Mortgage Knowledge Center

Mortgage Knowledge Center

Welcome to Jovia’s Mortgage Knowledge Center

It’s only natural to feel a bit stressed during the mortgage process, but we promise it does not have to be an overwhelming experience. We are committed to helping you ease that feeling and equip you with all the tools you need.

From establishing a budget to choosing a mortgage loan, the right resources can make all the difference. By understanding the path that lies ahead, there will be less uncertainty, and you’ll feel more empowered to make decisions.

What is your mortgage goal?

Whether it’s your first home or a new home, searching for a new house is an exciting adventure. Once you’ve found the right house, it not only starts a new journey but is an important investment for the future.

Let’s start by breaking down the home-buying path. This step-by-step guide will help you better understand and prepare for each stop along the way.

Check out our Home Buyers Guide!

Refinancing your mortgage could put cash in your pocket, but how do you know if it is the right time?

Let’s look at some of the common reasons people refinance and the steps you need to take to help you reach your financial goals.

10 Key Steps to Refinancing

LOAN OPTIONS

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Fixed-Rate Mortgage
Adjustable-Rate Mortgage
Jumbo Loans

Buyers who plan to stay in their home for many years.

Buyers who don’t expect to stay in their home very long.

Buyers who are purchasing a more expensive home. (For 2022, over $647,200.)

Benefits

Benefits

Benefits

  • Interest rate stays the same
  • Payments will not change
  • No pre-payment penalties
  • Lower initial interest rate
  • Payments may decrease
  • Build equity faster
  • Larger loan amounts
  • For multi-family homes
  • One loan for purchase and renovations

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Advice

Homebuying

Buying A New Home Guide

Buying a new home step by step, so you’ll never have to wonder what happens next.

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18 Minute Read
Homebuying

Refinancing Your Home Guide

How, when and why to refinance to get the most value from your home loan.

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8 Minute Read
Homebuying

When it's Time to Upsize Your Home

What to consider before upsizing your home.

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2 Minute Read
Homebuying

Reasons to Consider Refinancing Your Mortgage

Let’s go over some of the major reasons why refinancing your mortgage may be right for you.

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3 Minute Read
Homebuying

Five Tips For a Successful Home Loan Approval

Set yourself up for success with these 5 tips.

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4 Minute Read
Homebuying

Everything You Need To Know About the Appraisal Process

Breaking down the process and everything you know about home appraisals.

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3 Minute Read
Homebuying

Should I buy a house now?

To buy or rent a home? It’s a question many Long Islanders face when choosing where to live. Everyone has an opinion, but only you can decide what’s best for you. Since no two situations are alike, the choice to buy a home now or in the future is personal. Before you sign your next lease or hit the pavement house hunting, learn the key factors you should consider before buying a home.

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5 Minute Read
Homebuying

How do mortgages work?

Buying real estate will likely be one of the largest investments you make. Whether it’s your first home or your dream home; each purchase is unique and may have you asking questions like, what is a mortgage? How do mortgages work? And, how do I apply for a mortgage? We know there’s a lot to understand and we’re here to help. This article will explain the key factors of the mortgage process so you can eliminate the guess work and apply and buy with confidence!

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3 Minute Read
Homebuying

First-time homebuyer mortgages

Exciting times, you’re ready to become a homeowner. Buying a home for the first time can be exhilarating and nerve wracking, especially when it’s time to apply for a mortgage. Before the search begins and house hunting starts, learn what it means to be a first-time home buyer, 10 key steps to buying a home, first-time home buyer mortgage options and how to apply.

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7 Minute Read
Homebuying

How to get pre-approved for a mortgage

The search is on! You’re in the market for a new home. Before you hit the pavement visiting open houses, you’ll want to get preapproved for a mortgage. We’ll explain how to get preapproved for a mortgage, why it’s an important step in the home buying process and the documents you need to get started.

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4 Minute Read
Homebuying

Homebuying 101: How to make an offer on a house

Your credit is in order, you found the right home at the right price, and you chose a mortgage term that best meet your needs. It sounds like you’re ready to make an offer on a new home!

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4 Minute Read
Homebuying

When should you refinance your mortgage?

Is it a good time to refinance? This is a common question homeowners ask themselves. Check out our tips on the best time to refinance and what to consider before refinancing your home.

