Brian Emerson

Senior Loan Officer

NMLS: 400942


Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)

Bloomington Mortgage Lender - Private Mortgage Insurance

Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)

Are you thinking about purchasing a home for the first time but are wondering if it is financially in your best interest to do so? Well, if this is you, then you have come to the right place! Owning a home will provide many benefits:

1. You build equity every month. Home values have historically increased on average about 5% every year.

2. The mortgage interest you pay is tax deductible; thus, the real interest rate you pay is quite a bit lower than the rate on your loan.

3. Historically, homes have increased in value. Look ahead 10 years. How much equity (profit) will you realize from renting? Exactly zero! Assume that your $200,000 home averaged just a 3% increase in value every year. After 10 years, your home will be worth $258,000. That’s $58,000 of equity which belongs to you.

4.The pride of ownership. When was the last time you bragged about the apartment you are renting? Ask your friends who are homeowners, whether it was a good decision or not. I suspect that they’ll say it was a wise decision.

If you would like to start reaping these benefits, then becoming a homeowner will be an excellent decision for you. But before you begin your application for a mortgage in Bloomington it is important to know a bit about mortgage insurance. To help you get started, Brian Emerson with Edge Home Finance has listed everything you need to know about private mortgage insurance (PMI).

Private Mortgage Insurance Explained

If you were a lender in the mortgage business; what would be the most important factor to you when considering who to lend your valuable money to? Suppose a borrower wanted to buy a home for $200,000. What would be preferable to you, the lender; the buyer who has 20% ($40,000) of the purchase price as their down payment, or someone who has 3% ($6,000) as their down payment? That’s easy to figure out.

As a rule, the mortgage industry likes to see a 20% down payment. That’s known as ‘skin in the game.’ A person with that much invested in the home is unlikely to default on their loan and lose all that equity they have contributed. The problem is that most people cannot save that 20% for their down payment or it takes years to save the funds. It’s a daunting task. PMI solves that problem!

Private Mortgage Insurance allows a borrower to invest as little as 1.50% of the purchase as their down payment. In fact; there are even programs that allow Zero Down Payment (Veterans & active duty military, USDA). PMI allows a qualified buyer to be able to buy their dream home many years sooner than trying to save the large down payment. Plus, PMI can be dropped once the equity in the home reaches 20% of the home value. All in all, a pretty good deal.

There are several ways to pay PMI. It can be added to your monthly payment. It can be paid for by the lender, and it can be paid as a lump sum. Your mortgage consultant can advise you which option may be the best for you.

The bottomed line is that PMI is a good thing and not something that you want to avoid. It’s just part of the home buying process./

Contact Us

For more information on private mortgage insurance or if you are interested in applying for a home loan, please contact your Bloomington mortgage lender, Brian Emerson with Edge Home Finance, at 612-203-5478.


Bloomington Mortgage Lender - Buying in Winter

Why Buy a Home in the Winter?

This year real estate sales were vigorous with prices escalating and multiple, competing offers on desirable properties. Due to this competition for the good homes, many sellers received offers substantially over their asking price. Many buyers were disappointed that their offers were rejected, often on several homes they tried to buy.

There are many reasons to buy a home in the winter…

1. You can’t really know how a home functions in the summer. The furnace isn’t operating and the windows don’t do much in the summer. Most roofs look OK in the summer. Well, you can tell that the air conditioning works.

2. You can really see how a home functions in the winter. Look at the roof; see if there is snow on it, which indicates that the insulation is probably adequate. You can also see if there are ice dams forming on the eaves. Ice dams can cause serious damage to a home.

3. Windows are important to the overall heating and cooling of a home. You can check and see if they are leaking cold air into the home or if they are foggy or have moisture on the glass, etc. Not a good sign.

4. Comfort. When you are inside the home, is it drafty or do you feel comfortable?

5. Motivated sellers. They probably have to move due to some reason such as health or a job transfer. Motivated sellers are more receptive to offers, so maybe you can save several thousand dollars.

6. Less competition. There are fewer buyers out in the market. Therefore you can probably negotiate a better deal without the pressure of competing with multiple offers from other buyers.

So, in my humble opinion and for the reasons outlined here… the best time to buy a home… is in the winter.

Contact your local Bloomington Mortgage Lender to discuss your home financing options!


