Matt Olson

Mar 22 2017

3 Steps of the Home Loan Process


Purchasing a home can be an intimidating and confusing process, but it doesn’t have to be. I want to give you a summary of the home buying process from application to closing…no matter where you’re applying for your loan.

Watch my video and I’ll walk you through the process of applying, pre-approval, and the best part, closing your new home:

During the Pre-Approval process, you’ll meet with a lender to discuss options, have your questions answered, and actually walk through the application. Applications can be made in person, online at or by calling your mortgage lender. If you’re wondering what you’ll need to bring to your mortgage appointment, check out our short video What to Bring to Your Mortgage Appointment.

Key factors for loan approval include your credit score and history, debt to income ratio, employment history, and loan to value. The lender will review the information on the application and match it up to the financial institution’s rules for approval. If they match, the lender will issue a pre-approval letter.

Loan Processing
After you’re pre-approved, you’re in the loan processing phase which typically takes 30-45 days. During this time, documentation is gathered from the borrower to support the loan application. The appraisal is ordered and reviewed, and the borrower gets home insurance and appropriate inspections. The underwriting process reviews the file including the appraisal and issues a final loan commitment and the loan moves to closing.

When you are ready to close on your home, you’ll meet your real estate agent, buyers or agents, and your lender at the bank to close on your home. The closing typically takes about an hour. You will sign the note, mortgage, and other documents if needed to secure your loan. The deed is signed transferring ownership to the buyer, proceeds checks are presented to the seller and the keys are handed over! Congratulations, you’ve just bought your home!

If you’re interested in applying for a home loan with Hills Bank, visit to apply online for pre-approval or schedule an appointment online with a real estate lender near you. If you have any questions about the home buying process, I’d be happy to answer them in the comments below.

Matt Olson

About Matt Olson

Matt Olson is a First Vice President, Mortgage Lender at Iowa City’s Muscatine Avenue location. He has been at Hills Bank since 2004 helping customers with home purchases and refinancing needs. Matt can be reached at

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