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6 Minute Read
Homebuying

Homebuying 101: Fixed Rate vs Adjustable Rate Mortgages

Do you find yourself trying to figure out whether a fixed rate mortgage or adjustable rate mortgage is right for you? We can help!

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5 Minute Read
Advice | Homebuying

Homebuying 101: Finding the right home for the right price

Every day, Jovia works with members who are exactly where you are. We’ve got some great guidelines and tips on finding the right home and buying it at the best price possible so you can enjoy the home-shopping process rather than worry your way through what should be an exciting time in your life.

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4 Minute Read
Advice | Homebuying

Homebuying 101: Getting your credit in order

Congratulations! You’re considering buying a home-maybe your first. It’s a big step in life and it can be exciting, but it can also be a bit intimidating … at first. There’s lots of lingo to learn and lots of things to do between now and the day they hand you the keys. But, trust us, you can get there and Jovia can help!

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9 Minute Read

FAQs

We offer fixed, adjustable, and jumbo mortgages. To view rates and learn more about the specifics of each mortgage type, click here.

An adjustable rate mortgage, or an "ARM" is a loan where the interest rate will change periodically. Generally, this type of loan offers a lower initial interest rate than most fixed rate loans. The trade-off is that the interest rate can change periodically, usually in relation to an index, and the monthly payment will go up or down accordingly. While the advantage of the lower payment at the beginning of the loan, exists, you should weigh the risk that an increase in interest rates would lead to higher monthly payments in the future.

A Reverse Mortgage works by allowing homeowners aged 62 and older to borrow from their home's equity without having to make monthly mortgage payments. The borrower may choose to take funds in a lump sum, line of credit, or via structured monthly payments.

Many homeowners have found that a reverse mortgage is a great way for them to take advantage of the equity they have built up in their homes.

A reverse mortgage is different than a traditional mortgage. Instead of making monthly payments, the lenders pay you money through monthly installments, a line of credit or a one-time lump sum. The money that the homeowner receives is dependent on their age and the value of their home.

One of the great advantages of a reverse mortgage is that you are not required to pay back the loan until the home is no longer your primary residence. Another great feature is that the homeowner can never owe more than the value of their home.

Mortgage insurance is also known as MI. This insurance coverage is required when you finance a mortgage greater than 80% of the property’s value. The mortgage insurance premium is based on various loan characteristics, including, but not limited to, credit score, loan to value, type of loan and amortization. Usually, the premium is included in your monthly payment and one to two months of the premium is collected as a required reserve at closing. MI may be cancelled when your loan balance is falls below 75% to 80% of the property value.

We use an appraisal to determine the value of the property being used as collateral for your mortgage. Appraisals may include interior and exterior inspection of the property along with a detailed report of the dwelling, land and neighborhood. The amount of the mortgage, and if it is in first or second position may determine the type of appraisal needed for your loan.

Helpful Mortgage Terms

Discover the definition of financial words and phrases in this comprehensive financial dictionary.

All A B C D E F H I J L M O P R T U W
Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM)

What is a adjustable rate mortgage (ARM)?

A type of mortgage where the interest rate is fixed for a set amount of time and adjusts to a variable rate for the remaining years of the loan.

Learn more about Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM)

Adjustment Date

What is an adjustment date?

The date on which the interest rate changes for an adjustable-rate mortgage.

Learn more about Adjustment Date

Adjustment Period

What is an adjustment period?

The period elapsing between adjustment dates for an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM).

Learn more about Adjustment Period

Amortization

What is amortization?

The gradual paying off of mortgage debt with periodic payments of both principal and interest.

Learn more about Amortization

Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

What is annual percentage rate (APR)?

The yearly cost to borrow money from a financial institution listed as a percentage.

Learn more about Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

Application fees

What are application fees?

Nonrefundable fees paid when you apply for a loan.

Learn more about Application fees

Appraisal

What is an appraisal?

A written report by a qualified professional that determines a property’s fair market value.

Learn more about Appraisal

Appraised Value

What is a appraised value?

A property's fair market value, based on an appraiser's knowledge, experience, and analysis of the property.

Learn more about Appraised Value

Appreciation

What is appreciation?

