STEP 1: Pre-Approval and Mortgage Planning
We start by gathering the essential, basic information needed for pre-approval that you can submit to us by phone, internet, fax, or in person. This information pertains to the type of property you are purchasing, your assets, your income and your liabilities (credit score, credit history and monthly debts). Once your basic information has been gathered, your mortgage advisor will meet with you to discuss your financial goals, especially concerning maximum comfortable monthly payment and the best use of assets. Afterward, you and your advisor will talk about your pre-approval request and if additional documentation is needed (i.e. tax returns, pay stubs, etc.).
STEP 2: The Hunt (This step can be skipped if the transaction is a loan refinancing, as opposed to a new home purchase.)
You’re officially pre-approved for a mortgage. You have a financial plan in place and know what price range to concentrate on for your search and if you need to negotiate with the seller on closing costs. Your realtor needs to know these details too so he or she can focus on the properties that meet your goals and needs. When you find “the home” and are ready to make an offer, it will be time to check back with your mortgage advisor who will prepare an estimated payment to make sure your offer meets the guidelines of your Pre-Approval. It’s also at this time that your mortgage advisor will prepare a pre-approval letter to suit your offer.
STEP 3: The Formal Loan Application
This is where your mortgage professional goes to work. Your offer is accepted and a closing date has been set. Call your mortgage advisor to schedule a time to sign your official loan application. At this time, your mortgage advisor will give you a detailed list of documents you need to bring to your appointment. You will discuss current market interest rates and rate lock strategy. You will meet with your mortgage advisor to review and sign your loan application and to bring in the needed documentation (i.e. pay stubs, W-2’s, bank statements etc.).
*Although it is highly suggested that you make your formal loan application in person, arrangements can be made for the documents to be mailed / couriered to you.
STEP 4: Processing and Underwriting
Over the next two to four weeks, the Waterstone operations team will process and underwrite your loan application. The processing team will order your appraisal, verify employment, work with the title company and request tax transcripts from the IRS. This usually takes one to two weeks. While this is going on, you can collect and submit any missing documentation missing at application. Once everything is received, your Waterstone loan processor will submit your loan for underwriting. Our underwriter will review your application and notify us if any additional documentation, called conditions, is needed. Typically, our underwriters take one to three business days to underwrite a file and a day or two longer to clear conditions. Niche products may take a few days longer. Loans usually have some form of conditions that need to be collected and sent back before they can be signed off by the underwriter. You’ll be notified of any conditions. After all conditions are met and cleared by the underwriter, your loan is “Cleared to Close.”
STEP 5: The Closing
Congratulations! Your loan application is now 100% approved. Our closing department will send your closing package to your title company 48-72 hours prior to your closing date. The title company will be responsible for assembling your final settlement statement, called the HUD-I. Once we and the involved realtors have approved the HUD-I, we will e-mail you a copy and call you to review. It’s at this time you will know how much money exactly is needed for closing. You need to schedule your closing with the title company. At closing, bring two forms of identification along with your cash due in the form of a cashier’s check or wire.