Loan Services


Home Loans FAQ

What is a mortgage broker?

A mortgage broker is a full-time professional who is an expert in the field of real estate finance. They act as an intermediary between lenders and borrowers, analyzing, processing, packaging, and arranging loans.

How do I get pre-approved?

Cornerstone Mortgage uses an automated pre-approval system to pre-qualify applicants. Our system will assess your credit, income and assets to quickly determine what loan(s) you qualify for.

How do I qualify for a mortgage?

In order to determine how much home you can afford, we will examine your income, debt levels, and credit scores.

How do I know which loan is right for me?

That’s where Cornerstone Mortgage comes in. Our mortgage professionals will provide you with side-by-side comparisons of your mortgage options and help you select the right home loan based on your needs and financial goals.

How much are closing costs?

Closing costs vary based on the type of loan. The total could be anywhere from $0 to an average of $2500. Certain circumstances it makes sense to buy down the rate which could add additional costs.

Refinance Mortgage FAQ

When should I "lock in" an interest rate?

This is the magic question! No one can predict interest rates, if anyone could, they would own the world! Generally speaking, rates go up much faster than they come down. So, if you’re thinking about buying a home or refinancing your mortgage – always try to lock in a sweet rate when they are available, and above all, DO NOT try to “pick off” the market – only about one in a thousand or lucky enough to capture rates at the exact bottom – not good odds at all. Just as rates rise faster than they go down, interest rate ‘bottoms’ typically last only one to two days – yes, we said DAYS! If you find a decent rate that works for you, LOCK IT IN!

Should I refinance from an adjustable-rate to a fixed-rate mortgage?

It depends on your situation. Generally, it’s a good idea to get the lowest fixed-rate possible. However, if you’re in the first year of a five-year Adjustable-Rate Mortgage (ARM) and you plan on moving in three years, it may not make sense for you to refinance. One of our refinance experts can help you make the best decision.

How long does it take to refinance?

Refinancing normally takes between two and four weeks at Cornerstone Mortgage, LLC, depending on a few variables. What usually takes the most time is scheduling the home appraisal. During refinancing booms and times of low-interest rates, appraisers are in high demand. Our loan application process helps speed up the paperwork aspect of refinancing and provides you with a list of needed documents that you can collect while you wait for the appraisal to take place.

Are interest rates higher for a cash-out refinance?

No. The interest rate you pay on a cash-out refinance loan will generally be the same that you pay on a non-cash-out loan. However, this does depend on the type of loan selected. There may be a slight adjustment to the cost of the loan for certain cash-out refinance loans, usually larger jumbo loan amounts.

When should I refinance?

This depends on your financial needs and goals. For instance, a lower interest rate and lower payments are good reasons to refinance. There are of course additional factors to consider. Here are a few things to ask yourself when considering refinancing: How long do I expect to be in the home? How much equity do I have in the home? What are the closing costs of refinancing? Do I have to pay points to get the lower rate? Will the lower payments make up for the closing costs, fees, and points?

How much lower does the new rate need to be to make refinancing worthwhile?

The old idea that rates must be 2 full percentage points below your existing loan is not true. A drop of as little as .5% could save you thousands of dollars. If interest rates fall below your current mortgage rate, refinancing may be a great idea. There are many different loan terms, no-point rate options, and lower closing cost loans that can make refinancing even more profitable for you.

Reverse Loans FAQ

Who is a good candidate for a reverse mortgage?

A reverse mortgage can be complex and they are not right for everyone. The best candidates: 1) Plan to stay in the home for a long time. 2) Live in a market where home values are increasing. 3) Need more money to manage everyday expenses.

What are my options if I chance my mind?

After closing on a reverse mortgage, you have three days to reconsider your decision. If for any reason you decide you do not want the loan, you may cancel it. But you must do this within three business days after closing. “Business days” include Saturdays, but not Sundays or legal public holidays. If you decide to cancel, you must do so in writing, using the form provided by the lender, or by letter, fax, or telegram. It must be hand delivered, mailed, faxed, or filed with a telegraph company before midnight of the third business day. You cannot cancel by telephone or in person. It must be written. You can change your payment option for a low fee if your situation ever changes in the future.

Are there any other ways the lender could require immediate repayment?

Your lender may claim you have defaulted on your reverse mortgage and require repayment if you: 1) rent out part or all of your home; 2) add a new owner to your home’s title; 3) change your home’s zoning classification; or 4) take out new debt against your home. Always review the loan documents carefully to make certain you understand all the conditions that can cause your loan to become due.

What could lead to a default on a reverse mortgage?

A declaration of bankruptcy; 1) The donation or abandonment of your home; 2) Your perpetration of fraud or misrepresentation; 2) If a government agency needs your property for public use (for example, to build a highway), etc.

