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Chris Salese

March always seems to carry an extra level of anticipation.

For example, there’s the start of youth baseball and softball seasons along with the annual college basketball national championship tournament.

In the real estate world, March kicks off the spring buying and selling festivities, which is usually a busy time of the year.

And then, of course, you have those fun leprechaun trap school projects to build plus that awesome corned beef and cabbage too.

During March, you might also see an uptick in marketing activities from your lender or Realtor or from others who offer their services in the real estate industry.

While this is certainly expected and acceptable, you should read the fine print and pay careful attention to the intent of the messaging.

Sometimes there are specific products being marketed and sometimes there are blanket statements being promoted about current or past successes.

Either way, make sure you first check in with your trusted lender or realtor before making any quick decisions.

Speaking of blanket statements, that’s the last thing that an underwriter will offer you when they review your file.

Typically, an underwriter will make a decision about your home loan application after they consider three main factors: 1) your ability to repay the loan 2) your willingness to repay the loan and 3) your collateral.

Your ability to repay your mortgage is often determined by verifying your current employment and analyzing your total income.

It’s common, yet not always required, that your lender would ideally like to see proof you’ve been employed at the same place for at least two years or to at least be in the same line of work for a few years.

On top of that, your estimated monthly home loan payment will be compared to your total monthly income and debt for qualification purposes.

Your willingness to repay is normally influenced by how you’ve paid previous types of loans and by examining how the property you’re financing will be used.

The willingness aspect of the underwriter’s review of your application can be gauged by the overall quality of your credit report and any past commitments to pay rent and or utility bills.

The third factor for consideration, your collateral, is the property being financed.

It is the collective value, marketability and condition of the property that are all taken into consideration by the underwriter as they will rely heavily on the appraisal for this type of information.

It is important to remember that there are likely many different rules that lenders may use to assess these three factors on each loan application and to determine if they will ultimately lend you money.

Each application is evaluated individually case by case. Although loan applications may come up short in one area, they could make up for it with other strong points in different areas.

Finally, I think Arizona will win the men’s college basketball national championship tournament this year.

Now that’s a true blanket statement!

Chris Salese can be reached at or 707-363-4439. He is a licensed California mortgage lender (LO NMLS #254469 — State License #CA-DBO 254469 — Corp License #4170013 Corp NMLS #3113) and equal housing lender.