Armando De La Torre

Armando De La Torre

Account Executive

I help mortgage brokers, loan officers and real estate professionals!

I am interested in buying a home

Getting started on your home purchase

Buying a home can be a complex process, but it doesn't have to be hard. With a little preparation up front, you can save a lot of time and hassle.

Gather documentation

In order to consider a loan application, all lenders need personal information to verify employment for you and your co-borrower (if there is one). Information regarding debts and assets also is required.

To expedite the paperwork process, gather the following items:

  • Most recent paystubs for one month
  • W2s from the last two years
  • Signed copies of your last two years' Federal tax returns, including all schedules
  • Homeowners insurance company name and number
  • Most recent asset statements for two months (checking, savings, investment, retirement)

Understanding costs involved

Within three days of your loan application, your loan officer must provide you with a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) of closing costs.

In addition to your down payment, here is a brief rundown of fees that could be associated with your new mortgage:

Application/Processing Fee – Charged by the loan officer to process your loan application.

Underwriting fee – Charged by the lender to evaluate your loan file.

Appraisal Fee – Charged by the appraiser to determine the current value of the property.

Closing Fee – Charged by the closing agency (escrow, attorney, title) to ensure the close of your transaction.

Credit Report Fee – Charged by the credit reporting agency to provide your credit report to your loan officer and/or lender.

Title Search/Title Insurance Fees – Charged by the title company to ensure the property is free from liens or title defects.

Notary Fee – Charged by the Notary Public to notarize your loan documents.

Origination Fee – Paid to the originator to obtain a lower interest rate. This is usually expressed in the form of points. One point equals 1% of the loan amount.

Discount Points – Paid to the lender to secure a lower interest rate.

Miscellaneous Fees – VA and FHA loans may have other fees associated with them. Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI), document preparation, notary, recording and tax service are other fees which may fall under this category.

Let us help you evaluate your personal situation and assist you in finding the loan program that works best to meet your goals and needs.

Shopping for the right mortgage

Finding a mortgage that's right for you should be easy. But there are many programs to choose from and many ways to structure a loan. Different loan programs will offer benefits that appeal to borrowers at different stages of life.

Before you begin, ask yourself these important questions:

  • How long do you anticipate living in your new home?
  • Do you expect any changes over the next few years, such as expanding your family or having children go off to college or move away?
  • Do you expect any changes in income due to promotions, relocations, retirement, inheritance or pensions?
  • Are you expecting a change in your investments?
  • Do you have a retirement plan at work and do you contribute to it?
  • Do you have other debt?

In the end, be sure you are given a complete picture of exactly how much your mortgage will cost you over the period of time you anticipate having the loan in place. This is the single most important factor you should consider when shopping for a mortgage. Not only does this data illustrate the bigger picture of your financial goals, it allows for adjustments should things change a little sooner than expected. A good time frame for this projection is anywhere from three, five or even up to seven years.

When shopping for a mortgage, you should always evaluate your choices carefully and consider how they will fit in with your long-term financial plan.

Call us for a free consultation. Together, we'll find the program that's best for you.

Next move: a bigger, better, or smaller house

Reasons for buying a new home vary. Perhaps you'd like more square footage (or at least another bathroom!). Perhaps you'd like more amenities or a smaller yard with a more manageable lawn. Whatever the reason for considering your next home purchase, consider the following costs in your financial planning. These may impact the listing price of your existing home.

Five Financial Factors

Prepayment penalty. Check to see if your current home loan has a prepayment penalty for paying off the loan early.

Essential repairs. A leaky roof, faulty pipes, or finicky electrical work will impact the value of your home. Hire a home inspector to uncover potential problems. Consider completing these repairs up front or risk having them whittle down the asking price of your existing home.

First impressions. Low-cost cosmetic changes can dramatically improve first impressions of your home. These might include a few new landscape touches, a fresh coat of paint, or updated fixtures.

Moving expenses. Depending on how quickly your existing home sells and when you close on your next home, you may incur additional expenses. These might include temporary storage for your furniture and belongings. You may also have to rent an apartment or stay in a hotel for a short time.

Timing. The housing market is continually changing. Your listing price may be impacted by the number of properties currently on the market, as well as the types of properties on the market.

