The Mortgage Process

Unless you plan to pay cash to buy a house, it’s a great idea to get pre-approved for a mortgage before you begin looking for properties to purchase. In order to make an offer on a property, you will need a pre-approval letter from a lender, so you’ll have to go through the mortgage pre-approval process one way or another. Our real estate agents in Austin suggest starting the pre-approval process sooner rather than later; it not only gives you buying power, it also helps you narrow down your search.

1. How much will you need to put down on a property & how do different down payment amounts affect your mortgage rate & any PMI (Mortgage Insurance.)
2. What do prospective monthly payments look like for different priced homes?
3. How do different down payment amounts affect your monthly payment for a specific price point?

Answering these questions helps you determine your price range and gets us off to a great start on your search.

If you would like a referral to a great lender, just let us know.

When looking for a lender, we recommend the following:

  • Go Local!

    Local mortgage bankers rely on referrals to get most of their business, so they have to protect their local reputation. A local loan originator (LO) will be much more motivated to close your loan on time & with little hassle than someone in Hoboken, NJ.

  • Use an LO & bank who specialize in mortgages.

    These types of LO’s are typically 100% commission jobs. So, they’re highly motivated to get you approved & to make sure your loan closes on time.

  • Use someone w/ an online social media presence, specifically with reviews.

    If your lender is rated well on Yelp, Google+, or AngiesList, that lender will want to protect his/her rating (and hopefully get a new, positive review from you.)

  • Stay away from national retail banks

    Like Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Chase, etc… You might already bank w/ a national bank, and it might seem natural to go to them for a mortgage. In our experience, their mortgage departments are typically staffed with lower paid employees who aren’t heavily incentivized, which means they have little motivation to do a good job for you.


If you’re hesitant to speak with a lender now, you can get started on your own by taking the following steps:

  1. Check your credit score at CreditKarma.com. Typically, you’ll need at least a 660 to qualify (with some exceptions for FHA & VA financing.) The higher your credit score, the better rate the bank will offer you. You’ll get the most attractive rate with a 740+ credit score.
  2. Use an online mortgage calculator or download an app to your phone. Make sure that it calculates Principal, Interest, Taxes, & Insurance (PITI) which is your total monthly payment. Bear in mind that Texas has higher property taxes than most calculators will assume. For Android, we recommend using Karl’s Mortgage Calculator and we recommend Quicken Loans app (though we strongly recommend against using Quicken Loans.)
  3. Calculate your Debt to Income Ratio (DTI.) This is your total monthly debt load (student loans, car payments, minimum credit cards, etc) divided by your monthly pre-tax income. Your lender will approve you for roughly 50% DTI, so you can add in prospective mortgage payments (PITI) to get an idea for what you’ll qualify for.

As you can see, the mortgage pre-approval process can be a little complicated, which is why we think it’s best to speak with a lender early in the process. We’re happy to help in any way we can! Give us a call at 512-883-5445!


Sources:

[1] Credit Karma
[2] Bankrate – Mortgage Calculator With Taxes And Insurance
[3] Dr. Calculator – Karl’s Mortgage Calculator
[4] Quicken Loans Mortgage Calculator App
Buyer Resources
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1800+ Client reviews!

Niharika Hubli

Working with Lauren Yoder and Sarah Crowson has been an absolute pleasure as my husband and I ventured to buy our first home in Austin, TX.

They were patient with us through out the process allowing us to digest it all make clear decisions. While we bought our home while physically being in California, it brought a lot of challenges with viewing, closing etc. Lauren and Sarah made it a priority to include us in all steps of the process and went above and beyond to keep us in the loop and make sure we are comfortable!

If you are looking to buy a property in Austin, I highly recommend Lauren and Sarah from Bramlett Residential. They are professional, friendly, honest, extremely resourceful and make buying a home easy!

Derek Gaskamp

Chris Kirk helped us look for a house in the Austin area and found an amazing property that we were going to close on in the North Austin area. Then at the last minute, work took us to San Antonio instead. Rather than ignoring us once we told him about our change of location, Chris pointed us to a great agent in San Antonio who helped us close on a new home this April. The entire time we worked with our new agent, Chris stayed in contact to see how things were going, from the time we started looking until we closed and even after. Even after we moved in, Chris made sure to reach out and see if there was anything he could help us with. All around professional and phenomenal guy!

Steve Ziessler

Kasey recently helped my wife and me with both the sale of our home as well as the purchase of a new home in Austin Texas. My wife and I have worked with over 15 real estate brokers and agents on several real estate transactions over the years and I can say with confidence that Kasey is the best we have ever partnered with. Kasey has the qualities that make her an extremely successful and effective real estate agent. I can’t say enough about her professionalism and knowledge within the industry. She has extremely high integrity, very conscientious, tenacious and a great advisor while always keeping the client’s best interests in mind. Kasey is a pleasure to work with!!!

