The Purchase Process

Step 1: Get pre-approved

Once you've decided that you want to buy a home, you should determine what payments you can comfortably afford. We provides many tools such as an affordability calculator that give you a general idea of what your payments would be, but to get a better idea of the price range of homes to view, you should get pre-qualified. A prequalification letter is beneficial in many ways. First, it gives you an idea of what loan amount and purchase price you can afford. Second, it strengthens your offer to the seller and the seller's real estate agent. Third, by getting pre-qualified, you're getting a jump start on the mortgage process. Once you find your home and open escrow, you're already a few steps ahead. Get pre-qualified today - its free!

Step 2: Determine which mortgage program best suits your needs

There are many mortgage options available from first-time buyer programs to traditional conventional, jumbo, and FHA mortgages. There are 30 year and 15 year fixed mortgages as well as adjustable and hybrid loans such as a 5/1 ARM or 10/1 ARM.  With all the options available, you need expert advice to help you choose the right loan for your situation. Be sure to visit our mortgage options page to learn about all the options that are available and if you have more questions, you can call one of our Mortgage Originators.

Step 3: Contact a real estate agent and start shopping

Once you've been pre-qualified and have an idea of what price range you qualify for, you can work with a Realtor to view homes for sale in the areas you'd like to live. Need a Realtor?  No problem!  We can help you there too.  Once you find a home you like, you can work with the Realtor to draw up an offer and complete a purchase agreement. The seller has the option to submit a counter-offer and you may go through several rounds of counters.

Step 4: Review your loan application and update your mortgage

Depending on how much time has passed since we issued your pre-qualification letter, we may need to collect some updated information and updated documents from you. We probably have everything we need, but it is a good idea to go over the home purchase document checklist to ensure we have everything we need.

Once we have updated your file, your Mortgage Originator will go over the details of your mortgage program, confirm the rate that you want, and go over your closing fees. We'll make sure that you understand every detail of your mortgage program and answer any questions you have before moving forward.

Step 5: Lock your rate

At this point, if you'd like to secure your interest rate, your licensed Mortgage Originator will send you a lock agreement to confirm the terms of the loan and rate.

Step 6: Home inspection and appraisal

It is advisable to schedule a home inspection with a professional who will walk you through the property to look for any red flags such as structural damages or appliances that may not be working properly and other items that may need to be fixed. It is a small investment for some peace of mind. Any major issues would need to be addressed before the close of escrow date. While your mortgage is being reviewed and processed, we will schedule an appraisal appointment with the seller's agent to confirm the value of the home. Unlike a home inspection, that appraisal is a requirement to determine that the home is worth what you are paying for it.

Step 7: Mortgage approval , signing, and closing

Once we have everything we need, your Processor will submit your complete file to the underwriting department for approval. Once approved, we will prepare mortgage documents for you to sign. Generally, it will take 30 minutes to an hour and when you're done, you're the proud owner of a new home!


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Elmira Savings Bank is an approved Seller/Servicer of Freddie Mac, FHA/Department of Housing & Urban Development, VA, USDA, and SONYMA (NY Only). Elmira Savings Bank is an Equal Housing Lender committed to ensuring every applicant for credit receive fair and equal treatment throughout the credit application and approval process, as embodied in the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and the Fair Housing Act. All mortgage lending products are subject to credit and property approval. Rates, program terms and conditions are subject to change without notice. Not all products are available in all states or for all amounts. Other restrictions and limitations apply.

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