• What is refinancing?

    A brief introduction to what a refinance is and why you might or might not want to go through with one.

    Written on updated on

  • How do I qualify for a refinance?

    Let's look at a brief overview of what factors go into qualifying you for a refinance.

    Written on updated on

  • Determining the right time to refinance

    Is refinancing a good choice? There are different factors to think about when choosing to refinance.

    Written on updated on

  • Preparing your information to shop rates

    There are common questions asked when you first speak with lenders about refinancing your home. Here's what to anticipate.

    Written on updated on

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the steps to get a loan?
    Here is a high-level view of the steps to getting a loan, if you have any questions about these steps just ping us or your loan specialist and we’ll walk you through the steps needed.
    Step 1: Set your goal 🎯
    Step 2: Pre-lock a rate 🔓
    Step 3: Apply & Upload Docs 📄
    Step 4: Lock a Rate 🔒
    Step 5: Get Loan Approved 👯‍♀️
    Step 6: Sign Final Loan Documents 🖊️
    Step 7: Pop Champagne 🍾
  • Why do I need an appraisal?
    Since the loan amount is based on the value of the home, the appraisal is needed so the lender ensures that they aren't lending you more than the home is worth. You can also find out if you over-paying for a property if you're purchasing a home.
  • Can I use or transfer a recent appraisal?
    In some cases you can transfer the appraisal depending on the investors and if they will allow it. Typically this report is generated for specifically one investor and that specific loan. Consult with your loan specialist they will have more information if that ever arises.
  • I know an appraiser. Can he or she complete my appraisal report?
    No, All lenders have to use a third party appraisal management company that is following the laws of Home value code of conduct. The lender places the order with the management company. The AMC (appraisal management company) will randomly select an appraiser by lottery, that appraiser will go conduct his job without talking to anyone. The appraiser will not be allowed to speak with the lender, borrowers, or homeowners.
  • If the appraised value of my home goes up, will this affect my taxes?
    No, it will not be reported to the tax assessor. The appraiser does not report the appraised value or anything they see in the home (e.g., illegal decks or additions, converted garages, etc.).
  • Will running my credit with multiple companies hurt my score?
    If you run your for a mortgage related service, typically it will only ding your credit once and you have 45 days to shop around without incurring other dings.
  • What is an appraisal?
    It is an opinion of value set by a licensed individual who checks the market comparables in the neighborhood and gives weighted opinions on what the asset is worth.
  • How does Homiro make money?
    We make money by selling our loans to mortgage servicers in the secondary market. "Mortgage servicer" is a fancy term for the company that you will make your mortgage payments to. 
  • What is a credit check?
    We check your credit with the big 3 (Equifax, Experian, Transunion). We use the middle score and if there is multiple co-borrowers we have to use the lowest middle of all the applicants. This usually has a very small effect on your credit as it signifies to the big 3 that you might be getting additional debt on your credit.
  • What is a Loan Estimate?
    This 3-page document shows you the most important information about your preliminary loan. You can locate your interest rate, monthly payment, and costs of the loan. Its standard form that all lenders are required by law to provide you within three business days of submitting your loan. This document will allow you shop different lenders but also locks in the lender fees disclosed to you. This will stop anyone from being able to pull a bait and switch.
