5 Ways to Mess Up Your Mortgage Application

how to mess up your mortgage

1. Unrealistic appraised value

Overestimating your home’s value is a great way to hurt your chances during a home refinance. Many homeowners do not follow recent sales in their neighborhood and assume that the value is at least what they paid for it.  Today, one of the most common reasons why refinances do not close is that the appraisal comes back too low.

2.  Poor Paperwork

Homeowners who do not provide the right paperwork risk having their loan scrutinized by underwriters.  This will delay the process and risk a rate lock expiration.  It is extremely important to review document requirements ahead of time with your loan originator so that the process is fast and efficient.

3.  Home renovations before appraisal

Starting major (or minor) renovations to your home before an appraiser has completed an inspection is a very good way to get turned down for a mortgage..  Lenders will not close on your loan if the home is not in “move in condition” which means all rooms must be in working order.  If you are doing a cash out refinance for home improvement, wait until after the appraisal is complete to begin the work.

4.  Do not communicate

A lack of communication can really disrupt the loan process.  It is important to remain accessible and not to disappear.  Some times, further documentation is needed after the loan has been approved and before closing.  It might be your most recent pay stub or a paper trail of a large deposit into you bank account.  Stay in contact with your loan originator throughout the process and wait to go on vacation until after your mortgage closes.

5.  Work with a “Big Bank”

If you decide to work with a large retail bank for your home refinance, be prepared for a long, drawn out process (45+ days) and higher rates/fees.  The “Big Banks” have tons of loan requests every day and have no incentive to provide lower cost loans.  If you want the best available deal, it is important to work with a broker who can search through daily rate sheets from wholesale lenders.  These companies do not have the same name recognition as banks, but they offer the same loan products with better rates and fees.

You can search wholesale lenders instantly on RateJab to find today’s lowest mortgage interest rates.

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HomeJab5 Ways to Mess Up Your Mortgage Application

Local Real Estate TV Show to Premiere in September on WMCN44

“HomeJab Live” to Showcase Local Agents’ Best Listings

HomeJab.com is proud to announce a partnership with local Philadelphia television station WMCN44 to produce a weekly real estate TV show called “HomeJab Live”.  The 30 minute show will air on Saturday mornings throughout the fall and consist of 5 segments per episode profiling top agents in the area and their best listings.

Local actors will participate as “hosts” of the show accompanying real estate agents on a tour of the home.  During the segment, real estate agents will explain unique features of the home, important information about the neighborhood and answer questions from the host.  Viewers will also be taken on a tour of the property with aerial views of the neighborhood.  

“HomeJab Live” will capitalize on the success of popular TV shows like “House Hunters” and “Million Dollar Listing” but only showcase local Philadelphia area properties that are for sale located in Center City, the Main Line, Bucks, Chester, Montgomery, Delaware Counties & South Jersey.  

The show gives real estate agents and homeowners the opportunity to broadcast their listings on WMCN which is distributed on Comcast Cable and Verizon FiOS systems as well as DIRECTV and DISH NETWORKthroughout the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania television market to over 2.6 million homes.

For more information, please contact HomeJab.com or call (215) 687-4342.


HomeJabLocal Real Estate TV Show to Premiere in September on WMCN44

Take the Stress Out of Buying a Home

These days, getting approved for a mortgage can be the most difficult part of the home buying process.  Our job, as your mortgage broker, is to make this time as simple and carefree as possible.  When you work with us, there are no headaches, no stress and no sleepless nights.  Here is how we make buying a home easy!

Clean Documentation

We will work with you upfront to make sure all of your loan documents are “underwriter ready”.  The #1 reason why loans have trouble getting approved, is that the borrower’s paperwork is not organized and complete.  The following is a list of documents needed with every mortgage application.

  • Last 2 years of tax returns with W-2s
  • Last 2 month’s of bank statements from the account you wish to use at closing
  • 2 most recent pay stubs
  • Signed purchase agreement

Communication is Key

Our loan processors are available whenever you are and however you prefer to communicate – email, text or phone.  Communication is essential for getting your loan closed on time and we are committed to providing the most convenient process possible.  Our goal is to close your loan in 21 days or less.  Also, we are constantly updating your real estate agent so that he or she is kept up to date on the loan process and we know the status of everything else going on with your deal.

