Your Dream Home is Just a Click Away

At Platinum Home Mortgage, we believe in a stress-free home buying process. That’s why we created our ultimate financing guide. In four easy steps, we take you through the home buying process in a way that’s simple and easy-to-understand. We know how confusing the other guys can make purchasing a home – that’s why we’re here to answer any questions or concerns you may have.

You take care of the dream home, we’ll handle the rest.

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Where are you at on your home buying journey?

I’m Looking to Purchase a Home

Before starting your home search, get pre-approved first.

Get Approved

I Have Found my Dream Home

Now that you’ve found your perfect home, start your application process.

Start Application

I Want to Better Understand Mortgage Options

Learn all about common mortgage terms, so you can be better equipped.

Learn More

What Kind of Home Buyer Are You?

Once you know what kind of buyer you are, we can help you find a loan that’s right for you!

The first-time homebuyer will want to consider two important factors: the down payment and monthly payments.

As many first-time home buyers are often in the beginning of their careers, finding a loan that offers a smaller down payment option and less expensive monthly payment, is a great option!

The First-time Home Buyer

With an FHA loan, home buyers can put down as low as 3.5% and have a lower than average credit score.

FHA Loan

A 30-year fixed mortgage will provide home buyers with a less expensive monthly payment.

30-Year Fixed

The investment buyer will typically have a higher amount to put down up front and therefore will need a more flexible term. These buyers are often looking to rent out, resell, or refurbish a property.

The Investment Buyer

An adjustable rate mortgage has a lower teaser rate and is great for those who don’t plan on keeping the mortgage for a long time.

ARM

An interest-only mortgage allows borrowers to only pay interest for a short while and is another great option for short-term home owners.

Interest Only

The experienced buyer has purchased property before and can either be looking for their second, third, or final home. Typically, the experienced home buyer will be established in their career, so they won’t always require a lower monthly payment or government-backed loan.

The Investment Buyer

A 15-year fixed loan means a slightly higher monthly payment, but an overall shorter loan period.

15-Year Fixed

Jumbo loans are often required if a home is over a certain amount and will also require a higher credit score.

Jumbo

The Military buyer will typically either be a veteran looking for a modest home or an active duty member looking for a single-family home. While this may vary, we love the benefits that come with a VA loan for our service members.

The Military Buyer

VA loans are backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs and provide certain benefits for income qualified service members like low or no down payment options.

VA Loan
To navigate through the Mortgage Wizard, use the tab key to go through the previous and next sections. Use the arrow keys to navigate through content of a region.

How Does Refinancing work?

steps to refinancing your home
Applying
The first step to any mortgage process is giving us some information, such as your income, assets, debt and credit score. Some documents you will need to provide are most recent paystubs, recent w-2's and bank statements.
documentation-review
Once your application has been submitted, the underwriting process will begin. During this time we will verify your financial information and make sure everything was submitted accurately.
Home Appraisal
We will need to determine the value of your home and will order an appraisal. An appraiser will visit your home and give you an estimate on your home's value.
Closing your New Loan
When underwriting and your home appraisal are completed, you will receive your closing disclosure. At closing, the party member on the loan and title, along with a representative from the title company may be there to go over the details of the loan and for you to sign your loan documents.
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Understand Your Home Buying Options

Common Mortgage Terms Explained

It is time home buyers understand the ever-dreaded, over-complicated mortgage terms. When explained correctly, it’s not as scary as a first-time home buyer may think. By the end of this quick read, you will have a better understanding of a mortgage.

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Millennial Home Buyer Struggles, Industry Expert Solutions

Some say they’re killing the mortgage industry, others say they’re just too far in debt or afraid of commitment. Here at Platinum, we say Millennial home buyers are just one big misunderstanding–on both ends!

Read Article

Your Dream Home Exists with No Money Down

There are small communities that qualify for no money down and lower interest rates near your current community. You can reap the benefits of home ownership and pay no money down, all while staying right outside your favorite suburb. Start investing in your future, not your landlord’s!

