Plano HomeSo you’ve been pre-approved for a Plano Home mortgage – great! You’ve taken the first step toward becoming a Plano Homeowner. But before you start picking out china patterns, you’ll want to keep in mind that a pre-approval isn’t the same thing as a mortgage agreement. There’s still no guarantee that you’ll actually get a mortgage.

But why would a lender deny a mortgage after pre-approving a borrower? Here’s what you need to know.

Sudden Changes In Income Or Employment HistoryPlano Home Loan

A number of mortgages will require borrowers to have consistent employment for a certain length of time. If you apply for an FHA mortgage, for instance, you’ll be obligated to have an employment history dating back at least two years. Any gaps in your employment history will require a written explanation that your underwriter will need to approve.

If you switch career fields while in the process of buying a home and it has a significant impact on your income, your lender may deny your mortgage.

Credit Mismanagement After Pre-Approval

Lenders like to see consistency – so if your credit score suddenly drops after you’ve been pre-approved for a mortgage, it sends up a red flag. Even something as minor as a late payment on a cell phone bill could affect your credit score just enough to cause your lender to deny you. Pay extra attention to your bills throughout the home buying process, and make sure nothing slips past you.

Plano Real EstateTaking On More Debt In The Interim

A number of buyers will take on more debt after they’ve been pre-approved for a mortgage. Although it may be tempting to get a new car to go with your new house, getting a car loan will change your debt-to-income ratio and cause your lender to think twice about how responsible you are. If you’re in the process of buying a home, hold off on any other major purchases until after the deal has closed.

An Unsatisfactory Bank Appraisal

Sometimes, your mortgage can be denied for reasons that have nothing to do with you. Some lenders will only Plano Real Estateissue a mortgage if the property value of the house in question is appraised above a certain level. Others will deny a mortgage if the home requires roof repairs, electrical work, or a new heating system.

You’ll want to check with your lender to see what home conditions could be cause for denying your mortgage application.

Getting approved for a mortgage is a convoluted process at best, but a mortgage advisor can help you to navigate the approval process with ease. Contact Warren Whitaker at 972.523.8353 or Warren@Lendhome.comyour local mortgage professional for more information and for more tips on how to ensure you get approved.

Plano real estatePurchasing a home is often considered an important step in one’s financial life, no matter what point you arrive at it, but there are things you should know about financing your home purchase before stepping into the fray. If you’re planning on buying a home soon and want to avoid some major missteps, here are a few tips that will set you up for success.

Taking The Lender You’re Offered

In the event that you’ve been pre-qualified for a certain amount, you’ll want to find a lender that will make the process towards a home purchase a little bit smoother. Instead of going with the first option that’s offered, do some research and come up with a shortlist of potential lenders that have good reviews and have been around the industry for a significant amount of time. The process will be a lot more comfortable if there’s someone on your side you know you can trust.

Keeping Your Credit History In The Darkplano home loans

Without a doubt, the lender will be looking at your financial history in order to determine the amount of financing you will receive, but it’s still important to be prepared on your end so that you know what to expect. Start by acquiring your credit report so that you can correct any inaccuracies on it and be prepared for what this score will say about your financial viability. When it comes to the financing you’ll need down the road, the right information on your credit report will make a difference in the end result.

Plano home real estateForgetting About The Loan Officer

If you’ve already established who your lender will be, it’s still important to meet with the person who will be handling your loan and make sure they’re someone you can trust. Ensure that you are aware of their qualifications and that they have enough previous experience in their back pocket to provide you with insights that may come in handy. While having a reliable lender is certainly a good start, the right individual to handle your loan will be someone who is licensed and involved with a local, professional mortgage association.

All of the things involved with mortgage financing can be quite complicated, but by finding the right lender and preparing yourself for the tough financial questions, it can be a much easier experience. If you’re starting to consider your options for a home purchase, you may want to contact Warren Whitaker at 972.523.8353 or, one of our local mortgage professionals for more information.

Plano mortgageThe mortgage process is a long and complicated one, with a number of similar-sounding terms that can easily confuse potential Plano homebuyers. A pre-approval is not the same thing as a pre-qualification, and it’s important to understand everything that goes into a pre-approval. Being declined during the pre-approval process means you’ll have a hard time getting the funds you need to buy your home, so it’s important that you know what the process is going to look like before going into it.

How does a pre-approval work, and how can you make sure you won’t be declined? Here’s what you need to know.

What Is A Mortgage Pre-Approval?

