Do Pre-Approval Letters Really Mean Anything?

Do Pre-Approval Letters Really Mean Anything?

Minneapolis, MN: When buying a home, everyone will tell you that you need a Pre-Approval Letter, and pretty much no sellers will look at your offer without a Pre-Approval Letter being attached to your offer. But do Pre-Approval letters really mean anything?

The correct answer is yes, no and maybe.

The intent of a pre-approval letter is incredibly valid in the home buying process. It is designed to inform a potential home buyer that their odd’s of final loan approval is strong. For sellers and Real Estate Agents, it tells them the buyer has met with a Loan Officer, who has reviewed their application and documentation, and everything looks good for final approval once they select an actual home.

iMortgageJoe.com Certified Pre-Approval Letter

Pre-Approval is very different from basic Pre-Qualification

Pre-Qualification is always the initial step in the home loan process. The client provides and application, and the lender generally pulls a credit report for review. The client provides an overview of they situation, including jobs, income, assets, and debt. Usually just verbally.

Other than maybe a credit report, little, if any actual supporting documentation is obtained. It is more of a sounds like you should be fine type conversation on certain assumptions.

This is generally adequate for early kicking around the idea of buying a home, and can be done rather quickly on the phone.

Standard Loan Pre-Approval

The more typical standard mortgage loan Pre-Approval starts with the steps of Pre-Qualification, but the Loan Officer also collects and actually reviews your standard supporting documents, like pay stubs, W2’s, bank statements, and tax returns. The Loan Officer will also usually submit the application information through an automated underwriting computer system (AUS) to get a computerized initial loan approval.

This is a huge step above a Pre-Qualification, but is almost always limited to just the Loan Officer’s review. In-experienced Loan Officers, and not reviewing all documents may result in being told your are Pre-Approved, but the application may actually be denied.  It is extremely important to have an experienced Loan Officer who has seen just about everything on your side to eliminate future issues.

This is the most common form of Pre-Approval, and fits well for the vast majority of clients. It can generally be done in a day or two with most lenders.

Full Underwriter Pre-Approval

Full Underwriter mortgage Pre-Approval is when your application and all supporting documentation are reviewed and approved by an Underwriter.  This includes reviewing all your documents, and completing all the job verification, tax return verification, and fraud check that lenders do as part of the approval process that are not done with a standard Pre-Approval.

This is also sometimes known as a full credit approval. It is still not a guarantee of closing, as the lender will need to get an appraisal and review a title company commitment of clean title once you have a successful offer on a home before, but all credit related issues have been cleared.

As this is a full credit approval, this generally can take two weeks or more to complete.

Underwriter Pre-Approval Carries More Weight

Mortgages Unlimited offers both your standard Pre-Approval, and a Full Underwriter Pre-Approval, depending on the clients needs. We call it our process of Underwriter approval a Certified Pre-Approval.

Certified Pre-Approval, Underwriter Pre-Approval

Underwriter Pre-Approval holds more weight, and is more attractive to sellers, especially when looking at multiple offers. Home sellers like it better knowing that more pieces of the approval puzzle have already been reviewed and signed off on by an actual underwriter. It puts your offer on top of any standard Pre-Approval, and especially any basic Pre-Qualification.

This is why we at The Joe Metzler Team at Mortgages Unlimited offer both options. The speed of a basic Pre-Approval Letter, and the Confidence of an Undewrwriter reviewed Certificed  Pre-Approval Letter.

We lend in MN, WI, and SD. To apply directly with me, and find out what type of Pre-Approval is right for you, just go to iMortgageJoe.com, my personal web site, or call me at (651) 552-3681.


Buying a duplex, or multi-family home

Buying a duplex or multi-family home.

Minneapolis, St Paul, MN: From a duplex or multi-family home owner’s perspective, buying a multi-family property can be especially appealing because you can live in one area of the building and collect rent from the tenants living in the other area of the building.

