Every week, we ask an Atlanta real estate professional for their thoughts on the top trends in Atlanta real estate.
This week, we talked with Jessica Jakulski, a mortgage banker with BankSouth Mortgage. Jessica brings more than five years’ experience to the mortgage industry, and prior to becoming a BankSouth mortgage banker, she studied under one of BankSouth’s top producers, allowing her to perfect and understand every aspect of the mortgage process.
Atlanta Agent (AA): We hear different things from different agents on how tight lending standards remain for homebuyers; if an agent asked you about how lending standards were, what would you tell them?
Jessica Jakulski (JJ): Though lending standards are significantly stricter than they were 5-10 years ago, those stricter standards are probably in the best interest of everyone concerned. The additional documentation allows the underwriter to better qualify the borrower and reduces the chance of borrower default and/or lender foreclosure. Though this can make the underwriting process seem a little more difficult for the borrower, as long as a loan officer does his/her job and establishes reasonable underwriting expectations and guides them through the process, stricter guidelines do not mean the loan process cannot be a very smooth one.
AA: What are the most common mistakes you see from homebuyers, when it comes to preparing documentation for a loan?
JJ: If you start looking for a home, have all of your documentation organized and ready to go. Be prepared to provide 2 years tax returns, W2s, paystubs, bank statements, etc. The underwriter will analyze everything in detail so additional documentation may be requested. Try to avoid depositing cash into your bank accounts, as it is almost impossible to source. I also advise borrower’s to not open any new credit accounts during the loan process as it can change whether or not they are approved.
AA: Finally, do you think we’re on a consistent pace with home lending, or should we expect some changes in the next year?
JJ: Mortgage lending is in a state of constant evolution but I think Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are realigning with the approach of Common Sense Underwriting. If this is the case, we will see more loan programs become available that will help more borrowers get into homes.