Understanding Loan Fees


Understanding loan fees is an important part of the mortgage process.

In addition to the cost of an appraisal and credit report, which have been covered in other videos, this video help you understand the various other costs of obtaining a mortgage, including:

— points

— loan origination fees

— pre-paid items

— escrow items

As you’ll see in the video, when you turn in your application you’ll be required to pay a loan application fee to cover the costs of underwriting the loan. Sometimes this fee pays for the home appraisal and credit report, or may be in addition to those charges.

You will receive a copy of your credit report and appraisal prior to or at closing.

The application fee is generally non-refundable.

Points and loan origination fees are up-front interest you pay on the loan. Often, this is where mortgage lenders make their initial profit on the work they do for you.

Sometimes you can “buy-down” an interest rate by paying more in points and origination fees. In effect, you’re giving the lender their profit early, so they have less risk, and will capture expected revenues earlier than they might otherwise.

This allows them to charge less in interest.


Understanding Loan Fees Isn’t Hard … We Can Help!

The most qualified individual to advise you on your loan costs is your loan officer. They are required to do so with a loan estimate within three days of your applying for a loan.

However, as the oldest and most established title company in Naples and Marco Island, we have represented tens of thousands of borrowers on mortgage financed purchases. Our attorneys and title professionals are able to review your loan terms and costs to provide you with added assurances that you are choosing the best mortgage for your needs, and fully understand the features of the loan.

For nearly 40 years, First Title & Abstract, Inc. has been the FIRST choice for thousands of borrowers when selecting a title company in Naples and Marco Island. We are TRID, CFPB, and ALTA compliant, and knowledgeable about hundreds of loan products.

We would be pleased to assist you in closing on your refinance, or mortgage financed purchase.

Please call upon us anytime.

What Is An Appraisal?


What Is An Appraisal?

This is a key question many purchasers of real estate ask during the mortgage review process.

Simply, it is the assessment of fair market value of real estate based on established criteria such as size, location, condition, age, and features.

Indeed, when financing real estate, the appraisal will be one of the key determining factors to help a lender decide how much to loan to you.

Every house and property is unique; appraisers are trained and licensed to establish an unbiased, professional and independent value for a property.

Appraisers don’t work for the buyer or the seller;  their primary mission is actually to protect the lender who’s risking money against the home’s value.

Appraisers have to weigh factors about the property and location – including size, condition and comparable properties – to appraise its current value.

They know how to focus on conditions that affect value; dishes in the sink don’t affect appraised value; damage and neglect do.

Appraisals lower than the proposed purchase price can affect transaction details. The seller might have to lower the price or the buyer might have to increase down payment or fund additional escrow.


What Is An Appraisal? Learn the Facts!

An appraisal seems a lot like an inspection, but they’re not the same.

You can think of it this way:

Appraisers report on value to the lender

Inspectors report on condition of the house and major components to the buyer.

So – expect both appraisal & inspection in your transaction.

We hope the video above helps to answer other questions you may have about your appraisal.

And let us help if you have questions, too.  As the oldest and most established title company in Naples, we have earned the trust of purchasers and real estate professionals.

Indeed, for nearly 40 years, we have been the FIRST choice when selecting a title company in Naples and Marco Island.

We thrive on “Putting You FIRST!”

Please don’t hesitate to call us!

Trended Credit

Trended credit is a new way to evaluate a borrower’s credit worthiness.

If you pay off your balance every month, you are considered a “transactor” and your credit score should go up.

If however you only pay the minimum balance you will be considered a “revolver” and your credit score may go down.

Trended Credit is considered one of the most important developments in credit scoring in over a generation.

The new methodology has been accepted by two out of the three major credit bureaus.

It takes effect on September 24, 2016.

Be sure to check with your financial advisor and mortgage professional for information about trended credit.

Whether you can qualify for mortgage financing for your real estate purchase may depend upon it!

Click on the link below for an in-depth article on trended credit, and learn about how this may affect your buyer’s credit score.

As the Naples title company in business the longest in the area, First Title & Abstract, Inc. is the company you can always trust to provide you with cutting edge information.

With offices on Marco Island and in Naples, we deliver unparalleled title service for all your real estate transactions.

Trended Credit

Trended Credit

Your Loan Estimate


Your Loan estimate is one of the most important documents you’ll receive during the mortgage process.

