1. Application
Once the offer has been accepted on the home you are buying and you have properly filled out your mortgage application, you'll receive a Good Faith Estimate and a Truth-In-Lending-Statement which outlines the approximate costs associated with the loan.

2. Application Setup
Shortly after application, we will order a property appraisal from a certified appraiser and a credit report. If necessary, we’ll send out Verifications of Employment to your employer, Verification of Deposits to any other financial institutions and possibly other verification forms as well.

3. Processing
A mortgage loan specialist will review the appraisal, your credit report and look over the verifications. If there are any discrepancies or questions, you'll be asked to provide written explanation. This whole package is then presented for underwriting.

4. Underwriting
This is the point where your loan is either approved or denied. The decision will be based on the appraisal, your credit worthiness and ability to repay the loan. You may be asked to provide more information to help with the decision. After your loan has been approved, your file will be reviewed and prepared for closing.

5. Closing
At the closing, you'll need to bring the original homeowners policy with a paid receipt (as proof of insurance) and a certified check to cover the down payment and closing costs.
Q. How much are closing costs and what is included?
A. Closing costs can vary from lender to lender. Typically costs range from $600 to $1,200. The costs associated with your loan will be itemized in the Good Faith Estimate. Closing costs can (but not always) include the following:
  • Appraisal, title, underwriting, processing and recording fees
  • Tax servicing and assessment
  • Flood certification
  • Settlement