You have Home Buying questions.
We have Mortgage answers.
“Should I be worried about Mortgage Rates?”
Mortgage rates are certainly higher than they have been in the past 10 years. Historically the average rate for the 30-year Conventional mortgage has been 4.50%. So buying a home today at a higher rate will make your monthly payment higher. But you might be purchasing your home at a lower purchase price today, compared to buying in a year from now at a higher price. Remember, you can refinance your loan if rates fall, after 6 months.
Let’s say you refinance after 12 months. What is the extra interest you’ll pay, at 6.50% versus 4.50%? For a loan of $300,000 you will pay $4512 extra over 12 months ($376 more monthly, $1896 instead of $1520). Only you can answer this question: should I buy my home now at today’s prices, and plan to refinance later, and pay $4512 more interest, or maybe buy my home later at next year’s housing prices? You can calculate your difference in mortgage payment using our calculator, right here.
The cost to refinance a mortgage in Texas is about $2500 – $3000. You receive a 50% discounted Title Insurance policy by refinancing within 4 years of purchase. So if rates drop to 4.50%, you should refinance if you plan to keep the home at least another 7-9 months.
Sellers can also offer to pay down your rate in Year 1 and Year 2. This is called a 2/1 Buy Down. The sellers contribute a lump-sum at closing, which pays the lender part of your interest, so the monthly payment is more affordable. You still must qualify for the loan based on the permanent rate, but you get to enjoy a lower monthly payment in your first 2 years.
There is no guarantee that you will be able to refinance (if you missed a payment, lost your job, or your home lost value). But so long as you qualify to refinance, you should consider doing so, to reduce your rate. And we can help you refinance when the time is right.
“Can I trust my Pre-Approval Letter from you?”
Yes. We will only issue you a Pre-Approval Letter after we have reviewed paperwork that documents your: income, assets, credit report, liabilities, and the estimated Property Expenses for the neighborhood(s) you are interested in (Tax, HOA, Insurance). We will complete our Due Dilligence to make sure that you are fully prepared, and ready to receive Lender Approval. Your Agent also receives support from us, to make sure you only make an offer on a home that we have reviewed to be eligible for Lender Approval.
Keep in mind that in Texas there is no Competency requirement for Loan Officers. Other companies may issue a Pre-Approval Letter with very minimal time spent reviewing your finances. If you are denied by the lender while under contract, you may lose your Earnest Money Deposit. That could be $5000 – $10,000, gone. And the lender is not liable. Chose who you work with wisely! We are proud of our 5-star reviews from past clients.
“I need to buy my home in less than 30 days. Can you help?”
Yes, we can help. Sellers get to decide how fast things move, when it is a sellers’ market. That means sellers do not want to wait 30 days to sell their home, and they don’t have to wait. That’s why we can close in 15 days, if needed. Here’s what we need from you to move quickly:
On the day sellers accept your offer, email us your Sales Contract. Also email us a Home Insurance quote. We will send you our Loan Estimate, which you will sign, and we will submit your loan to our underwriter. On Day 3, you’ll be initially approved. When we send you the invoice to pay for your appraisal, please provide payment right away. Once the appraisal comes in, we will obtain final lender approval. We can close in 15 days, so long as you are prepared to move quickly!
“I don’t make a high income. Am I able to buy a house?”
Lenders want your Housing Payment to be no higher than 40-45% of your Monthly Pre-Tax Income. If you and a spouse (or any co-borrower, such as a family member or significant other) both make $60,000 each year, your monthly income is $10,000. So your home payment cannot exceed $4000 – $4500 (depending on the type of loan) to obtain lender approval. If you have a large monthly car payment, or credit card debt, this may affect your loan approval. Contact us soon so we can help you create a Debt Consolidation plan 6 months before you plan to buy.
“I need to buy my new home, but I haven’t sold my current home. Can you help?”
Yes. What you need is what’s called a Bridge Loan. You can tap your current Home Equity, up to 75% of the Home’s market value, and use these funds as a Down Payment. You’ll have 90 days to sell the old home. The Bridge Loan is at a 0% interest rate, but there is a fee when you do sell the old house. We can help you understand the pros and cons of this strategy. It’s not right for everyone, but it can help if you want to make a stronger purchase offer for your new home, without Financing Contingency and with the help of your Home Equity as a new Down Payment. We offer Bridge Financing to sellers anywhere in Texas.
“I don’t know which lender has a good price for my mortgage. How can I quickly compare lenders?”