  • There is something I don't recognize on my credit, what should I do?
    Sometimes the account you have has a different name reported on the credit report. If there is still something you don’t understand. Speak with the loan specialists and you can get some advice on what the next best step to do.
  • How much is the appraisal?
    The range is usually between 475-800 depending on what kind of appraisal it is. A standard appraisal goes for $500 but if you need rental surveys to see what market rental prices are in the area that's an additional $200. If the structure of the home is bigger than 3500 sq or has multiple units the price is more expensive. This is all broken down once you get your loan submitted, it's the law that the fee is disclosed right off the bat.
  • How long does an appraisal inspection take?
    About 30 min. We ask that you have all smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors working. It also pays off to have the home presentable as the appraiser will take pictures to show why the home is amazing compared to others in the neighborhood. If the property is in construction there might be a request to come back and make sure the property is finished with construction.
  • What is the difference between a home inspection and an appraisal?
    Home inspection checks every aspect of the house to tell you the current condition and if anything is broken, misplaced, out of order, or needs servicing. The inspection is a good way for you to get up to speed on what kind of work the house needs.
    Appraisal is an opinion of value given from a professional so that it ensures the bank and yourself that you are not overpaying for the property and what is stated on the application is verified by a professional.
  • What is included in a monthly mortgage payment?
    Principal – This is the total amount you owe and your total loan amount.
    Interest – What you pay to the lender on top of your principal payments in exchange for borrowing the loan amount .
    Escrow AKA "impounds": An account set up through your mortgage lender that collects property taxes and home insurance payments in monthly installments instead of you having to pay them in one lump sum.
  • Do you offer loans for investment properties?
    Yes we do! We offer loans for primary, secondary, and investment properties.
  • Can I choose a different rate or loan product after I lock?
    Absolutely, by locking means you are just locked on that day. You aren’t bound forever to the rate or product type (fixed or 30 year). You can change everything as long as it's done a few days before closing.
  • What if I need to break my lock?
    You are never stuck to doing any type of loan. You may walk away at any time. There is a 30 day grace period if you choose to re-open your loan on the same property.
  • What happens to my rate if the loan does not fund within the lock period?
    Upon locking your interest rate, you will have agreed to specific tasks and due dates in order for us to approve and fund your loan within the rate lock period.
    If your lock commitment expires prior to funding due to delays in our receiving the documentation and / or information necessary to approve and fund your loan, your loan will be subject to Worse Case Pricing. Worse Case Pricing is calculated by comparing pricing from the original lock date to current pricing and then selecting the higher of the two.
  • How does my credit score affect my mortgage?
    The higher your credit score will allow you to get cheaper interest rates. It proves that you are capable of paying back other creditors and to show your borrowing history.
  • How can I get my credit report?