Read Article

28+ Years of Mortgage Experience

Licensed in all 50 States

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Frequently Asked Questions

Various factors such as credit, equity, income and assets determine whether a lender will give you a home loan.

-       It is possible to get a mortgage with no credit history or credit score, but the process could be more challenging to find the right lender and convince them you can repay the loan. You will probably need to provide extra documentation and show a record of paying bills on time.

-       There are loan programs available for first time homebuyers with no credit, but you must be able to afford the upfront costs and monthly mortgage payments.

Great credit is not always required to get financing. A federal government-backed home loan, such as FHA, requires a lower minimum credit score than many conventional loans.

Everyone's situation is a little different, you may have certain debt, or extra income.

Check out the purchase calculator to find out what you are comfortable paying and contact your loan officer to find the right program for your needs.

Federal government-backed home loans require a lower down payment than many conventional loans. FHA offers 3.5% while some veterans can qualify for loans with no down payment. 

A 20% down payment is common to get a mortgage at a good interest rate and it will allow you to avoid mortgage insurance.

-       Closing costs are the fees you will pay for the services and expenses required to finalize a new mortgage.

-       These fees are paid on closing day and typically range 2% to 5% of the amount you are borrowing.

Discuss available options with your Loan Officer to choose the right mortgage program for you.

Discuss the two options with your Loan Officer and decide what is best for you.

1.     A fixed-rate mortgage offers predictability and stability for your budget because the interest rate and monthly payments remain the same for the life of your loan.

2.     With an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM), interest rates and monthly payments remain the same for a set period, then change periodically. This means your monthly payments can go up or down throughout the life of your loan.

Interest rates can be unpredictable and may fluctuate between the time you file your loan application and closing. If you want to avoid uncertainty and keep the rate already in your mortgage loan offer, then get a mortgage rate lock.

We offer many types of mortgage programs. 

Discuss available options with your Loan Officer to choose the right mortgage program for you.

-       Points are fees used to buy down your interest rate. Each discount point costs 1% of the mortgage loan and typically cuts the interest rate by 0.25%.

-       Buying discount points is optional and normally reduces your interest rate and therefore lowers the monthly payments. Typically, if you sell the home before hitting the break-even point, you will lose money on the discount points you paid.

-       If you get a 15-year term your monthly payments will be higher than with a 30-year term. In return for a 15-year term, you will receive a lower interest rate and pay mortgage debt in half the time which allows you to save thousands of dollars over the life of your mortgage.

-       With a  30-year mortgage you can stretch out monthly payments over a longer period of time and keep more of your monthly earnings. A 30-year mortgage has a higher interest rate than a 15-year mortgage, and you will pay more in interest rather than principal payments.

Documentation that are usually needed:

1.     Bank statements

2.     Paystubs

3.     Tax returns and W2’s

-       Prequalification tends to refer to less rigorous assessments, while a preapproval can require you to share more personal and financial information with a lender.

-       Being prequalified or preapproved is not a guarantee that you will be offered a loan. More information is required before you can be approved and receive an official loan offer.

Think of it as a savings account that is set up and managed by your lender who in turn deposits a portion of each mortgage payment into your escrow account to cover some costs associated with homeownership such as:

-        Property taxes

-       Homeowners insurance

-       Private mortgage insurance

-       Flood insurance

There are a number of reasons that trigger a longer time to close on a mortgage such as:

-       Loan type

-       Stringent underwriting

-       Title-related delays

Ownership of the property will be transferred to the buyer. This includes:

-       Buyer signing all loan documents such as the promissory note and a Closing Disclosure

-       Transferring funds from escrow

-       Providing mortgage and title fees

-       Updating the deed of the house to the buyer’s name

Your mortgage payment may contain five components:

1.     Principal

2.     Interest

3.     Property taxes

4.     Insurance

5.     HOA (may not be applicable)

With a fixed rate loan, your Principal and Interest will remain the same, but your property tax and insurance may change. 

