• Home Buyers Guide

  • Buying a new home is an exciting prospect whether you are an "old pro," or a first-time buyer. Having an expert on your side is a huge advantage! The experienced professionals at Silver Leaf Mortgage are here to help you think through the possibilities, and avoid the potential pitfalls. 

    Give us a call or email to begin the conversation and take the first step toward the best loan for your dreams and lifestyle. We'd love to provide you with information on

    • Using a Reverse Mortgage to Eliminate Your Mortgage Payment 
    • Using a Reverse Mortgage to Access the Equity in Your Home
    • Using a Reverse Mortgage to Purchase a Home
    • Buying Your First Home
  • Pre-Approval

    It is easier than you think to qualify for a reverse mortgage! Even if you have had credit issues, a bankruptcy or foreclosure in the past, a reverse mortgage may work for you. Call or email us to have a consultation with a Reverse Mortgage Specialist who can advise you, and help you eliminate your mortgage payment. If you own your home "free and clear," you will qualify for a reverse mortgage. Call or email to find out how much of your equity you may access to use for any purpose, tax-free.

    If you are purchasing a home, contact us to see how much house you can buy. We will help you get your "ducks in a row" so that when you go house shopping you will already know what loan you will have.  

  • 5 Things to Know When Shopping for a Home

    Credit history

    Whether you are seeking a reverse mortgage, refinance, or are purchasing a home, your credit report must be pulled. With a reverse mortgage, even bad credit can usually be overcome. 

    If you are purchasing with a regular mortgage, your credit history is important, and having higher scores is an advantage and will allow you to get better rates. Let us discuss this with you, and see which are the programs for which you qualify. 

    Monthly debt

    There is a financial assessment that is part of qualifying for a reverse mortgage. Call or email so that we can walk you through the simple process to discover how we can help you. There are steps that can be taken to help even if you are strapped for cash each month. A reverse mortgage can be just the thing to allow you the freedom to relax, and not be stressed by bills every month.

    When purchasing with a regular mortgage, there is a debt-to-income ratio (DTI) that must be taken into consideration. When evaluating your ability to repay the loan, the lender will calculate your DTI which is your total monthly debt (proposed mortgage, property taxes, home owners insurance, credit cards, student loans, car payments, etc.) divided by your monthly income. Call or email to learn strategies to help that ratio be as strong as possible. 


    Part of the financial assessment for a reverse mortgage includes looking at your income. You may qualify with just your social security income. It is worth contacting us to find out!

    For a traditional mortgage, ideally, your income must have been consistent for the past 24 months. Call or email to let us help you no matter what your situation. We can give you good advice about how to position yourself for a successful home-buying experience.


    With a reverse mortgage, assets are not a requirement in every situation. Don't worry if you do not have any assets, or if you have abundant assets. Either way, we can hep you see if a reverse mortgage is right for you!


    A reverse mortgage can be used to purchase a home. You will never have a mortgage payment as long as you live in your new home. We would be happy to explain to you and your realtor how the Reverse for Purchase program works. You can sell your current home and purchase your new home in one smooth transaction. Call or email for more information. 

    First-time home buyers should download our free booklet, Buying Your First Home - a step-by-step Guide to the home buying process. 

  • Home Loan Process Fees

    Down payment

    A down payment is required for a purchase. With a reverse mortgage, the amount that is financed, and on which you will not have a mortgage payment, is about 50% of the purchase price. This increases your buying power and may allow you to keep much of the proceeds from the sale of your former home. 

    With a regular mortgage, there are programs that require as little as 1% down with the lender supplying an additional 2% for a total of 3% down. In addition, there are programs where the down payment may be from a gift. Ask us about the details of these programs.Usually, the down payment is a minimum of 3% to 3.5%, but may be as low as 1% for certain program. That 1% may be gift funds.  There can be advantages to having a larger down payment. 

    Closing costs

    With a reverse mortgage, closing costs are disclosed on the Loan Comparison and the Good Faith Estimate. With a regular mortgage, closing costs are disclosed at the beginning of the loan process on the Loan Estimate (LE). These are the costs to be paid to the lender, title company, taxes and transfer fees, etc.


    Home owners insurance (HOI) is required on any home that has a mortgage. It pays to shop around as there can be quite a difference in the price of home owners insurance. The coverage need not be higher than the appraised value of the property minus the site value. You are only insuring the improvements, not the land.

    Home inspections

    An FHA appraisal will suffice when doing a reverse mortgage, but with any purchase (using a reverse mortgage or a regular mortgage) it pays to have a home inspection. This is where a professional conducts a thorough examination of the property to assess it's structural and mechanical condition, catching any potential problems that a buyer might not detect. 


  • Closing

    Required funds

    With many reverse mortgage transactions, funds are not required at closing. The fees will be financed. In fact, many times, you will be receiving funds at closing! Occasionally, due to the appraised value, a borrower may need to "bring money to the table." This will have been worked out with you in advance. When a reverse mortgage is used to purchase a home, FHA approved condo or townhouse, the funds to close will be known from the start.

    In the case of a regular mortgage, your real estate contract will stipulate the amount of funds required to close the deal. We will have helped you to be prepared with the appropriate funds, and closing will be a smooth process. 


    Reverse mortgages are typically closed at your home by a closer who is a notary sent from the title company. Most of the time your Silver Leaf loan officer will also be present for the closing.

    A regular mortgage is typically closed at a title company. If you have purchased a property, the seller picks the title company. Your realtor will keep you informed as to when and where the closing will take place.

    Power of attorney

    There are situations where a Power of Attorney (POA) may be used. Contact us for details on how this can be accomplished. 

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