Top Questions About Obtaining a Home Loan

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You want your mortgage financing to be as effortless and efficient as possible. Our Top Ten FAQs provides clarity to getting a mortgage loan.

  1. What is the difference between pre-qualification and pre-approval? Pre-qualification is a lender’s opinion of your ability to purchase a home, or credit approval. Pre-approval is an underwriter’s decision that you are qualified after reviewing your financial documentation. A pre-approval letter contains much stronger language to the seller and the listing agent, and often is the determining factor in winning the contract in a competitive bid situation.
  2. Once I sign my application, am I committed to borrowing the money?
    None of the documents that you receive are contractual (legally binding) prior to closing and signing your note. An application simply puts you in a position to make an offer and be approved for the mortgage loan that you’re applying for.
  3. What is meant by the term “locking my interest rate?”
    Locking your interest rate refers to guaranteeing a specific interest rate for a specific period of time. That period of time is called the lock period. The lock period guarantees your rate as long as your loan closes and funds prior to the expiration date of your lock. If your closing is delayed beyond your lock expiration date, you could be exposed to higher market rates. Shorter lock periods provide you with a better interest rate. Longer lock periods reduce risk in a volatile market.
  4. What is “APR?”
    APR is the annual percentage rate. Quite often the APR is higher than the actual quoted interest rate. The APR includes some of the additional costs of obtaining your financing. Simply stated, if there were no costs in obtaining your financing, your note rate and the APR would be the same.
  5. What are origination and discount points?
    An origination point is a fee paid to the lender to compensate the lender for evaluating, processing, and approving your mortgage. Discount points are like prepaid interest; you reduce your interest rate by paying discount points. Points vary by lender. One point means 1% of the loan amount; one point for a $200,000 loan is $2,000.
  6. Who orders the appraisal, inspection, and title survey? And, when?
    The mortgage company orders the appraisal and survey for you. Your real estate agent orders the inspection. If your home is new construction, the builder or title company will order the survey just before closing.
  7. Can you use digital statements instead of actual hard copy statements to verify bank and investment accounts?
    Yes, if a digital statement has your name and account number so we can validate that the bank statement belongs to you. Statements may say “1 of 3” or “1 of 5” pages; you must provide all pages.
  8. Where will I be closing, how much do I have to bring to closing, and can I bring a personal check? Closing will take place at a title company or an attorney’s office. We will call you at least three days before your closing to reconfirm the terms of your loan and to give you the amount you need to bring to closing. In Texas, personal checks in excess of $1500 are not allowed; you will need to bring a cashier’s check.
  9. How will The Tuttle Group keep me updated on the status of my loan?
    We email you and all parties involved at every major milestone in the process (appraisal, submission to underwriting, approval, etc.). Additionally, our Production Manager will call you every Tuesday. We are also available any time in between if you need us.
  10. Does The Tuttle Group sell loans?
    The Tuttle Group is the name of my branch at CrossCountry Mortgage, LLC. At CrossCountry, we process, underwrite, close, and fund your loan from our office. About 20% of our loans are serviced and sold straight to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. That helps us find a competitive interest rate for your loan. However, we service our clients for life, so if you ever have a concern or problem, we can help answer questions and address challenges.

P.S. If you should need any advice or any referrals for other professional services, please ask (i.e. CPA, financial advisor, insurance agent, yard maintenance, landscaping, inspector, etc.).

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Find the Right Loan for You

There are many types of loans available and understanding mortgage options can be complicated. Whether you’re a first time home buyer, looking to refinance, self-employed, military veteran, or public servant- The Tuttle Group is here to help. We’re experienced in working with people who have unique loan situations and we will help you figure out the loan program best for you.


If you’re ready to start the process or starting to think about a new home loan, fill out our quick form to get started. We’ll help answer any questions and let you know what to expect. If you’re ready to get started, we’ll do that too. Just fill out our quick form and we’ll be in touch soon.

Resources & Tools

We’ve compiled a variety of resources to help borrowers of all types make sense of the process. And when you’re ready to get started, our team is here to help.

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Stay In The Know

Stay up to date on what you need to know about market changes and how that impacts a home mortgage.