General FAQ’s

mortgage questions

What are the steps to make this site work for me?
This site is designed to be used in a variety of ways, most people start with the mortgage calculators. Mortgage calculators will help you find the loan that fits you best. When you are ready, I will be happy to guide you through the process, as my loan consultations are free of charge with no obligations.

Who can answer questions not addressed here?
Call me anytime and I will be happy to address your concerns.
Email me at the email address listed on my homepage for more information.

What is the difference between a Mortgage Broker and a Mortgage Banker?
Open Mortgage has been a Mortgage Banker for over ten years. When you work with a Mortgage Banker, you interact with the same people from the same company throughout the entire process – from application to close – ensuring special attention to detail. A Mortgage Banker approved the loan and can generally offer lower rates/costs and a quicker process. That is not always the case with a Mortgage Broker. A Mortgage Broker is a middleman that brings you to the lender who approves the loan, which can result in a higher cost for you.

What is the difference between interest rate and APR?
Your interest rate is the monthly cost you pay on the unpaid balance of your home loan. An Annual Percentage Rate (APR) includes both your interest rate and any additional cost or prepaid financial charges such as the origination fee, points, private mortgage insurance, underwriting and processing fees. (Actual fees may or may not include these charges). While your interest rate is the rate at which you will make your monthly mortgage payments, the APR is a universal measurement that can assist you in comparing the cost of mortgage loans offered by different Mortgage Bankers (Lenders).

How is my information used to come up with loan options?
When using our mortgage calculators, I try to customize the loan to what you are looking for – a new home, a lower rate, cash from your home, etc. Since I don’t know everything about you, it is always best to speak with me directly about your particular situation to help you assess if you can qualify and which loan product is right for you.

How important is the Loan-To-Value (LTV) ratio in refinancing?
The loan-to-value ratio [LTV] shows how much equity you have in your home. Equity is the difference between how much your home is worth and how much you owe on it. For instance, if your home is worth $150,000 and you owe $100,000 on your mortgage, then you have $50,000 worth of equity in your home. To calculate your LTV, divide your current loan amount by your home’s value. In this example above, your LTV would be 67%. In the mortgage world, higher loan-to-value (or lower equity) means there is a greater risk the borrower may default on the loan. Therefore, in refinancing your home, LTV is important in determining qualification for home loans and rates. Generally speaking, the lower your LTV, the lower your rate.

What is Open Mortgage’s deposit policy?
Part of Open Mortgage’s mortgage process involves accepting a good-faith deposit from all of our clients. This money covers the costs incurred to process your loan, including pulling your credit report, getting an appraisal, and processing the title. We manage this entire process, and if you are approved, we get you to the closing location of your choice for your convenience.

Are the pre-qualification and pre-approval services FREE?
There is no charge for getting pre-qualified or pre-approved. You are not under any obligation to use our site to apply for a loan, even if you use mortgage calculators.

How do I stop receiving Open Mortgage’s promotional e-mails?
The greatest compliment we can receive is a referral from you, our valued customers. However, please be sure that we do not share your personal information with any outside companies for their promotional use. If you don’t want to receive any further information from Open Mortgage, you can “opt-out” of our email newsletters, or send us an email to