Buying a Home and the Loan Process : Olympia Area Home Loans


Submitted By:  Tim – A Licensed Mortgage Broker


Step 1:  Get pre-approved Go to our website,, and fill out an on-line loan application, as completely as possible, with income, assets and job history.  Once your application is done, Tim will call you to discuss the best loan program for your needs and ask any additional questions that might need to be answered.  We will ask for your authorization to pull your credit report at this time.  Credit scores play a big factor in programs and rates.

Step 2:  Pre-Approval If you are purchasing a home, once all income, assets, job history and credit have been reviewed, we will run your financials through an automated system and issue a Pre-Approval letter to you so that you can begin shopping for your new home with confidence. Since you have already went through the loan application process above, you will know exactly how much house you can afford and the Pre-Approval Letter increases your bargaining power as now you will be viewed as an approved borrower versus someone who is just prequalified.


Step 3:  The House Search- Begin shopping with your Real Estate Agent for your house so that you can determine the most important characteristics you will want for your home.  Once you find the right one, the terms of the sale will be negotiated and you and your realtor will write the offer.  The realtor will work with Tim to see if any of the closing costs should be included in your offer and paid by the seller.

Step 4:  Gathering Documentation– Once you have chosen your new home, we then will ask for the necessary documentation to submit your loan to the lender.  We will ask for 1 month’s paystubs, 2 months bank statements, W-2’s for the past 2 years and any other information that we know the underwriter will need in order to approve your loan application.  If you are self-employed we’ll be asking for a little bit more information.   We will meet with you to have you sign all of your initial loan disclosures that we will need in order to submit your file to one of the many lenders with whom we shop for the best rates.

Step 5:  Submitting your loan to the Lender for Approval-The best thing about working with a Mortgage Brokerage is that we are approved with multiple lenders and we are able to shop rates and fees and find some of the most competitive prices available.   It also allows us to choose the lender that we think will do the best job for you based on your financials and type of loan program.  Once we have determined which lender of ours that you will do the best with, we will submit your entire loan package.  The loan package gets sent into the lender’s underwriting department where an underwriter will review the income, assets, job history, loan purpose and property.  We will most often have an approval back within 48-72 hours of submitting your loan.

Step 5:  Ordering the Appraisal-Once we have your loan approval, we will then order the appraisal.  The appraisal process typically takes 7 days or less.  During this time we will be gathering any additional information from you that the underwriter needs as a part of the conditional approval of your loan.  Once the appraisal is back, and all of the other conditions of the loan are turned in then you are headed towards your final approval!

Step 6: Final Loan Approval-Once the underwriter has all of the documentation needed to support your loan application and also has an appraisal that supports the value of the home you are purchasing they then underwrite this and final approve your loan and then we request loan documents.  These documents consist of many of your initial disclosures plus the Note and Deed of Trust for your new home and are sent to the Escrow Office that will be handling the signing and funding of the loan.  Escrow will work up and Estimated HUD Settlement statement that itemizes all charges as a result of the purchase transaction for the buyer and seller and we will perform an audit of this statement so you know how much cash to close if any is needed on your transaction.  At that time, our Loan Processor Sheila will call you and let you know exactly how much you need to bring in via Cashier’s check or bank wire, at the time of your signing.  Many times for USDA and VA loans, there are no funds required for closing.

Step 7:  Funding and Recording-Once you have signed your loan documents and the seller has signed their documents, the Escrow Office sends all documents back to the lender for review and funding.  This typically is a 24 hour review.  The lender’s funding department will review all documents to ensure everything was signed correctly and any funding conditions have been satisfied.  Once everything is signed off your loan is cleared for funding, the lender then wires the funds of your loan to the Escrow office and authorizes them to release your file to the county for recording.  When recording numbers are received from the county and funds are dispersed to all 3rd parties (realtors, lender, appraiser, lending institution and seller) this consummates the transaction and the sale is complete.  Congratulations, you have now taken title to your new home!


Should you have any questions about the process or the initial pre-approval or pre qualification, please call Tim Barlow at Cornerstone Home Mortgage @ (360) 570-0106, or go to to do a full application. 


Tim is a licensed Mortgage Broker for over 10 years, has over 15 lenders to choose from and consistently delivers competitive rates, fees and on-time service. He is available for evening and weekend appointments.


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