Hi Reba, Flagstar Bank is a great Bank to work with. I've been with Flagstar for 19 years and have been doing mortgages for 30 years. This is a great time to buy. I do agree with educating yourself first so you can be an informed purchaser and know the right questions to ask.
Upon application, you should be given a Good Faith Estimate and the HUD booklet. The HUD booklet is very valuable and must be give to every purchaser upon application. All the line #'s and names of fees match the names and line #'s in the HUD booklet so you have a better understanding of all the fees.
The lender looks at FICO, credit history, job stability, income/ratios, down payment, and cash to close.
FHA's do look at FICO scores and if you walked into my office today and you told me your scores, the first product I would look for is the FHA. However, if you have any late payments in the last 12 months we would ask for a letter of explanation since FHA looks more at your credit history over the last 12 months---basically.
You don't mention how much cash you have to close. That is another variable I would need to know on how to get you approved. If you have little to no money to work with, I would then suggest a DPA program that has proven to work well in this enviornment.
What is more important, is that you get a well-versed loan officer from a Bank that truly has your interests at heart and knows how to place you in the best product for your needs.
Shopping for a mortgage thesedays is very confusing to many homebuyers, so you would be best to read a little (Mortgages for Dummies and the HUD booklet) and talk a couple of loan officers at banks. There are a lot of programs out there but only one best suited for you.
You can't really shop for the best rate as the rates can change on a dime. It's almost like shopping for the best stock. Make yourself aware of what the rates are but if you trust your loan officer and like the program, payment, and cash to close, sometimes its best to go with your gut feeling about who you would trust to work with.
This should be an exciting experience for you. Find someone that will make it just that. You can also visit my web stie at http://www.flagstarloans.com/kborucki.
You can email me for advise or questions. Good luck. And most of all, have fun!!!