Home Buyer’s Guide


Get Ready to Buy a Home

How do you know if you and your family are ready to commit to a new home? If the thought of homeownership has been on your mind for a while, it might be a sign it’s time to make the leap into purchasing a new property.

While you may be emotionally ready, how can you be sure you’re financially ready? Ask yourself these financial questions before heading into the home buying process to make sure you and your bank account are both ready:

  • Is my income stable?
  • Am I able to put a small percentage of my income away each month into savings?
  • Is my monthly college and/or car debt manageable?
  • Do I have a good credit score?
  • Is my savings account already in place, and do I have enough set aside to pay a small down payment?

If you answered ‘yes’ to most or all of these questions, your financial situation is likely acceptable for home buying requirements.

View Your Home Loan Options

At Sun West, we offer the following home loans:

If you’re interested in learning more about one of the home loans listed above, contact a member of our team via phone or email. They will help explain more about each type of loan and which might be best for you, considering your financial situation and home buying goals.

Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

After our team explains more about the mortgage process to you, you will be able to make an appointment with our team if you’re interested in moving forward with an application.

After filling out and sending in your application, our team will review your documents to ensure that the chosen home loan is a good fit for your family. We will look into your household income, current assets, outstanding debt, and overall credit score.

Work With a Real Estate Agent

Once you’re pre-approved, congratulations! We recommend you then work with a real estate agent who can help you find the perfect house in a good neighborhood and will help you solidify a good price on the home.

We have a list of preferred and recommended agents. We will be happy to pass along their information once you are pre-approved for the mortgage.

Find Your Perfect Home

With your real estate agent’s tips and online search tools from Zillow and Trulia, you can search for the best options in your area. Some things to consider when starting your home search:

  • The neighborhood
  • Local schools
  • The commute time from your work to the home
  • The nearby amenities, such as grocery stores and gas stations
  • The price
  • The number of rooms/bathrooms needed for your family

Many search tools will allow you to look for homes based on some of the criteria above, like schools, price, and home size. If you’re still struggling to find the right home for you, talk to your agent or your lender for help.

Make an Offer on the House

Once you’ve found your dream home, what’s next? More often than not, the next step is to make an offer on the home. Negotiating prices comes easier to some than others, so your real estate agent will guide you step-by-step through the process of making an offer.

A good way to get an idea of how much to offer is to look at the nearby homes and what they were sold for. By finding the price of homes that are a comparable size and quality, you can make an educated assumption on a good price to offer for the home.

Before making the offer, however, make sure there are no or are little repairs and renovations you will want to make to the house. If so, you will need to account for these adjustments in your budget and the price you can offer may differ with this in mind.

Get Ready to Close

Once your offer has been accepted, there are 3 things that will need to happen before you can close on the home. They are:

1.  A home inspection

The first step requires you to find and hire an inspector to double check that the home is in good condition. This may seem like a tedious step, but it is essential to make sure you are not being ripped off by the current home owners, or will be faced with an unexpected issue soon after purchasing.

2. An appraisal

Once you’ve received the home inspection, our team will order an appraisal for you. This step is important to make sure you don’t pay more for the home than it’s worth. A typical appraisal costs a few hundred dollars, so keep this in mind when budgeting for closing costs.

3. The underwriting

While the previous two steps are happening, our team will work on underwriting your home loan, which means we will verify your financial status in order to give the loan a final approval.

Close on Your New Home

For most, this is the best step of the process. After going through the lengthy process of finding a home and applying for financial assistance, you will finally get to sign and officiate your ownership. Before making it official, however, your lender will walk you through the Closing Disclosure document and double check that all details of your loan look correct. You will also need to do a final walk-through of the house to ensure that everything looks good before closing.

At closing, you will need to provide important documents to your lender, such as:

  • A government-issued ID or driver’s license
  • A check that includes the home’s down payment and any unpaid closing costs
  • The Closing Disclosure given to you by your lender
  • A list of contact information for your real estate agent and lawyer, in case any questions should arise

Manage Your Home Loan

After you’ve closed on your home and moved your belongings in, you can finally get settled and choose a monthly plan for paying your mortgage on time. Whether you choose a 15- or 30- year loan, your mortgage statements will clearly show where your monthly payments are going, how much they are, and when they are due.

In the instance that you miss a mortgage payment, you can always contact our team and we will work with you to create a new payment plan, if necessary. If this happens, contact your lender right away to discuss options.

Frequently Asked Questions

First, you will need to submit a mortgage application with us, either in person, by phone, or using our easy-to-use online form, whichever makes you feel more comfortable. One of our licensed loan officers will get in touch with you and discuss your mortgage needs and objectives with you. Next, we will check your credit scores and request you to submit the necessary supporting documents so that we can verify your identity, the source of your income, and your current debt for underwriting purposes. An appraisal will also be performed on your selected property. Once you have submitted all the documents and your loan is approved with no outstanding items, we will then prepare the closing documents so that you can get ready to sign your loan package. After your loan is funded, you are on your way to move into your new home.
No, Sun West does not charge an application fee for you to apply for a mortgage.

Sun West has one of the fastest turnaround times in the industry, and we offer 20 day closings, but every borrower’s situation is different, and due to documentation requirements and varying response times from the borrower, the average time to close a loan may be higher.

A mortgage refinance refers to obtaining a new loan for the purpose of lowering your mortgage payments, converting your existing loan into a more affordable or manageable loan, or getting cash out on available equity on your home. There may be a minimum waiting period from the date you closed your previous mortgage, based on the type of refinance you are applying for. Sun West also recommends that you check with your existing lender regarding any prepayment penalties. There will be fees involved when refinancing your home, although you may have the option of rolling these costs into your new loan.

Most types of mortgages require a minimum amount of down payment, except for VA and USDA programs. You may also be eligible for down payment assistance programs that can help you towards minimum down payment requirement on some of the loan programs. On Conventional Mortgages, your lender will require you to pay a Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) premium as part of your monthly payments if you put down less than 20% of the purchase price of the property. There are government loan programs available with less stringent down payment requirements as well, such as an FHA loan that will require only a 3.5% down payment, but again, these programs also require mortgage insurance premiums. Finally, keep in mind that the amount of down payment you put down for a house will also affect your Loan-to-Value (LTV) ratio, which could then affect the amount of loan you are able to qualify for, or whether or not you will qualify at all.

Want us to call you?