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Mortgage 101

  • Buying a home? Get a step ahead with the Edina Realty Mortgage Buyer Advantage®

    Obtaining a mortgage preliminary approval is a great place to begin when buying a home. But if you want your home purchase offer to stand out to sellers, ask for the Edina Realty Mortgage Buyer Advantage®.1

    By electing to participate, you can get much of the home financing process out of the way and obtain a Commitment Letter before you even begin searching for a home.

    What are the benefits?

    • Complimentary - Choosing to participate costs you nothing additional.

    • Distinguished - A Commitment Letter can set your home purchase offer apart from other offers a seller maybe considering.

    • Smooth - With much of the home financing process completed up-front, additional requirements or conditions can be identified to help prevent last-minute issues.

    • Flexible - You may have the option of being more flexible with your closing date and also help ensure an on-time closing.


    Don't waste time during the home financing process. Ask for the Edina Realty Mortgage Buyer Advantage®!


    Buyer Advantage® is not a final loan approval.A Commitment Letter is based on information and documentation provided by you and a review of your credit report. The interest rate and type of mortgage used to approve you for a specified loan amount is subject to change, which may also change the terms of approval.  If the interest rate used for credit approval has changed, you may need to re-qualify. Information provided by you is subject to review and all other loan conditions must be met. After you have chosen a home and your offer has been accepted, final loan approval will be contingent upon obtaining an acceptable appraisal and title commitment.  Additional documentation may be required.

  • $
    • P&I
    • Insurance
    • Taxes
    • PMI
    • HOA

    Additional Calculators:

    How Much Will My Payments Be?
    Calculate your monthly payment with applicable finance charges, PMI, hazard insurance, and property taxes.

    Affordability Calculator
    How much can you borrow from a lender? Use this calculator to calculate the amount you can afford from the lender's point of view.

    How Much Income do I Need to Qualify?
    Do you need to know how much money you must earn to purchase the house of your dreams? This calculator will help you figure it out.

    Mortgage Length Calculator
    This calculator will help you to determine your savings if you make larger monthly payments.

    Comparison Calculators:

    Which Loan is Better?
    Can't decide which loan offer is better? Input your numbers here and lock-in the best offer.

    Rent vs. Buy
    Still renting an apartment and thinking about a home purchase? This calculator can help you make the final decision.

  • Buying a Home? Here are the basics.

    If you know what to expect – and you have a knowledgeable team of real estate and mortgage-lending professionals to assist you – finding and financing your first home can be an exciting and rewarding experience.  Here’s what you need to know:

    Obtain a mortgage preliminary approval before you begin house hunting.
    •  Learn how much home you can purchase.
    •  Strengthen your bargaining position with sellers.

    Work with your real estate agent to find the right home.
    •  Determine your needs and create a wish list of desirable features.
    •  Take notes as you preview homes using our house hunting checklist.

    Make a purchase offer.
    •  Your real estate agent presents your offer to the seller, who will then choose to accept, counter or reject the offer.
    •  When the price is settled, you and the seller sign a Purchase Agreement, defining the terms of the sale.

    Complete the loan application process.
    If you have already obtained a mortgage preliminary approval, contact your lender and let them know you have a contract on a home. Your mortgage consultant will update your loan application and help you to proceed with the home financing process.

    Have the home inspected.
    If you choose to have a home inspection, hire a professional home inspector after the offer has been accepted to provide an in-depth look at the basic systems of the house, which can reveal any safety hazards and give you a chance to reconsider the deal.

    The home will be appraised.
    An appraisal, required by your mortgage lender, is a formal, written estimate of the home’s current market value.

    Obtain title insurance. (where applicable).
    Title insurance guarantees the property you are purchasing is free of liens or confusion in rights of ownership, and it also insures against any losses to the property that result from defects in the title or deed.

    Close on the property.
    •  A closing agent coordinates and distributes all the paperwork and funds.
    •  Ownership of the property is transferred.

    And you become the proud owner of your new home!
    Whatever your home financing needs, we are ready to help with a broad range of programs and services.


    Contact your local mortgage consultant with any additional questions!

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  • Use this handy checklist to gather documents for your home loan.

    The documents listed here are general and may not include all documents specific to your home mortgage financing situation. Your mortgage consultant will inform you of any additional documentation that you may need.