Advanced Technology

At the core of our company’s principles, is the idea that we can lower costs by utilizing superior technology.  Our mortgage rate quote app searches through hundreds of local lenders to find the best priced deal available.

Did you know that lenders can change their rates multiple times per day?  By automatically downloading rate information from local, regional and national lenders, we are able to instantly compare deals and provide the most up to date rate quote when you are ready to lock in.

Friendly Support & Advice

Our average loan processor has over 10 years of experience in the real estate industry.  We have bought, invested, developed & built homes throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania.  There is rarely a situation we have not been through ourselves.  So, please reach out to us with any questions even if you are not ready to apply.  We are a friendly, down to Earth group that loves to help!

HomeJabTake the Stress Out of Buying a Home

HomeJab Flips Philadelphia Real Estate Industry Upside Down

New Business Model to Revolutionize Local Philly Market and Help Home Buyers in PA & NJ

The dirty little secret in Real Estate?  Large bureaucracies and outdated labor models are responsible for large costs in homebuyers’ mortgages.

The founders of HomeJab discovered this hidden truth first-hand while working for large mortgage and real estate companies. “At the time, our mortgage team consisted of a loan processor, receptionist, a vice president of sales and the head of the department who reported to the CEO of the bank.  To this day, I do not know what these 4 people did for our department and why they needed to be there,” said co-founder, Joe Jesuele.

Fed up with an inefficient system and the fleecing of homebuyers, the HomeJab Mortgage Marketplace is founded on sound business principles that the industry has long forgotten:

  • Utilize Technology:  HomeJab uses the most advanced technology to search through hundreds of lenders allowing consumers to instantly find the best mortgage deals available in their local area.
  • Focus on Customer Service:  HomeJab only works on 15 to 20 loans per month guaranteeing that each client receives the personalized customer care they deserve.
  • Keeping Overhead Low:  By streamlining expenses, HomeJab is able to provide customers with lower costs compared to competitors.

The HomeJab team specializes in underwriting and processing all of their loans which cuts out the need for managers and administrative overhead resulting in thousands of dollars in cost savings for homebuyers.

“The truth is: inefficiency and mismanagement lead to high prices.  There is no way around it,” Jesuele concluded.

For an online mortgage quote, please visit https://blog.homejab.com/get-a-quote or call (610) 945-2004.

About HomeJab:
For people who are buying and selling homes, Philadelphia based HomeJab is a real estate website that provides instant access to the best local real estate professionals and media providers.  Unlike traditional real estate search engines, HomeJab provides a combination of extraordinary technology and convenience for the modern real estate consumer.

Watch our 2 minute video and take a trip “Back to the Future”… 

HomeJabHomeJab Flips Philadelphia Real Estate Industry Upside Down

HomeJab Welcomes Essex Mortgage as the Preferred Lender in California

HomeJab.com, the nation’s leading video tour provider, is proud to announce an exclusive partnership with Essex Mortgage in California.

The HomeJab team believes that the future of online real estate is about providing agents with high quality videos that are fun to watch and share on social media.

essex logo

Having already signed up 350+ professional filmmakers in all major cities, HomeJab.com is the place to go for real estate agents looking to produce a property video.

For more information on our services, please contact:

Larry Ulsh

Regional Manager, Essex Mortgage





HomeJabHomeJab Welcomes Essex Mortgage as the Preferred Lender in California

Top 5 Things to Know Before Applying for a Mortgage

Getting approved for a mortgage is probably the most important part of buying your new home.  Most deals fall through because the buyer is not able to attain financing.  The following is a list of essential things every homeowner should know before applying for a mortgage.

Retail banks = Higher rates, more fees.

One of the most common mistakes that homeowners make is applying for a mortgage with their local bank.  Or worse, they call one of the “Big Banks”.  If you do this, be prepared to pay at least .25% higher on your rate and 1% higher in closing costs.  This might not sound like a lot, but on a $200,000 loan it is $2,000 more costs at closing and $10,000 more over the term of the loan!

So, how do you find the best deal?  The lowest priced loans are available through wholesale mortgage lenders.  These lenders have lower rates because they do not have the tremendous overhead of the large retail banks.  You probably do not know their names since these lenders only work through brokers, but these companies offer the exact same loan products as the banks – Fannie Mae conventional & FHA mortgages.  With wholesale lenders, you will receive the same type of loan but without the markup from retail banks.

