10 Essential Tips for Homebuyers

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1.Get a Home Inspection
Get a home inspection to evaluate the safety and overall condition of your new home, even if it appears flawless.

2.Get Pre-approved for a Loan
Before you start house hunting, get pre-approved for a mortgage loan.

3.Communicate Through Your Agent
When you want to ask or tell the seller something, always go through your real estate agent.

4.Put the Deal Into Writing
Get the seller to put every component of the deal and any verbal agreement into writing.

5.Include Contingencies With Offer
Include important contingencies, such as financing and property inspections, with your offer.

6.Develop a Wish List
Come up with a realistic wish list. Find out what you can afford in terms of house size, neighborhood and amenities.

7.Know Your Local Market
Know as much about the local market as you can. Use your agent’s CMA to learn about the selling price of comparable homes and the strength of the local real estate market.

8.Prioritize!
Decide what’s most important to you before the negotiation, so you know what parts of your offer you’re most comfortable giving up.

9.Keep Other Houses in Mind
When you begin negotiating on a specific property, know of other houses you’d be interested in buying. You don’t want to be so desperate to buy a certain house that you give in to whatever the seller wants.

10. Scope out Neighborhoods, Neighbors
Talk to neighbors to get the inside scoop on what it’s like to live in the neighborhoods of homes you are interested in. While doing so, gauge if you would like to live next to these people for the foreseeable future.

Buying a home AFTER Bankruptcy….

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Declaring Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is often devastating and can turn your home buying plans upside down. Most home loan applicants think that if they have had a Bankruptcy in the past that they can never buy a home in the future and this is simply not the case. In fact, more people have prior Bankruptcies than what you might think. Filing for a Bankruptcy may be a low point in your life, but with proper preparation, patience and financial planning, you might be able to purchase a home sooner than expected. If you have had a Bankruptcy and want to purchase a home, here are the steps you need to take to get yourself in a position to purchase.

Discharge and Organize:
First things first: The bankruptcy must be discharged. If you are still in the process, it will be difficult to get a mortgage lender will speak to you.

Once your bankruptcy is discharged, organize and scrutinize your credit report. If there are debts that have been paid back but still appear on your report, contact the credit agency and have them corrected. While you’re at it, check for other mistakes on your credit report. You are entitled to one free credit report from each of the big three credit rating agencies each year—Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. If there is an error, dispute it online via the particular credit agency’s website.

Use Secured Credit Cards:
The fastest way to start rebuilding your credit score after a bankruptcy is to prove to creditors and other lenders that you can be trusted to pay back the money you owe them. You can do this by opening the right kinds of credit and managing it well.

A great place to start rebuilding your credit is by obtaining a secured credit card. A secured credit card gives you credit limited to the amount you have on deposit with the issuing bank. So, if you have $20 to $500 to place in an account with the issuing bank, then the bank will limit your credit each month to the amount of that deposit.

More Tips to Remember While Building Credit…..
Use only a small portion of your credit.
Don’t max out your credit cards and don’t apply for too much credit at one time.
Move slowly and build up your credit with on-time or even early payments.
At the end of every month, pay enough on your credit card to drop the balance down to $10.

-Pay all your bills on time and save money.
-Stay at the same job for a good length of time.
-Remove any outstanding tax liens.

Wait at Least Two Years:
Here’s where you will need patience: You should wait at least 24 months after your bankruptcy is discharged to apply for a mortgage. You may be able to get a mortgage sooner but the terms, like interest rates, won’t be as attractive as they would be if you waited two years. Since you might be paying that mortgage interest for up to 30 years, you will save money if you wait long enough after the discharge to get a good interest rate.

Finally Applying For a Mortgage:
After the two-year period, make sure you are fully prepared to apply for a loan. Your lender will want you to meet certain criteria before agreeing to lend you money: A good debt-to-income ratio, stability and time on the job. Money in the bank and no bounced checks help tremendously, of course. Any retirement plans or 401(k) assets makes your credit look good as well.

If you are seeking a home loan in the State of Georgia and would like to talk to a Loan officer about your particular situation, please call us at 770-924-1111

The VA Loan….4 reasons why it is the best.