An increase in the value of property over time from factors such as location, condition and the selling price of similar homes in the area. Appreciation increases the amount of equity.

Learn more about Appreciation

Assets

What are assets?

Anything owned that has monetary value including real estate property and personal property.

Learn more about Assets

Balance Sheet

What is a balance sheet?

A financial statement that shows assets, liabilities, and net worth as of a specific date.

Learn more about Balance Sheet

Base Rate

What is base rate?

An interest rate that is used as a benchmark for pricing variable-rate loans such as adjustable-rate mortgages.

Learn more about Base Rate

Basis point

What is a basis point?

An amount equal to 1/100th of a percentage point. For example, a fee calculated as 50 basis points of $200,000 would be 0.50% or $1,000.

Learn more about Basis point

Borrower

The person who receives a loan with the obligation to repay the loan's principal and interest.

Learn more about Borrower

Break-even Point

What is a break-even point?

The break-even point will tell you how long it will take to start seeing the benefits of refinancing your mortgage.

You can calculate this point by dividing your closing costs by the monthly savings from your new payment.

Learn more about Break-even Point

Broker

What is a broker?

A third party who arranges funding or negotiates a contract between parties, but does not lend the money.

Learn more about Broker

Budget

What is a budget?

A plan used to monitor cash flow, income and expenses to reach established financial goals.

Learn more about Budget

Cap

What is a cap?

A limit on how much a variable interest rate or monthly payment can increase, either at each adjustment or during the life of the mortgage.

Learn more about Cap

Cash-out Refinance

What is a cash-out refinance?

A refinance transaction in which the new loan amount exceeds the total of the principal balance of the existing first mortgage and any secondary mortgages or liens, together with closing costs and points for the new loan. This excess is usually given to the borrower in cash and can often be used for debt consolidation, home improvement or any other purpose. A refinance mortgage loan where the new loan is more than the money owed on the current mortgage. The difference between the new loan amount and what's owed, is the "cash out." How much cash depends upon the home's equity.

Learn more about Cash-out Refinance

Closing

What is a closing?

A meeting held to finalize the purchase or refinance of a property, including but not limited to, signing papers, disbursing money, and preparing the deed and transfer of ownership.

Learn more about Closing

Closing Costs

What are closing costs?

Expenses over and above the cost of the property. These fees include an origination fee, property taxes, charges for title insurance and escrow costs, appraisal fees, etc.

Learn more about Closing Costs

Closing Disclosure (CD)

What is a closing disclosure (CD)?

A document listing all loan details, including interest rate, monthly payments, fees, and closing costs. Lenders are legally required to provide a copy to the buyer at least three (3) business days before the closing.

Learn more about Closing Disclosure (CD)

Co-Borrower

What is a co-borrower?

An additional person who assumes equal responsibility for repayment of a loan and is fully obligated under the terms of the loan. This person also has equal rights to the proceeds of the loan.

Learn more about Co-Borrower

Co-Signer

What is a co-signer?

A second person who signs a loan and assumes equal responsibility for payment of the loan but receives no benefit from the loan proceeds.

Learn more about Co-Signer

Collateral

What is collateral?

Something of value that can be used to secure a loan. For a mortgage, the collateral is always the home.

Learn more about Collateral

Conforming loan

What is a conforming loan?

A mortgage loan meets the dollar limits set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Learn more about Conforming loan

Contingency

What is a contingency?

A condition that must be met before a contract is legally binding.

Learn more about Contingency

Conventional loan

What is a conventional loan?

A home loan that is not insured or guaranteed by the federal government.

Learn more about Conventional loan

Counter-Offer

What is a Counter-Offer?

A response by the seller to the buyers' initial offer on a home.

Learn more about Counter-Offer

Counter-Offer

What is a Counter-Offer?

By an underwriter is when your initial request cannot be approved and an alternative option is offered to the borrower instead.

Learn more about Counter-Offer

Credit Report

What is a credit report?

A record of an individual’s debts and payment habits. It helps a lender determine whether or not a potential borrower is a good business risk. A trimerge is used, the 3 major credit bureaus that provide credit reports are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

Learn more about Credit Report

Credit Score

What is a credit score?

A number that rates the quality of an individual’s credit. The number helps predict the relative likelihood that a person will repay a credit obligation, such as a mortgage loan.

