Mastering the Mortgage Basics with Ashley McKenzie-Sharpe



Here you are—dreaming about buying your first home—but with no clue where to start or what to expect along the way!

If you’re new to even the most basic elements of home mortgages, let’s start from the beginning, with expert Q&A from Ashley McKenzie-Sharpe, Senior Loan Officer with Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation. Known for the personal approach she takes with every client, Ashley offers efficiency at every step of the mortgage process, and a heartfelt dedication to the communities she serves. Rely on Ashley’s expertise, and keep your eye on the prize!

FF: What are the various loan types today’s home buyers can choose from?

ASHLEY: “It is such an exciting time to be a home buyer. We have a loan type for every stage in life and every property type. It can be very overwhelming, especially for first-time buyers. As a loan officer, it is my pleasure to evaluate each application and make sure each client understands their options, so they can make an informed decision for their family. We offer conventional loans that require as little as 3% down, FHA, VA, USDA, Renovation, and Jumbo loans. There are also some great down payment assistance programs available for qualified buyers that can help first-time home buyers.”

FF: What are current interest rates like? What should we look for?

ASHLEY: “This can be a tricky question, because rates are dependent on lots of factors. When shopping for a mortgage, consumers should be looking for the lowest APR (annual percentage rate). This is the best indicator of the total cost of the mortgage. The great news is that interest rates are at a historic low, making it an ideal time to purchase or refinance.”

FF: As first-time buyers, how can we make sure we understand ALL the related costs we will encounter?

ASHLEY: “When shopping for a mortgage, be sure you ask for a fee estimate, and ask your loan officer to review each of the specific fees with you. Most of the items are third-party related, and not lender-specific. The fees that will most often vary from lender to lender are the origination charges/points, the flat processing/commitment fee, and the appraisal charges.”

FF: What steps can we take to guarantee an on-time closing?

ASHLEY: “To guarantee an on-time closing, borrowers need to submit a complete and thorough application, and provide complete documentation as requested by their Loan Officer and Processor, all in a timely fashion.”

FF: What about your professional background? What do you feel sets you apart from other mortgage lenders?

ASHLEY: “I have been active in the industry for over 15 years, and I pride myself on continuing to grow. So that means I am always learning new programs.  I have a heart for homebuyers, and I am committed to help even on the more challenging loans.  I have a dedicated team that allows clients 24/7 access to have their questions answered, and offer in-person, phone, or online application options.  It truly is a win for both the client and the agents!”

Since joining Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation in 2012, Ashley has been included in Mortgage Executive Magazine’s“Top 200 Loan Originators” in the country, and she is also a Senior Mortgage Planner for Members’ Credit Union branches throughout the state. Ashley is very proud to also be a designated Military Mortgage Specialist. To begin your journey toward home ownership, contact Ashley McKenzie-Sharpe at 336-748-4599 (office) or 336-575-9448 (cell) or reach her online at loansbyashley.com. Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation is located at 2098 Frontis Plaza Blvd, in Winston-Salem.


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