Typically, refinancing is a good idea if doing so will:

-        Save you money

-        Help build equity

-        Pay off your mortgage faster

There are down payment assistance programs available nationwide.

Mortgage rates are constantly changing depending on different economic factors, such as inflation, economic growth, federal reserve monetary policy, bond market and housing marketing conditions. Contact us now at 1-847-797-9500 to have our mortgage specialist help you.

Your loan number is what helps us identify your loan. It can be found by signing into your LoanCare account or on your monthly statement bill.

There are general steps to help raise your credit score:

-       Build your credit file by having a long standing account with major credit bureaus.

-       Pay loans and credit cards on time. Do not miss making payments.

-       Get current on past due accounts.

-       Pay down high balances on revolving credit accounts.

-       Limit the number of times you submit credit applications.

You will still receive a record from the county as a tax bill, but it is getting paid by the funds in your escrow account.

Your lender will issue Form 1098 that reflects mortgage interest paid during the tax year.

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Glossary of Terms

Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM)an attractive type of mortgage due to its lower interest rates compared to a fixed-rate mortgage. However, an ARM’s interest rate can change after a certain period of time called an adjustment period. An ARM will have a cap on how much the rate can increase or decrease during the adjustment period.
Adjustment Perioda time period when an ARM mortgage interest rate will increase or decrease according to the current financial market. The adjustment period occurs after the initial “fixed rate period” of 3, 5, 7, or 10 years depending on the type of ARM. Thereafter, the rate will usually adjust again every 6 or 12 months.
Annual Percentage Rate (APR)the APR is how much the loan will cost annually, including the interest rate and any lender, broker, or 3rd party fees.
Appraisalan analysis of the property being purchased to determine its value and overall condition. This ensures the home is valued at the price point the seller is asking, and they’re not hiding any major repairs or issues.
Appreciationwhen your home increases in value and is now worth more than it was in the past. This usually occurs due to changes in the market, home improvements made, or changes in the neighborhood.
Closing Coststhese are costs are required to complete the real estate transaction. Closing costs are charged by all parties involved for their services: the lender, appraiser, settlement agents, etc.
Condominiumalso known as a condo, these are most often single units in a multi-unit building, like apartments. One major difference is the resident owns the unit itself. Other owners will split the cost of repairing common areas like the exterior of the building. A monthly Homeowners Association (HOA) fee is paid to the association to cover shared costs.
Conventionalany loan not guaranteed by a government entity. These loans are popular and offer down payments as low as 3%.
Credit Reporta document provided by a credit reporting vendor to examine the amount of money borrowed and your payment history.
Credit Scorea specific number showcasing your credit profile. It is used to predict the likelihood that any money borrowed will be paid back.
Deeda legal document proving ownership of the property.
Down Paymenta percentage of the home purchase price that is paid upfront.
Equitythe amount of money the home buyer has earned. Equity is earned when payments are made and the home appreciates in value. Many home buyers refinance and use their equity to make repairs or for life events. If a home buyer sells, the equity is theirs to keep or use towards their next home purchase.
Escrowmoney the home buyer pays towards the taxes and insurance of their home.
Escrow Accountthe most common type of escrow account is for real estate taxes and homeowners insurance. Escrow payments are included in the total mortgage payment and held in a separate interest bearing account with the lender/servicer. When taxes and insurance are due, the servicer pays the tax authority or insurance company on behalf of the homeowner.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Macentities created by congress to play a large role in the health of our housing market. These entities provide liquidity, stability, and affordability in the housing market by purchasing mortgages from lenders and bundling them into mortgage-back securities or them in their portfolios.
Fixed-Rate Mortgagea popular type of mortgage in which the interest rate will remain the same throughout the life of the loan.
Gift Funds – many loan programs allow gifts from family and friends to put towards a down payment. A gift letter must be written stating that the donor gifted a certain amount of money and you don’t have to repay it. Often times, proof of funds from the donor is also required.
Hazard Insurancealso known as homeowners insurance. This type of coverage protects from loss or damage to the home or property.
HOA feeHOA Dues are paid to the association or management company by each unit owner. The amount of the HOA dues depends on the maintenance required for the common area. These dues are not included in your mortgage payment, but the amount will be calculated into your monthly debt obligations when it comes to qualifying for the loan.
Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)A HELOC is a type home equity loan. This type is most often a junior lien that acts as a credit card. The “draw period” is usually 10 to 15 years and another 10 to 15 years where it has amortize payments until it is paid off.
Home Inspectiona home inspection is ordered by the home buyer’s real estate agent. A qualified home inspector goes to the property to look for material defects. The inspector looks at the major home systems such as plumbing, electrical, roofing, etc. If a material defect is found in any of the following, the seller will be asked to fix the issue prior to closing.
Home Warrantyhome buyers can purchase this policy upfront in case any expensive repairs pop up during their first year of home ownership. This can cover issues such as HVAC and A/C systems, washer and dryer, and/or plumbing. The cost of a home warranty is usually $400-$500 upfront. This can also be negotiated for the seller to pay for at an offer or contract agreement.
Homeowners Insurancea type of insurance required for homeowners that protects the owner and lender from natural disasters or personal injury on the property.
Interestthe amount the home buyer pays to borrow money for buying a house.
Interest Only Mortgagea mortgage in which the home buyer pays just the interest on the loan for a specific amount of time.
Investment Propertya non-owner occupied property purchased in order to make profits from reselling, renting, or to gain tax benefits.
Liabilitiesmonthly debt obligations including mortgage(s), car payments, installment loans, credit cards, child support, alimony and any other disclosed or undisclosed debt.
Liena claim or charge on the property for payment of a debt.
Loan estimatea disclosure that includes all loan terms and settlement costs. This disclosure is required to be sent to the home buyer within 3 business day of the initial application and throughout the loan process if and when changes occur that affect terms and/or loan costs.
Lock-in Ratereserving an interest rate for home loan product for a specific amount of time.
Margina percentage added to the index of an ARM to establish the interest rate on each of the adjustment periods.
Market valuethe current value of a property being purchased. The appraisal usually determines this amount.
Mortgage Insurance Premium (MI)monthly insurance premium required on certain government-backed loans such as FHA or USDA loans.