How Rising Mortgage Rates Can Affect You - Edina Mortgage Lender

How Rising Mortgage Rates Can Affect Your Mortgage

It is finally that time of year where the weather is cooling off, the leaves are changing colors and people are starting to prepare for the upcoming holidays. With the overwhelming seasonal feels, nothing screams “home sweet home” more than purchasing your own home. This means that now is an excellent time to become a homeowner because who wouldn’t want to go to a local pumpkin patch, buy a pumpkin and display your purchase out on your front porch?

It is worth noting, however, that although you reap the benefits of receiving excellent deals on a home this time of year, mortgage rates are constantly on the rise. So, to help you get started, your local Edina mortgage lender, Brian Emerson with Edge Home Finance, has listed how rising mortgage rates can affect potential buyers and how he can help you overcome these obstacles and make your dreams of homeownership come true.

How Rising Mortgage Rates Can Affect You

When beginning the home buying process, the last thing consumers want is an increase in rates when trying to settle on an Edina mortgage. When mortgage rates rise, the borrow will be expected to pay more interest, which means they will have to spend more money than originally expected on their mortgage.

This increase could ultimately affect your affordability and you may no longer be able to afford the home that you originally had your eyes on. Or, it could push back your move-in date if you need to take the time to save up more money.

So, to help overcome these financial obstacles, Brian Emerson with Edge Home Finance is here to help.

How Brian Can Help You

Brian is your local Edina mortgage lender that provides a variety of different home loan options from conventional to government-backed loans. He can customize your mortgage so that it fits into your financial plan and he will do everything he can to ensure you get the lowest, most competitive rates on the market. Brian will also review your finances, run a credit check, and see what your current affordability is. This knowledge can help save you time and money when shopping the residential market, so you know which homes are within your budget.

Get Started Today

If you have any questions or would like to start receiving the best mortgage rates available, please contact Brian Emerson at 612-203-5478.

Tags, ,

Edina Mortgages - Down Payment Sources

Down Payment Sources

How Do I Save For a Down Payment?

Many folks who have good jobs and decent credit want to buy a home. The problem is that they invested in college loans and have been paying or have paid those loan off. So… I have only a small bank account right now and I really would like to invest in a home.  How do I come up with funds for the down payment?  How Much do I need? There are many different low-down payment loan programs available.  There are programs out there that will provide all the down payment funds to you. Otherwise, you’ll need anywhere from Zero to about 3.50 % for your down payment.

Here are several strategies for coming up with the required funds.

  1. Get a part-time job. Work on a Saturday or Sunday and deposit those funds in a savings account. Even just a job that adds $100 per week saves almost $5,000 in a year. It adds up!
  2. Cut the daily $5.00 Starbucks and pastry! Bring your own coffee to work and pass on the pastry. Your wallet and your waistline will both benefit!
  3. Check your closet. What have you got in there that you don’t use or need? Someone will probably want it. Craig’s List it.
  4. Use your 104k or IRA. Many of these accounts will allow you to use some of your account to buy a home. Check it out.
  5. Gift funds from a relative are allowed.
  6. Bridal Registry. If you’re getting married use a Bridal Registry and request funds rather than appliances, etc.
  7. Employer-provided assistance. Ask HR if they have a program.
  8. Eat at Home! How much do you spend every week dining out? Cut down and save the $6.00 cost of a beer or glass of wine along with $13.00 hamburgers. Just one less dining out dinner for 2 could easily save you what… Fifty bucks?
  9. Down Payment Assistance or Grants. Many cities and lenders have down payment assistance and grant programs. Some programs will provide the complete down payment. A competent loan officer at a local mortgage company should be able to guide your search. A good LO can greatly benefit you and help in many ways. Cool.
By utilizing these ideas; you can be living in your “American Dream” … sooner rather than later! More valuable information about Edina mortgages at


Bloomington Mortgage - Purchase Pre-Approval Information and Procedures

Purchase Pre-Approval Information and Procedures

Thank you for your interest in getting approved for a Bloomington home loan. This memo will give you an idea of how the loan process works. My goal is to provide the knowledge and information that you need to make a sound financial decision. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and if there’s something that you do not understand...let me know. I want you to be able to tell your friends about your positive experience with my team!

