Our Services


What role does Cornerstone have in helping someone buy their first home?

As a mortgage broker, we help the borrower assess their current financial situation and create a plan of action. After we assess their situation we share with them the different mortgage programs that are available to them at the time and arrange for the loan to close within the sales contract closing time frames. We also search for lenders whose underwriting guidelines fit our borrowers situation at the lowest interest rate available. We review if the borrower qualifies for any first time home buyers down payment assistant programs. These can either be grants or silent second loans through the county.

As a realtor, we look to understand what exactly are the buyer's priority: square footage of the home, if they are looking to stay within a certain school district, numbers of bedrooms and bathrooms, lot size, and price range. We negotiate the buyers terms with the sellers and their agent and coordinate home inspections on behalf of the buyers. We review with the buyers the whole home, termite, roof, chimney, and any other inspection buyers chooses to do.

Types of Loans

There are several options for first-time borrowers, some with as low as a 3.5% (FHA) down payment or even no down payment for qualified borrowers.

Conventional Loan
  • Usually 5% down payment, but a 3% down payment is available
  • Minimum credit score of 620
  • Second homes are permitted up to 90% loan-to-value. (LTV) ratio
VA Loan
  • No down payment required
  • No monthly mortgage insurance
  • Lower average interest rates than other loan types
  • Down to 580 FICO score
FHA Loan
  • 3.5% down payment
  • Up to 6% of closing costs can be paid for by the seller. Minimum credit score of 580
  • Cashout up to 85% loan-to-value (LTV) ratio
  • Gift funds are allowed towards down payment
  • Cosigners are permitted
USDA Loan
  • 0% down payment
  • Lower than market interest rate
  • Low monthly private mortgage insurance
  • Down to 580 FICO score

Process of buying your first home

  1. Mortgage broker reviews borrower’s current financial situation
  2. Submit loan for pre-qualification through Fannie Mae’s or Freddie Mac’s automated underwriting system
  3. Make appointment with realtor to view homes in price range
    • Once buyer finds a home they are interested in they submit an offer to sellers for review.
    • Sellers and buyers begin to negotiate the terms of the final offer. If there is an agreement between both parties then they will enter into a binding
  4. Realtor sends a copy of fully executed contract to mortgage broker
    • Mortgage broker reviews initial disclosures with the buyers. This process allows buyers to acknowledge the mortgage payment and total funds to close.
  5. Realtor reviews inspections with buyers and requests repairs from sellers
  6. Once loan documents arrive to the title company, escrow officer draws up final numbers for buyers’ review and signatures
  7. Realtor does a final inspection of property to confirm all repairs agreed upon have been completed and property is in acceptable condition
  8. County confirms recording the deed of trust and buyer receives keys!