Non-occupant co-borrower –  also known as a co-signer and is another borrower on the loan but does not live in the property. Their income, assets, credit, and debt-to-income can help you better qualify if needed.

Origination Fee – an amount charged by  a lender for processing the loan.

Pointsexpressed as a percentage of the loan amount for certain costs ranging from lender fees to buying down the interest rate.
Principalthe amount of money borrowed to buy a home. If a home buyer has paid towards their mortgage, the principal would be the remaining balance yet to be paid off.
Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)usually required when putting less than 20% down on a Conventional loan. This is an insurance that protects the lender in case the homeowner defaults on their mortgage.
Rate Capthe maximum or minimum on how much an interest rate can increase or decrease each adjustment period.
Refinancepaying off an existing loan with a new one. A few common reasons homeowners refinance is take cash out of their equity or change the payment terms of their loan.
Servicerperforms functions after the loan closes and throughout the life of the loan like collecting mortgage payments, taxes and insurance, and holding escrow accounts.
Short SaleMost often occurs when a homeowner owes more on their home than it could sell for. The lender/servicer is involved in the sale of the home by agreeing to the purchase price also agreeing to release the lien and considering the loan paid-in-full after the property is sold.
Temporary Buydown Mortgagea type of mortgage loan in which the seller pays a lump sum upfront to reduce the monthly payment. There are other buy down programs that allow the home buyer to have a much lower interest rate for the first few years. An example is the 2-1 temporary buydown program offered at Platinum Home Mortgage.
Titlea legal document stating evidence that a person owns real property, such as a home.
Title Insuranceprotects both homeowners and the mortgage lender from defects in a title.

Underwriting – the process used to determine the conditions needed for final loan approval. During underwriting, the property appraisal, along with the borrower(s) credit profile, income and asset documents are reviewed.

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