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Generally speaking, you can purchase a home with a value of two or three times your annual household income. However, the amount that you can borrow will also depend upon your employment history, credit history, current savings and debts, and the amount of down payment you are willing to make. You may also be able to take advantage of special loan programs for first time buyers to purchase a home with a higher value. Give us a call, and we can help you determine exactly how much you can afford.

Please see our mortgage calculators.

With a fixed-rate mortgage, the interest rate stays the same during the life of the loan. With an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM), the interest changes periodically, typically in relation to an index. While the monthly payments that you make with a fixed-rate mortgage are relatively stable, payments on an ARM loan will likely change. There are advantages and disadvantages to each type of mortgage, and the best way to select a loan product is by talking to us.

An index is an economic indicator that lenders use to set the interest rate for an ARM. Generally the interest rate that you pay is a combination of the index rate and a pre-specified margin. Three commonly used indices are the One-Year Treasury Bill, the Cost of Funds of the 11th District Federal Home Loan Bank (COFI), and the London InterBank Offering Rate (LIBOR).

There is no simple formula to determine the type of mortgage that is best for you. This choice depends on a number of factors, including your current financial picture and how long you intend to keep your house. Our software can help you evaluate your choices and help you make the most appropriate decision.

For most homeowners, the monthly mortgage payments include three separate parts:

  • Principal: Repayment on the amount borrowed
  • Interest: Payment to the lender for the amount borrowed
  • Taxes & Insurance: Monthly payments are normally made into a special escrow account for items like hazard insurance and property taxes. This feature is sometimes optional, in which case the fees will be paid by you directly to the County Tax Assessor and property insurance company.
  • The amount of cash that is necessary depends on a number of items. Generally speaking, though, you will need to supply:

  • Earnest Money: The deposit that is supplied when you make an offer on the house
  • Down Payment: A percentage of the cost of the home that is due at settlement
  • Closing Costs: Costs associated with processing paperwork to purchase or refinance a house
  • Personal:

  • Home address(es) for past 2 years
  • Name, address and phone number of all landlords from the past 2 years
  • Employment:

  • Name, address and phone number of all employers for the past 2 years
  • Employment contract if applicable
  • Relocation and/or buyout package if applicable
  • Academic transcripts/diploma if recent student


  • Most recent pay stub(s) covering a 30-day period and showing year-to-date income
  • All W-2 and/or 1099 forms for the past 2 years
  • Self-Employed:

  • Current profit & loss statement
  • 2 years tax returns (all schedules)
  • Corporate Business Owner:

  • 2 years signed business returns
  • Evidence of quarterly tax payments (FRA only)
  • Partnership:

  • 2 years signed partnership returns
  • 2 years complete personal returns
  • Current Profit and Loss statement
  • Rental Income:

  • Current lease agreement
  • 2 years tax returns (all schedules)
  • Interest, Dividend, Bonus, or Commission:

  • 2 years tax returns (all schedules)
  • Notes Receivable:

  • Copy of actual note
  • 2 years tax returns (all schedules)
  • Social Security, Disability, or Pension:

  • Award letter
  • All W-2 and/or 1099 forms for the past 2 years
  • Evidence of recent receipt (check stub or bank statement)
  • Proof of automatic deposit agreement if applicable
  • Child Support, Alimony, or Maintenance:

  • Divorce Decree
  • Marital Settlement Agreement
  • 1 year cancelled checks or proof of receipt
  • Printout of court registry, if applicable
  • Assets:

  • Most recent statement(s) for the past 3 months for each institution where funds are on deposit including IRA’s &401’s
  • Estimated value of personal property, automobiles and real estate owned
  • Copy of cancelled earnest money check
  • Gift money affidavit if applicable
  • Copy of cancelled gift money check (preferably a cashiers check) if applicable
  • Evidence of deposit of gift funds (deposit slip)
  • Evidence of donor’s ability to give gift (Conventional financing only)
  • Liabilities:

  • Name and account number for ALL creditors including but not limited to installment loans, car loans, credit cards, student loans, etc.
  • Name, address and account number for all mortgages including current residence and rental properties
  • Monthly child care expenses
  • Child support, alimony or maintenance information
  • VA Financing:

  • Copy of DD214
  • Original Certificate
  • Refinance:

  • Original closing documents
  • Miscellaneous:

  • Copy of signed listing agreement or sales contract if present residence is to be sold
  • Copy of signed purchase contract and any addendum(s)
  • Complete bankruptcy papers for last 7 years
  • Closing documents for property sold or refinanced during the past 2 years

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