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Mortgage Basics

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Let’s talk about the basics of getting a mortgage.

In-House Lender

The first thing to know about mortgage basics is that Homestead is an in-house lender. That’s a huge advantage to you as the borrower because we do everything in-house, from taking your application to funding your mortgage.

Because we control all parts of the mortgage process, we can close much faster than most lenders. For purchases, we can close in as little as 14 days. For refinances, 30-day closes are normal.


Needed documents
• 30 days’ pay stubs
• 2 years W2s or1099s
• 2 years federal taxes
• 2 months bank statements
• Driver’s license
• For refinances – mortgage statement and HO insurance


Once you have your documentation, it’s easier to fill out your application. Plus, we’ll help you and fill out as much of the information as possible for you. That saves you time.

Credit Pull

We’ll pull the credit of all borrowers. The reports will show current debt, credit history, and scores. Having that information will show us what type of loans would be best.

Type of Loan

Once we have the above data, know your budget, and amount you have for a down payment, we’ll discuss your loan options. We offer Conventional, VA, FHA, USDA, and Jumbo loans.

Loan Terms & Interest

Loans come in fixed and adjustable rates. When interest is low, fixed is best. Terms come in 30, 20,15, and 10-year. Interest rates mainly depend on credit scores and history.

Private Mortgage Insurance

Conventional and FHA loans have private mortgage insurance if you put down less than 20%. That can add a $100 or more per month. VA and USDA loans don’t have mortgage insurance.


The loan is secured by the property. That makes it different from an unsecured personal loan or a credit card. If you don’t pay your mortgage, the bank can take back the property.

Find a House

If you’re refinancing, move on to the next step. Otherwise, you’ll start shopping. Finding a house can take weeks to months. You may put in several offers for one to be accepted.

Insurance & Taxes

We’ll be able to tell you how much your property taxes will be. You’ll need to get an estimate for homeowners’ insurance from your agent. Let us know if you would like a referral.

Loan Estimate

Once you’ve found a home, we’ll give you a loan estimate. You’ll see your mortgage payment amount including, principal, interest, taxes, insurance, any PMI, or homeowner dues.


It’s inspection time. The home inspector will examine the structure and systems of a house, from foundation to roof. Then, the appraiser will estimate the property’s value.


When your file is complete, processing will send it to the underwriting department. If the underwriter has any questions, answer them quickly to keep the process moving along.


Once your loan is approved, we’ll work with you and your realtor to schedule closing your loan. We’ll also give you specific instructions on where to go and what to bring.

Read on to see what our clients say about us.

Doug H. says…

I chose Homestead Financial based on the reviews I saw about them. I was not disappointed! They were very professional, proactive, and very responsive. They never left me wondering where we were at during the process. The people I worked with directly were amazing. I felt like I was always taken care of throughout the entire process, and I was given updates the whole way. I definitely recommend them to anyone who is looking to refinance their home loan!

Sara P. says…

I had a wonderful experience working with Brian Agee. He made the whole process easy and very transparent. He was extremely responsive and always ready to answer questions. He helped us with a cash-out refinance, which allowed us to pay off debt and get into a comfortable financial position. I’m so grateful we worked with Brian and that he helped us reach our goals.