    Income Information

    • 30 days’ most recent pay stubs with year-to-date information for all jobs and for each borrower
    • Federal tax returns for the 2 most recent years (1040’s)
    • W-2 forms for the 2 most recent years
    • Written explanation if employed less than 2 years or gap in employment in last 2 years

    Credit Information

    • Most recent 2 months asset statements listed on the application — all pages to each statement even if blank    (Example: checking account, savings account, CDs, money market accounts, IRA, 401k, etc.)
    • If applicable, landlord name, phone number, and address
    • If you have any obligations due to legal action, for example child support, lawsuit judgment, bring in any judicial decree
    • If applicable, complete Bankruptcy papers including discharge papers — also provide documentation supporting circumstances leading up to the bankruptcy, if able
    • If applicable, credit explanation letter for any late payments, collections, judgments or other derogatory credit items
    • Documentation for any large deposits outside payroll or gift fund deposits shown on asset statements
    • If applicable, previous payments for: public utilities, phone company, cable, car insurance

    Other Information

    • Real estate agent information (if applicable)
    • Homeowner’s insurance information

    Special Information, if applicable

    • Last 3 years’ complete Federal tax returns (both personal and business returns)
    • Year-to-date profit and loss statement
    • List of all business debts

    Credit is subject to approval. Some restrictions apply. This information is accurate as of date of posting and is subject to change without notice.

  • The mortgage process doesn’t have to be overwhelming or confusing.

    Check out what to expect each step of the way in our mortgage process roadmap:

    Step 1: Contact us for pre-qualification

    • Provide pre-qualification information.
    • We'll give you a list of financial documents needed.
    • We'll determine what you may qualify for and go over your options with you!


    Step 2: Write a contract & make official loan application!

    • Sign official loan application with us and provide any outstanding financial documents requested.
    • This is typically when you lock in an interest rate.
    • We'll order your appraisal and title work. Please note that an appraisal fee is collected when appraisal is ordered.
    • Schedule your home inspection as quickly as possible.
    • Obtain quotes for homeowner’s insurance and decide which agent you would like to work with.
    • The loan process STARTS here.


    Step 3: Behind the scenes loan underwriting & processing

    • A Loan Underwriter reviews your loan file and issues a commitment to lend, provided required conditions are met.
    • A Loan Processor obtains required conditions - including but not limited to employment verifications, IRS transcripts, updated bank statements and documentation required for gifts or liquidation of assets.
    • Credit is monitored for new debt.
    • Waiting on title work, appraisal and insurance.
    • We may need additional information or documentation during this stage.


    Step 4: Final loan approval

    • The Loan Underwriter has received & reviewed all items required for approval, including appraisal and final inspection (if applicable), title and insurance.
    • Note that changes (credit changes, employment changes, etc.) can still affect closing negatively at this stage!


    Step 5: Closing disclosure

    • Lists actual settlement costs.
    • A preliminary copy is issued a minimum of 3 days prior to closing.
    • You receive one figure for closing, which includes your down payment and settlement costs. This is payable to the settlement office by wire or cashier’s check, due at closing.


    Step 6: Closing - CONGRATULATIONS!

    • Sign final closing disclosure and final loan paperwork.


    Step 7: Loan servicing transferred

    • 1 - 2 months after closing.
    • "Goodbye letter" from us and introduction to new servicer.
    • Welcome letter from new servicer with detailed contract information.


    NOTE: This guide is not all-inclusive. Information is accurate as of today's date and is subject to change without notice.

  • Credit Score Chart

    Payment History
    35% of your credit score is determined by your payment history. Simply, if you make your debt payments on time your credit score will be on the rise. Late debt payments are reported to the credit agencies and can damage your credit.

    Outstanding Debt
    30% of your credit score is determined by your outstanding debt. Managing the amount you owe versus your available credit is heavily weighted in determining your credit score. For example, if you have a credit card with a limit of $1,000 and you have a balance of $998 your score will be negatively impacted. It is best to keep your balances to at or below 30% of what is available. In our example it would be at or less than a $300 balance.

    Length of Credit History
    There is a direct positive impact on your credit score the longer you can show a history of being a responsible account holder. However, opening new accounts can negatively impact your credit scores. It is important to keep this in mind with all of the available credit opportunities for consumers.

    Types of Credit
    10% of your credit score is determined by the mix of account types that you have. These include revolving (credit card), installment, (auto, student loan, etc.), and mortgage accounts. It is important to have a good balance of revolving, installment, and mortgage accounts within your credit profile.

    New Credit
    10 % of your credit score is determined by the number of new accounts that you have. Credit inquiries or change to businesses pulling your credit is factored into this category. If you are frequently opening new accounts it can negatively impact your credit score.

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