Work with a professional from the start.  

The most common complaint in the mortgage industry is regarding the amount of time it takes to close your loan and all of the annoying and cumbersome paperwork needed.  The good news is most delays can be avoided by working with the right professional from the beginning.  A good mortgage broker will review and underwrite your application before submitting anything to the lender.  This way, any issues can be cleared up well before the closing.

The right broker will also be able to close your loan in 21 days or less by putting in the work with you upfront.  Be prepared to provide a lot of documents in the first few days of your application, but getting it done right the first time will prevent any delays down the road.

Should you pay closing costs?

Mortgages with no closing costs have higher interest rates.  This could be the best option if you only plan on owning the property for a short amount of time.  But, more often than not it makes the most sense to get the lowest rate possible without paying points.  This means that there will be several third party costs – title services, recording fees and appraisal fees are the most common.

Title fees will vary depending upon what state you live in and what your loan amount is.  For a quick quote on the costs associated with title insurance, click here.

The recording fee is the charge paid to your local township/county to record the new deed and mortgage.  It generally is $200-$400.

Appraisals usually cost about $450 which includes a local, independent appraisal company inspecting your home, reviewing recent comps and preparing a full report.

The only other cost associated with the loan is typically an origination fee due at closing.  Most lenders will charge $750-$900.

What is the minimum down payment? 

For conventional loans, the minimum down payment is 5.00 percent of the purchase price.  For FHA loans, it is only 3.50 percent.  Keep in mind, that if you are putting down less than 20 percent you will either have to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI) or you will need to work with a lender that offers lender paid mortgage insurance (LPMI).  Mortgages with LPMI always have higher interest rates, so it is necessary to compare both options and figure out what makes the most sense.

The amount of PMI depends upon a number of different factors including your credit score, loan-to-value ratio and loan amount.   The average monthly amount is $100-$200.

A down payment of 25 percent or more will attract the best interest rates and will have no PMI.  For large loan amounts (over $417,000 in most areas) a 20 percent down payment is the minimum.

Should you lock in a 30 year fixed or shorter term? 

Loans with longer terms (20-30 years) will have higher interest rates compared to shorter term loans (10-15 years).  Although you are saving money on interest expense, your monthly payment will be higher with a shorter term loan since you are paying more towards principal every month.

For example, the principal and interest payment on a $200,000 loan will be about $1,000 per month with a 30 year fixed or about $1,400 with a 15 year loan.

You should also consider setting up bi-weekly payments which means paying half your mortgage every two weeks instead of one monthly payment.  This results in more of your money going towards principal and less to interest since you will be paying a little extra each year.

What else should I watch out for?

  • Prepayment penalties.  In most circumstances, your loan should have no penalty for paying off early.
  • Upfront/application fee.  You should avoid paying a non-refundable upfront cost or application fee.
  • Variable rates.  With interest rates as low as they are today, it rarely makes sense to lock in anything other than a fixed rate.  If you are 100 percent sure you will be selling the property in less than 5-7 years, a variable rate loan with a fixed upfront term might be a good option.
  • Paying points.  A lender fee higher than $1,000 usually means that points are included.  This should be avoided unless you will be living in the home for a long period of time.
  • APR.  Always check the APR which is your interest rate plus lender fees and points.  If the APR is much higher than the interest rate, the deal probably includes points or a large amount of fees that should be avoided.
  • Interest only loans.  These mortgages should only be used if the property is being sold or refinanced within a short period of time.

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HomeJabTop 5 Things to Know Before Applying for a Mortgage

Applying for a mortgage when you are self employed

A self-employed borrower introduces another layer of risk for a mortgage lender due to the uncertain nature of future income.  For this reason, lenders require more documentation at the time of application in order to underwrite the loan.  Here is a list of documentation needed before applying for a mortgage when you are self employed…

  1. Most recent 2 years federal tax returns along with all W-2s
  2. All Schedule K-1′s for partnerships, corporations or S-corps reflected on Schedule E of your tax returns
  3. Most recent 2 years business returns (Form 1120, 1120s or 1065s) for any partnership, corporation or S-corp.

