The first step is to get pre-approved. This process is you meeting a Loan Officer and allowing him/her to review your credit and all other necessary documents. Then you're able to search for houses that fit your budget. Once you've found a house, you then go into contracts and you'll likely meet with your Loan Officer again. At this point they'll collect any other documents that are necessary to process your loan and also go over several forms you'll have to sign, including your mortgage application. Around this time the appraisal is ordered and your lender will begin to process the loan it's way to an underwriter who ultimately makes a decision (approved, suspended or denied) on your loan. Assuming that the loan is approved, you'll get a loan commitment along with a few conditions that you'll have to satisfy (buy hazard insurance, obtain a title report, etc.) before your loan is clear to close.
If you'd like, I'm available to meet in our Yonkers office. Good luck!
Senior Loan Officer
STERLING NATIONAL BANK
310 Crossways Park Drive
Woodbury, NY 11797