Bethany Smith

Erin Szczerba is the absolute best! She found us the perfect gem of a house! Erin was thorough, professional and great to work with. She kept us apprised on all the necessary details and worked hard to ensure a smooth closing transaction, even with us being 1,000 miles away. She was honest and forthright – no games. After dealing with many agents across the USA over the years, we can honestly say Erin is incredible! She stands out from the crowd! Highly recommend!

Westley Burger

We were first-time home buyers in the crazy Austin market and Erin Szczerba was an amazing agent who helped us successfully find a great home. She helped us learn about the buying process and had a lot of great advice along the way. Erin was very responsive and was able to set up viewings for us on short notice which was very helpful in the hot Austin market.The financing team that she recommended was also a great resource and was able to help us put offers in on short notice. With Erin’s help, we were able to get a winning offer in our our house just a couple hours after seeing it on a Saturday morning. We are very grateful to her for all her help and would definitely recommend her to anyone looking to buy in Austin region!

Kim Ziessler

Kasey Gilliam with Bramlett Residential Real Estate is by far the best realtor I have ever worked with. Eric Bramlett the owner has also been great through the entire process. My husband and I have bought and sold over 15 homes in the last 40 years so we have a lot of realtors to compare her too. Kasey is a true professional in every since of the word. She showed us a lot of homes over the last 1 1/2 years but never wasted our time with homes she knew wouldn’t work for us. Her honesty and her attention to detail was spot on. She was always accessible no matter when we contacted her. Kasey and her assistant Kim worked hard from showings, offers, contracts, working with title companies and other realtors. I would recommend Kasey Gilliam to my family and friends or anyone looking to buy and/or.sell in Austin. Trust me she works hard and knows her stuff.

Herminia Silva

My husband and I sold our house in North Austin, Texas with the help and beautiful work of Kasey Gilliam and a team from Bramlett Residential Real Estate. We were thinking that the process of selling our house would be stressful and tedious, but was exciting every day. Up to date information was giving from the agency each time a house was listed in our area, and helped us to determined the most competitive price for our house with great results. They helped us in every stage of the process, from making our house attractive for a good price for listing it, to maintaining it in good shape, to until the closing process. We are so satisfied that we recommend their services.

Katie Steadman

Trey Blanco helped us buy our first home in one of the hottest markets in the country and we couldn’t be more thrilled! We are so grateful to have had Trey on our side, and can’t recommend him enough.

Rachel Drew

Kasey Gilliam with Eric Bramlett Residential successfully guided us through the house selling process from the very start when we were planning to sell, through deciding what improvements to make, taking photographs, listing, and closing. From the very beginning of our conversation, we knew we’d scored a pro who we could trust to give us solid advice and keep us on track, and that is exactly how it went down. She kept us apprised of the market with just the right amount of email updates. She was willing to work with our timeline, even when it changed a bit, and kept all the details managed and smooth, so that we didn’t need to. I would recommend her without hesitation to anyone looking to sell.

Ross G

Chris Kirk has been working with us in the Austin area looking for a home for the past several months and was there working diligently every step of the way. From looking at and scheduling viewings and working with other relators and business to help get us what we wanted. Chris was always knowledgeable and compassionate with our needs and fears, and never once left us hanging and if he said he was going to do something or check on it, it was always taken care of. Communication was out standing and he always made sure we understood what was going on and was willing to answer any question we had. Chris was spot on with his readings of the market and finding us the right house for our needs. He really does treat you like family and to me there are no better hands to trust a very serious purchase to. Even after the purchase he is there to help and work with you and that is some amazing customer service.

George Ting

Agent: Linda Baddour I rarely write reviews, and almost never 5 stars. However, my experience with Linda was far beyond any I have had with other (many) realtors, and I really have no criticisms or suggestions to her at all. She had excellent knowledge of local market, Especially north Austin where she has greatest familiarity. She listened well!! Can’t do well without doing that. Showed appropriate homes, and knowledgeable about each one. Very accommodative for intense 48 hours of driving around as I am out of towner. Suggested good bids which were successful resulting in purchasing 2 homes in that time frame. Then meticulously followed up on every detail, setting up inspections, getting amendments, getting repairs, following up, and closing smoothly. I was out of town after making the offers, and she performed as if I were looking over her shoulder. Excellent communicator, people skills and a pleasure to work with. I have recommended her to others where I am and they will seek her out as remote investors, given my experience.

Sandy

Our experience with Becky was exceptional. She is amazing and great! We worked with several realtors in the past but nobody was even close to what Becky did for us! I’d give her 10/10 hands-down. Don’t think just call her and she is great to work with. Very dedicated, punctual, proactive! BEYOND EXPECTATIONS! Exceeds expectations!! Way to go, Becky. Great to work with you and Bramlett ofcourse is doing a great job of hiring stellar people 🙂