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If you are a Veteran of one of the great military institutions and have served enough time to earn your Certificate of Eligibility, a VA home loan is most likely right for you! Here is an interesting fact, although some ill-advised experts will contend that 100% financing or low down payment programs led to the housing crisis, did you know that the 100% VA loan has the lowest rate of loan default out of any loan product on the market? The VA loan is the best financing product on the market, here are 4 reasons why:

100% Financing.
The VA loan entitles eligible Veterans to receive no down payment 100% financing on their home loans. This allows the Veteran to retain their personal savings making them better equipped to deal with life’s little emergencies that most likely will occur down the road. After all, life happens right?

NO Monthly Mortgage Insurance.
With most loan products, if you won’t put down 20% you must pay monthly mortgage insurance on your loan which is included in your monthly mortgage payment. Most all government backed loans such as FHA or USDA have required monthly mortgage insurance, but not VA loans. This increases the affordability of a home that the Veteran chooses, making it easier for them to maintain on time payments to the lender.

Flexible, Make Sense Underwriting Standards.
The VA has established make sense underwriting guidelines giving Veterans additional leeway when it comes to credit issues. They have the shortest seasoning guidelines on foreclosures, short sales, and Bankruptcy’s of any government backed loan. With that being said, the Veteran still must meet minimum credit standards established by the VA and the mortgage lender. Just because a Veteran has his/her Certificate of Eligibility is not an automatic loan approval. However working with a Loan Officer who has an extensive knowledge of the VA guidelines can be the difference between a loan approval and a loan denial. Although the VA has their own underwriting guidelines, not all VA Lenders have the same guidelines and you will find that credit score requirement vary greatly from lender to lender.

Low Rates
The VA does not establish mortgage rates or actually lend any money themselves to make a mortgage loan, rather mortgage rates are established by each individual lender. However, VA loan rates are some of the most competitive rates in the business.

If you are a Veteran and would like to explore your options to purchase a home using your VA Entitlement, we would love the opportunity to earn your business. Please call 770-924-1111 for a FREE, no obligation credit consultation.

Your Monthly Mortgage Payment

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When you own a home, the responsibility goes deeper than just making monthly principal + interest payments to the bank. Real estate taxes and homeowners insurance are due, too.

Principal and interest payments are typically due monthly to your lender; real estate taxes are due to your local taxing authority; and homeowners insurance is due to your insurer.

Depending on how you manage these four parts, you may get a lower rate.

What Is PITI?
When a mortgage lender is trying to determine your ability to repay, one area at which it looks is your total monthly housing payment.

Your total monthly housing is calculated as follows:
•Your monthly mortgage principal payment
•Your monthly mortgage interest payment
•Your annual real estate tax bill, pro-rated to a monthly figure
•Your annual homeowners insurance bill, pro-rated to a monthly figure

Collectively, these elements — principal, interest, taxes, insurance — are known as PITI.
PITI can vary from day-to-day, and from home-to-home. This is because mortgage rates change daily, which change a home’s principal + interest payment, and because every home’s tax bill and insurance bill are different.

Many mortgage programs such as the FHA Streamline Refinance and various VA home loans require monthly pro-rated tax and insurance bills to be included within the monthly mortgage payment, a loan trait known as “escrowing” taxes and insurance.

Find Your Monthly Escrow Payment
Escrows are a part of your mortgage payment and you’ll want to know your obligation. It’s best to use a calculator because, although the math is simple, you want to make sure you get it right.

First, find your home’s real estate tax bill(s), noting that in some areas, you may receive statements from multiple different taxing authorities. Find the sum of these statements and add to it your annual hazard insurance premium.

If you are a home buyer and don’t know what your hazard insurance premium will be, estimate 1% of the purchase price. This will yield an estimate which is likely larger than your actual premium, but when building a budget, it’s often better to estimate on the high-side.
Next, divide your sum by the 12 months in a year.

These monies are paid along with the mortgage payment’s principal + interest portion.