Also, you must verify the existence of the business by providing a letter from a CPA, copy of a business listing, copy of a recent advertisement, or a print out of the business website.

If there is a huge fluctuation (either higher or lower) in income over the past 2 years, it may be necessary to include a 3rd year of tax returns to determine an average, more stable amount.

Many business owners report more expenses to reduce their tax liability.  But, this can backfire when applying for a loan since lenders will use your net income.  So, you must decide what is more important: qualifying for a larger mortgage or saving money on your taxes?

HomeJabApplying for a mortgage when you are self employed

Top 5 Ways to Lock in the Lowest Mortgage Rates

Purchasing a home or refinancing can easily be the largest financial transaction of your life.  So, take some time and be prepared.  Here are the top 5 things to consider to lock in the lowest mortgage rates.

1. Property type = Single family home

Are you financing a single family home or a condo?  Single family homes always have lower rates since there are additional risks involved with condominiums (i.e. disputes with the condo association, pending lawsuits, complicated by-laws, etc.)

2. Loan term = 15 or 20 years

The loans with the shortest terms have the best rates.  So, if you want to get the lowest mortgage rate, a 10 or 15 year term is the way to go.  If you cannot afford a lower term payment, then shoot for a 20 year loan instead of a 30.  Even though you are paying more every month, most of that will go towards principal and you will pay off your loan a lot faster and save thousands of dollars in interest.

3. Credit score = 740+

Needless to say, the higher scores get the best rates.  The average credit score in the United States is about 720, but scores 740+ will attract the best deals.  It will take at least 30-45 days for your score to change, so make sure you pay down credit cards and take care of any delinquent accounts well in advance of starting your mortgage application.

4. Escrows for taxes and insurance

Loans without escrows are considered more risky and therefore have higher rates.  Even if you have never missed a tax payment, applicants who do not escrow will get a small bump in rate.  Similarly, property insurance premiums should be in escrow as well so the lender is assured your home stays covered.

5. 21 day rate lock

Many lenders offer rate locks that are 30-60 days long.  Even thought that sounds tempting for a buyer, if you really want the best deal the lock period should be as short as possible.  Locking in for longer periods of time is more risky for lenders and that will be priced into the rate.  You can save hundreds of dollars by waiting to lock until a couple of weeks before closing.

HomeJabTop 5 Ways to Lock in the Lowest Mortgage Rates

New Jersey Real Estate Videos & Photography

We are proud to announce our recent launch in state of New Jersey!  At HomeJab, we are committed to producing the highest quality New Jersey real estate videos and photography services.

For all locations within 40 miles of downtown Philadelphia, we can schedule your shoot in 48 hours or less.  Our local production team includes some of the most talented filmmakers and photographers in the Philly/South Jersey/Central Jersey areas specializing in walk-through video tours, photography and aerial footage.

2A Laurel Dr. Mullica Hill, NJ

708 Worthington Drive Moorestown, NJ

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HomeJabNew Jersey Real Estate Videos & Photography

No Closing Cost Purchase or Refinance

Yes, it’s possible.  Many times you can close a loan without having to pay any closing costs by locking in a slightly higher interest rate.  Loans at higher rates receive a credit at the closing from the lender, which can often pay for all your closing costs. This can be a smart financial move if you don’t plan on holding the mortgage for a longer period of time (i.e. you are moving in 3-5 years).

For example, the monthly payment on a $250,000 loan, 30-year fixed at 3.25%, is $1,088.  Let’s assume the closing costs come to $2,000.

Let’s also assume that the interest rate on a “no closing cost” loan is 3.375% – a monthly payment of $1,105 (Only $17 more per month).

If you go with the higher rate and keep the mortgage for five years, you would have paid $1,020 more than the loan at 3.25% over that period of time.  However, you would have saved $2,000 up front.  So, if you were planning to move in 5 years, the higher rate loan would have made more sense.

Before deciding on a rate, ask your loan originator for three rate quotes with closing costs:

  • The lowest rate available
  • The rate with no closing cost
  • A rate in the middle

This way, you will be able to compare several options and determine what rate and cost structure makes the most sense for your specific situation and financial goals.

HomeJabNo Closing Cost Purchase or Refinance