Understanding the Mortgage Process

From getting your finances organized to move-in day, explore each step of the mortgage process.

Father and son looking at computer.

There are a lot of moving parts when it comes to mortgages, but if you divide this process into a few simple steps it becomes a lot easier to understand.

  1. Organizing Your Finances & Getting Preapproved
    This is your pre-mortgage step: Reviewing your credit history, saving for a down payment, deciding your price range, and organizing all your paperwork (e.g., tax returns, account statements, paystubs).

    When you’re ready, this is also the step where you work with a lender to decide which type of mortgage is right for you, and you fill out an application with the lender to get preapproved. Once you’re preapproved, you can confidently shop for houses knowing you have the support of your lender.

  2. House Shopping & Making an Offer
    Work with your real estate agent to find your home. When you’re ready to make an offer, your agent will negotiate on your behalf and organize all the paperwork. Once both parties have agreed on the purchase, you’re ready for the next step.

  3. Processing & Underwriting
    Once your offer has been accepted, your lender will review and verify all the information and check all the boxes in the loan process. As your application is processed, you may need to provide additional documentation if more information is needed. Your lender will keep you updated as this step proceeds.

    The underwriter will evaluate the details to determine the risk of offering the mortgage to you. They will make the final decision whether the mortgage is approved, generally based on the mortgage amount, your credit history and your capacity for repayment.

  4. Closing
    Once the processing and underwriting are completed, it’s time to prepare for closing. You’ll have a final walk-through of the property and then finalize paperwork, provide the down payment and pay any closing costs.

  5. Moving In
    The best part of the process! Once you’ve completed closing, the property is yours and your homeowner journey can truly begin.

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