Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How long will the loan application process take from start to finish?
A. If you are refinancing your home, the average time frame is about 30 days. A home purchase time frame is tied to the closing date set by the seller and the buyer in your Purchase and Sales agreement. We will do our part to make sure your closing takes place on time.
Q. I just had an appraisal done 9 months ago. Why can't I use that for my refinance?
A. Because market conditions constantly change. Lenders will typically accept an appraisal if it is 120 days old or less prior to your closing date. After 120 days, a lender will require a new appraisal to reflect current market value and property condition.
Q. WIll I need an appraisal to refinance my home?
A. A traditional refinance will require an appraisal. However, if your home is underwater and you had a problem in the past refinancing due to lack of equity, we can see if you qualify for HARP FINANCING. H.A.R.P. stands for Home Affordable Refinance Program, a program instituted by the government to help qualified borrowers get record low market interest rates, who wouldn't otherwise qualify.
Q. What are the closing cost?
A. Closing cost include items like appraisal fees, attorney fees, title insurance fees and documentation fees- to name a few. These items are usually different for each customer due to differences in the type of mortgage.
Q. Should I pay my fees out of pocket?
A. If you are refinancing, you can either pay the fees in advance or roll them into the closing costs. For refinance loans only - if you have extra funds, like you would for a down payment on a car, for example, then it makes sense to consider paying them out of pocket as you will have a lower monthly payment. If you don't have the extra funds, it makes sense to roll the fees in. The difference in payment and total cost of the loan is usually nominal. (If you are purchasing, first lien mortgages typically do not permit fees to be included in the loan amount.)
Q. What are points?
A. Points are a one-time fee that a borrower pays to lower the interest rate. One point equals one percent of your loan amount.
Q. What is the difference between interest rate and APR?
A. The interest rate is the cost to borrow the money disbursed in the loan. The APR is the total cost of the loan over its life, including costs, points and fees.
Q. Why should I refinance?
A. There a numerous reasons customers refinance the loans they already have. Some of these are:
- To lower the monthly payment
- To lower the interest rate
- To switch from an adjustable rate to a fixed rate or vice-versa
- To refinance for a higher amount in order to pay off other debts or get cash
- To change the remaining term of the loan
Whatever your needs, we can help you decide what makes the most sense for you.