Steps to Follow

Purchasing a home can be one of the most satisfying and exciting experiences of a lifetime. Whether you’re a first-time home buyer, moving up to a larger home, looking for a smaller nest or refinancing your current residence, Southern Heritage Bank is here to help you every step of the way. 

Our team of experienced Mortgage Services professionals will take the time to lead you through the home financing process. From the day you apply for your loan, to the moment you are holding the keys to your new home, here are the steps you can expect:

Step 1: Pre-Qualify for Your Loan

The pre-qualification process provides an estimate of how much mortgage you may be able to afford based on a review of multiple factors such as:

  • Your employment status
  • Current debt
  • Annual household income
  • Family size
  • Other factors

There are two ways to pre-qualify:

  1. Pre-qualify online with our secure online system. Click to begin!
  2. If you prefer, you can meet with a Southern Heritage Mortgage Representative at a time and location convenient for you. During this meeting, a Southern Heritage Mortgage Team Member will:
    • Explain everything you can expect in buying a home
    • Answer many of your questions
    • Quickly evaluate your financial situation
    • Give you an on-the-spot estimate of what you can afford

What to bring when you initially meet with a Mortgage Team Member:

  • Income/Expenses – Accurate list of monthly/annual household income and expenses and copy of most recent paystub
  • Bank Accounts – Savings, Checking and CD account statements
  • Loans – Balances you owe to banks, finance companies and others from whom you’ve borrowed money
  • Credit Cards – List of all cards, balances and copies of most current statement(s)
  • Equity In Your Home – If you own your residence, equity is the difference between what your house is worth and what you owe. Copies of the most recent property tax assessment and monthly mortgage statement would be helpful.
  • Tax Returns – Most recent Federal Income Tax return

Step 2: Go House Hunting

Once you know how much house you can afford, go house hunting!  Knowing a realistic price range before you begin seriously searching for a home lets you:

  • Save time by focusing on appropriate options
  • Avoid spending money for inspection on homes that may be out of your price range
  • Avoid tying up deposit money on purchase offers that may be out of your price range
  • Avoid the disappointment of “falling in love” with a home that is beyond your financing ability

Step 3: Apply for Your Loan

The more complete you are in supplying the information required for your application, the faster we’ll be able to process, approve and close on your loan. The Mortgage Loan application requests:

  • Detailed personal financial information
  • Employment information
  • Additional personal information

There are two ways to complete your Mortgage Application:

  1. Apply online with our secure online system. Click to begin!
  2. Apply using the paper application provided to you at your initial meeting with our Mortgage Representative. You can also download a printable form here.

Once we have all the required information, your Southern Heritage Mortgage Loan Team Member can usually provide your loan approval status within 3-5 business days.
Your Mortgage Loan expert will help you apply for the right type of loan and/or appropriate special program by explaining your options, such as:

We’ll work closely with you to customize a Mortgage Loan that’s right for you!

Step 4: Consider All the Costs

Once you’ve decided on the home you desire, you need to be fully aware of expenses beyond your monthly mortgage payment. These can include:

  • Property Taxes – Ask the present owner(s) or your real estate agent. The amount can be verified through the local tax assessor’s office.
  • Homeowner’s Insurance – Call your insurance agent for an estimate.
  • Utilities – Ask the present owner(s) or your real estate agent.

Pass this information to your loan representative for review before you sign a real estate contract.
Southern Heritage Bank will also make sure you fully understand your closing costs prior to your loan closing so you can plan expenses … and avoid last-minute surprises. Closing costs vary depending on financing options, but generally include:

  • Appraisal fees
  • Prorated property taxes
  • Prorated insurance
  • Attorney’s fees
  • Title-related fees and/or insurance
  • Lender’s fees/expenses

Step 5: The Loan Closing

The final step in the loan process is the Loan Closing. This meeting may take place at the bank or an attorney’s office. This is what you can expect to transpire:

  • The title for the property passes from the seller to you (the buyer)
  • You take legal ownership of your new home
  • All details are finalized
  • Checks are exchanged
  • Paperwork is signed and completed
  • Fees are paid
  • You receive the deed to your property

For more information, talk to a Southern Heritage Mortgage Team Member.

Meet the Home Loan Dream Team

Joy Akins

MLO Originator # 500782
Senior Vice President, Loan Originator
Office: 423-303-1729
Cell:  423-645-8839

Joe Womac

MLO Originator # 500886
Mortgage Loan Officer
Office: 423-303-1743
Cell: 423-596-2131

Rita Haynie

MLO ID # 659301
Mortgage Originator
Office: 423-303-1730
Cell: 423-505-2707

Taylor Gobble

Assistant Vice President, Loan Underwriter
Office: 423-303-1755

Karen Walker

Loan Processor
Office: 423-303-1759


Candy Rayfield

Loan Processor
Office: 423-303-1776