Moving Into 2021

Published 2:42 pm Wednesday, February 10, 2021


By Carrie Stambaugh

Sponsored by Jake Ott
Did you spend months cooped up in your house during COVID-19 and are now thinking of buying a new home?
Is your mortgage rate old? Could a refinance put some more money in your pocket each month?

Email newsletter signup

Jake Ott and his team at Bank of England Ole Miss can help with a full line of mortgage and refinance loan products.
The housing market is already hot and the burner is about to get turned up more as the spring homebuying season approaches. Being preapproved for a home mortgage loan can help improve your chances of landing that dream home quickly.

With limited housing inventory in the Oxford area and high demand, homes are selling quickly often within 24 hours of being listed – or before they are even officially listed, said Ott. Having your preapproved mortgage loan attached to your buying offer can make the difference between getting a homebuying offer accepted and losing it. “If you want to have a strong offer you have to have that letter in hand,” said Ott. “Get that box checked, have it in your hand when you go to realtor and start looking for a new home. Realtors want a preapproved buyer. You need it if you are going to compete in this housing market right now,” he added.

Ott recommends beginning three to six months before you plan to buy a home. That time period will ensure all the financial ducks are in a row.
“It is very difficult, unless you are very seasoned and have a lot of resources, to accurately assess your budget relative to what houses are going to be,” said Ott, noting online calculators don’t accurately represent true mortgage, tax, and insurance costs or take into account different loan products a bank like BOE can offer.
For customers looking to refinance, BOE has a range of products that can help you shave years off your loan, points off your rate, or put some extra money in your pocket every month. Ott said a recent national survey showed nearly 80 percent of U.S. homeowners will a mortgage could secure a lower interest rate with a refinance. “There are a lot of people who are on the bubble, all their circumstances are different. Everyone has a different set of goals,” he said.

He encourages both homeowners and homebuyers to give him and his team a call to discuss those circumstances and goals. The range of BOE products means there is a solution for almost every problem – there are loans with different down payment options, including ones that allow borrowers to avoid paying private mortgage insurance (PMI), allow them to make upfront premium payments.
In addition to a driver’s license, applicants will need to submit their recent tax information, pay stubs, and other information like bank statements, their current mortgage paperwork, and other loan information. With high-unemployment, uncertainty in the job market, and forbearances on student loans, all mortgage loans are receiving extra scrutiny at this time.
In recent months, self-employed individuals are really being put under the microscope, he said. Additional documentation is often required including profit and loss statements and three months of bank statements.

Getting an early start with preapproval is especially important for first-time homebuyers, said Ott, noting that oftentimes the credit reports will show credit nicks and dings an applicant isn’t even aware of. These can take weeks to get cleared up – everything from a lien from an old, out-of-state college apartment to identity theft can appear.
“We try to get all the foreseeable paperwork done before you make that first offer. That way you have plenty of time when the offer is in to deal with the process of moving, decorating and everything else rather than if you make an offer and then get approved afterward, you have 30 days to get the paperwork in,” said Ott, explaining during the pandemic that 30-day window is hard to hit.

“If you get someone preapproved their real estate agent is going to be able to fire in offers as soon as they find something that meets their needs and wants,” he added.
COVID-19 driven changes in the buying process are another reason to get ahead of the game with a preapproved mortgage loan, he added. Everything from appraisals to home closings is taking longer, due to the pandemic and the sheer volume of mortgages being processes is further gumming up the works.

Ott said often homebuyers are worried about applying too early because they erroneously believe the “hard pull” on your credit can damage your score. “As long as you don’t have several in a 60-to-90-day window, it doesn’t affect your score nearly as much as the internet leads on,” he said.
For individuals who like to go the contactless route first, a pre-approval application is available online. Fill it out anytime day or night, and Ott will be in contact as soon as the next business day – or earlier!

Contact Jake Ott and the BOE Ole Miss team at, by phone at 662.832.4663 or email at