Learn more about Credit Score

Creditor

What is a creditor?

An individual or business that is lends money.

Learn more about Creditor

Debt Consolidation

What is debt consolidation?

Combining multiple debts into one low-rate monthly payment.

Learn more about Debt Consolidation

Debt to Income Ratio (DTI)

What is debt to income ratio (DTI)?

Total monthly debt payments divided by gross monthly income before taxes and expressed as a percentage.

Learn more about Debt to Income Ratio (DTI)

Deed

What is a deed?

A legal document where ownership of a property is transferred from one party to another.

Learn more about Deed

Delinquency

What is delinquency?

Failure to make mortgage payments on time.

Learn more about Delinquency

Down Payment

What is a down payment?

The amount of your home’s purchase price you pay upfront. The amount of the down payment may also affect the interest rate you pay.

Learn more about Down Payment

Earnest Money Deposit

What is a earnest money deposit?

A deposit made toward a down payment as a sign of good faith. The deposit is typically made when a purchase agreement is signed.

Learn more about Earnest Money Deposit

Equity

What is equity?

Equity is the difference between the fair market value of the property and the amount still owed on the mortgage.

Learn more about Equity

Escrow

What is escrow?

A legal arrangement where a third party temporarily holds money or property until a particular condition has been met.

Learn more about Escrow

Escrow Account

What is escrow account?

The trust account set up by your mortgage lender where escrow funds are held to pay homeowners insurance and property tax payments. This account is at no cost to the borrower.

Learn more about Escrow Account

Fair Market Value

What is fair market value?

The highest price that a property will sell for. The fair market value is typically determined by an appraisal.

Learn more about Fair Market Value

Fixed-Rate Mortgage

What is a fixed-rate mortgage?

A type of mortgage where the interest rate remains the same over the life of the loan.

Learn more about Fixed-Rate Mortgage

Funding Date

What is funding date?

The date on which the proceeds from a loan are available to the borrowers.

Learn more about Funding Date

Home Inspection

What is a home inspection?

A visual examination of the home by a certified professional to provide an accurate evaluation of the home’s condition at the time of purchase including structure, equipment, utilities, etc.

Learn more about Home Inspection

Homeowners Insurance

What is homeowners insurance?

A form of insurance that protects the property against loss from theft, liability and most common disasters. Mortgage lenders often require a borrower to maintain an amount of Homeowners Insurance on the property that is equal to the amount of the mortgage loan or the insurable value of the improvements.

Learn more about Homeowners Insurance

Income

What is income?

Money is received, on a regular and stable basis, for work or through investments.

Learn more about Income

Interest

What is interest?

The percentage of the principal paid to the lender as a fee for borrowing money.

Learn more about Interest

Interest Rate

What is interest rate?

A percentage of the amount of a loan paid for the use of money for a specified time.

Learn more about Interest Rate

Jumbo Loan

What is a jumbo loan?

A loan that is for a larger dollar amount than the limits set by the Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA) or Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (FHLMC) guidelines.

Learn more about Jumbo Loan

Lender

What is a lender?

The bank, credit union, mortgage company, or mortgage broker offering the mortgage loan.

Learn more about Lender

Lien

What is a lien?

A charge against a borrower’s property, to be used as security for money owed.

Learn more about Lien

Loan Estimate (LE)

What is a loan estimate?

A written estimate of the closing costs the borrower will most likely have to pay in order to obtain the loan. The lender must provide you a loan estimate within three (3) business days of receiving an application.

Learn more about Loan Estimate (LE)

Loan Modification

What is a loan modification?

Changes to one or more of the terms of a mortgage loan.

Learn more about Loan Modification

Loan Origination

What is loan origination?

The process by which a mortgage lender makes a home loan and records a mortgage against the borrower’s real property as security for repayment of the loan.

Learn more about Loan Origination

Loan Term

What is a loan term?

The number of years the borrower has to pay the mortgage loan before they fully own the home.

Learn more about Loan Term

Loan-to-Value Ratio

What is loan-to-value ratio?

The ratio of the amount the borrower owes on the mortgage and the value of the property. Also explains how much equity is in the home.

Learn more about Loan-to-Value Ratio

Mortgage

What is a mortgage?

