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  • Tel: (651) 552-3681
    Email: joe@joemetzler.com

  • Congratulations, you've decided to buy a home


    Buying a house can be a daunting process, but our industry expertise can make your dream a reality. We proactively review income and credit details for all our clients: and then find the best path to homeownership possible. Remember the old saying “if there’s a will, there’s a way?” Let us join you on the journey, starting right here by applying online.

    We offer all the most popular home loans, so no need to look elsewhere. Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, USDA Loans, VA Loans, FHA loans, Minnesota Housing Programs for first time home buyers, down payment assistance, Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), condo financing, jumbo financing, and First Time Homebuyer programs, homebuyer tax credits, reverse mortgages, 203K rehab financing, construction financing and investment property financing. We also have resources for home equity loans, second mortgages, and more.

  • Basic Steps to Buy a Home

    Unless you have cash for the full purchase price, the first step in the home buying process is getting Pre-Approved for a mortgage loan. You should first contact a good licensed mortgage loan officer who has the knowledge, experience, and a complete range of mortgage products to assist you - like us! Once the mortgage lender gets you Pre-Approved, then you can meet with a Real Estate Agent to start looking at your dream home.

    Start working with a Real Estate Agent to look at homes

    Make an offer, offer accepted

    Your lender processing the application, gets an appraisal, final underwriting, etc.

    Closing, and enjoy your new home

    I provide home borrowers with an easy to follow, step by step guide (that can be downloaded now FREE) that explains the entire home buying process. From finding a Realtor, financing options, making the offer, and finally closing the deal. I can also show you some tips and tricks on how to roll the closing costs into the loan, saving most people at least $5000 - $7000 of out-of-pocket expenses. I've been doing this for over 20-years, with thousands of happy clients. I really like to add you to that list by giving you a process that is simple, stress free, and with no surprises at closing.

    It is easy to get started, just call me directly at 651-552-3681 to set an office appointment, or to take an application over the phone. You can always apply online at anytime. There are no obligations for us to review an application

  • APPLY FOR A MORTGAGE LOAN

    Applying for a home mortgage loans sounds scary, but actually, it is rather straightforward. There are three basic ways to complete an application:

    • Set up an office appointment. We have appointments from 9:00 AM until 5:30 PM Monday through Friday in our St Paul, MN Office (Click here to schedule an appointment)
    • Apply Online. Using this web site you can apply online (most popular), or download the mortgage application forms and scan of fax them it to us.
    • Over the Phone: Simply call (651) 552-3681. One of our licensed loan experts will take your application in as little as 15-minutes. You can even use our online scheduling link to schedule a return call at a specific time.

    Once we have your full application, we will review it to determine what loan programs you qualify for, how much house you can buy, what you can expect for a monthly housing payment, and how much money you'll need to pull it all together.

    If it all sounds good, we do need to look at all your standard supporting documentation, like W2's, pay stubs, bank statements, and tax returns.  You can drop those off, fax them, or use our secure document upload system.

  • Pre-Approval letter

    New home unpacking

    Once the application and document review is completed, we will issue you a Pre-Approval Letter

    Then you can walk into any Realtor's office with a letter stating that you can close a given deal. This will get the attention of the Realtor, it will get the attention of the seller, and it will mean that you can close quickly. This is very important for properties for which the seller has multiple offers. I have seen my client's offers accepted even though they were $3,000 less that other offers by people approved with big banks and internet lenders because agents prefer your pre-approval be from a local reputable lender like Cambria Mortgage

  • SIMPLE PRE-QUALIFY VERSUS FULL PRE-APPROVAL

    If you are planning on seeing Realtors and potentially making an offer on a home, it is essential that you get "pre-approved". This is very different from "pre-qualify".

    Approval LINGO DIFFERENCES

    Basic Pre-Qualify is when you simply talk with a lender and give them some basic information, BUT NOTHING HAS BEEN VERIFIED.

    Loan Officer Pre-Approval is the most common pre-approval, and is when you complete an application, have credit reviewed, and you've submitted most, if not all of your basic documents. It also means your information has been run through the required AUS (Automated Underwriting System) and the computer has given the initial yes answer.

    Full Underwriter Pre-Approval is all of the Loan Officer pre-approval items have been done, plus when everything has been officially put through the entire credit approval process, and your loan has been approved by an Underwriter. The only things missing are the items that relate to the specific house; purchase agreement, appraisal, and title commitment.

    Get Pre-Approved

  • BASIC MORTGAGE LOAN TERMS AND JARGON TO UNDERSTAND

    You need to understand three basic terms to follow the rest of this:

    1) LOAN-TO-VALUE (or LTV). This is the loan amount as a percentage of the purchase price or appraised value (whichever is less). If you are buying a $150,000 home with $15,000 down payment you have a 90% LTV. Loans over 80% LTV (less than 20% down) typically require PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance).

    2) HOUSING ONLY RATIO This is your total monthly housing expense (principle, interest, tax, insurance, and PMI and homeowners dues, if applicable) divided by your gross monthly income ("gross" = pre-tax income). If you have a "W2" job your income is easy. If you are self employed, commissioned, or get 1099's, note your gross income is what you bring from your Schedule C onto line 12 of your 1040. Also, a 2 year history of consistent self-employment income is necessary.

