Jerry Pounds is a Senior Mortgage Banker with Citizens Bank. I asked Jerry some of the most common questions Buyers have.
What is the difference between a Prequalification letter and a Preapproval?
"The difference is simple….one has verified information and the other does not. A preapproval is more valuable because the loan officer has verified the applicants’ credit, income and assets. A Prequalification is based on the applicant's word and is not verified."
Should I find a house before I find a lender?
"No. You should apply for a Preapproval first. Many clients are surprised at the monthly payment and closing fees associated with buying a home. If you have a valid Preapproval in hand and want to make an offer on a home, the Seller and Listing Agent will know you are more serious about home buying than someone who only has a Prequal."
How important is my credit report?
"Your credit report is incredibly important. The mortgage process starts with the quality of your credit. If your score is too low, you may not qualify at all for a mortgage. If your credit score is very high, you may enjoy the benefit of a lower interest rate. Monitoring your credit and credit usage is a great tool to use when buying a home."
Is it a good idea to save up a large downpayment before I buy my first home?
"This question is harder. A larger down payment can help make the monthly payment more affordable and may eliminate the need for private mortgage insurance. However there are many loan options for consumers with as little as 0%, 3% and 5% down that are quite common – especially for First Time Homebuyers."
What is a rehab loan?
"A Rehab Loan is useful when you buy an existing home and want to make renovations. These include a new updated kitchen or bath, new flooring, or even extensive improvements such as a new addition to a home. Rehab Loans can be a valuable tool in transforming a property into the Dream Home that you desire."
Contact Jerry Pounds at:
Citizens Bank Mortgage
Phone (412) 606-6701
Efax (866) 385-0526