A loan to finance the purchase of your home. It’s also a legal contract stating that you promise to pay back the loan on a monthly basis. Your monthly payment typically goes toward paying back the principal – or basic loan amount – and interest. Your monthly payment may also include funds for your property taxes and insurance (escrow).

Learn more about Mortgage

Mortgage Insurance

What is mortgage insurance?

For conventional loans, insurance that protects the lender if you default on your loan. If your down payment is less than 20%, most lenders will require you to pay mortgage insurance. Also called private mortgage insurance (PMI).

Learn more about Mortgage Insurance

Origination Date

What is a origination date?

The date on which a loan is funded or disbursed.

Learn more about Origination Date

Origination Fee

What is a origination fee?

A fee paid to a lender for processing a loan application. The origination fee is stated in the form of points.

Learn more about Origination Fee

Payoff

What is a payoff?

The amount required to pay the outstanding balance of a loan in full.

Learn more about Payoff

Points

What are points?

Points are upfront fees paid to the lender at closing. Typically, one point equals one percent of your total loan amount. Generally, by paying more points at closing, the borrower reduces the interest rate of the loan and thus reduces future monthly payments.

Learn more about Points

Preapproval

What is a preapproval?

A preapproval is a document that tells you how much you can afford to take out in a home loan. Many lenders consider the preapproval to be the first step in getting a mortgage.

Learn more about Preapproval

Prepayment

What is a prepayment?

An amount paid to reduce the principal balance of a loan before the principal is due.

Learn more about Prepayment

Principal

What is principal?

The balance, not including interest, owed on a loan.

Learn more about Principal

Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)

What is private mortgage insurance (PMI)?

Insurance to protect the lender in case the borrower defaults on the loan. PMI is generally required with a down payment of less than 20% of the home’s purchase price.

Learn more about Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)

Property Taxes

What are property taxes?

Property taxes fund public needs such as police departments, roads, libraries and community development projects. The amount you pay in property taxes depends on your home’s value and where you live.

Learn more about Property Taxes

Purchase Agreement

What is a purchase agreement?

A written contract signed by the buyer and seller stating the terms and conditions under which a property will be sold.

Learn more about Purchase Agreement

Purchase Contract

What is a purchase contract?

A signed agreement between the buyer and seller describing all the terms of a real estate purchase transaction. Also known as a sales contract.

Learn more about Purchase Contract

Rate Lock

What is a rate lock?

The guarantee of a specific interest rate and lender costs for a specific period of time. This protects you from rate increases during the loan application process.

Learn more about Rate Lock

Rate Lock Period

What is a rate lock period?

The amount of time prior to closing to guarantee an interest rate. Lock periods typically range from 30 days to more than 90 days.

Learn more about Rate Lock Period

Real Estate Agent

What is a Real Estate Agent?

A person licensed to negotiate and transact the sale of real estate on behalf of the property owner.

Learn more about Real Estate Agent

Recording Fees

What are recording fees?

Money paid to the local authorities for recording a home sale, thereby making it part of the public records.

Learn more about Recording Fees

Refinance

What is a refinance?

The process of taking out a new mortgage to pay off an existing one, using the same property as collateral, in order to take advantage of lower monthly payments, lower interest rates, save on financing costs or obtain proceeds/cash at closing.

Learn more about Refinance

Title

What is a Title?

Document that reports property details such as property description, names of titleholders and how title is held.

Learn more about Title

Title Insurance

What is Title Insurance?

Title insurance protects the buyer against outside claims to the property. The buyer makes a single payment at closing that protects the buyer for as long as they own the home.

Learn more about Title Insurance

Title Search
Underwriting

What is Underwriting?

The process of evaluating a loan application to determine the risk involved for the lender. Underwriting also verifies your income, assets, debts, and property details in order to issue an approval and final clearance for your loan.

Learn more about Underwriting

Walk-Through

What is Walk-Through?

A final inspection shortly before closing the mortgage process to make sure the property is in the same condition that it was at the time the offer contract was written.

Learn more about Walk-Through

Written Letter of Explanation

What is a Written Letter of Explanation?

May be required for various reasons, such as occupancy discrepancy or an explanation of employment history especially regarding an employment gap or if current employment is less than two (2) years.

Learn more about Written Letter of Explanation