Buying your next home signals an important step in your life. Call us today to explore mortgage options that fit your current situation.

For rent

Investment properties are investments in more ways than one. While you can realize significant income over time, you also will be making personal investments of time and money.

Consider the following tips:

Know the going rates. Research what types of properties are available in the area and what the rental rates are.

Understand full cost of ownership. When considering the income from rent, think about the expenses. The mortgage loan is only one of the expenses. Additional expenses may include taxes, insurance, license fees, utilities and upkeep (like paying a property manager or someone to mow the lawn and shovel sidewalks). Plus, you'll have to factor in out-of-pocket expenses during vacancies. If nobody is there to pay the rent, you are responsible for the rent.

Learn about tax implications. Typically, interest on a second home mortgage is tax deductible. You will qualify for additional tax benefits on a rental as well. Talk to a trusted tax advisor.

Read up on your rights and responsibilities as a landlord. Learn about local licensing and ordinances, rental agreements, the eviction process, and rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants.

Identify contractors. You'll want to have a go-to list of reputable plumbers, electricians, and other service providers for general maintenance and emergencies.

Screen tenants. Protect your investment. Create your process for screening tenants. Plan to run credit checks on all potential tenants. You'll also want to call current and previous landlord references and find out about timely rent payments, as well as how tenants treated a property.

If an investment property is in your future, give us a call. We can talk about financing options that help you meet your goals.

Buying the perfect getaway

What does the perfect vacation home look like to you . . .

A dock on a lake. Just off the ski trails. An “urban cabin” in the heart of the metro just steps from entertainment and eateries.

People choose vacation homes for a variety of reasons. For some, it's simply a place to get away. Others intend on making a vacation home their future residence or retirement home. Others, still, consider a vacation home an investment to rent throughout the year.

Regardless of your reasons for wanting a vacation home, you'll want to consider the following tips.

Keep it close to home. Most people choose a vacation home within one to three hours of their primary residence. That way, it still feels like getting away while not being a daunting drive that discourages going there often.

Visit the area first. If you have an ideal location in mind, spend some time there. Get out and about and talk to the locals. Learn what the area is like from a resident perspective.

Feel the off-season vibe. If you choose a vacation home for its seasonal climate or recreation, you may want to get a handle on what the area is like in the off-season. Can you physically access the home year round? Can you use the home year round? Are local amenities available year round?

Understand full cost of ownership. When considering vacation home expenses, think about more than just the mortgage loan. Additional expenses may include taxes, insurance, association fees, utilities and upkeep (like paying someone to mow the lawn if you're not there all the time).

Learn about tax implications, especially if you are planning to rent the property out. Typically, interest on a second home mortgage is tax deductible. You may qualify for additional tax benefits, as well, based on using the home as a rental.

If you're looking for a vacation home, give us a call to talk about loan options. A home equity loan is the most popular form of financing, but we can determine what's right for you.

A step-by-step walkthrough of purchase loans

The loan process to purchase a home has many steps. The walkthrough below provides an overview of that process. We'd be more than happy to answer any questions you may have along the way.

Pre-approval - Get pre-approved for a mortgage and know in advance exactly how much payment you can afford. Completing this step will also increase your negotiating power since you'll be viewed as a "cash buyer."

Loan Search - Put yourself in the hands of an experienced mortgage professional, someone who will help you to determine which financing options best suit your needs today and in the future.

Loan Application - It's crucial to supply the lender with as much information as possible, as accurately as possible. All outstanding debts, as well as assets and income should be included.

Documentation - Paperwork supporting the application must also be submitted. Information commonly sought includes pay stubs, two years' tax returns and account statements verifying the source of the down payment, funds to close and reserves.

The Hunt - Begin shopping for a house. Once you find the right one, the terms of the sale will be negotiated, including the price and potentially the terms of the loan being sought.

Appraisal - Lenders require an appraisal on all home sales. By knowing the true value of the home, the borrower is protected from overpaying.

Title Search - This is the time when any liens against the property are discovered. A lien may have been placed on a property to ensure payment of outstanding debts by the owner. All liens must be cleared before a transaction can be completed.

Termite Inspection - While most purchase loans do not require a formal inspection for termite and water damage, some loans (especially government loans) allow for the possibility. If problems are found, repairs may be necessary.

