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Mortgage Tips for First-Time Homebuyers: An Interview with Kathy Delbridge, Mortgage Loan Specialist

Tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

I am a licensed loan officer with Success Mortgage Partners. Success Mortgage is a mortgage lender, based out of Plymouth Michigan.
We are a full service lender, providing loans options for purchase and refinance loans.

We offer:
FHA (to include 203K Renovation)
Homestyle Renovation Loans
Jumbo Loans
Reverse Mortgages

Is there a common misconception that first-time homebuyers have about home loans?

There certainly is and more than just one common misconception, in my opinion.

I've run across:
A borrower thinking that they must have perfect credit and that even having credit card balances can affect their ability to obtain financing.
Thinking they have to have 20% down before they can purchase.
Thinking they have to be on the same job for 2 years before can get financing.
They have had a bankruptcy or foreclosure and think they have to wait 4 or 7 years before can get any financing at all.

What's the most important thing that banks will be looking at in the application?

1.Employment and income to fully support ability to pay back loan
2. Credit history is next
3. Assets - Ability to save

Can you briefly describe the difference between working with a mortgage broker and a direct lender?

A direct lender is going to have more control over your file and will be able to make decisions quickly and efficiently in the borrower's best interest. They will be the ones directly underwriting your loan, preparing your closing package and getting funds to the closing table.

A mortgage broker loses all of that control and in some cases if they don't have the best relationships with the lenders that are brokering loans to, that could mean the difference in a borrower getting to the closing table on time or not. Both lenders and mortgage brokers will have access to the same products and interest rates will be comparable, but the service level that a buyer can ultimately receive, I feel, is are better with a direct lender.

What are some of the biggest regrets you've seen first-time homebuyers have when it comes to the mortgage process?

Not remembering all those ever important Do's and Don'ts we go over at the beginning of the mortgage process.

Making large cash deposits that can't be sourced and it affecting loan approval.
Letting a family member pay their earnest money deposit and we have no way of documenting the paper trail.
Using their credit cards after loan approval and a large purchase affects their ability to get approved at the last minute.
Letting a family member provide advice, when that family member is not the trusted adviser they should be listening to (IE: rates will get lower so don't lock in now).

What advice would you give to first-time homebuyers to help them get the best loan terms as quickly as possible?

Listen to your loan officer and when they advise you to start gathering documents in advance! We are there to help and make process as painless as possible.
Read over and review with your loan officer some of the most common mistakes past homebuyers have made, so they don't make them.
When your loan officer is asking for information, provide it in a timely manner.
Be open and honest and don't leave anything out- we will find out eventually if you did. Better to address it sooner than later.

What's the best way for people to contact you and your company?

Best way is via phone at 678-773-0651 and 2nd best is email at

Kathy Delbridge
Certified Mortgage Planning Specialist

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