Call your favorite Go To Guys for any questions regarding your payment or escrow! 770.924.1111

4 Things that Slow Down Your Loan Process…..

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1.Incomplete Documentation
In today’s mortgage world, documentation is absolutely critical. Your loan can either be really easy and close in 2 weeks, or really difficult and take much longer to close. Often times the difference is how complete and thorough your documentation is. When your Loan Officer asks for bank statements, sending in all pages is critical as often times bank statement will have numbered pages, if we are missing a page then the underwriter is going to ask for it, even if it’s a completely blank page.

2.Cash Deposits or Transfers
Cash deposits are the arch nemeses to underwriters. Tracking cash is nearly impossible and if the underwriter sees a large cash deposit with no documentation often times we won’t be able to give you credit for this deposit and the money will be backed out of your available assets. Transferring monies from account to account can also present a problem for underwriters. When the underwriter sees a transfer into your account from another account, statements for the other account must be provided in order to track where the transfer came from.

3.Dragging your Feet to Obtain Documents
A sales contract is a legally binding agreement and certain timelines must be met. When documentation is asked for, time is of the essence and as a homebuyer, you must provide this documentation in the fastest possible time frame in order to stay on track for your closing.

4.Sense of Entitlement
Loan officers have this issue with applicants who make $25,000 a year or one million a year. Buyers don’t understand why so much documentation is required for them to be approved for a mortgage loan, but that’s the environment we are in and will be in for the foreseeable future, so get used to it. Here at Mortgage Solutions, we will never ask you for a document that we can either find ourselves, or really don’t need. So if your Loan Officer asks for a document, its best to simply comply rather than having a discussion about why it’s needed.

Bottom line, here at Mortgage Solutions we know how to close mortgage loans, after all, it’s what we do and have been doing for well over a decade now. We have streamlined the mortgage process to get you closed in the most efficient manner possible. We look forward to working with you in the future, if you are seeking a mortgage loan in 2015, get it done right, call the The-Go-To-Guys today!770.924.1111

Words of Encouragement for your Dreams of Buying a Home in 2015!

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Do you have dreams and aspirations of owning your own home in 2015? Have you previously been turned down for a mortgage loan and want so desperately to have a home to call your own? Then it’s time to make 2015 a year to remember!

We have all been there, heck, I have been there myself. Well over a decade ago after graduating college I had the worst credit in America! No one had ever taught me the importance of credit, how to manage it, and how having good credit would positively impact me for the rest of my life. I am not proud of the pathetic credit score I had back then, but I am proud of where I am at today rocking a credit score in the high 700’s!

The reality of it all is that any credit can be fixed. You just have to know what to do and what not to do. There are tons of valuable resources listed on our website that can help you become an educated consumer. And because we have been there ourselves, we welcome the opportunity to speak to you regarding your personal situation and work up a custom action plan to improve your credit. We can teach you not only what to do, but educate you on why you need to do it. And most importantly of all, we are a no judgment zone! We are here to help you accomplish your goal of home ownership in 2015.

Every day in our office we turn potential home buyers who were previously denied for their mortgage loan into happy home buyers. Sometimes the process is fast and easy, and other times it can take the better part of a year, but you have to start somewhere, and today is the day, now is the time. No more excuses, if you are a serious potential homebuyer and want a home of your own by the end of 2015, calling us today or applying online is the first step in your success!

770.924.1111

How give and receive a gifted down payment for your home…

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Receiving a down payment gift for the purchase of your next home? You’re not alone. Many U.S. home buyers do it.
Mortgage lenders allow cash gifts for down payment on a huge array of loan programs including FHA loans, VA loans, USDA loans, and conventional loans.

However, if you’re getting a cash gift for down payment, you’ll want to make sure that you “receive” your cash gift properly.
There’s a specific way to receive money for a down payment. Should you receive your gift improperly, your loan could be denied.

Step 1: What the Giver of the Gift Needs To Do
With your mortgage down payment gift letter written, you’ll want to make sure you don’t violate the rules of “taking a gift”. In order to do that, make sure to keep an extra-strong paper trail for the money being gifted.

If you are the person who is gifting funds to the buyer, for example, and you sell your personal stock holding as part of the down payment gift process, you will want to make sure that you document the sale of your stock as well as the transfer of funds from your brokerage account into the account from which you’re making the gift. Do not make the transfer without a proper paper trail.

