Frequently Asked Questions about Budget & Financing


How do I determine what I can afford?

Conventional wisdom holds that your mortgage payment should equal roughly one-third of your monthly gross income (that's your pay before taxes). But conventional wisdom doesn't factor in many other asset and debt variables.

Must I wait to buy a home if I currently have debt?

Not necessarily. There are four major factors when considering an application: your employment and income, your assets, your credit record, and the value of the home you wish to purchase. All these factors are considered when making a credit decision. Please do not hesitate to apply.

How can I estimate my monthly payment?

Our Mortgage Calculator helps you determine your monthly mortgage payment based on the loan amount, interest rate, and length of loan. Calculators are for illustrative purposes only.

How can I estimate the mortgage amount for which I would qualify?

Use our Mortgage Calculator to estimate the mortgage amount for which you could qualify based on your income, debt, and down payment.

What mortgage expenses are associated with buying?

Your loan counselor will provide you with a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) after your application. This disclosure outlines all costs associated with the loan closing. Many lenders charge an origination fee and a processing fee. Other fees may include, but are not limited to, attorney's fees, filing fees, mortgage taxes, title search, and title insurance. You may also be asked to pay real estate taxes and/or establish escrow accounts for real estate taxes and homeowner's insurance.


What is the advantage in using Pulte Mortgage?

Pulte Mortgage is part of the PulteGroup family, which allows them to work closely with your home builder to provide an integrated home buying experience. New construction lending is their specialty. For more than 40 years, Pulte Mortgage has provided exceptional service tailored specifically to buyers of new homes. They’re committed to helping our customers understand the mortgage process and guiding them through each and every step.

Do I need to be approved for a loan prior to starting the home buying process?

You are required to have an initial loan approval to purchase your contracted home before building can begin.

How much of a difference does a large down payment make?

The amount of down payment will affect your monthly payment and the type of loan product that will best meet your needs. Please try the True Cost Calculator, with varying down payments, to determine the monthly payment that works best for your financial situation.

Do I have a choice of points or no points?

Yes, you do have a choice. The primary idea of points is to pay a fee at closing in order to lower your interest rate. Depending upon how long you keep your loan, you may save substantially more money over the life of the loan. Your mortgage professional can help you decide whether you should chose to pay points.


How much money will I need at Closing?

Your closing costs will depend upon the sale price of your home, the amount of your down payment, and the various fees connected with the purchase of your home. Closing costs and escrow items include mortgage insurance, prepaid taxes, attorney's fees, title insurance, etc.

What should I bring to the Closing?

You must bring valid picture identification, a cashier's check for down payment and closing costs, other documentation, and proof of homeowners' insurance.

VA Loan Benefits

Are VA loans and interest rates competitive with conventional loans?

Yes, generally VA rates are competitive with conventional loans.

What documents do I need to get a VA loan?

To start the loan application process, you'll need to provide your DD-214 form OR Proof of Service (which can be obtained from military records of St. Louis - (866) 272-6272 option #4) Once you submit one of these forms to Pulte Mortgage, they can then assist you in obtaining a Certificate of Eligibility from the VA.

Does my Certificate of Eligibility automatically qualify me for a VA loan?

After helping you determine the amount of VA loan guarantee you are eligible for (called your "Entitlement"), Pulte Mortgage will then be able to start the loan approval process qualifying you based on income, credit history and assets.

How long does the VA loan process take from start to finish?

Pulte Mortgage can normally close a VA loan in as little as 30 - 45 days depending on how quickly they receive your Certificate of Eligibility and Appraisal from the VA.

What is the maximum VA loan amount that I can qualify for?

Depending on your eligibility, you may qualify for a purchase price of up to $417,000 using 100% financing ($0 down payment). The VA does allow for loan amounts greater than $417,000 based on the amount of your down payment.

What is the VA Funding Fee for?

The VA funding fee is a requirement. It's a way of guaranteeing or insuring a VA loan if payments aren't made by the borrower. The fee is intended to enable a veteran obtaining a VA loan to contribute money toward the cost of this benefit and thereby reducing the cost to taxpayers. The amount of the fee varies depending on your down payment amount and eligibility status.

Can I use my VA loan benefit more than once?

Yes, you may use your benefit multiple times as long as you have enough benefit to cover the current loan. If you own another home, you may have to sell it or refinance it into an FHA or conventional loan in order to free up the benefit for re-use. The new home you are purchasing must be a primary residence.

Are spouses or children of a veteran eligible for a VA loan?

A surviving spouse may be eligible if the veteran died as a result of a service connected disability or while on active duty. Children are not eligible.

Can I get a VA loan if I've had a foreclosure or short sale in the past?

Yes, after a foreclosure you'll need to wait at least 2 years (including having a clean credit history for the past 12 months) before getting VA loan approval . Short sales are treated differently. Currently, there is no required wait time after having completed a short sale.

If I've filed bankruptcy in the past, how long before I can qualify for a VA loan?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is acceptable if discharged at least two years ago (or one year if you can show extenuating circumstances) and after making 12 months of on time payments to creditors. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is acceptable after discharge and 12 months of on-time payments (with court/bankruptcy judge approval).

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