Shopping for your home loan is like shopping for any other large purchase.

Take some time to learn about today's mortgage options. Different lenders may offer quite different interest rates and loan fees. We are familiar with local lenders and would be happy to help you get started! In the meantime, browse this page for helpful articles and videos.
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Shopping for Your Loan - a HUD Video

5 Questions to Ask Your Mortgage Professional
"Everyone knows you’re supposed to be proactive and assertive when you take out a mortgage," writes Tara Nelson of, "carefully collecting and evaluating all sorts of information before you make the biggest deal of your life. But when the mortgage broker starts shooting sheaves of papers (OK, PDF documents) at you, it’s easy for your eyes to glaze over at the sight of so many zeroes, and tempting just to start signing whatever it takes to get that house!" Read Tara's full article to learn the 5 questions every smart buyer (or refi-er) should ask.

1. Are you a bank, a broker, or both? There are advantages to working with mortgage lenders that are banks or have their own banking divisions.

2. Will you explain my Good Faith Estimate to me? May I also have a fee sheet or estimate of funds to close? As a point of customer service, ask your mortage pro to explain the national standard Good Faith Estimate (GFE), and to prepare a fee sheet as early in the transaction as possible.

3. How long will it take to close my loan? How much time will I need for loan and appraisal contingencies? Talk with your prospective mortgage pro about time frames for closing your mortgage, which often vary widely, so you can "minimize the drama of a contingency clock that ticks way faster than your mortgage process."

4. Are there any fees for the mortgage loan application/approval process? You may be charged for a credit check up front, or be required to pay for your appraisal in advance. Find out how much cash you'll have to come up with for having your mortgage broker run your application.

5. How long have you been originating loans? And how long have you been with your company? "You’ll rest a lot easier if you know that your loan is in the hands of a seasoned pro who others like you trust with their largest asset - and largest financial obligation," says Tara. "Mortgage pros who have been around for a long time have the knowledge of advance troubleshooting, workarounds and backup plans, and the current underwriting practices it takes to get a loan closed in this restrictive mortgage market."

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5 Ways to Come up with Cash for Your Down Payment
" Gone are the days of zero-down loans, so if that was your plan, you’re going to need a new one!" Read the full article by Tara-Nicholle Nelson,'s resident expert, to learn five insider secrets for coming up with down payment cash. Here's a brief summary:

1. The FHA Bridal Registry This program allows home buyers to apply their families' wedding gifts toward their down payments. Despite the name, you do NOT have to be a prenuptial couple to use it.

2. Family Gifts Most lenders will allow home buyers to apply gift money from family members (not friends) toward their down payment - within guidelines.

3. Your Employer Some companies offer assistance programs to employees. Check with your Human Resources department.

4. City/County/State Programs These vary widely in scope. Many target buyers with low and moderate incomes. Visit your city, county and state website to learn about programs that might be able to help you.

5. Your Retirement Funds If you have a 401K or Roth IRA account and some years to go before retirement, you might be able to tap into it or even borrow against your own funds for your down payment. 

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Vera and Pat Purcell
Vera and Pat Purcell
847.372.6721 or 847.975.1317

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