PRMI has helped over 225,000 families with home financing. We help first time home buyers!
Get your California home loan with Carole McCormick
Looking for a California home loan? We get lots of questions about home loans and what’s really involved in financing your home. purchase. Here’s a brief overview to help you understand the home buying process. As always, contact us with any questions you might have. No sales pitch, just helpful answers!
Step 1. Get Prequalified for your home loan
Pre-qualification is the first step to getting a home loan because it streamlines every step that follows.
It helps you:
- Know how much home you can afford before you start looking.
- Obtain a prequalification letter that shows sellers and real estate agents you are a serious, qualified buyer.
During this step, we will help you organize your financial documents (W2s, bank statements, tax returns, paystubs) and complete your loan application. It’s not as hard as you think!
Together we’ll figure out:
- What home loan product best meets your needs. There is more to this than rates!
- How much money you’ll need to buy a home, including down payment and closing cost estimates.
Step 2. Start Your Home Search
If you are like most buyers, you’ve started looking at local homes online to see what’s available.
Now is a good time to start to working with a professional Real Estate Agent. If you don’t already have a Real Estate Agent, we have worked some true Sonoma County experts and would be happy to make some introductions.
Today, most home shoppers preview about 10 homes before making an offer. Your Real Estate Agent can help you navigate this part of the process. Real Estate Agents and Lenders work closely together to ensure that when you find the right home and ensure a smooth home-buying experience for you.
Armed with your prequalification letter, you and your agent will decide how much to offer for the home. You’ll sign a purchase contract subject to any specific conditions (inspections, close date, etc.)
Your offer will be presented to the seller, usually through the seller’s agent. Your offer may be accepted, or sellers “counter-offer” for a higher sale price or different conditions.
You either accept or reject the counter-offer. If you reject it, then your home search begins again. If you accept the counter-offer, we move to Step 4 below.
Loan processing includes:
- Locking your home loan means securing the interest rate your loan will close with.
- Receiving your Loan Estimate and your Initial Disclosures (sometimes called upfront disclosures) to review and sign. You’ll give us the ‘green light’ to proceed.
- Securing homeowner’s insurance for your new property and provide the information to us.
- Handling all contingencies listed in your purchase contract. This will include inspections and the home appraisal.
Also in this stage, we will
- Have a processor in our company prepare your loan for the Underwriter. The processor will contact you during this stage with any questions or requests for information.
- Contact the title company and validate all title/escrow fees
- Provide you with your Initial Disclosures including the Loan Estimate, which is the document that provides your estimated closing costs.
- Place the order for the appraisal on your property which a licensed appraiser will be performing.
- Monitor the purchase contract dates to ensure we are complying with any contingencies set-forth in the contract.
- Work closely with your real estate agent to ensure that we meet the terms of your contract so your loan closes on time.
You’ll pay for your appraisal online via a link we will send you once you have signed your upfront disclosures and decided to proceed.
Note that this is the only upfront fee that we will collect; the rest of your costs can be paid at closing.
Once you have paid for your appraisal, we’ll receive notification that you’ve paid and the appraisal company will keep us informed as to the expected timeline for completion.
As the buyer, you want a non-interested appraiser’s opinion of the property’s market value. The appraisal is key to obtaining your loan because the loan amount is based on the lesser of the appraised value or the amount shown in your purchase contract. To help keep things objective, lenders (me!) are not allowed to communicate directly with appraisers.
We work to get your appraisal ordered as early as possible to keep your loan on track.
To stay on schedule, it’s important for you to respond quickly to any requests from our Processor. He or she works closely with our Underwriter and will let you know the status of your loan and handle any clarifications our Underwriter might need.
We’ll be communicating with you and your Real Estate Agent when we submit your loan to our Underwriter. The Underwriter is the person who approves your loan, and then provides a “Conditional Approval” that includes any items that need to be cleared before we prepare final loan documents.
If there are outstanding documents needed, you’ll be providing those so the Underwriter can remove all conditions from your approval.
You’ll be provided with a Closing Disclosure that shows your final costs, so you’ll know how large a cashier’s check you need to bring to closing. You’ll have three days to review the Closing Disclosure before you are able to sign your final documents. You’ll schedule your closing appointment either at title office or with a mobile notary who comes to you.
In this step we work closely with all parties (you, the agents, title company) to answer questions and obtain any last minute documents so we can move to the finish line.
– Show up at the agreed-upon location (usually the title company) and sign all your loan documents.
– Bring a cashier’s check for the amount specified in the Closing Document.
– Sign documents. The title company will return them to our closing department to confirm everything is in order.
We will fund your loan and the title company will record the transaction with the county where you new home is located. Usually recording happens one day after funding is complete.
Once recorded, you’ll meet your agent and you’ll receive the keys to your new home.
Congratulations, new homeowner!
Sounds complicated? Not to worry, we’re here to answer any questions you may have on youre homebuyer’s journey!