Processor's Review - All pertinent information will be packaged by your mortgage professional and sent to the lending underwriter, including any explanations that may be needed, such as reasons for derogatory credit.

Underwriter's Review - Based on the information put together by the loan professional, the underwriter makes the final decision regarding whether a loan is approved.

Mortgage Insurance - Many lenders require private mortgage insurance when borrowers put down less than 20 percent on a loan.

Approval, Denial or Counter Offer - In order to approve a loan, the lender may ask the borrowers to put more money down to improve the debt-to-income ratio. The borrower may also need a bigger down payment if the property appraises for less than the purchase price.

Insurance - Lenders require fire and hazard insurance (often referred to as Homeowners Insurance) on the replacement value of the structure. Flood insurance will also be required if the property is located in a flood zone. In California, some lenders require earthquake insurance on condominiums.

Signing - During this step, final loan and escrow documents are signed.

Funding - At this point, the lender will send a wire or check for the amount of the loan to the title company.

Confirmation of Funding - The lender authorizes the disbursement of loan proceeds.

Closing - Documents transferring title will now be officially recorded by the County Recorder.

I am interested in refinancing my home

Five reasons to refinance your mortgage

There's an old adage in the mortgage business: if you can improve your interest rate by at least two percentage points, then it is a good time to refinance. While that may work as a general rule, the truth is that there are many reasons to refinance. Here are a few:

Lower your interest rate

This can make a big difference in your monthly out-of-pocket costs for housing and save money on financing fees.

Build equity faster

If you are in a position to make higher monthly payments due to an increase in salary or other good fortune, you may want to switch from a 30-year loan program to a 15- or 20-year loan structure. This enables you to build equity faster and save money on financing fees.

Change your loan program

Some homeowners who start out in an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) find that they would like to switch to the stability of a fixed rate mortgage. A loan comparison chart can help you find out if you can save money with another type of loan program.

Take advantage of improved credit score

If your credit score has improved as a result of making your mortgage payments on time and in full, you may be in a position to take advantage of your improved credit standing. We can review your current credit score, the terms of your existing mortgage, and review options for other loan programs that could not only reduce your monthly payment, but also save you money on interest fees paid over the life of the loan.

Use the equity you've established

A cash-out refinance allows you to tap into the equity you have built up in your home. You may want to pay off debt, send a child to college, or use the money for home improvements. And, if you are currently paying for mortgage insurance and your loan-to-value has decreased, you may qualify for a loan without mortgage insurance.

Regardless of your reasons for wanting to refinance your existing mortgage, we can help you make a decision that works best for you. 

Reduce monthly out-of-pocket expenses

Wondering if there's a way to lower your monthly mortgage payment and reduce your monthly out-of-pocket expenses? The good news is that there isn't just one way. There are several factors that can help.

Improved credit score

If your credit score has improved as a result of making your mortgage payments on time and in full, you may be in a position to take advantage of your improved credit standing. We can review your current credit score, the terms of your existing mortgage, and review options for other loan programs that could not only reduce your monthly payment, but also save you money on interest fees paid over the life of the loan.

New loan program

We can provide you with loan comparison charts to find out if you can save money with another type of loan program that might work better for you right now.

Lower interest rate

Securing a lower interest rate can make a big difference in your monthly out-of-pocket costs for housing and save money on financing fees over the life of the loan.

Give us a call today. We can review your options and help you decide if refinancing makes sense for you.

What is prepayment?

Prepayment is when your mortgage is paid in full before the due date. If you've been thinking of refinancing your mortgage, it's important to see if any prepayment penalties exist on your current mortgage.

If you do have a prepayment penalty in your current mortgage, that doesn't necessarily mean refinancing is the wrong choice for you. Depending on the type of loan you may qualify for, your credit score, or current interest rates, you may still be able to lower your monthly payment—even with the prepayment penalty factored in.

If you've been thinking about refinancing, give us a call today. We can evaluate your current situation and help you make the decision that makes the most sense for you.

Getting started on your refinance

When you refinance your existing mortgage, you are essentially paying off the existing mortgage debt and replacing it with a new loan. Many of the same costs are involved in refinancing a loan as are in first-time financing.

To start with, the lender will need personal information to verify employment for you and your co-borrower (if there is one). They will also need information regarding all of your debts and assets, including your existing mortgage.

