Whitepaper: High Touch Mortgage Services

A mortgage may be one of life’s largest financial decisions and, for first-time homebuyers, the process may seem a bit overwhelming. Although many mortgage providers exist in the market, none provide the convenience and support like United Bank.

Our secure, online application coupled with the support from our team make the experience enjoyable and comfortable. We walk our clients through the entire mortgage process step-by-step, offering competitive pricing and unsurpassed service with a personal touch.

Through United Bank, you have access to a 26-member team of mortgage banking experts. With a quick and easy pre-approval process, the United Bank team can assess your options and help you choose the right loan with confidence. We offer monthly payment and down payment assistance, competitive rates and fees, and quick closing opportunities. 

Mortgage loans offered through United Bank include:

Conventional Mortgage Options: (Purchase and Refinancing)

  • Primary: When your home will be your primary residence.
  • Secondary home loans: When you are purchasing a second home, which is typically a vacation home.
  • Fixed-rate loans: Fifteen and 30 year terms for borrowers with solid credit history.
  • Adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) loans: Gives borrowers more options for specific scenarios, such as short-term ownership or unique properties (examples are mixed-use buildings, single wide mobile homes, log cabins).
  • Investment property loans: Any loan that is not considered a primary residence or a vacation home. These include rental properties or home purchases for family members.
  • In-house loans: Loan options with more credit flexibility and property type flexibility for situations that “don’t fit in a square box.” 
  • First-time homebuyers program: Special rates/programs for people purchasing their first home.

Government Loan Options:

  • VA loans: Loans for veterans looking to buy or refinance.
  • FHA loans: Loans for people with minor credit issues or small down payments.  These loans can be used to buy or refinance your home.
  • USDA loans: Loans for borrowers who don’t currently own a residence and are purchasing in a USDA approved area.  This loan allows 100 percent financing and is a great product for first time homebuyers.

How do you get started? You choose.

Apply online. United Bank is here to help with mortgage options for many different budgets and an online application process that makes it simple to start. Use our mortgage calculator to help get a better understanding of what you can afford over a five-, 10-, 15-, 20- or 30-year term.

Do you prefer an in-person consultation? We have experienced mortgage lenders in every market available to discuss loan options and answer your questions.  

Once we receive your completed loan application, we will provide you with a Loan Estimate. Upon receipt of your Notice of Intent to Proceed we will let you know what additional information is needed. The following list is a compilation of frequently needed copies of documents.

Mortgage Checklist:

  • Copy of your YTD pay stub(s) to reflect the most recent 30 days of income
  • W-2 statements from past two years
  • Signed personal and business tax returns from the past two years (all pages and relevant schedules required)
  • If self-employed, a copy of most recent quarterly or year-to-date profit/loss statement
  • Two most recent bank statements (all pages) for all financial accounts including: checking, savings, IRA, 401(k), and brokerage accounts
  • A copy of the signed Purchase and Sale Agreement (for purchase transactions only)
  • Most recent monthly statements for any mortgages, including your most recent tax bill and insurance statements
  • Driver’s license and Social Security card for each borrower

Note: Depending on your individual situation, you may be asked to provide additional documentation.

Processing and Underwriting the Mortgage

After receiving your application, your application proceeds to the processing and underwriting stage. The term ‘underwriting’ refers to the assessment of the amount of financial risk our bank takes on to provide you with a mortgage loan.

At this stage, the mortgage underwriter assesses the documentation you provided and the information submitted within the application. This could include your credit report, credit score, and the official home appraisal. The underwriter will also review and verify documentation of your income if not completed in the processing stage.

Two important individual factors the underwriter considers at this point include the loan-to-value (LTV) ratio and your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio. While the USDA home loan, FHA loan, and other mortgage loan programs each have different criteria, it’s common for underwriters to look for an LTV of 95 percent or less, and a DTI not greater than 43 percent. At United Bank, it’s always our goal to get our customers into a house of their choice by providing a loan that suits them best. That means we will work with you to the degree possible even if your numbers fall outside of the ideal range.

Our underwriting department also bears responsibility for conducting a title search on the property you intend to purchase. This is necessary to ensure that no one else has a legal claim to the house or land before you take over ownership. We also research the following information during a typical title search:

  • Claims against the property
  • Easement rights
  • Existing mortgages
  • Liens
  • Pending legal action
  • Restrictive covenants
  • Unpaid taxes
  • Zoning ordinances

At the end of this process, the title insurance company issues an insurance policy that guarantees its research accuracy. Once United Bank has completed the underwriting process, we send notification of your mortgage loan status. If not approved immediately, we can usually approve if you provide additional documentation or meet specific loan conditions.

Closing on the Home

After all the work you have done obtaining and submitting documents, looking at numerous homes for sale, placing your offer, and negotiating the final price with the seller, it’s finally time for closing day. We recommend that you review your Closing Statement before closing day to ensure you understand your expected mortgage payments, interest rate, and closing costs. You also have the legal right to ask for a final walk-through of the home 24 hours before attending the closing. Here is what you should plan to bring with you to the closing:

  • Copy of the purchase contract signed by you and the seller
  • Copy of the home inspection report
  • Any documents required by United Bank to approve your loan
  • Government-issued photo identification for each borrower
  • Your down payment in the form of a cashier’s check or previous wire transfer
  • A personal check to pay any small miscellaneous costs that arise

It might surprise you to see the number of people present at the home closing, especially if you have not completed this process before. In addition to a representative from United Bank, you can expect the seller and his or her real estate agent, your own real estate agent, possibly attorneys for both you and the seller, and a title company representative.

You will sign dozens of documents during closing. Please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification on any document before you sign since it then becomes legally binding.

Building Your Home

If you plan to build your new home, United Bank can be your one-stop lending partner. Our construction lenders have experience working with many local builders, and can help you navigate the unexpected twists and turns that often happen when building a home. When you have a construction loan with United Bank, funds are released in phases, called ‘draws,’ based upon inspections of the completed work in progress. When your building project is complete, your construction lender works with your mortgage lender to pay off your construction loan. Handling both sides of the process with United Bank is a true time saver, but not a requirement. 

What Happens After the Closing?

Our relationships extend beyond loan closing and endure throughout the life of the loan, giving our customers peace of mind that their mortgage is in the right hands.

United Bank offers local servicing for conventional mortgage loans we originate. That means when you choose us as your mortgage provider, we will be there to help you manage your loan every step of the way. Over the last 10 years United Bank has closed over $500 million in home loans, and currently service more than 3,000 loans.  We go above and beyond typical mortgage lender obligations by getting to know our customers, keeping them informed throughout the process from application to closing, and helping them through any situation that may arise.

We’re Here for Your Future Mortgage Needs

United Bank is happy to serve as your lifetime family bank. Do you need to refinance? Are you interested in purchasing a second home? The real estate market and your personal life changes may present new mortgage opportunities in the future. We are always here to help you, in each stage of your life.

Make Payments Your Way

When you bank with United Bank, you have access to our Call Center seven days a week, from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. We offer same-day credit on payments made prior to 8 p.m. on a bank business day. You can also transfer a payment from your United Bank checking account using our mobile app.

The United Bank family has been an integral part of Georgia communities for more than 100 years. Our mortgage professionals live and work in the communities they serve. Our longevity and enduring customer relationships are testaments to the fact that we built our business on solid principles of integrity and trust.

There is no reason to look further than your own hometown to find the best mortgage partner to help you realize your home ownership goals.