Meet our Newest Mortgage Banker!

United Mortgage is thrilled to welcome Sheri Schmidt to our team! Sheri is a Mortgage Banker who will be working in the Purchase Division.

Sheri has her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas in Journalism. Her experience includes multiple years selling in the music, home building, kitchen design and insurance arenas.  She chose to pursue a career in the mortgage industry because she enjoys helping people achieve their goal of home ownership. Sheri vividly remembers her very first home purchase experience and how exciting and wonderful that was, and strives to create a positive experience for the people she works with as well.

Away from the office, you can find Sheri doting on her nieces and nephews, friends and family.  She also loves to sing, cook, entertain and travel.

Please join us in welcoming Sheri to United Mortgage!



First-time homebuyers just don’t understand down payments

 Top factors blocking first-time homebuyers

The elusive and seemingly unattainable 20% down payment for a home restricts potential first-time homebuyers from jumping into the market, according to a recent survey of mortgage industry executives.

However, while the fact might not be too surprising, it is interesting to note that even the borrowers who understood a 20% down payment is not mandatory to purchase a home still thought it would be difficult to get into a house with less.

The survey of 150 mortgage professionals was conducted at the 2017 Mortgage Bankers Association Secondary Market Conference recently held in New York City and echoed recent concerns in the market about first-time homebuyer misconceptions.

The survey found that 28% of respondents said consumers still mistakenly believe that a 20% down payment is a requirement for purchasing a home. Then, an additional 41% of industry executives surveyed believed that even among prospective borrowers who understand a 20% down payment is not mandatory to purchase a home believe it would be difficult to get into a house with less.

Beyond misconceptions around the down payment, 39% of mortgage industry professionals believe that consumers’ lack of knowledge about the homebuying process is one of the greatest impediments to first-time homebuyer demand.

Following closely behind was lack of inventory (28%) and excess student debt (27%). Rising interest rates came in at 6%.

“While first-time homebuyers continue to drive the purchase market, we believe many are being kept on the sidelines due to the misconception that a 20% down payment is required to secure a mortgage,” said Rohit Gupta, CEO of Genworth Mortgage Insurance. “There are various low down payment options available today that allow prospective homebuyers to reach their dreams of homeownership sooner. It is crucial that, as an industry, we proactively educate eligible borrowers about solutions that will enable them to buy a home when they’re ready.”

“The more we can work together to educate consumers, the better the opportunity for us to put qualified borrowers into homes and fulfill homeownership aspirations.”


By Brena Swanson | Originally published on HouseingWire 


Now is the Time to Refinance Your Home

As a home owner, market volatility can surprisingly be your best friend. After Britain’s infamous Brexit vote to leave the European Union recently, the housing market was shaken up and mortgage rates plummeted. This means that you, a home owner, are in a prime position to consider your refinancing options. You can finally bring down that interest rate or align your mortgage to your long term financial goals. Now is the time to refinance your home.

Because of the aforementioned events, The New York Times recently reported that several marketplaces have seen over a 130% surge in refinancing applications. It was also reported that mortgage rates are the lowest they’ve been in years with a solid prediction that the rates will stay low for the rest of the year. That, of course, does not mean that you should drag your feet on refinancing. But it does give you time to do thorough market research and get your paperwork ready for the application process. With more applications being submitted nationally, there are also more rejections.

We’ve compiled an easy guide for you to prepare your paperwork for financial success.


Refinancing Goals

The first step in deciding to refinance is to consider your goals.  The most common reasons for a modern refinance are:

1.)     Lower your monthly payment

2.)    Pay off your mortgage faster

3.)    Get cash from your home

4.)    Consolidate your debt

5.)    Earn more from your investment property


If you’re still on the fence about whether this is the right financial path for you, talk to a Home Loan Expert for more information.

What Will I Need to Refinance?

We’ll assume you’ve found a reputable and friendly mortgage company and want to move forward with the refinancing process. Most mortgage lenders will require several documents. We’ve listed them here so you can prepare them in advance to ensure a smooth application process.

  • Proof of Income – Usually pay stubs, last 30 days or longer.
  • Copy of Homeowners Insurance – Most lenders want proof of sufficient coverage.
  • Copies of W-2s
  • Copies of Asset Information – Statements of savings, checking and 401 K accounts, and any investment records for mutual funds or stocks.
  • Copy of Title Insurance – This helps verify things like taxes, titles, and property descriptions.
  • And finally, lenders will want your credit report, so now is the time to make sure it’s in tip top shape (Forbes has a great article on how to improve that 3-digit score here).

