A Step-by-Step Mortgage Guide

Home Financing


3 min. read

By: FCU Team

This is a guest post from FCU's AVP of Mortgage Services, Byron Zonin.

Buying a home is one of the most impactful and involved financial decisions you can make. The process of securing a mortgage and becoming a homeowner can be confusing and overwhelming - so we're here to help. We've written out a step-by-step guide to walk you through the journey to homeownership, from preapproval to getting the keys in your hand.

Step 1: Preapproval

The preapproval process should start prior to looking for a home.  This is your opportunity to discuss all of the different programs that you may be considering with your mortgage loan originator.  There is no one size fits all when it comes to mortgage programs, but your Florida Credit Union Mortgage Originator will interview you to discuss both your short term and long term goals. During this process, it's important to understand all of the features and benefits of each program - there's more to a mortgage than just the rate!  Find out details like what the costs are, will the loan be sold, how long is underwriting, and if there is mortgage insurance during your professional consultation. 

Step 2: Communication

Now that you have been preapproved and are shopping for a home, it's important to keep an open line of communication between you, your originator and your realtor. As you are looking at homes, you'll work together to ensure that the property type fits the specific program guidelines of your mortgage, and discuss the impact of homeowner's association fees, taxes, and homeowner's insurance to the budget and preapproval. 

Step 3: Contract

When you find a home that you'd like to purchase, your realtor must complete a contract. Once ratified, it's important to get your contract to your FCU Mortgage Originator as quickly as possible - there are a lot of items within the contract that need to be completed for closing, and you don't want to hold up the process.

There are several time-sensitive things that need to be completed once you're under contract. These include:
  1. Your formal application 
  2. Coordinate signing and discussion of your preliminary disclosures
  3. Collect all of the remaining documents that were discussed during your initial preapproval
Your FCU Mortgage Originator will make sure to walk you through this process and any documentation you may need to complete. If you ever have questions, be sure to ask! It's better to be completely certain everything is filled out properly than to guess and miss an important step.

Step 4: Processing

Once the disclosures are signed and remaining documents are collected, your file will be submitted to processing and services are ordered.  Once in processing, the mortgage processor will coordinate the collection of documents, follow-up with services with third party vendors, and submit to underwriting.

The type of services third party vendors provide include the appraisal, termite (WDO), survey, HOA documents, insurance, the home inspection, etc.

Underwriting is the process of reviewing the documents and services that were ordered such as the survey, title, appraisal, insurance, and more. FCU's Underwriters are trained to evaluate the different risks associated with the obtained information, while being conscientious that there is a member at the other end of this transaction.  Our underwriters look for ways to help, rather than ways to turn down a loan.

Step 5: Closing

Closing is the formal process that includes completing your contract by signing your loan documents, transferring ownership by execution of a new deed from the seller to the buyer, and paying the seller for your new home. This is when you will obtain your keys and become a new homeowner.  

By the time you get to closing, you will already know your payments, amount needed for closing, terms of the loan, and obligations under the note. 

Step 6: Homeownership

Now that you've obtained your new financing with FCU, we'll still be here to help if you have questions or concerns. As your mortgage originator, we make it our duty to continue to support you well into homeownership, and even into the ownership of your next home!

If you're ready to get started, contact FCU's Mortgage Team today and find out how we can help you make your dream of homeownership a reality.