Next, you’ll want to write a check to the home buyer for the exact dollar amount specified in the gift letter you’ve written. Photocopy the check. Keep one copy for your records and give one copy to the buyer — the lender will want to see it as part of the process.
Note that writing a check is will require more steps and will require more effort than simply wiring funds to the buyer. Be okay with these extra steps. It’s simpler for a lender to document and track a personal check than it is to track a wire; and it’s good to make things simple for the bank.

Step 2: What the Receiver of the Gift Needs To Do
Now that the gifter has handed, in the form of a check, a down payment gift to the buyer, the following steps are required.
First, with the gift check in hand, the buyer should physically walk into your to make the deposit in-person. Do not deposit the check online using an iPhone or Android app; or at an ATM machine.

In addition, into whichever bank account you deposit your gift money, make sure it’s the same bank account from which all of your money at closing will be drawn. You do not want to bring money to closing from multiple savings accounts. This, too, can make things difficult on a bank and the goal is to keep things simple.

When you get to your branch, do the following:
1.Deposit the gift funds into a bank account
2.End your transaction
3.Collect a receipt for your deposit

Under no circumstances whatsoever should you “co-mingle” your gift deposit with other monies, nor with other gifts. The amount specified on your teller receipt should match exactly the dollar amount on the certified down payment gift letter. If the amount is off by even a penny, the lender will likely reject your letter and the funds that came with it.

Note that if you are receiving multiple cash gifts for down payment, you should follow this process for each gift independently. Again, do not co-mingle your gifts. Be guided by your gift letter.

Step 3: Complete the Gift Letter
When you accept a down payment gift, remember that there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it. For example, you cannot randomly deposit your cash gift into a bank account. Doing so will get your loan denied.
The Gift Letter can be obtained by your Mortgage Lender.

Call The Go To Guys for questions regarding any of the above information. We are here to help! 770.924.1111

Waiting to buy a house? It’ll cost you!

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Experts agree: There’s no better time to buy a home than now. Find out why.

When it comes to a lot of things – saying “I’ll sleep on it”, or just waiting it out to ensure you are making the best decision is often prudent, EXCEPT the decision to purchase a home. With interest rates going up and housing prices on the rise, you may think it might not be the best time to purchase a home or even refinance the one you’ve got. But experts disagree.

Read the four major reasons why mortgage experts believe that there is no better time than the present to get that dream house you’ve always wanted.

Reason #1: Interest Rates Won’t Stay this Low Forever

The first reason to look now into buying a home or refinancing is because these rates won’t stay [put] forever. That’s what rates do – they go up.

In fact, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage is expected to go up to 5 percent by the fourth quarter of this year and 5.3 percent by the end of 2015, according to a recent forecast by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).

Why are rates rising? Well, one huge factor is that the feds will start raising rates about six months after they stop buying mortgage bonds, which is projected to happen sometime in 2015.

Mortgage rates probably won’t start shooting up quickly. But a quarter of a point on an interest rate can mean about $100 more each month for a homeowner’s loan. For a lot of families, that can make a huge difference!

Reason #2: Credit Score Requirements are Lower

Is your credit score lower than you’d like to admit? Well, good news: Credit score requirements for borrowers taking out mortgages are easing as is the Underwriting process.

Here at Mortgage Solutions of Georgia we can Approve your loan with scores as low as 580 for FHA loans, 600 for VA Loans, and 620 for USDA Loans. Both USDA and VA are 100% financing options. FHA does require a small down payment of 3.5%, but considering the great costs you are paying for rent, this loan is still a viable option for many Home Buyers.

 Reason #3: Buying is Still Cheaper than Renting

Buying a house is a significant purchase, but in most parts of the country including Georgia, it’s cheaper than renting. If that seems counterintuitive, let’s look at recent research by Trulia, an online residential real estate site for home buyers, sellers, renters and real estate professionals.