What you’ll find is that a multi family home can actually help both your short term and long term finances. For example, let’s say the mortgage loan on a triplex is $1800 per month, but you can rent out the other two units for $2,200. You’re essentially completely covering the loan, and making $400 to boot. Cool…

Not all properties work out this nicely, but even if you could cover 75% of your mortgage with the other units… how nice is that?

Multi family home

Not only does this save you money on your personal housing expense, but it can also help you build equity much quicker if you choose to make larger payments because of the rent you collect.You get your own home and an investment property all in one.

With an FHA loan, you can buy a duplex, triplex, or 4-unit property with as little as 3.50% down payment.

If you want to buy a true investment property that you will not live in, your required down payment will be a lot larger.

Contact our loan experts at (651) 552-3681, or online at www.MortgagesUnlimited.biz.

There is never any obligation for us to review your situation and options.

Equal Housing Lender. NMLS 225504


Use lender credits to pay closing costs

Minneapolis, MN:  The biggest challenge for most home buyers, especially first time home buyers, is coming up with the required down payment.  While most people understand down payment, they are shocked to learn their are mortgage closing costs. Wose yet, is discovering how much closing costs can add up to.

Mortgage loan closing costs cover many items, including appraisal, credit report, state deed taxes, title company costs, title insurance, lender costs, and more.  Plus you also have something known as pre-paid expenses which need to be paid too, including buying your first years home owners insurance policy, and one time pro-rated property taxes, which are based on when property taxes are due, and what month you close on your new home.

While closing costs and pre-paid items are actually separate, it is very common for people to combine both of them together, and simply say ‘closing costs’.

CLOSING COSTS ARE NOT 3%

I hear it day after day after day, that closing costs are around 3% of the purchase price. This generalized statement couldn’t be more wrong!

Closing costs vary based on many factors, including the homes purchase price, state, property taxes, loan program, and the buyers choice of how to pay for them.

This misinformation comes from the fact that conventional loans only allow for a home buyer to roll into the loan closing costs up to 3% of the purchase price.

Many loan closing costs are based on the loan amount, and the rest are the same regardless of the homes price.  For example, standard loan origination costs are 1%.  So 1% of a $100,000 loan is just $1,000, while a $400,000 loan of course equals $4,000.

Items like the appraisal may be the same for both the $100,000 home or the $400,000 home. While the cost is the same for either house, the $400 appraisal fee is 1% of a $40,000 home, but only 0.10% of the $400,000 home.

Another good example are Title Company charges. Standard Title Company closing fee is usually a flat fee, but the required title insurance varies based on purchase price.

HOW TO PAY FOR CLOSING COSTS

Mathmatically, the best way to pay for your loans closing costs will always be to pay cash out-of-pocket. Realistically, especially for first time home buyers, this makes the amount needed out of reach.

Mortgage loan programs always require you bring your down payment, but closing costs can be rolled into the loan a few different way.

  1. Seller paid closing costs
  2. Lender Credit
  3. Combination of both

I dislike the term ‘Seller paid closing costs’, as many people thing the seller is paying it, and therefore it is free. The reality is that while the purchase agreement says the seller is paying, the person actually paying is the buyer. You are just paying over time.

For example, assume the seller has listed the home for $200,000. You make a full priced offer at $200,000, but your offer also asks the seller to pay the maximum conventional loan allowed closing costs of 3% ($6,000).

If the seller says YES, many people think you got closing costs for free. But think about it.  The seller actually netted just $194,000 in their pocket. So you could have made an offer for $194,000 and paid your own closing costs. The seller got $194,000 either way, but you rolled your closing costs into the loan, opting to pay the costs over time, versus up-front today.

Lender credits is another tool. With lender credits, the lender will increase your loans interest rate in exchange for reducing your out-of-pocket closing costs today.  You can choose a small rate increase with a small lender credit, all the way to absolutely no closing costs whatsoever with a much larger rate increase.