We know, because First Title & Abstract, Inc. is the oldest and most established Naples title company, and we have decades of experience working with loan officers and borrowers in calculating closing cost estimates.


Your Loan Estimate – A Brief Tutorial

Your loan estimate from you mortgage lender will list your loan’s projected upfront costs, and monthly payments, including your escrow expenses for taxes and insurance.

Also, it will show your loan’s Annual Percentage Rate and Total Interest Percentage to give you an idea of the total cost of the loan.

Under federal law, each lender must supply a loan estimate within three business days of your application so that you can make accurate comparisons when shopping for a loan.

For more information about your loan estimate, please review the video above, and don’t hesitate to contact your loan officer, or any of us at First Title & Abstract, Inc.

We can explain all the features of your loan and help you evaluate whether the charges are fair and legal.

We are the title company that Naples, Florida and Marco Island property buyers have come to trust!

Licensed, bonded, and insured, we’re fully compliant with the latest federal lender and title agent closing requirements.

“Putting You FIRST!” means putting ourselves in your shoes, and helping you understand your loan before you sign your documents.

What Happens After I’ve Applied For My Loan?


What Happens After I’ve Applied for My Loan?

This brief video tells you what to expect after you’ve applied for a mortgage.

Once you’ve supplied the 6 required pieces of information and included any other information the lender deemed necessary, you’ll receive a Loan Estimate within 3 business days.

Waiting is the difficult part, but there are some important things you should not do until after your loan is actually funded and closed!

Very important, be smart, guard your credit while waiting for your loan to close:






What Happens After I’ve Applied for My Loan? Things NOT TO DO After Loan Application!

Once all the information has been verified if the loan is approved the lender will provide a Closing Disclosure to you three business days before loan consummation.

They’ll usually set a date for loan consummation – which may also be at your closing meeting.

Closing is basically transferring ownership of the property; consummation is commmitting to the loan itself.

Once both are completed, you should be planning your move-in.

At First Title & Abstract, Inc. we believe in “Putting You First!”  

We are the most established Naples title company serving Marco Island, Florida and Naples, Florida, and founded in 1978!

And we’re available to help you answer questions at any point of your transaction— not just questions about the title and closing process, but all facets of your sale or purchase.

Please don’t hesitate to call upon us!

How to Secure a Loan


How to Secure a Loan for buying real estate is the topic of this short video.

You will find that lining up financing for the purchase of real estate is a lot like following a recipe.

It takes time and effort, but if you follow the steps, you will reach your goal!

To secure a loan, you must prepare for your meeting with your loan officer.

Be sure to gather the following:

  • Pay stubs for the past 2-3 months.
  • W-2 forms for the past 2 years.
  • Information on long-term debts.
  • Recent bank statements tax returns for the past 2 years.
  • Proof of any other income.
  • Address and description of the property you wish to buy.
  • A sales contract on the home you want to buy.

During the application process, the lender will order a report on your credit history and a professional appraisal of the property you want to purchase. The lender will verify your income and employment, and evaluate your debt to income ratio, along with helping you determine which loan program best meets your needs.

The application process typically takes between 1-6 weeks and involves lots of paperwork, sometimes redundant requests, and the waiting period sometimes seems forever, but if you persist, the process should produce the result you hope for within 30 says or so, in most instances.

Choosing a good loan officer can make all the difference in the world, along with selecting a title company that is experienced and knowledgeable in closing mortgage purchase transactions.


How to Secure a Loan for Buying Real Estate

At First Title & Abstract, Inc. we have worked with dozens of top mortgage companies and can recommend a good loan officer to help you.

Just call us at our Naples or Marco Island office, and we will put you in touch with a reputable professional.

How Do I Choose The Right Lender For Me?


How do I choose the right lender for me?

This video help you ask the right questions to find a reputable and reliable lender who has a good reputation for customer satisfaction.

You should ask about their years in business, the type of programs they use, why they are a better choice than their competitors, and what Realtors they’ve worked with in the past.

Also, you should ask for testimonials from happy customers who’ve recently closed their loan with the mortgage company you’re considering.

Be sure to choose a company that gives helpful advice and that makes you feel comfortable.