According to Trulia, homeownership compared to renting continues to be the less expensive way to live in all of the 100 largest metro areas researched. The study compared the costs of renting and owning assuming homebuyers get a 4.5 percent mortgage rate on a 30-year fixed term loan with 20 percent down.

So why should people buy a home now? The gap is getting smaller between the two choices because of rising mortgage rates and home prices.

Here at Mortgage Solutions, our clients are often surprised by the fact that they can finance a home for 30 years on a low fixed rate mortgage and their monthly mortgage payments works out to be less expensive than their rent. Let’s assume you spend $1,000 a month in rent for 5 years, that would total $60,000 over the duration of 5 years and what have you got for that money spent other than a place to sleep at night? Now let’s assume that you purchase a home using a USDA Loan and get 100% financing. At the end of 5 years you would owe $92,256 on the home, however assuming your home appreciates only 5% every year for the first 5 years, your $100,000 home would not be worth $127,627.50. Your just increased your Net Worth by $35,371.

Bottom line, when you look at the numbers, renting is a losing proposition nearly 100% of the time.

Reason #4: Home values are still competitive

Are you looking for a bungalow with a white picket fence, a home in the country, or a cabin in the woods? Well, it might be time to buy your dream abode before prices go too high.

The good news is that that the prices of homes have gone up but haven’t skyrocketed, so they’re still within reach of many buyers.

Property values are still very competitive in most markets, but there is a tremendous amount of competition by other buyers. If you are looking at buying a home, be prepared to offer quickly, and get preapproved by a lender which will make things go easier.

Bottom line, here at Mortgage Solutions we believe everybody deserves an opportunity to own a home of their own. Unfortunately, many renters don’t understand the opportunity they have right before them currently. With low financing rates combined with lower housing prices, now is the perfect time to find your home and buy it instead of continuing to rent. However, this window of opportunity is slowing closing for many potential home buyers as mortgage rates and home prices continue to climb. Now is the time, and we are here to help! Call us today for a no obligation, 100% free, credit consultation.

How to Buy a Home After Bankruptcy……….

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Declaring Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is often devastating and can turn your home buying plans upside down. Most home loan applicants think that if they have had a Bankruptcy in the past that they can never buy a home in the future and this is simply not the case. In fact, more people have prior Bankruptcies than what you might think. Filing for a Bankruptcy may be a low point in your life, but with proper preparation, patience and financial planning, you might be able to purchase a home sooner than expected. If you have had a Bankruptcy and want to purchase a home, here are the steps you need to take to get yourself in a position to purchase.

Discharge and Organize:
First things first: The bankruptcy must be discharged. If you are still in the process, it will be difficult to get a mortgage lender will speak to you.

Once your bankruptcy is discharged, organize and scrutinize your credit report. If there are debts that have been paid back but still appear on your report, contact the credit agency and have them corrected. While you’re at it, check for other mistakes on your credit report. You are entitled to one free credit report from each of the big three credit rating agencies each year—Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. If there is an error, dispute it online via the particular credit agency’s website.

Use Secured Credit Cards:
The fastest way to start rebuilding your credit score after a bankruptcy is to prove to creditors and other lenders that you can be trusted to pay back the money you owe them. You can do this by opening the right kinds of credit and managing it well.

A great place to start rebuilding your credit is by obtaining a secured credit card. A secured credit card gives you credit limited to the amount you have on deposit with the issuing bank. So, if you have $20 to $500 to place in an account with the issuing bank, then the bank will limit your credit each month to the amount of that deposit.

More Tips to Remember While Building Credit……….
Use only a small portion of your credit. Don’t max out your credit cards and don’t apply for too much credit at one time.
Move slowly and build up your credit with on-time or even early payments. At the end of every month, pay enough on your credit card to drop the balance down to $10.

-Pay all your bills on time and save money.
-Stay at the same job for a good length of time.
-Remove any outstanding tax liens.

Wait at Least Two Years:
Here’s where you will need patience: You should wait at least 24 months after your bankruptcy is discharged to apply for a mortgage. You may be able to get a mortgage sooner but the terms, like interest rates, won’t be as attractive as they would be if you waited two years. Since you might be paying that mortgage interest for up to 30 years, you will save money if you wait long enough after the discharge to get a good interest rate.