A mortgage pre-approval is a step that happens somewhere near the start of the home buying process. Being pre-approved means you have a preliminarytax3 loan commitment from a mortgage lender. Pre-approval isn’t necessarily a guarantee that you’ll get a mortgage, but rather, a statement that if all goes according to plan, your lender will most likely issue a mortgage to you.

Pre-approvals can make the mortgage process shorter and easier, but they’re not legally binding. If you later find a better mortgage through another lender, you don’t have to take out a mortgage through the lender that pre-approved you.

What Do You Need To Be Pre-Approved?

In order to be pre-approved, your lender will need to evaluate your finances and your ability to pay for your mortgage. You’ll want to meet with your lender and provide them with bank and creditor documents that clearly show your income, your assets, and your debts. You can expect your lender to run a credit check on you, review your bank statements, paystubs, and tax returns.

If you meet your lender’s criteria, you’ll receive a pre-approval letter that states what size of a mortgage your lender is willing to give you.

Plano real estateRed Flags: Sure Signs That You’re Destined To Be Declined

You can be declined for a mortgage pre-approval for any number of reasons. If you have a poor credit score, a high debt-to-income ratio, or a low or unstable income, you likely won’t meet the lender’s minimum borrower requirements – and you’ll be declined. To avoid being declined for a pre-approval, you’ll want to ensure you always pay your bills on time, negotiate with your creditors to pay off your debts, or boost your income.

A mortgage pre-approval can help you to narrow your home search and access a mortgage loan. That’s why it’s important to ensure you don’t get declined during the pre-approval. Contact Warren Whitaker at 972.523.8353 or to learn more about the pre-approval process.

The maximum FHA loan amount for the Plano,TX, Dallas-Ft. Worth area has increased from $310,500 to $334,650 for 1-family homes effective January 1, 2016.


CLICK HERE to read HUD’s announcement.

The minimum down payment for a FHA loan remains the same at 3.5%.  In the Dallas – Ft. Worth area the maximum sales price with minimum down payment is $346,787.  FHA mortgage insurance, both upfront premium and monthly, remain the same.

FHA is usually used primarily by first-time home buyers since credit score requirements are less than the 660+ required for Conventional mortgages. One of the main attractions for FHA is that FHA allows documented gift funds for the down payment and closing costs from a family members or a Down Payment Assistance Program.Plano Mortgage Plano Loan

FHA is also popular for borrowers whose credit score is less than 660 since it is difficult/impossible for borrowers to obtain conventional mortgage insurance with minimum down payment and lower credit scores. Highlands Residential Mortgage FHA underwriting guidelines allow a minimum credit score of 620 and can allow scores down to 600 with extenuating circumstances.


FHA financing has fallen out of favor recently due to the increase in mortgage insurance rates.  The increase in mortgage insurance rates is due in part to the economic down-turn of the past 6 years.  Many times, the borrower is paying $100 more per month or more in mortgage insurance when compared to a similar conventional loan.  A lot of customers, with credit scores of 660 or better are now considering the option a conventional loan with a 3% down payment and using a Down Payment Assistance Program.  Generally the total out-of-pocket costs is the same, when compared to FHA, but the monthly payment can be significantly lower.  For more information about your particular situation, please call your Plano Mortgage Guy, Warren Whitaker @ 972.523.8353.

Plano Home LoansTake a look at this short video on what affects your monthly mortgage payment ~ the amount of the down payment the size of the mortgage loan, the interest rate, the length of the repayment term, and payment schedule will all affect the size of your mortgage payment. In bullets:

  • Down payment

  • Loan size

  • Interest rate – fixed or adjustable

  • Repayment term – how long

  • Payment schedule – how often

all affect the size of your payment.

Plano Home LoansOk, it’s here…TRID…hate it or hate it…it’s here and we all have to adjust to a new way of disclosing loan applications and closings…I mean…consummations.

So what can Real Estate Agents do to help hit milestones and keep the consummation date realistic and on-time?  Try this:

  1. Provide complete executed contract with all amendments, along with a copy of the buyers earnest money, to both lender and title company.
  2. In Texas, at time of contract, Buyers Real Estate Agent and buyer to complete the TAR form 2516 (Authorization to Furnish TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures) to lender & title company so Lender can copy Real Estate Agents on LE/CD.
  3. Buyers Real Estate Agent to reinforce with buyer the importance of quickly e-signing all Plano home loanlender docs throughout the process – The Time Clock Starts from date of acknowledgement for both the LE and CD…did you get that?  The clock starts from time of BUYERS ACKNOWLEDGEMENT, not when the lender sends.
  4. Listing/Sellers Agent and Buyers Agents should provide CDA to both lender and title company at least 10 days in advance. (The commissions must be listed on the LE/CD.)
  5. When applicable, let your loan officer know of any changes along the way….(credits to buyers that will be given, sales price changes, etc.)

