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6 Important Home Loan Mortgage Tips: An Interview with Karyl Smith of ALCOVA Mortgage, LLC

By Karyl Smith NMLS# 115330

Tell us a little bit about your experience, company history and the services you offer.

Alcova Mortgage is an independent privately owned Mortgage Banker. We offer home loans in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee, Georgia and DC. Alcova Mortgage was founded in 2003 based on a passion to Serve with Excellence. We focus on accomplishing our Mission Statement daily ? "To Simplify the Mortgage Process and Build Long Term Trust with our Clients". I have been originating mortgages for over 13 years and enjoy helping people realize the dream of home ownership. I especially enjoy working with 1st time homebuyers. The loan options we offer clients are: Conventional, FHA, VA, USDA, Jumbo, Reverse Mortgages and Rehab loans.

Can you explain the difference between a mortgage broker and other mortgage provider options?

Mortgage Bankers are a one stop mortgage shop. We offer a vast array of home loans and have in house processing and underwriting. This allows the process to go smoother and quicker. Our rates are very competitive.

Mortgage Brokers sell loan programs on behalf of lenders. Typically this type of company does not have in house processing and underwriting.

A local bank is another option for a home mortgage. They may have limited loan options and a lengthy processing time with underwriting and appraising not being done locally. Mortgage advisors employed by a bank are not required to be federally licensed. Online lenders can be both bankers and brokers both. A client will never meet their loan officer face to face in this case.

What are the main factors that people should consider before applying for a home mortgage?

The factors to consider before applying for a home loan are: Do I have job stability?
Is my housing payment to income ratio in line NOW? What about my total debt to income ratio? How does my credit profile look? Do I have the required number of lines of credit open with the required length of time? Am I using the credit I currently have wisely?

Is there a difference between pre-approved and pre-qualified?

A pre-qualification is a determination of qualification based on preliminary information given to the loan officer by the client such as income, debt and assets.
A pre-approval includes a complete loan application, documentation for assets and income and a credit check.
A loan commitment means all documentation including appraisal and title work has been signed off on by an underwriter. This is issued when the lender is certain they will lend to the borrower.

Are there any ways that a homeowner can help make the mortgage process move faster?

A homeowner can help move the process along quicker by keeping good records of important documents, such as asset statements, pay stubs, W2's and tax returns and having them readily available when requested by their loan professional. If a homeowner cannot access these documents online it is important to keep a hard copy file handy.

What is one of the most common problems for homeowners who are applying for a new mortgage?

Bouncing back from a bump in life that would affect a client's credit score and maintaining a good credit score is a common problem. Experienced loan officers can help counsel homebuyers on ways to do this. An acceptable credit score opens up more options to the borrower.

What advice would you give to homeowners who want to choose the best mortgage lender for them?

Interview several loan officers to find a good fit. A new homeowner needs an open line of communication with their mortgage professional. Is your loan officer responsive to your calls and your emails? Does he or she have flexible hours to meet or discuss the progress of your loan? Do you feel comfortable asking questions that may come up or do you feel intimidated or that you may be bothering them?

What's the best way for people to reach you and your company? or 855-GO-ALCOVA

You can reach me directly at 919-522-8884 or go to
You can apply for a mortgage directly on my website.
Individual NMLS# 115330
ALCOVA Mortgage, LLC company NMLS ID#40508 (

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