    There is a ton of ways for you to obtain a credit report. Some credit bureaus offer (1) free credit report a year that won't affect your credit. If you choose to get a pre-approval with us, once we do a credit check we can send you a copy.

  • How does Homiro determine my rate?
    We use a wide range of factors — such as market conditions, your credit history, and your property characteristics — to find the best possible rates and options available to you from a variety of investors. Some factors include:
    • Loan Purpose
    • Loan Amount
    • Loan type: (Fixed, Adjustable, Conventional, FHA)
    • Estimated Property Value
    • Middle Credit Score
    • Debt vs. Income
    • County
    • Cash Reserves
    • If you have private mortgage insurance
    • If you have a second mortgage
  • Where does Homiro operate?
    We are licensed to help in the entire state of California ☀
  • What types of mortgages does Homiro offer?
    Fixed and Adjustable mortgages for Conventional, FHA, VA, and Jumbo loans.
    Residential properties only which include:
    • Single Family Residences (Attached & Detached)
    • Townhouses (Attached & Detached)
    • Condominiums (Attached & Detached)
    • Planned Unit Developments (PUD)
    • Multi-Family Residences (2-4 units)
    We do not offer at this time:
    • Commercial Business Loans
    • Manufactured/Mod Homes
    • Multi-Unit (5 or more units)
    • Co-ops
    • Mixed-use properties
  • How quickly can I close my loan?
    Times can vary, but if you're organized with your documents you may be able to get your loan done in 15-20 days. The average time is usually about 21-30 days and some government loans like FHA and VA are about 45 days.
  • Will Homiro service my mortgage?
    No, we will not be servicing your mortgage. Your mortgage will be conducted by one of our partnered companies and they will either service it or have the mortgage servicer who is purchasing your loan be the servicing company.
  • What does a Homiro Loan Specialist & an Underwriter do?
    The Loan Specialist is your point of contact for everything finance related. They will explain interest rates, talk about your finances, and creatively come up with a game plan on how you can get a loan.
    The underwriter is the person who verifies all your documents you submit to match them with the application and to make sure everything checks out with the investor's guidelines. The investor/bank is the institution that is giving you the money for a loan. It is crucial that the underwriter has a clean file, we aim to make their job as efficiently as possible.
  • Do you offer construction or commercial loans?
    No, neither is our strong suit therefore we let others professionals handle that.
  • Do you offer HELOCs or second mortgages?
    Yes, but it has to come with a first mortgage that is with the same bank. It’s called a piggyback HELOC or second mortgage. We suggest you ping your Homiro Loan Specialist to see if this makes sense.
  • Do you offer loans for the purchase of foreclosure or bank-owned properties?
    Pro-tip: Most of these homes are highly damaged and usually because of the attractive price comes a lot of work. These issues might cause the bank to deny your loan because the property is not in a livable condition.
  • Where can I get a cost estimate?
    Your loan specialist will upload what’s called a loan estimate. Please be advised majority of these fees are super inflated (overestimated) because once disclosed the fees can’t go up but they certainly can come down :). Everybody inflates them on purpose because on a purchase, the seller picks usually what escrow and title companies. It’s hard to estimate because every company is different and since you probably haven’t identified a property yet, we can only take an industry guess. On a refinance you can expect these fees to be as cheap as possible because its a simple easy process.
  • What will be the payoff amount of my current mortgage?
    This is required during a refinance or payoff of a current mortgage. It’s a statement of what principal balance is owed, any penalties, and accrued interest until the day the loan get paid off completely.
  • Can I transfer my current escrow account balance?
    That depends on what your current lender allows. The term is called "netted escrow". It will show on the payoff from your current lender if it can be transferred. Otherwise, your escrow balance will be refunded to you separately.
  • Will I get the same rate I was quoted?
    Yes. If your information is accurate and verified, the rate quoted to you will be available for you to lock. The rate quoted initially is not locked and you will have to give permission in order to lock it. We highly urge you to start your application and upload your documents since rates move twice a day. 
  • Do you offer a float down option?
    The Golden rule is that once you lock you are tied to the lock for however length of days you locked it for. However, if the rates drop by .25% or better on your file and its the same credit or cost as your original lock, the investor will allow you to take advantage. They want to keep your business and hope you don't go to another investor.
    Be careful of all the scam out there preaching you can float your rate down whenever you want, that's not true. There is a minimum requirement and rates do have to drop by .25% in order for you to take advantage of a free float down.
  • Is there easy way for me to gauge or follow mortgage rates?
    Yes, we built the first-ever rate tracker which lets you monitor rates over a time span. Be careful with trying to gamble the market as it’s always volatile. It's super important to always remember it's a gamble.
  • What exactly does "locking" mean?
    You basically have said, I have chosen a rate and no matter what the market does (up or down) I am protecting myself by locking in with that day's pricing. This gives you peace of mind that you are protected no matter what happens on the market.
  • When can I lock in my rate?
    On Refinance transactions, after your application and uploaded documents have been approved by Homiro's Automated Underwriting system, you may lock your rate online or with your assigned loan specialist. 
    On Purchase transactions, you will follow the steps above, but you will also need to have a fully executed purchase agreement for the house you are buying. 
    Once your loan is locked, you must close and fund within that lock period for your rate lock to be guaranteed. When you choose to lock in your rate, you will be provided with a Rate Lock Confirmation via email. Your Rate Lock Confirmation will detail the loan terms you have selected.
  • What if I think my score is incorrect?
    You can contact the Big 3 (Equifax, Experian, Transunion) individually if you think something is wrong. 
  • When will I need to pay my loan costs?
    Purchase: Once you have a fully executed contract you will be required to put an EMD (Earnest money deposit) into escrow. This is your good faith deposit and will take the property off the market. At closing, the remaining items of cost will be required as well as your down payment.
    Refinance: Closing costs will be due at close when you sign your final loan documents. You can either roll these fees inside your new loan amount or pay out of your pocket.