Plano HomesHighlands Residential Mortgage is approaching TRID with the same “make-sense” philosophies you have come to expect from us.  We do not intend to use TRID as an excuse to delay closings.  However, we do need help from the agent, the title company, and the buyer to ensure a smooth and timely transaction.  Working together, we will succeed at the highest level together!  For more information, please contact Warren Whitaker, Senior Mortgage Loan Officer, NMLS#620924, at 972.523.8353 or

Plano home real estateIf you’re in the market for a Plano, Texas home, you’re probably trying to budget for all of the expenses that come with a home purchase. After all, the asking price isn’t necessarily the entire amount that you’ll pay – there are other expenses that will factor in to the final price. One such expense is your closing costs.

Closing costs are the reals estate related transaction fees you’ll pay when you sign the deal to buy your home. But how much do you need to save up for closing costs? Here’s what you need to know.

The General Guideline for What to ExpectPlano home real estate

Most mortgage advisors will tell you that you should expect to pay about 3 to 5 percent of your mortgage in closing costs. By law, your mortgage provider is obligated to give you a Loan Estimate or LE (this replaces the old Good Faith Estimate) of what your closing costs and total cash for closing will be. Some lenders, prior to October 3rd, 2015, deliberately low-balled the estimate in order to have you sign the mortgage papers, only for you to discover that the actual expenses are much higher.  Today, with the new Truth-in-Lending-Act(TILA) / Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act(RESPA) Integrated Disclosures – that’s a mouthful for saying the new acronym, TRID – Lenders are BOUND to the penny for the estimates provided on the Loan Estimate.  And that’s a good thing – in case you are puzzled.  If the lender low-balls and the actual costs are higher, the lender will pay the difference, not the buyer.

How Your Closing Costs Break Down

You’ll want to get LE’s from several different lenders and compare the costs before signing a mortgage agreement. Your lender will give you a breakdown of costs in your LE. But in general, there are certain closing costs you can expect to pay.

Plano home real estateOne cost that some lenders include is the loan origination fee, a small charge to compensate the lender for the time it takes to prepare the initial loan documents. Sometimes these fees can be called Processing, Underwriting, Closing, Admin, etc. This fee typically runs, in the Plano, TX market between $1100 to $1500. Many times these fees can be offset by an interest rate premium that will lower the borrowers out of pocket costs.There is also appraisal and credit report fees that can range from $450 – $750.

You’ll be expected to pay your attorney fees as well as the lender’s attorney fees. Your lender may require you to get private mortgage insurance, if you put down less than 20%. The title search and title Plano home real estateinsurance to protect your lender from title fraud will depend on you sales price (typically 1%).

There are also several other closing costs to keep in mind, like escrow fees, notary fees, pest inspections.

Closing costs can be quite expensive, which is why you’ll want to make sure you budget appropriately when you buy your new home. Warren Whitaker, your mortgage professional, can help you to figure out how much you need to budget for closing costs. Call Warren today to learn more about budgeting for the home buying process @ 972.523.8353.

Plano homesIt’s amazing that in a year with extremely low mortgage rates being reported around the country, closing costs are up by as much as 6% from the previous year. Part of the reason for this is that the new Dodd-Frank lending regulations on loans have increased the costs compliance for lenders, and they always find a way to pass on new costs to the consumer – are you really surprised by this?

Understanding Third-Party Closing Costs

When closing on a Plano mortgage the borrower will notice a long list of additional fees that they are expected to pay for. These can range from insignificant into the thousands of dollars depending on the state and the deal. When looking at these fees you will notice that some are third-party fees.

This is not out of the ordinary and you are not being taken advantage of. These costs are for services rendered by outside companies at the request of theplano mortgage mortgage lender to make sure everything is in order with the property.  Third party vendors are typically – Appraisal, Flood Certificate, Tax Certifications, Credit Report.

Closing Costs You Can Expect To Pay

Anybody going through the mortgage process for the first time should expect to see several odd sounding terms on the bill. The first is ‘origination’ or ‘processing’ which is the primary fee the lender charges for creating the mortgage.

Other fees include discount points, flood certification, title insurance, credit report and appraisal. These are all necessary for buying a home and should be expected to appear when closing.