There two things that we need to do to get you pre-approved for financing:

Number 1: Go to my site and start the loan application: You will need to enter your past two years of employment history and past 2 years of residence history. Number 2: Send me the documentation needed to get your loan pre-approved and issue a pre-approval letter. The letter is needed by the agents involved in any purchase offer you make. I know this seems like a lot of info to send; however, if you do this now, you’ll have 98% of the work done for your loan. Then, all you’ll need to worry about is finding a home.
  1. Driver License or other government-issued ID for all borrowers: Set copier/scanner on photo setting and enlarge to about 125% so your face is recognizable.
  2. Payroll Statements: the most recent 30 days for all borrowers.
  3. Social Security Award Letter, Disability Award Letter, Pension/Retirement Award Letter (if you receive income from any of these sources).
  4. W-2/1099 forms for 2016 & 2017.
  5. Federal 1040 Tax Returns for 2016 & 2017; signed & dated.
  6. Tax Returns: (if self-employed as a corporation or LLC): Federal forms 1120/1120S & K-1s for the past 2 years; signed & dated.
  7. Self-Employed: Year to Date Profit & Loss Statement on your business.
  8. Bank Statements: Past 2 months Checking & Savings. All pages; if statement says 6 pages - send all pages - even the blank ones. Send actual statements; NO screenshots.
  9. Asset Account Statements: Stocks, Bonds, Mutual funds, 401k, 403b & IRA or other accounts: copies of most recent 60 days statements with all pages. If a statement says 6 pages, send all six pages, even blank pages.
  10. Student Loans: Current payment letters
  11. Bankruptcy Petition & Discharge: (if you filed BK in the past 10 years)
  12. Divorce Decree: Final, signed decree. If paying Child Support and/or Alimony/Spousal Maintenance; we will need proof of payment history from the governing court authority.
  13. Gift Funds: If you are receiving a gift for the down payment; we will need the donor’s name, address, phone number, and email address.
  14. DD214: (if you are a Military Veteran)
Send the documentation in a PDF format and in the interest of efficiency and to ensure that items do not get misplaced; please send all information at one time. Send to:
Once I receive this information, I will review your credit report and run it through our Automated Underwriting System for a pre-approval. I will then issue a Preapproval Letter for you and your Realtor. You will now be able to look at homes with confidence that you qualify for financing. A preapproval is not a guarantee of final approval on your Bloomington mortgage. This is the first step in the loan process. A full credit approval is the goal which means that a loan underwriter has reviewed all required documentation and has approved your loan; what is known as a “Loan Commitment.”

Why Do We Need So Much Information?

If you had $200,000 to hand out to complete strangers, wouldn't you be cautious who you gave it to? Of course, you would! Therefore, you will be asked many questions about you, your finances and your credit. You’ll need to disclose everything. The mortgage approval process is so rigorous because of the devastating mortgage crisis we all experienced. Lenders must be cautious and confident that a borrower can repay the loan. Why? The mortgage process is a great equalizer; borrowers must prove that they have the “Ability to Repay” the loan as required by federal regulation from the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. No matter how much documentation we collect up front, you will likely be asked to produce more during the process. Accepting that multiple requests for documentation necessary for lender approval and making those documents available as soon as possible will make the approval process easier. The Loan Originator (Me) is the first set of eyes. My processor, Kelli, is the second set. The underwriter is the third set of eyes. Quality Control and Doc Preparation are the fourth and fifth sets of eyes. We try to get everything up front, but we're not finished until all eyes are satisfied and we are at the closing table. As an underwriter, when a borrower (or someone they need a document from) doesn't provide requested documentation, the question asked is, "What are you (or the person you need that documentation from) trying to hide?" You do not want an underwriter asking this question. It’s in your best interest to cooperate. Remember, the lender is providing the largest check at the closing. If the underwriter asks for a specific document, give them precisely what they are requesting, not what you think “should be OK” – because it won’t be. This is where the approval process tends to go ‘off the rails’; we ask for a specific document and you send something else. If we ask for a bank statement and there are 5 pages for that bank statement, send all 5 pages and not just the summary.

