Andy Brandt

Jun 03 2016

5 Steps to Navigate the Mortgage Loan Process

Navigate Home Loan Process
These 5 Steps Will Help Find the Home and Loan That’s Right For You!

Buying a home is one of the most important purchases many people will make. There are many things to consider: interest rates, points, fees, down payments, private mortgage insurance requirements, and home buyer programs. Partnering with a real estate lender will allow you to navigate the mortgage loan process with a trusted professional. Outlined below are 5 steps to help you navigate your home purchase from start to finish.

Step 1: Meet with a Real Estate Lender for Pre-Approval

Schedule an appointment with a real estate lender and ask what you’ll need to bring to your appointment. Generally, you will need to bring 1 month’s most recent paystubs with year-to-date earnings, 2 years of W2s, and 2 months of your most recent bank statements. During the pre-approval process your credit will be run; income, assets, and debits will be reviewed; and mortgage options will be discussed. Once pre-approved, your real estate lender will issue a preliminary Commitment Letter that helps strengthen your home offer by assuring the seller you are a qualified and serious buyer.

Step 2: Find Your Dream Home

Partnering with a realtor helps you find a home and write a purchase offer that includes your offering price, an estimated closing date, and any applicable conditions. This step typically includes an earnest money deposit to show you are serious about purchasing the home. If the offer is accepted and the sellers sign the agreement, contact your real estate lender to get specifics on total costs, payment estimates, and a timeline for closing.

Step 3: Get a Home Inspection, Appraisal, and Title

A home inspection is not required, but highly recommended because an inspector will look for violations or issues with a property. An appraisal is an estimate of property value based on similar property sales in recent months. This report is ordered by the lending institution to assure the property is valued at your proposed offered price and no repairs are needed. Your lending institution will select a title company to research a property title to assure a clear transfer from the seller to you.

Step 4: Final Loan Approval

Once your financial institution’s underwriting team reviews the appraisal and documentation necessary to approve the loan, a final approval is issued outlining any remaining conditions for your closing. Many times this includes proof of homeowners insurance which is required prior to closing.

Step 5: Close on Your Mortgage Loan!

At your mortgage loan closing, your real estate lender will review all loan documents with you and acquire all signatures necessary to complete the purchase of your new home.

It is important to know you are not alone in the mortgage loan process. Choose a local real estate lender who will navigate the mortgage loan process with you every step of the way.

Andy Brandt

About Andy Brandt

Andy Brandt is a Mortgage Lender at Hills Bank’s location in Coralville. He has been at Hills Bank since 2010 helping customers with mortgage loans. He is an avid sports fan and loves to play them as well. Andy can be reached at

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4 Responses to 5 Steps to Navigate the Mortgage Loan Process

  1. Nick says:

    Hi Andy,

    How far in advance would you recommend getting pre-approved before beginning the search for a home? Thanks!

    • Andy Brandt Andy Brandt says:

      Hi Nick,
      If you are at the point where you want to begin searching for a house, I would recommend getting pre-approved immediately. A pre-approval would likely always be your first step so you know what is within your price range and what the best mortgage option is for your situation. I hope this helps. Please feel free to reach out to me directly with any further questions or schedule an appointment with me online at Thank you!

  2. Buying a home is good experience. But It’s more important to find Mortgage Loan professional who can explain all the aspects of your loan options.

    • Andy Brandt Andy Brandt says:

      You are right, Harvey! A great mortgage loan professional can definitely take some of the confusion out of the home buying process. Thanks for reading!

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