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Mortgage FAQS

For your convenience, our most common customer mortgage questions are answered right here.

Not finding what you want? Reach out to Dan McKenzie of Alpharetta's Options Mortgage Services Company directly through our Contact Us page.


Why Pre-Qualify?

  • We help you determine the mortgage loan amount you can qualify for and the monthly mortgage payment amount you can afford by helping you pre-qualify. This process outlines your finances - your debts, income, employment, and down payment money, among other things. It's quick and basic. We keep the paperwork light!
  • We'll give you a Pre-Qualification Letter that states that we're confident you'll qualify for a predetermined amount of mortgage dollars.
  • Buying Power! Once you locate the house that catches your eye, and you want to put together an offer, being pre-qualified for a mortgage loan will do a number of things. First, it helps you know the amount that you are able to offer. Even more important to the seller of the house, your pre-qualification gives them certainty - as if you had come to their house with a bag of cash to back up the offer! They need not be concerned that they are wasting their time if you will not have the ability to qualify for a big enough mortgage. The seller of the home won't be concerned that he can't trust you to qualify for your loan.Your qualifying for the necessary loan amount will not cause them concern. You will have the influence of a buyer ready to make the deal on the spot!
  • We help with your pre-qualification! We can help you calculate how much of a mortgage loan you can afford, and the amount of money you can borrow, by walking you through pre-qualifying. We can accomplish this by analyzing your income and debts, your employment and residence circumstances, the available funds for down payment, required reserves, and other considerations. We will ask for a minimum amount of paperwork, with a quick process.

How large a down payment can I make on my mortgage?

HouseinShoppingCartMany buyers look at their cash on hand as their only source for their down payment. This simply is not the case. One way to fund or partially fund a down payment is by using a gift. Parents, grandparents and other family members are often eager to help by making a cash gift toward the purchase of your home.

There are also down payment assistance charities that can help you. And, of course, if you are selling a home, the equity you've built up can be applied to your down payment.

But these are not your only options. We can help you explore all your down payment options, including low down payment and 100% mortgage financing options that might be right for you.

What size monthly mortgage payment can I afford?

dollatcomputerWhen determining what size monthly mortgage payment you can afford, you'll want to consider what other monthly expenses you have. Tangible expenses such as car payments, day care and utility bills, all play a role in how large a monthly payment you can afford.

There are also the intangible expenses or lifestyle expenses that you'll want to consider. Things such as dining out, travel and when you buy your next car can effect how much you can afford. Are you willing to curtail or delay some of these expenses in order to afford a larger monthly payment?

How much can I borrow?

dollfamilyThis is a question you'll want to get answered before you begin your home search. This is something that we're here to help you with. Our mortgage calculator will help you see how your down payment, monthly payment and the amount you borrow are all interrelated.

We can answer any questions you may have about the mortgage process. But the best way we can help is by getting you pre-qualified for a mortgage loan. To get started, simply complete the form below to let us know a good time to contact you. We look forward to helping you buy your dream home.

What are Closing Costs?

Certain standard costs are associated with closing the sale of a house. Sellers and buyers usually split these costs, as the real estate sales contract specifies.

As indicated below, many of the buyer's costs are related to the costs of getting the mortgage loan. At Options Mortgage Services, LLC, we have extensive experience in mortgage lending, so we can provide you with a comprehensive report on mortgage-related costs in your "Good Faith Estimate".

The Good Faith Estimate (Also know as the GFE)
Soon after you apply for a loan, we'll provide you with a "Good Faith Estimate" of your costs. The closing costs spelled out in the GFE are estimated based on our experience with mortgage loans, but costs usually change a little bit between the GFE and closing. We go over GFEs with buyers every day, so we'd be glad to answer your questions about closing costs.

We've provided a general list of these costs below, but we will give you a specific list of closing costs, with amounts, very soon after you complete your loan application. At Options Mortgage Services, LLC, we don't believe in surprises, so if your costs change, we will be sure to let you know immediately.


Loan-Related Costs

  • Loan Origination Fee
  • Points — lower your interest rate (optional)
  • Appraisal Costs
  • Credit Report
  • Up-front Interest Payment
  • Escrow Account
  • Various Taxes

Property Taxes

  • Insurance
  • Transfer Taxes & Recording Fees

Homeowners Insurance

  • Flood or Quake Insurance
  • Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)
  • Title Insurance

Is Refinancing Worth the Cost?

Some have said that only if your new interest will be at least 2 points lower, should you refinance your mortgage. That might have been valid a while back, but as refinancing has been costing less in recent years, it is never the wrong time to explore the options of a new loan! Refinancing has some advantages that often make it worth the initial cost a few times over.

When you refinance, you may be able to lower the interest rate and mortgage payment amount, perhaps considerably. You could also have the ability to "cash out" some of the built-up equity in your home, which you are able use to consolidate debts, improve your home, or finance a vacation. With reduced interest rates, you might also get the chance to build up home equity faster by moving to a shorter-term loan.

The Cost
As you probably expect, you'll have some fees and expenses during the the refinance process. You'll pay the same kinds of fees as you did with your current mortgage. Among these can be settlement costs, an appraisal, lender's title insurance, underwriting fees, and so on.

Doing the Math
You might consider paying points to receive a lower interest rate. The amount you'll save over the life of the mortgage could be significant if you've paid up front about three percent of the new loan balance. You may have heard that these points can be tax deductible, but since tax regulations can be difficult to keep up with, we urge you to consult with a tax professional before depending on this.

One more expense that a borrower might consider is that a reduced interest rate will reduce the interest amount you'll be able to deduct on your federal income taxes. We can help you do the math! Call us at (678) 701-1207.

Most borrowers find that the savings each month outweigh the initial cost of a refinance. We can help you figure out what your options are, considering the effect a refinance might have on your taxes, how likely you may be to sell in the next couple of years, and your cash on hand.


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