You may also see lender credits employed in a different way too.  For example, many lenders will scream things like ‘no lender fee’, or maybe ‘free appraisal’ if you use them. All they are doing is increasing the interest rate a bit to offset normal costs – but not telling you.

The most common one we see is no loan origination options, which will generally increase a 30-year fixed rate loan by 0.25%.

ARE LENDER CREDITS GOOD OR BAD?

Increasing your loans interest rate never sounds good, but does thing make lender credits bad? Think of them as a financing tool, and your personal situation?  Do you have the cash to pay your own closing costs? Maybe you have the money, but would rather use it to improve the home.  Lenders credits might still be a good choice.

Do you not have the money? Then it may be a matter of using lender credits, or not buying the home at all. In this case, a small amount all the way to complete no closing costs via lender credits may be your sole option.

Click here to apply online

We lend in MN, WI, and SD.  Equal housing lender. NMLS 274132

Lender credits


Mortgages Unlimited named Star Tribune Top 150 Workplace 2018

Maple Grove Minnesota based Mortgages Unlimited is proud to announce that for the 3rd year in a row, they have been named a Star Tribune Top 150 Workplace in Minnesota.

In need of a mortgage loan to purchase or refinance a 1-4 unit residential property, contact our licensed home loan experts by calling (651) 552-3681, or visit our web site at MortgagesUnlimited.biz

Mortgages Unlimited, in business since 1991, is one of Minnesota’s top non-bank Mortgage companies offering a full suite of home loan products, including, but not limited to standard conventional loans, FHA loans, VA loans, USDA rural loans, investment properties, jumbo loans, first time home buyer, down payment assistance, and even bank statement for proof of income loans.

Offices in St Paul, Bloomington, Woodbury, Stillwater, and Maple Grove

Equal Housing Lender, NMLS 225504.


Get Pre-Approved Before You Start Looking

Get Pre-Approved Before You Start Looking for a home

Minneapolis, MN: People often make the mistake of starting a home search without knowing what they actually qualify for. Falling in love with a $400,000 home and finding out you qualify for $200,000 can be heartbreaking. Thinking a loan approval will be easy, only to find out you have issues, or don’t qualify for a program you think you do, is another concern.

Virtually no Realtor will show homes to clients who have not been pre-approved, and virtually no seller will accept any offer without a pre-approval letter for this very reason. Being pre-approved gives both you and the seller comfort that final approval for your loan should be fine.

Pre-approval gives you, your agent, and the sellers confidence in knowing can get a loan, and that you are shopping in the correct price range for your income and payment comfort level.

We recommend getting lender pre-approved about 100 days before you would like to move. For example 100 days before the end of your apartment lease. This give you plenty of time to correct any minor issues that may cause loan approval issues, and plenty of time to find a home without just settling because of time concerns.

Finally, understand there are two levels of pre-approval. The more common one is what is known as Loan Officer pre-approval. This is where only your Loan Officer has reviewed your application information, documents, and credit. Generally this is acceptable in the vast majority of cases, but can be problematic when new or inexperienced Loan Officers make mistakes in their assessment.

Certified Underwriter Pre-Approved from Mortgages Unlimited, Inc
Certified Underwriter Pre-Approved from Mortgages Unlimited, Inc

Mortgages Unlimited goes a step beyond, and also offers full Underwriter Pre-approvals, known as our Certified Pre-Approval. This means your application has been completely reviewed by an actual Underwriter, who has given their blessing on your credit, incomes, etc.  This only leaves us to have to finalize your application on the exact home when you find it (purchase agreement, appraisal, and title review).

Certified Pre-Approval  is significantly better than a basic pre-approval, and gives you a distinct upper hand when negotiating on your dream home – especially if you are in a multiple offer situation.

