Bernie Campanella

It’s not a big secret that in today’s economy, the lending practices of area banks, mortgage brokers and credit unions seem to change or be under review on a monthly basis. Federal rules and regulations change, local lending practices change, underwriting and appraisal practices are subject to what often seem like arbitrary twists and turns.

Whereas in the past, over 3 years ago, you could call your lender over the phone and get a rough idea what your financial profile looked like and determine “how much house can I afford,” that scenario is far different today.

Credit scores can determine what rate of interest your mortgage will be at. How much equity you ‘think’ you have in your present home and how much you will actually receive after a sale in today’s existing home sales market can vary widely. Lenders have been changing the amount of Down Payment required to qualify for a loan.

All of these circumstances are in addition to the standard qualifying requirements of length of employment, compensation amounts, debt load ratios, mortgage terms and length of mortgage payback in years.

Therefore, in today’s volatile housing finance market it is best advice for a potential home buyer to spend personal appointment time with his/her lender and gain as much knowledge as you can about how much house you can afford, how the qualification process can be affected by current home sale, what role does the appraisal play in loan approval, what are the time restraints on lender communications such as a Pre-Qualification letter or a Pre-Approval letter and how they differ vastly from a formal Mortgage Loan Commitment Letter.

Your Fine line Homes Housing Consultant will need to know from you what your “financing plans” are – remember he or she is there to help you to bring your home building dreams to a happy, joyous and stress-free conclusion. Your meeting with your lender is an important ‘first step.