    3) TOTAL DEBT RATIO This is your total monthly obligations (PITI above) plus your monthly payments of your installment and revolving debt (credit cards, car loans, student loans, etc.). Utility payments (gas, electric, telephone are not counted). Some details here: this would include child support, alimony or separate maintenance.

  • DOWN PAYMENT AND CLOSING COSTS

    Your income, debt ratio, and credit all combine to determine the size loan you can qualify for, and how much cash you will need to pull it all together.

    You need cash to buy a house for three items:


    1) Earnest money. When writing your offer, you will need to include some earnest money. This is sometimes called "good faith" money. Sellers require it because they want you to have some skin in the game, and if they accept your offer, then you back out, they can keep your earnest money for wasting their time. Typical earnest money for most homes is $1,000 minimum.

    2) Down payment - The actual down payment required depends on what program you are using. 5% down typically gets you the best rates and program options. 20% down is usually the minimum required to avoid mortgage insurance. We have great low down payment and no down payment programs too:

    3) Closing costs. When you buy a home, not only do you have a down payment to worry about, but there are also closing costs that are charged by everyone involved in the transaction to close the deal. Everything from from credit reports, appraisal costs, title company fees, state taxes, and lender charges.

    Learn more about how to pay closing costs - Get more detailed examples of real closing costs that you should expect on all mortgages, with all lenders. Also be advised that a lot of mortgage companies are being very sneaky in how they quote your closing costs.

    You need to cover your one time pre-paid items. These include days of interest from the day of closing until the end of that same month, getting your first years home owners insurance policy, and paying pro-rated property taxes on the home you are buying.

    Read "Beware of the Bad Good Faith Estimate" so you don't get taken. (FYI: On VA loans, it is zero down payment. You still have closing costs! Call for details on how you can sometimes buy with no out of pocket expense).

    4) Reserves. Your lender does not want to see a loan application the shows that when you close the deal you will have $5.99 left in the bank They usually want to see 2 months of your full new house payment left over after closing. Some loans even require more. Don't try to minimize this. Make sure that you get together all of the cash necessary to close. (Again, understand that none of this is etched in stone. Its just a general guideline. We have many programs that do not require any reserves. Call for details.)

  • OK, NOW WHAT? Finalizing Your Home Purchase

    With all this application information, the Loan Officer will zero in on the best loan program for you, and discuss the maximum loan amount you can qualify to receive.

    Generally, if you have excellent credit, most people in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and South Dakota you can buy a home with just 3% on a conventional loan, or 3.5% on an FHA loan. Some people can buy with nothing down (VA loans or USDA Loans). As your credit score declines your maximum loan-to-value will decline and your interest rate and minimum down payment go up.

    If your credit is terrible, it is hard, but not necessarily impossible to get  financing. Expect dramatically higher interest rates, and down payments of at least 15%. But, before you think you can't buy a home, visit our bad credit information page to learn what is or isn't available to you today!

    ZERO, or no down payment was all the rage a few years ago, but it too has pretty much disappeared except again for VA loans, and USDA Rural development loans. Although ZERO down may sound good, it is often NOT the best way to go. To get your best interest rates, plan on putting down a minimum of 5% of your own money.

    The best advice I can give young people just thinking about this is to keep absolutely perfect credit. Once you get out of college your credit score is like your SAT was before you got into college. It is the key to opportunity. Remember if your credit is bruised, you probably still qualify for a mortgage. Don't assume you can't buy a house because of a few late payments on a credit card. Each situation is different. Call right now to discuss your personal situation.

    Click here for more information on the actual loan process.
    Click here for 10 Tips to a Smooth Closing
    Click here for 10 Mistakes to Avoid

    Local Service - Nationwide Power

    Eden Prairie, MN based and part of the Cambria Family (yes, the counter top people).

  • Serving all of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and South Dakota, including Minneapolis, St Paul, Eagan, Apple Valley, Burnsville, Savage, Shakopee, Chaska, Eden Prairie, Wayzata, Minnetonka, Plymouth, Edina, Bloomington, St Louis Park, Hopkins, New Hope, Crystal, Golden Valley, Robbinsdale, Maple Grove, Rogers, Anoka, Brooklyn Park, Brooklyn Center, Fridley, Blaine, Roseville, Hugo, Maplewood, White Bear Lake, Oakdale, Woodbury, Stillwater, Hastings, Farmington, West St Paul, Inver Grove Heights, Rosemount, Rochester, Duluth, St Cloud, Marshall, La Crosse, Austin, Owatonna, Kasson, Dodge Center, Zumbrota, Winona, Worthington, Wabasha, Albert Lea, New Ulm, Ely, International Falls, Moorhead, Bemidji, Worthington, Redwood Falls, Alexandria, Fergus Falls, Eau Claire, Madison, Milwaukee, La Crosse, Superior, Green Bay, Huron, Pierre, Aberdeen, Watertown, Brookings, Mitchell, Sioux Falls, Rapid City, and surrounding areas.

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