How is repayment determined?

ll reverse mortgages are due and payable when the last surviving borrower dies, sells the home, or permanently moves out of the home. The general meaning of a “permanent move” means that neither you nor any other co-borrower has lived in your home for one continuous year. Reverse mortgage lenders can also require repayment at any time if you: 1) fail to pay your property taxes; 2) fail to maintain and repair your home; or 3) fail to keep your home insured. These requirements are standard on any type of mortgage. On a reverse mortgage, however, lenders generally have the option to pay for these expenses by reducing your loan advances and using the difference to pay these obligations. This is only an option, however, if you have not already used up all your available loan funds.

What happens to the remaining equity after the loan is repaid?

The debt you owe on a reverse mortgage equals all the loan advances you receive (including any you used to finance the loan or to pay off prior debt), plus all the interest that is added to your loan balance. If that amount is less than your home is worth when you pay back the loan, then you (or your estate) keep whatever amount is left over. If your rising loan balance ever grows to equal the value of your home, then your total debt is limited by the value of your home. To clarify: In order to retain the home when the reverse mortgage becomes due: 1) the consumer or the consumer’s heirs or estate must pay the entire loan balance and 2) the balance may be greater than the value of the consumer’s home. If so, the lender cannot seek repayment from your income, your other assets, or from your heirs. NOTE: The technical term for this is a “non-recourse limit.” It means that the lender does not have legal recourse to anything other than your home’s value when seeking repayment of the loan.

Can I pay off debt with the proceeds?

Yes, however you must pay off any existing liens against the home either prior to closing or with the reverse mortgage proceeds first. Most individuals pay off home debt with a lump sum advance from their reverse mortgage.

What loans are higher than those offered with government-backed loans?

Reverse mortgages that are backed and owned by private lending companies are known as “proprietary” reverse mortgages. These companies have proprietary or ownership rights to these loans, and they decide which lenders may offer them. Under a proprietary reverse mortgage, homes that are worth more than HUD’s 203-b limit for your county, will probably offer larger cash advances than a federally-insured reverse mortgage.

What loan amounts can I expect?

The amount of money you can get depends on the specific terms of the reverse mortgage plan or program you select. It also depends on the kind of cash advances you choose. Some reverse mortgages cost more than others, and therefore reduce the amount of cash you will actually receive. Generally speaking, the amounts you can get depend on your age and your home’s value. There are two basic factors to consider: 1) The older you are, the more cash you can get; and 2) The more your home is worth, the more cash you can get. The specific dollar amount received can also depend on interest rates and closing costs on home loans in your area.

How do I receive the money?

Under a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) or Proprietary Reverse Mortgage, you can choose how to receive your funds from: 1) A term option that provides monthly cash advances for a specific length of time. 2) A tenure option that pays monthly for as long as the home is your primary residence. 3) A line-of-credit that allows you to draw from the account at any time. 4) A combination of the credit line and monthly payments.

How much are financing fees? How can I afford them?

Financing fees vary based on the loan terms, but the money you get from a reverse mortgage can be used to pay the various fees that are charged on the loan. This is called adding the “financing” fees to the loan amount. The costs are added to your loan balance, and you pay them back plus interest when the loan term expires.

Do I lose my property with a reverse mortgage? Who owns the property?

You remain the owner of your home just like you would with a standard mortgage. You will still be responsible for paying your property taxes and homeowner’s insurance and for making property repairs. After the loan terms expire, you or your heirs must repay all of your cash advances plus interest. Remember, reputable lenders don’t want your house; they want repayment.

Construction FAQ

Will the payments on my construction loan include principal and interest?

Yes, eventually. Initially, you may have interest-only payments on the funds drawn out until the house is completed. This means that interest is charged only on the amount of funds used at any given point and time. Payments are interest-only during the construction period, converting to principal and interest payments for the remaining term of the loan.

When do I have to repay my construction loan?

Typically, not until after construction is complete. Our lender Construction-to-Permanent Loan program includes an interest reserve, which means that you will not have to make any payments out-of-pocket during the construction period. An interest reserve account will be incorporated within the loan amount. Depending on how quickly you use your construction funds; there should be sufficient funds within the construction loan to carry you through the entire construction period.

Do I have to provide a down payment?

Yes. In most cases, loan applicants will have to provide a 10-20% down payment in order to secure a construction loan.

What paperwork do I need to get a construction loan?

Construction loan amounts are based on the finished value of the home. In order to accurately price your loan, we need all of the standard credit documentation required for a home loan as well as: · Your full application package. · Final plans and specifications for the home. These are needed to obtain an appraisal of the estimated value of the home at the time that construction is completed. · Purchase contract for the lot (or Settlement Statement from the title company if you’ve already purchased it). · Property profile – a description of materials to be used – we will supply you with the forms. · Line-Item Cost Breakdown from the builder – we can supply the forms. · Builder’s construction contract – you will need to obtain this from the builder/contractor. · Copy of the Builder’s/Contractor’s license. · Builder’s statement and/or signed authorization for credit rating.

Ready to get started?

Whether you have more questions, or are ready to take the first step, contact us to start your home buying journey. We are here to support you, every step of the way.

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