Plano real estateThe Trick Behind Zero-Closing Cost Mortgages

With closing fees adding up it may seem like a good idea to opt for a mortgage that has absolutely no closing costs if it’s offered. While no money will be required up front, it adds up in the long run.

This is because the lender is making a deal. They agree to pay all the closing costs for the borrower in exchange for a slightly higher interest rate, which will pay out for them over the course of the mortgage.

The amount you can expect to pay really depends on the cost of living and real estate market where you’re buying. A mortgage specialist will be able to talk to you in advance of applying for your mortgage to give you a better idea of what you are looking at paying for closing costs. Contact Warern Whitaker at 972.523.8353 today for more information on why you have to pay closing fees and the amount you should be budgeting for.

PLano Home LoansSavvy Plano home buyers who are preparing to make a real estate purchase should do their research and understand that they need to save money for not only the down payment, but the closing costs as well. The closing costs can account for as much as 1 to 3 percent of the sales price in some cases, so this can be a rather sizable amount of money. Some home buyers however, may not realize that the amount of closing costs can vary considerably based on the home that is purchased. With a closer look at why this is, home buyers can make a more educated decision when selecting a home to purchase.

Prepaid Taxes And InsurancePlano home loans

One of the most significant closing costs relates to prepaid taxes and insurance, and both of these expenses are directly tied to the location and value of the property. Consider that the property tax rate can vary based on the city, county, and state. Home insurance can also vary based on the type of construction of the home, if the home is located in a flood plain, and other factors. These are only a few examples of how the location and property type can impact these fees, and home buyers should consider the costs assoicated with the tax rates and insurance when selecting a property to purchase.

Third Party Reports

There are several third party reports that are commonly paid for at closing, and these include an appraisal, credit report, survey, pest inspection. The third party reports may vary in cost based on the size of the home, the amount of land that is being purchased, and even the condition of the property. Those who want to keep their closing costs lower may consider learning more about how these fees are calculated up-front before finalizing their plans to buy a specific home.

Plano Mortgage LoansTitle Insurance Fees

Title insurance fees are another typically sizable expense for home buyers, and this insurance offers protection to the lender if the title is not clean. Title insurance can increase based on the size of the property as well as different factors that are revealed with a title search. This information can be difficult to learn with an initial home search, but home buyers should be aware that title defects can increase closing costs.

The location, size, age and construction of a property all impact the closing costs. Those who are shopping for real estate may be inclined to make a decision that keeps closing costs down, and they can reach out to their knowledgeable mortgage professional for more assistance with their particular situation.


Plano Home Real Estate MortgageAs a first-time home buyer, you may actively be seeking out information about your upcoming purchase. Buying a home is a huge financial move to make, and it can impact your financial situation and even your lifestyle for many years to come. While it is important to learn more about what to look for in a home, it is also important to learn about mistakes Plano home buyers have made. When you learn more about mortgage mistakes that others have made, you can take steps to prevent making those same mistakes yourself.

Committing To A Large Mortgage Payment

Many first-time home buyers contact a mortgage professional to determine what the largest loan amount and monthly payment they qualify for is. However,Plano Home Real Estate Mortgage just because you qualify for a Plano Home Loan amount and monthly payment from a lending perspective does not mean that it is affordable for your budget. After all, you may have a more expensive lifestyle, childcare expenses and other expenses that are not factored into the lending equation.

Not Considering All Home Expenses

When you own a home, you will be required to pay for expenses that are not in place when you rent a home. For example, you will have to pay for lawn care, home maintenance tools and supplies, repair bills, homeowners’ association dues and more. It is important to allow room in your budget for all of the expenses related to home ownership to ensure that your new home is affordable for you.

Plano Home Real Estate MortgageFailing To Inquire About Closing Costs

Your mortgage representative is required to disclose all loan charges and fees to you early on in the loan process, but some first-time home buyers do not take the time to thoroughly review or understand these fees. Many are unfortunately surprised by the amount of money they must come to the closing table with at the end of the loan process, and this can be avoided by simply asking questions and reviewing the preliminary loan statement up-front.

Each of these home mortgage mistakes can be costly to a first-time home buyer, but they also are all entirely avoidable. As you begin your loan process and proceed through it to closing, keep these mistakes in mind. Be sure to ask your Plano Mortgage Guy, Warren Whitaker, for more information if you have any questions. You can begin the loan process today by contacting Warren Whitaker directly at 972-523-8353.


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