More Important Information

  1. Interest Rates: There is really no such thing as an interest rate. The rate offered to you is be based on several factors which include your credit scores, down payment, debt-to-income ratio, and other factors. These Price Adjustment Factors determine what rate and terms I can offer to you. For example, a borrower with a credit score of 740 and higher will be offered a lower rate or lower costs than a borrower with credit scores in the 680 or below range. This is known as Risk-Based Pricing. Your interest rate will depend upon the specific characteristics of the loan and your credit profile up to the time of closing.
  2. Locking the Interest Rate: Interest rates quoted are subject to change at any time with market conditions; they change constantly, just like the stock market. You have two choices; you can ‘lock’ your loan or ‘float’ with the market. Your interest rate can be ‘locked’ when we receive a purchase agreement. When you ‘lock’ the interest rate and terms; you’re protected from possible rate increases during the processing of your loan. However, don’t expect to get a lower rate if rates do go down during the processing of your loan. If you ‘float’; you are not protected from rising rates. It is up to you to determine when to lock. This means that you will have to contact me to find out what the rates are on any given day.
  3. Closing Costs and Pre-Paid Expenses: All mortgages have costs and expenses associated with obtaining a loan. These costs consist of the appraisal, credit report, title update, and title insurance, along with the various government fees and mortgage registration tax, etc. Closing costs can be paid by you at closing. They can be paid by the seller as “seller paid concessions” or they can even be paid by the lender as a closing cost credit. I will be happy to discuss this in more detail with you.
  4. Appraisal of the Property: The appraisal establishes the property value and is determined by an inspection & evaluation performed by a licensed appraiser which is subject to review and approval by the loan underwriter. Appraisal cost is approximately $475.00 to $575.00 and is paid when we receive your purchase agreement. You will receive a copy of the appraisal.
  5. Gift Funds: Gifts are allowed on most loans to help with the Down Payment and other costs. There are specific requirements as to who may give the gift, usually a relative, charitable organizations, employers or government agencies, etc.
  6. Funds Needed at Closing: All funds required for this transaction must be verified and come from accounts listed on the application. Funds to be in the form of a cashier’s check or wire transfer.
  7. Bank Accounts: During the loan process, do not deposit any large amounts without supporting the deposit with a paper trail (send a copy of the check and deposit receipt to us) and do not transfer funds from one account to another.
  8. New Credit after Application: Just prior to the closing of your loan; all lenders will pull your credit again and review it for changes and any new debts. Do not apply for and do not incur any new loans or debt during this process. Do not make purchases that will increase your monthly obligations. This could result in lower credit scores and higher debt ratios which could disqualify you for financing.
  9. Homeowner Insurance: A One Year Hazard Insurance policy is needed to protect your home in case of fire, storm or other damaging events. You can shop for this policy once you have signed a purchase agreement.


Edina Mortgage - Market Update July 2018

Edina Market Update – July 2018

Congratulations on making the decision to become a homeowner. There are a lot of added benefits in owning a home such as tax deductions, more privacy, and artistic freedom. But before you can start reaping these benefits, it is important to be familiar with the residential market and know when the best time to buy is.

Familiarizing yourself with the housing market and comparing housing prices over the past few years can help you get a better understanding of where the market might head. So to help you get started, your local mortgage lender in Edina, Brian Emerson with Edge Homes Finance, has listed the current market update for Edina, Minnesota.

Median Listing Price

The median listing price in Edina, Minnesota has been increasing at a steady rate over the past three years. In regards to, the median listing price in June 2015 was $399,000 and increased 6.5% the following year to $424,950. By June 2017, the median listing price was $440,000, which is a 3.5% increase from 2016. The current median listing price is $450,000, which is a 2.3% increase from the previous year, and a 12.8% increase over the past three years. This consistent rise in listing price suggests that in the near future, homes are going to become more expensive. Therefore, if you are looking for an Edina mortgage, now would be the best time before the rates increase.

Median Price Per Square Foot

Over the past three years, the median price per square foot has mirrored the same trends as the listing price. In June 2015, the square footage price was $184 and rose to $195 the next year. By June 2017, the price was $202 per square foot and rose again to $209 by 2018. This suggests that homes in Edina are becoming more valuable.

Median Days On Market

Homes are selling at a faster rate now than they were over the past three years. In June 2015, the median amount of time homes were on the market for was 58 days, and by June 2016 and 2017, the time increased to 60 days. But by 2018, the price dropped to 55 days. Therefore, if you are looking to buy a home, contact your local mortgage lender in Edina now before your dream home comes off the market.

Contact Us

For more information on the current market update in Edina, please contact Brian Emerson with Edge Homes Finance at 612-203-5478.