Although you can shop around for mortgages and mortgage products, once you find someone you can trust, it’s always good practice to allow them to prove themselves by working hard for you. That said, if you ever feel a loan officer is not working in your best interest, be sure to seek the guidance of others to select someone you do feel comfortable with.

A lender that has the authority to approve and process your loan locally is preferable since it will be easier for you to monitor the status of your application and ask questions.

Plus, it’s beneficial when the lender knows home values and conditions in the local area.


Our Video Helps You Choose a Lender Wisely

Do your research, and ask family and friends.

And give us a call at First Title & Abstract, Inc.

Our knowledgeable staff in our Naples and Marco Island offices can provide recommendations to you of mortgage lenders we’ve worked with who we like and trust.

At First Title & Abstract, Inc., we believe in “Putting You First!”

We’re more than a title company ~ we’re a trusted friend with the knowledge and experience to guide you at e very step of the process of buying and selling real estate.

Comparing Mortgages


Comparing mortgages is an important step in determining which financing is best for your property purchase.

This video gives you valuable tips on how to evaluate different mortgage choices to make the best decision for you.

You wouldn’t buy a car without comparing models, would you?

So, be a savvy consumer and go mortgage shopping armed with the information you need!


Comparing Mortgages is a Good Idea

First, devise a checklist for the information from each lending institution. You should include:

  • the company’s name and basic information
  • the type of mortgage (fixed, variable, 15 year, 30 year, adjustable after 7 years, convention, VA, FHA, etc.)
  • minimum down payment required
  • interest rate and points
  • closing costs
  • loan processing time
  • whether prepayment is allowed

Speak with companies by phone or in person.

Be sure to call every lender on the list the same day as interest rates can fluctuate daily.

In addition to doing your own research, your real estate agent may have access to a database of lender and mortgage options or suggest a variety of different lender options.

At First Title & Abstract, Inc., our staff can refer you to competent and friendly loan officers who will provide guidance to you on available mortgage products. Comparing mortgages is easy when you are working with professionals who are experienced and knowledgeable.

We hope you will not hesitate to call us for a referral, or to help answer any questions you may have about your mortgage features.

We offer this mortgage shopping worksheet for your convenience as a good starting point.


Mortgage Shopping Worksheet































How Are Pre-Qualifying And Pre-Approval Different?


How are pre-qualifying and pre-approval different?

Pre-qualification is an informal way to see how much you maybe able to borrow.

You can be ‘pre-qualified’ over the phone with no paperwork by telling a lender your income, your long-term debts and how large a down payment you can afford. Without any obligation, this helps you arrive at a ballpark figure of the amount you may have available to spend on a house.

Pre-approval is a lender’s actual commitment to lend to you.


A Mortgage Pre-Approval is Your Ticket to a Ratified Sales Contract

It involves assembling financial records and going through a preliminary approval process. Pre-approval gives you a definite idea of what you can afford and shows sellers that you are serious about buying.

At First Title & Abstract, Inc. we believe in “Putting You First!”

And we encourage our clients to put first things first, too!

Getting pre-qualified for a loan is a good first step.

But when you get serious and are ready to shop and employ a Realtor, you should obtain a pre-approval letter as this will enhance your chances as a buyer of having your offer to purchase accepted by the seller.

What’s a Credit Bureau Score-How Do Lenders Use Them?


What’s a Credit Bureau Score-How Do Lenders Use Them?

As we show you in this video, a credit bureau score, or “credit score” is a number based upon your credit history that represents the possibility that you will be able or unable to repay a loan.

Lenders use it to determine your ability to qualify for a mortgage loan.

The better the score, the better your chances are of getting a favorable loan.

Credit scoring has changed over the years, and continues to involve new modeling with different credit agencies each using different factors to score your credit behavior.


What’s a Credit Bureau Score-How Do Lenders Use Them?









Your credit score is based on a number of factors such as:

  • Payment History
  • Proportion of Balances to Available Credit
  • Length of Credit
  • New Credit
  • Types of Credit Used
  • Negative Reports from Public Agencies for Foreclosure, Bankruptcy, Collections

Knowing your credit score is an important first step to evaluating what you may be able to qualify for in the way of property financing.

For more information about your Credit Score and how Lenders will use the information, please call us at First Title & Abstract, Inc.

We can put you in touch with some of the best lenders in the area who can guide you through the process of evaluating, and improving your credit score.