The Mortgage Process

1. Introduction

In order to provide you with the most pleasant experience possible, please read through this pamphlet which will better familiarize yourself with the process of mortgage qualification and the homebuying and refinance process. The homebuying or refinancing process can be very stressful as you wait eagerly to move into your new home. Familiarizing yourself with this pamphlet will immensely help you understand the mortgage process. Nearly 35% of all pre-approved mortgage loans are not reviewed carefully enough, leaving many families let down and unable to complete their home purchase or refinance. I, Marcell Harris, have a perfect 100% close ratio so you can rest assured knowing your loan closing is not a maybe, but rather a when. Thank you for trusting in Marcell Harris and Harris Mortgage for your mortgage needs.

2. Getting Started

Prior to shopping for your new home or refinancing an existing home, there are documents which will be requested to determine mortgage qualification. Please see the list of items below that are required when purchasing or refinancing an existing home. Some items may not be applicable to every person’s situation.

Purchasing a Home:

  • Past two year’s W2’s & Tax returns
  • Past 30 days of pay stubs (2 if paid bi-weekly, 4 if paid weekly)
  • Past two months bank statements
  • Any additional income
  • Any additional assets
  • If any Real Estate is currently owned, please provide: Mortgage statement, Property tax bill, Home insurance statement.

Refinancing a Home (Provide these items in addition to the items above):

  • Mortgage statement
  • Property tax bill
  • Home insurance statement FOR ALL property owned

3. Mortgage Qualification

During our first meeting, I will gather the above listed documents as well as pull a tri-merge credit report to view your credit rating and debts. The credit report along with income and asset documentation will be reviewed and analyzed in order to determine how much you qualify for, as well as terms for your new mortgage. Upon qualifying, we will then discuss: Qualification amount, interest rates, assets needed to close and all other details pertaining to your loan. Loan Qualification will be good up to 90 days barring there is no negative adverse change to your credit, income or assets. If purchasing a home, you will then be off to search for the biggest purchase of your life.

4. Home Shopping

During the home shopping process, I will be available for your Real Estate agent in order to provide them with your pre-approval letter when they will be submitting an offer on a home for you. When questions arise, either by you or your agent, I will be standing by to assist. Besides for the questions and pre-approval letter, I will be on stand by until you are in contract at which time the mortgage loan process will begin.

5. Starting & Completing Your Mortgage Loan

Now that you have found the right home or mortgage for your refinance, the mortgage process fully begins. Upon receiving your fully executed purchase contract, we will together complete the remainder of your loan application, sign and date in order to submit your loan for a fully underwritten approval. Simultaneously, your loan will be locked for 45 days and an appraisal inspection will be ordered. Below I will better explain the time frames for each item. Within a few business days we will have your fully underwritten approval to be followed by your appraisal inspection.

After receiving your fully underwritten approval, we will then be in touch with you to provide additional items anywhere from one to three times. Why you may ask? A loan approval is provided when a majority of items are validated by an underwriter to determine the likeliness of your ability to qualify and repay.

Being that you are requesting such a large dollar amount, mortgage banks have regulations on the additional amount of paperwork which will be needed to close out your transaction. Be prepared to provide approximately 10 more items which will be specified by the underwriter, but don’t worry when the request comes for more papers. It is all part of the process. It is imperative that items are brought in or emailed immediately as we have a locked loan and if we exceed the days of our lock and extension cost will be charged to you the borrower.

Over the next 30 days or so, we will work together to provide the underwriter with all required documents until we are issued a Clear to Close, which signals you are almost ready to close out your mortgage transaction. Following this action, loan documents will be sent to the Escrow company for your “Loan Document Signing.” After your signing, the following steps will be to bring in your funds to close and get your keys; and in the case of your refinance, your new and better mortgage. ALWAYS contact me before bringing your funds in to close. There are steps which makes this process smoother, so please be sure to contact me before wiring or getting your cashiers check.

6. Timelines (Business Days)

  • Loan approval: 4-7 days
  • Appraisal: 10-17 days (Billed to borrower via credit card provided. Typical fee ranges from $525-$625 for a single family owner occupied residence.)
  • Clear to Close: 21-35 days Loan Documents in Title: 21-35 days
  • Closing: 25-45 day

7. Correspondence From the Lender via Mail and Email

During the process, you will receive 1 packet in the mail as well as up to approximately 5 emails.

The mailed packet is a set of legal papers for the banks benefit in order to validate that papers were physically received by the borrower. These documents say to sign and send back. However, after three days they are considered signed and returned, so you DO NOT need to sign and return the package. Additionally, these papers are generated prior to the bank underwriting your file so you may notice discrepancies as the file will have not been fully reviewed at the time this package goes out.

The emails will contain different documents and be emailed to you over the course of the loan. The emails will consist of a: Lender prepared Loan Estimate, Lender prepared Closing Disclosure and Appraisal delivery notification which all need to be e-consented ONLY. Both the Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure will contain small variances from each other and are about ninety to ninety-five percent accurate with the most accurate documents being your Loan Documents which are signed at Escrow with a Licensed Notary Public. A common question which arises from clients is: Why does it show an appraisal fee to be charged when I already paid for it? Although this fee shows, it will NOT be on your final paperwork which you will sign at Escrow.

8. Interest Rate Lock

A refinance lock date will occur at the onset of our process while locking your loan on a purchase will occur when you have a fully executed contract. All Loans are automatically locked for a forty-five day period which is more than enough time to close. The key factor to meeting our lock date will be providing the requested documents within twenty-four hours so that the underwriter has ample time to review and process all paperwork without delays. If the allocated lock days pass, the locked interest rate will expire causing us to extend the lock for an additional 5-15 days or as many as we will need. An extension of your interest rate comes as a cost to yourself so it is imperative that all documents be provided upon my request.

9. Loan Documents & Funds to Close

Upon the arrival of loan documents to Escrow, I will contact you to coordinate a signing time and day for you to either sign with an Escrow Officer at the Escrow company during business hours or at a remote location, such as your home with a mobile notary. The signing typically takes anywhere from forty-five to ninety minutes.

You will be instructed by the Escrow Officer/Notary to wire your funds to close or bring in a cashiers check. However, I prefer that no funds are given wired before discussing with me for accuracy and to avoid delays.

10. Loan Funding, Recording & Closing of Escrow

After signing loan documents and providing funds to close, your transaction is ready to be finalized by the Closing agent on its way to funding. In a refinance you are most likely not bringing funds in to close and if an owner occupied residence, after signing there is a three day right to recission where the loan is on hold as a courtesy to you the borrower until funding. Loan Funding is when the bank wires the funds for your loan to the Escrow Company where they will disburse the funds to the allocated parties. Within 24 hours of your loan funding/closing, Escrow will record the appropriate documents with the county. Once completed, the keys are yours and home ownership has started, or with a refinance your new loan is now in place.

Harris Mortgage - Salinas Office
422 Salinas Street
Salinas, CA 93901

NMLS License #353363
DRE #01279430

Harris Mortgage - Visalia Office
2230 W. Sunnyside Ave., Ste 4
Visalia, CA 93277

Marcell Harris, President/Loan Originator
DRE #01499586 / NMLS #235398
Cell: (831) 809-4347

Isabel Morales, Manager
Cell: (831) 809-2343