Edina Mortgage Broker - 7 Things all Homebuyers Should Know

7 Things All Homebuyers Should Know About Homeownership

Do you feel overwhelmed with the process of home buying? You’re not alone. Homebuyer surveys find that more people today want to buy a home, but challenges such as saving for a down payment and student loans are keeping them sidelined. We know the vast majority of buyers (92 percent) use online search at some point in their home buying process. Maybe that’s how you found us at Down Payment Resource! But, before you start picking out your dream house online, take a minute to make sure you grasp these 7 key facts about homeownership.
  1. Go back to school (for a day). We know you probably just Googled “how to buy a home,” but did you know there are homeownership education courses that can really help you prepare? Homebuyer counseling is typically required when using a down payment assistance program, but any buyer can benefit. You’ll learn about the home buying process, improving your credit, mortgage terms, planning a budget and more. Plus, a new study finds that by simply participating in these in person or online courses, you’ll reduce your risk of foreclosure by 42 percent.
  2. Get an agent. If you aren’t yet a homebuyer, there’s no reason not to have a real estate agent. Your agent’s commission will come from the home you purchase, not your pocketbook. Everybody wins! Even if you don’t think you’ll need help with lots of showings, a real estate agent will help you navigate contracts between you and the seller and set up important things like the home inspection. As a new buyer, you’ll benefit from the expert help.
  3. Find the right lender. Your mortgage lender will help you secure your home financing—and, there are many types of banks and lenders who can help. Unfortunately, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), nearly half of homebuyers don’t shop around for a mortgage lender. Like you, your finances and home buying goals are unique. So, it makes sense to shop around and interview your lender for the job.
  4. Your credit score matters. The type of loan you get, including interest rates and points paid, is primarily determined by your credit score. The better your credit score, the more affordable loan you can get, often with more options for a low down payment. For low down payment loans, your credit score needs to be a minimum of 640. Review your credit report, make adjustments and get prepared so you can enjoy the lowest interest rate possible and save cash over the life of your loan.
  5. You don’t need 20 percent down. You may have heard or read that you need 20 percent down. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but that’s just not the case. And, if using a low down payment can get you in a home now (instead of 3 years from now), you’ll enjoy low rates and get out of a rising rent situation. Low down payment options have been around for a long time. In fact, data shows that low down payment loans with sound underwriting (loan is fully documented, income verified) are just as successful as loans with large down payments.
  6. Down payment programs offer savings. Did you know the average down payment assistance benefit is more than $8,000? Many homebuyers don’t know about homeownership programs that can help them get in a home much more quickly and provide a valuable cash cushion for other home buying expenses. You could save on save on your down payment and closing costs, or even get ongoing tax credits. Ask your lender and real estate agent about down payment programs and do some research to find out what might be available where you want to buy.
  7. Don’t forget to budget closing costs. Most buyers focus on saving for a down payment, but your closing costs can run you another 2 to 5 percent. It’s important to factor in those costs so you are prepared for the closing table. Ask your agent about negotiating those costs with the seller. In addition, some homeownership programs can help you cover your closing costs.
Now, you’re armed with 7 of the most important things you need to know about becoming a homeowner. For more useful home buying tips, contact your trusted Edina mortgage broker today!


Mortgage Lender Edina - Different Pre

The Difference Between Pre-Approval and Pre-Qualification

As a first-time homeowner, you may be wondering what the difference between pre-approval and pre-qualification is. Well as your local mortgage lender Edina, Brian Emerson with Edge Home Finance has explained the key differences for some clarity.


In the mortgage industry, pre-qualification is known as the first step buyers take when beginning the mortgage application process. This is when you supply your financial documents such as your proof of income of at least two years, any assets you have, current debt, and your credit score to the lender of your choosing. The lender will then review this information and give you an estimate on what mortgages and rates you qualify for. However, not all mortgage lenders in Edina will require that you supply your financial history for you to get qualified, nor will they run a credit check on you.


The pre-approval process is more in-depth than getting pre-qualified. Here you will be required to supply all pertinent financial information and they will run a credit check on you. They will be able to tell you exactly how much you are able to borrow from them, so you will know what price range to shop in. This can save you time when you begin looking for houses and scheduling viewings because you will know which homes you should avoid that are outside your budget. Pre-approval can also give you more credibility with sellers. Going through the pre-approval process shows sellers that you are financially capable of owning a home. It also shows that you are serious about homeownership since you took the time to get pre-approved and have had all your finances reviewed by a professional. In addition, most sellers refuse to work with buyers who have not been pre-approved for an Edina mortgage, so in doing so, you are gaining more access to homes listed in the area.

Contact Us

Whether you choose to get pre-qualified or pre-approved, both can benefit you during the application process. For more information on the difference between pre-qualification and pre-approval, or if you would like to get started on the application process today, please contact Brian Emerson with Edge Home Finance Corporation at 612-203-5478.

Tags, ,