To become pre-approved for a home loan on properties in Minnesota, Wisconsin, or South Dakota, please fill out our secure online application, or call (651) 552-3681 to apply over the phone, or to schedule an in-office appointment.

Get pre-Approved for your home mortgage loan in Minnesota, Wisconsin, South Dakota
No Obligation to apply, and see what YOU qualify for.

 


MN, WI, and SD Homeowners Urged To Switch To A 15-Year Fixed Mortgage

MN, WI, and SD Homeowners Urged To Switch To A 15-Year Fixed Mortgage

If you still owe on your MN, WI, or SD home, you really need to consider switching to a 15-year fixed. Here at Mortgages Unlimited, many of our Loan Officers, including myself **, have made the switch to 15-year mortgages because we’re obsessed with getting the right mortgage and we know all the advantages 15-year mortgages provide.

Using a sample $200,000 home loan, homeowners with a 15-year mortgage can save over $113,000* over the life of their loan. We also help homeowners lock in historically low rates that will never rise. At Mortgages Unlimited,  it’s all about helping homeowners find a mortgage they can be confident in, and what better mortgage to offer than the one our own Loan Officers, including myself have.

Get A Mortgage Review Today And See How Much You Can Save With A 15-Year Fixed

15-Year Mortgages Help Homeowners Pay Off Their Homes In As Little As Half The Time And Save Up To $113,000 OR MORE In Interest Payments *

The reason for this is pretty simple. To pay off your house, you have to pay off the principal. In a 30-year mortgage your first 10 years of payments go mostly towards paying interest on the loan – meaning for 10 years you aren’t making a lot of headway towards paying down the principal. In a 15-year mortgage you attack the principal you owe on your home and depending on what your current 30-year mortgage rate is you could actually do so for about the same monthly payment. Think about that, homeowners who switch to 15-year mortgages:

1) chop up to 15 years off their mortgages,
2) save up to $113,000* OR MORE in interest payments, and
3) may be able to do so while keeping their monthly mortgage payments pretty much the same, depending on your current loan and interest rate

How To Switch To A 15-Year Fixed?

It is easy. Start by completing an online application, or call our mortgage experts at (651) 552-3681. We’ve streamlined the refinance process and our team of fully licensed Loan Officers can tell you how much you can save by switching to a 15-year fixed. It only takes about five minutes to use the easy online form to get connected to mortgage experts, and our radically simple mortgage experience can help you see very quickly if you’re in the right mortgage or not. It can’t hurt to look. Rates for 15-year fixed mortgages could be on the rise soon so now is the time to check your eligibility.

Probably because the 15-year payment will be a bit higher than your 30-year payment. While true, most people can easily afford it, and take advantage of the huge savings. We also think it’s probably because homeowners don’t realize the crazy amount they pay in interest payments to have a 30-year mortgage. If homeowners knew they’d have to pay up to an extra $113,000* in interest payments to have a 30-year mortgage instead of a 15-year, we’re guessing most homeowners would make the switch. What we do know for sure is that Mortgages Unlimited delivers a simpler mortgage experience, and that we can quickly help homeowners calculate how much they could save by switching to a 15-year fixed.

Apply Online
No Obligation to apply, and see what YOU qualify for.

Start your savings today!

* Savings based on sample $200,000 loan between current 30-yr rates at 4.00% versus 15-yr rates at 3.25%.

Your savings may be much greater or smaller depending on your loan size. Not an offer to enter into an interest rate lock agreement per MN Statute. Not everyone will qualify. Rates subject to qualifications, and can change daily. A full application is required to lock a rate. Equal Housing Lender. NMLS 274132.  ** Joe Metzler


Top 150 Workplaces 2017 – Mortgages Unlimited, Inc

MINNEAPOLIS, June 26, 2017. — Mortgages Unlimited, Inc, a mortgage company based in Maple Grove, MN, has been named one of the Top 150 Workplaces in Minnesota by the Star Tribune.