Items to gather

To expedite the paperwork process, start gathering the following items:

  • W2's from the last two years (For borrower and co-borrower, if you filed separately)
  • If you are self-employed, bring signed copies of your last two year's tax returns, including all schedules that were filed, and a profit/loss statement or balance sheet for the current year
  • Homeowner's insurance company name and number
  • The original lender's contact information
  • Most recent bank statements
  • Most recent statements from 401ks, IRAs, mutual funds and securities accounts
  • A copy of your current payment coupon for your existing loan, along with the outstanding mortgage balance

What costs are involved?

There are no-cost and low-cost refinance loans available, and some or all of the fees and closing costs may be waived with these types of loans. This is a brief rundown on fees that could be associated with a refinance loan:

  • Application Fee - A fee charged by the lender to process the loan application.
  • Appraisal Fee - This determines the current value of your home.
  • Credit Report - The fee the lender charges to pull your credit report.
  • Title Search and Title Insurance - You may be able to get your current title company to reissue a new policy and save money in this area.
  • Survey - The lender may order a property survey to document the current status of the land your property is on.
  • Loan Origination Fee - A fee the borrower pays the lender to underwrite the loan. Usually expressed in the form of points.
  • Discount Points - One point is equal to one percent of the loan amount. You may want to pay discount points to secure a lower interest rate.
  • Miscellaneous Fees - VA and FHA loans may have fees associated with them. Private mortgage Insurance (PMI), document preparation fees, notary fees and tax service fees may also fall under this category.
  • Prepayment Penalty - If your existing loan carries a prepayment penalty clause, you will have to pay a percentage of the outstanding loan amount for paying the loan off early.

The lender of your original loan provided you with a Good Faith Estimate (GFE). Since October 3, 2015, lenders are now required to provide you with a Loan Estimate (LE). The LE outlines fees associated with a new mortgage and combines information from other disclosures to provide valuable upfront information you should know about getting a new mortgage. Let us help you evaluate your personal situation and assist you in finding the right loan program that works best to meet your long-term goals.

American Lending Process

Easier, Smarter and Faster.

Fill Out The Application

Step 1

Fill Out The Application

  • Fill Out Application
  • Upload Necessary Documents
  • We'll Process Your Information
Get Pre-Approved

Step 2

Get Pre-Approved

  • Get Pre-Approved
  • Go Find Your New Home!
  • Make An Offer
Processing, Processing

Step 3

Processing, Processing

  • Underwriting
  • Appraisals
  • Approved with Conditions
Closing

Step 4

Closing

  • Final Review
  • Final Underwriting
  • Welcome Home!

American Lending Process

Step by Step.

The Key Players

In Any Mortgage Transaction.

1. Mortgage Lending

The Loan Officer

Pre-approves you to determine how much you can borrow to buy a home. Explains all loan options before you make any big decisions. Collects any necessary documentation to help fund your loan.

2. Real Estate

The Real Estate Agent

Listens to your needs and helps you find exactly what you're looking for in a home. Researches market trends to help you make the right offer. Keeps you informed on filling out paperwork and meeting deadlines.

3. Insurance

The Insurance Agent

Assesses your needs to help you find the best homeowner's insurance for your needs. Provides proof of insurance to your lender.

4. Title

The Title Agent

The Title Officer ensures that there are no discrepancies related to the title or deed of the home.

5. Escrow

The Escrow Officer

The Escrow Officer checks and finalizes documentation before funds for the sale are transferred.

6. Inspection

The Home Inspector

Inspects the home for damages or issues. Helps evaluate what needs to be fixed or replaced. Provides reports that help determine whether you should move forward or re-evaluate the terms of the sale.

6. Appraisal

The Appraiser

Compares different criteria to determine the home's value. Estimates the market value of the home. Measures your chosen home up against surrounding homes.

American Lending, Your Lending Partner

What you need from a lender isn't just rates and programs - you need an advisor who genuinely cares. At American Lending, we believe that every mortgage transaction is personal, because we never forget that behind all the numbers, are people.

Keep in Touch

People who contact me are usually very glad they did. I make it a point to get back to every person as I value everyone's time as much as I value mine.

How low will your mortgage payment be?

Call to find out

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