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When purchasing a new home, there are so many decisions to make that can feel overwhelming at times. The very first decision is how you plan to pay for your home. That is typically one of the easiest choices, and for most, the choice is to take out a mortgage. So now what? Where do you begin, what should you consider, and who do you trust? This is where things get a bit more complicated.


A good starting point would be to contact one of our Preferred Lenders who are familiar with our contracts and communities. They will be able to give you the most honest and accurate estimate and can walk you through their pre-approval process. Getting an accurate estimate is key. It tells you what you qualify for and how much you need for closing. Knowing how much you are approved for before you purchase will help protect your investment when it comes time to pay the earnest money deposit. It is important to determine how much you can afford before going to contract.  


Consider these points when choosing a lender:

  1. Check Closing Fees: Make sure all fees are included.
  2. Compare Estimates: Use our Preferred Lender’s estimate for comparison.
  3. Know Your Contact: Ask who will handle your loan.
  4. Avoid Repetition: Find out how often you’ll need to submit the same information.
  5. Listen and Adapt: Make sure they listen to you and can work with your schedule.
  6. Location and Time Zone: Check if they are in the same time zone for easy communication.
  7. Smooth Closing: Ensure they can transfer funds efficiently on the closing day for a hassle-free experience.
  8. Experience: Do they have experience with new construction loans? There are some subtle differences that the lender should be aware of and familiar with.

At Empire Communities, we’ve carefully chosen our Preferred Lenders. They are trusted, respected professionals with years of experience. We have a cooperative relationship with them to ensure an easy and smooth closing. Our Preferred Lenders provide competitive rates and tailored programs to suit your needs. They also strive to approve your loan quickly, handle any unexpected issues, and offer you peace of mind during the home-building process.

We work with specific Loan Officers, and seller-paid incentives are tied to both our Preferred Lenders and the Loan Officers. So, who are our Preferred Lenders?

Alex Browning | American Security Mortgage

Alex has been in the business for 25 years and is driven to provide mortgage solutions for every specific and unique circumstance. He believes in the dream of homeownership and building wealth through real estate. American Security Mortgage was founded in 1999 to offer competitive pricing and quick decisions. Their focus is to cut through the red tape and think outside the box. They aim to simplify the process and think creatively, becoming the top choice lender in local markets.

Flynn Harris | Atlantic Bay Mortgage

Flynn is a knowledgeable and patient resource for all your mortgage needs, whether you’re a first-time or seasoned homebuyer. Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group, based in Virginia Beach, VA, is a privately held company with offices in several states, specializing in residential mortgage loans. For 25 years, they’ve built trust through exceptional loan products, customer service, and community involvement, prioritizing relationships, culture, and giving back.

Amy & Will Thornhill | US Bank

Amy & Will bring 20-plus years of loan experience dedicated to new construction homes. In today’s market, they recommend locking in your rate now with a free rate lock float down. For your pre approval, they conduct a soft credit pull to avoid impacting your credit score. With US Bank, your loan servicing remains in-house, as they rarely sell loans for almost all programs. They offer a wide range of options, including fixed-rate, ARM, interest-only, VA, FHA, and portfolio loans for unique situations.

Scott Burns | Truist Bank

Scott Burns is a trusted advisor with Truist Mortgage with 25+ years of industry experience. His goal is to build better lives and communities by offering clients the professional guidance and support they need to make their home financing decisions. There is no “one size fits all” loan and every client’s financial goals are unique. As a caring Loan Officer, he will take the time to listen and learn about each client to find the best loan option for you. He serves with integrity to uphold the highest standards because everyone and every moment matters.

Marta Tataje | Truist Bank

Marta Tataje is a detailed-oriented senior mortgage consultant at Truist, with 20 years of experience. She ensures clients are fully confident in the home buying process and their financing. Bilingual in Spanish, Marta is dedicated to educating and supporting her clients, teammates, and community. An active volunteer in Hispanic, Veterans, and LGBT groups, she also serves on boards for Canopy’s Housing Foundation, the Latin American Chamber of Commerce of Charlotte, and advises the Charlotte Asian Real Estate Association of America.


Empire provides a comprehensive range of choices to meet your needs. Our Preferred Lenders have a 100% track record of closing on time. We encourage you to consider one of our Preferred Lenders for the best experience in your home buying journey. Contact a Preferred Lender today. 


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