Always get a legally-binding Loan Estimate from 3 lenders, prior to chosing your lender. By federal law, a lender must provide you with this document once you give the lender your Loan Application and the Sales Contract for your Home. Within 3 days, the lender must send you this Loan Estimate. If you did not receive this in a timely manner, you may contact the Government Agency in Texas that enforces mortgage law, the Texas Department of Savings and Mortgage Lending.
Keep in mind that a Fee Worksheet is not legally binding. Lenders cannot control non-lender fees. Always compare lenders on these items: Interest Rate, Lender Fees, and Mortgage Insurance. Those three items lenders have control over. Property taxes, title fees…. they just are what they are! What does a Loan Estimate look like? You can look at one right here.
“What’s a good, fair, honest Interest Rate for today?”
Mortgage interest rates are constantly in motion. They go up and down, sometimes by 0.25% on a weekly basis. Events that move rates include: Federal Reserve meetings, Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation data, Unemployment, New Jobs, acts of Congress, and international geopolitics.
You can always review the National Average rate on our main Home Page. This average rate is where 50% of lenders quote a rate higher, and 50% quote a lower rate. You can review this Average Rate for several loan products, including 30-year Conventional, FHA, Jumbo, and VA.
“I do not have any money for a Down Payment. Can you help?”
Yes and no. Unfortunately, our company is not able to offer Down Payment Assistance loans. The best programs are provided through TSAHC, because you may qualify for a Federal Income Tax Credit (MCC) certificate. To learn more, please visit the Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation website. You may be able to buy a home in Texas with a 0% down payment, if you meet program requirements. If you are ineligible for TSAHC, then we can help you find a 3% down payment program (720+ credit score) or 3.5% FHA (580+ credit score). You can also use Gift Funds from a family member (parent, child, uncle/aunt, sibling) to pay your down payment.
“Do I have to pay Lender Fees?”
No, you do not. The Closing Costs to buy a home are in addition to your Down Payment. Some closing costs cannot be reduced. These include the cost of Title Insurance, which is set by Texas Department of Insurance (TDI). Your agent can negotiate for the Sellers or for you, the Buyer, to pay this cost.
Lender Fees are charged by mortgage companies. And you have the right to chose the Lender you want to work with. Your Agent can provide you with 3-5 recommended lenders, but the choice is yours. There are many lenders who do not charge upfront fees, including our lenders. You can chose to pay Discount Points to get a lower interest rate, but if you plan to refinance in the first 2 years, we recommend not paying Points.
“I have Student Loan Debt. Is it possible for me to buy a house?”
Yes. We work with many Home Buyers who have student loan debt. Having this type of debt will not prevent you from becoming a homeowner, so long as your income is strong enough. We can help you make a plan. Be sure and make all payments on time before you give us a call.
“Sellers just accepted my purchase offer! How long do I have to wait for the Appraisal Report to come in?”
It depends. If you bring a 20% down payment, we may be able to order a Streamline Appraisal that can be completed very quickly. If we need a Standard Appraisal, you can see how fast we will receive the report by providing your County, right here.
We can only place your appraisal order after you pay the invoice, so right after you sign your Loan Estimate, you will want to pay the appraisal invoice so we can avoid any delays.
“Who will be helping me throughout the home buying process to obtain Lender Approval?”
Ben Strube will review your Credit Report, Income, Asset, and Liability documentation. He will issue your Pre-Approval Letter and providing coaching, financial literacy, and advice. When you go under contract, depending on how complex your purchase is, you’ll work with either Canon or Chris, our two loan processors who each have many years of experience. Get to know our team.
“Who does Mortgage On A Mission work with?”
We are not a lender. That’s why we are able to help you compare several lender offers. We are a mortgage broker, one of about 20,000 nationwide. We work with a variety of Mortgage Investors, including United Wholesale Mortgage, which is the largest wholesale investor in the nation. UWM helped over 600,000 borrowers in 2022 by funding over $200 billion. We also work with The Loan Store, and other investor partners. There are dozens of lenders we could work with, and we chose not to work with them. We only work with quality lender partners that we know and trust.
“I want to read reviews from your Past Clients.”
You should read Client Reviews for every Mortgage Lender you are thinking about working with. We are proud of what our past clients have had to say about our quality work. Check out our client reviews with the Better Business Bureau. We are a company built on word-of-mouth referrals, and we’re a small company so unlike a National Bank, every client matters to us. Please contact the owner of the company if you ever have any complaints or need additional support.