About Brightleaf Mortgage

Integrity is the cornerstone of Brightleaf Mortgage. We believe a mortgage should be about building relationships and helping our customers achieve their home financial goals, not just a transaction.

At Brightleaf Mortgage, we take a consultative approach to the home loan process by customizing each transaction to help our customers achieve their home financial goals. Any loan officer can get you a loan. Our mission is to get you the right loan for your Richmond, Virginia home.

The Brightleaf Mortgage Team has been a pioneer in transforming the way that the customer looks at their mortgage lending relationship. With over 25 years of combined experience, the Brightleaf team has provided a level of value to their clients that is uncommon in the mortgage business.

In a typical mortgage experience, you would contact a lender, provide them with what you were looking for and the salesperson would inform you if they can help you and at which terms. We simply believe from the customer’s side, this experience doesn’t provide them with the value needed to make one of the largest purchases of their lives. Any mortgage company will tell you what you CAN do, but very few will help you understand what you SHOULD do.

Our team takes the time to better understand your holistic financial picture and our advice is based around the short and long-term goals you may have set out for yourself. We spend time with each client, either in our office or through a virtual meeting, to walk you through every step of the process and to ensure you have clarity around making an educated decision. Our team is also happy to make other face-to-face arrangements if needed.

We want you to ask yourself the question, “Who is really benefiting from the lenders suggestion?” In a typical mortgage situation, the lender is benefiting. Unlike most mortgage brokers, it’s important to know that our Mortgage Advisors are compensated on a flat commission. This allows our team to give you well thought out unbiased advice and guidance regardless of the outcome. The best part of this commission structure is that all extra points over the flat rate goes directly to you – possibly saving you thousands.

Our team believes that because we often times are helping you with your largest financial asset (your home) and your largest debt (your mortgage), that we have a fiduciary responsibility to proactively help you make smart decisions, before, during and well after your initial transaction with us. We have a goal of helping all of our clients grow their wealth over time, reduce their debt for a debt free retirement and plan appropriately for their future.

Brightleaf Mortgage has not only dedicated themselves to helping enrich the lives of the families they serve, but to helping the community as a whole. Brightleaf Mortgage is a socially conscious firm whose division, “Brightleaf Life” is dedicated to helping underprivileged families in the Richmond VA metro area.

Any Questions?

These are some common questions that people have about mortgages.

No, there is a difference between preapproved and prequalified. Prequalifying means you have done an initial lender screening. However, preapproval is the next step in the process. You have to give the bank many more documents like you’re applying for the mortgage. The huge advantage to this is you will receive a preapproval letter from the bank, and this will show sellers and real estate agents that you’re a serious buyer.  Additionally, this will help you set your budget and let you act quickly once you find the home of your dreams. 

There is no universal standard to calculate interest rates. Lenders use your credit history and other information presented in a loan application to determine how risky granting the loan will be. The advertised rates you will see from lenders are the best rates they can provide to customers in higher credit rankings. The good news? This is our specialty so let us do the heavy lifting and find you the best rate possible!

Besides principal and interest, property taxes, hazard insurance, and homeowners’ association fees (if applicable), there may be private mortgage insurance (PMI) for a conventional loan or a mortgage insurance premium (MIP) managed by the loan servicer and included in your monthly mortgage payment if you choose to use an escrow. Homeowners should also be prepared for the costs of repairs and maintenance of the home, particularly if purchasing an older home. Even a gallon of paint runs about $50. So just keep those things in mind. 

There are only two ways to pay off your mortgage faster: 1. Refinance at a lower rate. 2. Pay more toward the mortgage. That’s it. Don’t be fooled by biweekly mortgages because all they do is make you pay more. If you are not able to get a lower rate, then simply increase your monthly mortgage payment to an amount that is comfortable, keeping in mind that this is money you cannot easily get back. Conversely, if you pay more on your credit cards, you can always use the card again for cash or to buy things you need.

The short answer – sometimes. The Federal Reserve sets the interest rate that banks pay to borrow overnight funds from other banks holding deposits with the Federal Reserve. If the cost of overnight borrowing to a bank increases, this typically causes banks to increase the interest rates they charge on all other loans they make, to continue to earn their targeted return on assets. As banks increase their interest rates, other lenders or financial firms also tend to increase their rates. An increase in the federal funds rate does not directly correlate to a direct increase in mortgage rates but is viewed as a general signal to the market that the Federal Reserve views that the economy is growing and that interest rates will be increasing in the future.

Mortgage lenders will only be able to show you mortgage options from their own financial institution. In contrast, mortgage brokers are firms that are licensed by a state to provide consumers with mortgage options from multiple banks or mortgage lenders.

The advantage of using a mortgage broker over a mortgage lender is brokers will have access to more types of loans and can shop rates from multiple lenders and not just one. Check out our Perfect Mortgage Promise!

PMI or Private Mortgage Insurance is provided by a private company to protect the mortgage lender against losses that might be incurred if a loan defaults.

It is required if the loan amount is more than 80% of the home’s value.

While conventional loans have more strict underwriting guidelines, FHA insured loans require a small amount of cash to close a loan. As a result, all borrowers must pay MIP to insure the investor against loss if the homeowner defaults on the mortgage. While there are ways to avoid PMI with conventional loans, there is no way to avoid MIP on FHA loans because the minimum down payment is only 3.5%.

Mortgage points, also known as discount points, are fees paid directly to the lender at closing in exchange for a reduced interest rate. This is also called “buying down the rate,” which can lower your monthly mortgage payments. One point costs 1 percent of your mortgage amount (or $1,000 for every $100,000).

Ready to Talk