Financing Tips


Be Ready for the Lender

When applying for a mortgage, there are some things you can do to prepare yourself for the lender. Since you'll be asked to provide a lot of documentation, it will help to get some of it prepared ahead of time.

Every financial institution is different, so you may want to call your lender and ask what information you will be required to have on hand. The following is some basic information that you will be asked to provide: 

  • Your current and former addresses.
  • Social Security card.
  • Verification of monthly and annual income.
  • Information about outstanding debts.
  • Your place of employment and how long you've been there.
  • Bank statements for the previous two months.
  • Information about stocks, property or other assets.
  • A copy of your sales contract.

After you turn in your loan application, your lender will verify all of the information, check your credit history, and get an appraisal to determine the value of the property you are trying to buy. The lender will also order a title search and obtain required insurance documentation. Once this information is gathered, the lender will review everything to determine whether your loan will be approved.

Mortgage Brokers and Buyers

Low interest rates have enticed thousands to seek funding for a new home or to refinance an existing mortgage. This surge has created a demand for mortgage brokers, whose job it is to help borrowers complete applications and secure loan rates. It is estimated that brokers process hundreds of billions of dollars in mortgages every year. If you are thinking of buying a home or refinancing your existing one, here are some tips for finding a qualified broker to help:

  • Get good references. If you want the help of a mortgage broker, ask friends or a trusted professional at your bank for a recommendation. If your state requires brokers to be licensed, check with the licensing board to see if the broker who was recommended has a good reputation, not to mention a permit.
  • Ask about lender representation. Generally, the better the broker, the more banks and other mortgage lenders that professional probably represents, and the more likely that you'll get the lowest rate. A quality broker usually represents at least 10 lenders.
  • Get an upfront estimate. This won't be a problem because federal law requires mortgage brokers to provide clients with a written estimate of the total cost of their mortgage transaction no later than three days after applying.
  • Be careful about fees. Brokers receive most of their compensation from lenders, who pay them a small commission on the mortgage deal. You'll typically be charged an application fee, which many experts say shouldn't exceed $300. You might also be asked to advance up to $750 for various appraisals and reports. If you're asked to pay more than you expected, ask your broker for a detailed explanation of all costs. You may find that you do not need all the services your broker offers.

What Type of Loan Should I Apply For?

Selecting a loan that is right for you can be a tricky proposition. You will need to obtain a loan that will allow you to purchase the home you want, while securing monthly payments you can afford.

If you are planning to move within a few years, you may want to apply for an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM). The initial rate will usually be substantially less than with a fixed-rate mortgage, making your monthly payments lower. These loans are generally easier to obtain than fixed-rate mortgages.

However, if you plan on staying in the home for more than a few years and want the security of set payments, opt for a fixed-rate mortgage. You will know going into the purchase exactly how much your payments will be for the life of the loan. This is especially desirable for individuals on fixed budgets or for those who don't expect their income to increase significantly in the future.

To make a final decision, contact your financial institution and have a professional evaluate your current financial position along with your future needs.

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Absolutely lovely person - listened to our concerns, reassured us and never pushed us. Always kept in contact and updated at every step. Highly recommend.  Sue & Rod
Mark Nassivera recommends Empire Realty Group: "My Wife and I worked with Bonnie Pagano and she was an absolute blessing from the time we introduced ourselves and beyond closing on our first home. With experience that clearly showed, she came equipped with excellent resources that completely satisfied us during the home buying process, from financing recommendations to lawyers and inspectors, we always felt well informed and never pressured. Starting the process seemed overwhelming, but it turned out to be enjoyable and informative because we had such professional representation that made us feel confident and secure. Thank you Empire Realty and Thank you Bonnie!" Mark & Christy
Bonnie I would like to say thanks for all you've done over the past few months. You have been professional, helpful, and made this experience the best. Thank You! John [Seller]
We picked you to list our house for two reasons: 1) for your upbeat and proactive approach, 2) your marketing plan. We are thrilled to be selling our house with you. Ange & Doug
We want to thank Bonnie Pagano, from Empire Realty Group for finding us a home. We moved to Penfield from Southern California in September. Bonnie was able to setup viewing of 10 homes , in a short time, as I only had 72 hours to work with. All of the homes were what we were looking for. She was amazing as she knew what we were looking for, with only some picks from the internet that we gave her, over the phone. Bonnie had great knowledge of the neighborhoods with all the good and bad points of the areas. Bonnie guided us through the purchase and paperwork that goes with home buying. She has been wonderful in the follow up and very helpful with questions we had. We would highly recomend Bonnie for selling or purchasing a home. Peter & Anne Shomphe
Bonnie, there is not one thing that you need to improve on. You were a fantastic realtor from beginning to end of my home purchase. Your follow through, attention and kindness were second to none. I know a lot of realtors in my family and friend circuit and I would have you as a realtor again. I mean it. Jackie
It was a pleasure working with Bonnie Pagano to sell the family home in Penfield, NY. Bonnie gave great advice on how to properly prepare the home for sale and how to get the most money out of it. She walked us through the different criteria and deadlines of the purchase offer and contract so we knew what to expect and when. She also was always available by cell, texting, or email and was immediately responsive to any questions or concerns. I could not have asked for anyone better to sell the home. Maier Family
Working with Bonnie was a pleasure. We loved getting the daily emails with new listings. We found our house the day it was listed before it showed on any of the real estate web sites that we were following. It was a blessing to have meet Bonnie at her open house. We had been looking for months on our own. After having her as our realtor we found our house in 3 weeks. She goes above and beyond for her clients to find them the house they will love. Peter & LaVonne
She went above and beyond for us! Helped us every step of the way and helped us find our dream house! Thank you Bonnie! Nick & Kayleigh
We thought you were a wonderful realtor and if we ever buy again, you will be the first one we call. You kept us well informed, offered suggestions and responded quickly to any questions we had. We loved working with you and will never forget our inspection and the dreaded pantry! If we come across a friend who is looking, you'll be the person we suggest!! Casey & Mercedez
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