Finally Applying For a Mortgage:
After the two-year period, make sure you are fully prepared to apply for a loan. Your lender will want you to meet certain criteria before agreeing to lend you money: A good debt-to-income ratio, stability and time on the job. Money in the bank and no bounced checks help tremendously, of course. Any retirement plans or 401(k) assets makes your credit look good as well.

If you are seeking a home loan in the State of Georgia and would like to talk to a Loan officer about your particular situation, please call us at 770-924-1111

 

 

 

6 Mistakes to Avoid When Applying for a Mortgage Loan……

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If you are purchasing a new home in Georgia, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of purchasing your new house, especially if it’s your first time as a homeowner. That sense of accomplishment, the upgrades to your lifestyle and living arrangements, even landing a great rate on your mortgage, are all part of the ups that come with having a home to call your own.

With all of these things to look forward to, it’s understandable to want to swiftly move through a mortgage application as fast as possible. Many times, though, potential homeowners might not realize some of the little things they inadvertently do in a hurry that can actually slow down the mortgage application process to the detriment of being approved for a home loan.

Before applying for a mortgage, consider some of these common missteps and avoidable oversights that could prolong the application review, and even get you declined by a lender.

Failing to get preapproved:

Unfortunately, one of the most fundamental preparatory steps people fail to take is getting preapproved to check if they even qualify for mortgage financing. When contemplating purchasing a home, a pre-approval is essential to your success. The Pre-approval ensures that you are qualified to purchase, lets you know how much home you can afford, and prepares you for any down payment that may be required. However, not all lenders are created equally, so having a thorough pre-approval by a competent Loan Officer is critical to your success. I would steer clear of larger lending institutions or big banks.

Changing your credit behavior: There’s a misconception that if you pay off all your bills on time, it’s OK to use up a good chunk of your credit. The fact is, using too much credit is bad for your credit score and mortgage approval, since it implies a reliance on borrowing money. That doesn’t look good to the people you want to borrow from.

Indirectly shifting around your credit, like opening or closing a credit card, can also hurt both your FICO score and mortgage application because it skews your credit utilization ratio. The same goes for simply applying for new credit along with your mortgage application.

Blanking out on the “blank pages”: It’s an admirable thing, wanting to save paper and conserve trees and all. But when those empty pages of your mortgage application say “These pages left intentionally blank,” they’re blank for a reason. That doesn’t mean you can skip over them when scanning, faxing or mailing them to a lender, bank or credit union. This simple omission can invalidate your application entirely, or, at the least, hold up the process.

Forgetting to read the fine print: Be careful what you wish for. Overlooking the finer details of a mortgage application could mean getting approved for a mortgage you really don’t want. Being hasty about applying for a subpar mortgage deal is just a waste of time for you and your lender.

The same can be said about verbal agreements. Your word might be your bond, and a lender’s word might be its bond, but nothing is official until it’s in writing. Gone are the days when a handshake and a promise meant a deal was official. Failing to fill out mortgage documentation means there’s no fine print to read and could indicate a scam above anything else.

Lying: There was a time when you could embellish little things like income, employment or credit score on a mortgage application. No biggie, right? Wrong — in these post-financial crisis days, banks, lenders and the law, leave no stone unturned when it comes to anything financial, right down to the errant typo.

Any information you put down on a mortgage application — from 401(k)s to IRAs, to outstanding debts, even bankruptcy filings — can all be verified right down to the decimal point. Don’t put yourself at risk of committing mortgage fraud. And never, ever lie about your taxes.

Leaving out the legwork: Applying for a mortgage is a chance to verify some of those personal details we’ve never been sure of. Don’t know if your credit score is 320 or 780? Check out your credit before taking out a mortgage. Forgotten some of your past employment history or haven’t tallied up the exact amount of your outstanding debt? Dig into your records to get the answers. It’ll not only save you and your loan officer the work, but you’ll have the personal satisfaction of acquainting yourself with your own finances.

If you will be purchasing a new home in the near future, we would like to talk to you now. Call us today for a free Loan Pre-Approval. Its fast, free, and easy! 770-924-1111