Now is the Time to Refinance:  Prepare

So now that you are motivated and ready to move forward with the refinancing process, here’s a Step-by-Step guide so you know what to look for and are armed with information:

1.)    Determine Your Goal – Make sure that your goals align with the list above.

2.)    Learn Your Credit Score – The better your score, the better rates you’ll be offered by mortgage companies.

3.)    Research Your Home’s Current Value – Check online for surrounding neighborhood recent home sales to see where local property values are at.

4.)    Shop for Your Best Mortgage Rate – Always shop around, not just for rates, but for a reputable mortgage company.

5.)    Know Your Fees – Be aware of hidden costs like application fees, appraisal fees, document processing fees, underwriting fees, credit report charges, title research, recording fees, tax transfers and points, the list goes on. Make sure that your mortgage company is upfront about all fees, which ties back into finding a reputable mortgage lender. Do not get suckered into the “no cost” or “low cost” refinance scam, because it means they’re just moving your fees into the actual loan in the form of higher interest rates. Do your research and avoid these scams.

6.)    Get Your Paperwork Ready – As mentioned above, you’ll need to gather your statements, paystubs, and whatever else your lender will require.

7.)    Have Cash on Hand – You’ll most likely need cash at closing to pay property taxes, insurance, closing costs, and any other unplanned expenses, so be sure to have some set aside for this. Luckily, (as stated in our first blog post) you are protected as a modern home buyer and mortgage lenders are required to list all expenses in your loan estimate paperwork.

Follow these steps with a great mortgage company and the refinancing process will set you up for long-term financial success.

The Modern Homebuyer is Now Protected

Buying a home can be an intimidating experience. There are a mountain of numbers and forms to fill out and a lot of blind trust that goes into what realtors, sellers, and mortgage companies are saying. There are many stories of today’s modern homebuyer getting scammed (not from United Mortgage, but from less reputable companies full of false promises and deals that are “too good to be true”) that should put a healthy fear into the buying process as they look into their first home mortgage. But, according to Mortgage News Daily and the National Association of Realtors, thanks to sustained job growth and low mortgage rates, home buying is the highest it’s been in 9 years.

How Does This Affect You, the Modern Homebuyer? 

There are two main ways that this current market trend of high home sales positively affects the modern homebuyer. First, with so many homes being sold, mortgage rates are extremely low compared to what they’ve been over the past decade. Now is a great time to buy or refinance a home.

The second, and maybe most important, is that the mortgage process has been changed to protect the cornerstone of the housing market: you, the buyer.

According to CNN Money, new mortgage disclosure rules went into effect in October in order to reduce the amount of fraud and/or intentional complication of the mortgage process to trick the homebuyer into settling for last-second rate changes

The previous system required four forms to fill out, the new system only requires two.  One of which is required to be sent to you three days after a submitted application, meaning it’s now easier to shop several agencies (and yes, we encourage you to shop, especially because we believe in our company and rates and know you’ll come back when you’re ready to start a great business relationship).  Also, this form breaks down estimated closing costs so you’re not surprised by them at the end of sale.

Modern Homebuyer Form

Preview of the new mortgage form to protect the modern homebuyer


Check out the rest of the form here and see how easy it is to use:

Why Are We Excited?

We’re excited because more and more companies, and the government, are taking an ethical approach to the real estate and banking business, which now protects you, the consumer. And the more that consumers are protected, the more homes will be purchased, and the more the entire housing market will thrive as it’s designed to.

We here at United Mortgage do not trick our customers. We do not sneak in hidden costs at closing. We do not use shady and illegal techniques to get more money out of you. Instead, we value you. We want you to return to us as you buy another home, upgrade, or refinance in the future. We pride ourselves in building lasting relationships and leaving a positive impact on our community. We value our reputation because we believe that a reliable brand that you can trust is the real backbone of modern business. It’s why we want to not just be your mortgage lender, we also want to educate you on current market trends and business practices so that you are empowered.

Buying a home, especially a first home, is a milestone in one’s life. It doesn’t have to be scary. It should be celebrated. And we’d love to do that with you.