A complete list of those selected is available at StarTribune.com/topworkplaces2017 and was also published in the Star Tribune Top Workplaces special section on Sunday, June 25.

Mortgages Unlimited was ranked 14th on the small company list, out of a total of seventy companies, and also made the list in 2016, ranking 5th on the small company list.

Top 150 Workplace 2017 - Star Tribune - Mortgages Unlimited

As a private, locally owned mortgage company serving Minnesota, Wisconsin, and South Dakota, Mortgages Unlimited is amongst the region’s most trusted Mortgage Companies receiving multiple company and customer satisfaction awards over the years, along with having multiple award winning Loan Officers.

Mortgages Unlimited is also among the region’s most experienced mortgage lenders closing over $5 billion in residential mortgages transactions for our over 50,000+ satisfied customers since our inception in 1991.

Top Workplaces recognizes the most progressive companies in Minnesota based on employee opinions measuring engagement, organizational health and satisfaction. The analysis included responses from over 69,000 employees at Minnesota public, private and nonprofit organizations.

Mortgages Unlimited

Mortgages Unlimited has offices in Maple Grove, St Paul, Eagan, Woodbury, Stillwater, Elk River, Bloomington, Otsego, and Rice Lake, WI.  During 2017, Mortgages Unlimited will also offer home loans in Arizona, and Florida to serve the 2nd home market of our midwest clients.

To apply for a home loan with Mortgages Unlimited, call (651) 552-3681, or visit us online at www.MortgagesUnlimited.biz

 


Minneapolis Down Payment Assistance

Minneapolis Down Payment Assistance

Own Your own Home!

The City of Minneapolis, in partnership with Minnesota Housing,  the Minnesota Homeownership Center, and Mortgage lenders like us here at Mortgages Unlimited are getting together to provide access to down payment assistance, quality, affordable mortgages and free, non-biased housing experts that can help you become a successful home owner!

Maybe you’ve thought homeownership wasn’t possible, or you didn’t know where to start. Maybe you thought your credit wasn’t good enough or you haven’t saved enough for a down payment. We can help!

Down Payment Assistance – Homeownership Opportunity Minneapolis

The City of Minneapolis wants to make affordable homeownership a reality for you. The City is providing up to $7,500 to qualified buyers to cover down payment and closing costs when purchasing a home anywhere within Minneapolis city limits. To qualify for this program, you must meet the following income eligibility requirements:

  • Homebuyers with household income up to 115% of the area median income (currently $99,500) are eligible for up to $5,000
  • Homebuyers with household income up to 80% of the area median income (currently $69,280) are eligible for up to $7,500.

Quality, Affordable Mortgages

Minnesota Housing, the State’s Housing Finance Agency, offers mortgage loans for first-time homebuyers with affordable interest rates. Our Minnesota Housing loans work seamlessly with down payment assistance products like those offered by the City of Minneapolis.

How To Get Started

Your first step is to apply for the mortgage loan itself. Your Mortgages Unlimited Loan Officer will review the application, your credit, etc.  They will discuss with you if you qualify, how much house you can afford, what the payments might look like, and what assistance you may qualify to receive. Click HERE to apply online (easiest) or call (651) 552-3681.

If that all looks good, you will need to submit standard loan documentation, which includes photo id, last two pay stubs, last two bank statements, and the last three years of W2’s and federal tax returns.

If that still looks good, you will be issued a Pre-Approval Letter, put in touch with a high quality Real estate Agent agent, and sent out to find your dream home.

In between the initial approval and closing on your new home, you will need to take the homebuyer education class listed next.

You do not have to have perfect credit, but you can NOT have BAD credit. All applicants must have a middle credit score of at least 640.  Next, while you are receiving assistance, you can’t buy a home with no money.  You must have at least $1,000 of your own money to put into buying the home.

Homebuyer Education

If you are a first time home buyer, this program from the City of Minneapolis, just like all first time home buyer programs requires all first time homebuyers to attend home buyer education.

There are two options:  Attend a physical 8-hour class (Home Stretch) or take an online class (Framework Classes). Click the links below for more information of the required training.

Sign up for HOME STRETCH: In-person workshop  Your first time homebuyer class can be taken in person in multiple locations throughout the state. The cost of this class is typically $25.

Sign up for FRAMEWORK: Online Education An online homebuyer education class can be started and stopped, and finished at your leisure. The cost of this training is $75. Most people take the online training.

When Your Class Is Completed: Print your Certificate of Completion and give  a copy to your Loan Officer

More Information

Contact:

Joe Metzler, Senior Loan Officer. NMLS 274132

(651) 552-3681

www.MNHomesAndLoans.com

 


Top 100 Loan Officer 2015

Minneapolis, MN: Maple Grove, MN based Mortgages Unlimited’s Loan Officer Joe Metzler, out of their St. Paul, MN Office, has been recognized as one of the Top 100 Loan Officers in the Nation by Origination News, coming in at number 98. Read the list at http://tinyurl.com/ljqqkbj

Top Loan Officers 2015This is another is an ongoing set of accomplishments for Mr. Metzler, as he was also recently named the Minnesota Mortgage Associations 2014 Loan Officer of the Year.  Joe Metzler has been a top producing Loan Officer for Mortgages Unlimited since 2000, and has over 20-years industry experience.  Joe has received other awards in recent years in recognition of his outstanding service and dedication to the mortgage industry, including:
  • 2011 – Top 40 Most Influential Mortgage Professions to Watch (NMPM)
  • 2010 – Top 150 Loan Officers in the Nation by Dollar Volume (Origination News)

Joe Metzler is a certified MMS (Minnesota Mortgage Specialist). Less than 1% of Mortgage Loan Officers in Minnesota have completed the requirements to earn this designation. This is just one of many ways that shows Joe’s dedication to his career.  His track record is exceptional by any standard. He believes in doing the job right the first time and providing a service you can depend on.

If you’d like to have Joe as your Loan Officer, he is licensed in MN, WI, and SD. He can be reached at (651) 552-3681, or you can apply on his web site, iMortgageJoe.com.


2014 Minnesota Loan Officer of the Year

Minneapolis, MN: Maple Grove, MN based Mortgages Unlimited’s Loan Officer Joe Metzler, out of their St. Paul, MN Office, was awarded 2014 Minnesota Mortgage Association’s Loan Officer of the Year.

MN 2014 Mortgage Loan Officer of the YearHe was presented with the award at the MMA Annual Holiday Event on December 9th, 2014.

This is a huge accomplishment for both Joe, as there are over 100 companies included in the MN Mortgage Association.  Joe Metzler has been a top producing Loan Officer for Mortgages Unlimited since 2000, and has over 20-years industry experience.  Joe has received other awards in recent years in recognition of his outstanding service and dedication to the mortgage industry, including:

  • 2011 – Top 40 Most Influential Mortgage Professions to Watch
  • 2010 – Top 150 Loan Officers in the Nation by Dollar Volume

He is a certified MMS (Minnesota Mortgage Specialist). Less than 1% of Mortgage Loan Officers in Minnesota have completed the requirements to earn this designation. This is just one of many ways that shows Joe’s dedication to his career.  His track record is exceptional by any standard. He believes in doing the job right the first time and providing a service you can depend on.

If you’d like to have Joe as your Loan Officer, he is licensed in MN, WI, and SD. He can be reached at (651) 552-3681, or you can apply oh his web sites www.Joemetzler.comor iMortgageJoe.com

 


Technology for Realtors – Are you being left behind?

Are you an old dinosaur Realtor, or do you use all of today’s advanced technology? Watch today’s video, then get you own free gift of technology for your iPhone, Blackberry, or Android phone from Joe Metzler at Mortgages Unlimited.