Looking for a mortgage comes down to looking for a lender, which can be a little overwhelming and may even seem a little daunting. Between researching local lenders online, getting a referral from your family, friends or your realtor, you may be wondering which one should you reach out to first. The main questions you need to ask yourself before calling a lender is, what are you looking for in your lender and what is important to you? Is it customer service? Lowest rate? fees? loan options? Or are you unsure what is truly important to you? Knowing some key areas of what is important to you will ultimately help you in finding a lender.
Many times I get calls stating “I’m looking for someone to speak with about getting a mortgage and would like a quote” or “What are rates and fees”. These questions are very vague and there is no straight answer. For example, are you looking for an FHA loan, conventional, jumbo, renovation, fixed rate, arm/adjustable, etc? Can you see how this is important and even outside of the type of loan there are many factors that will affect the rate such as credit, down payment, property type etc? Good lenders will ask you more questions in order to obtain these answers and work to get you accurate information, based on your needs. But really, most of the time I find out that is really isn’t the rate and fees they are looking for, most of the time it is the service and knowing they are being offered loan options. The truth is if you are looking for the lowest rates and the lowest fees, you may not be getting the best service, nor are you putting yourself in the position to be placed in the best loan option.
Buying a home or refinancing your home is a very important decision and one of the bigger financials decisions you will be making in your lifetime. Working with the wrong lender could actually cost you more money in the long run. Whether it is your first home purchase, second, an investment property, refinancing as a cashout, refinancing for removing mortgage insurance, etc. These are all very important financing decisions and should not be taken lightly. Here are some key suggestions in deciding on a lender for a home purchase:
- Are they local? *It helps to know if you need them you can reach them quickly and go to the office if needed as well as be in the same time zone.
- Did they answer you quickly? (email and/or phone) Did they return your call/email within 24 hours?
- Did they answer all your questions thoroughly? Were they willing to spend time with you?
- Did they ask you questions? *Guiding you towards other questions and helping to navigate your needs (self-employed, down payment sources, timeline, budget, etc.)
- How long have they been in the business? *Helps to know if they have experience or at least a team behind them with years in the business
- Do they have an online presence? (social media sites, reviews, website, etc.)
- Did they ask you questions prior to pulling your credit? *I highly suggest going through this list of questions prior to allowing them to pull your credit!
- Do they have multiple loan programs they can provide? (FHA/VA, USDA, Conventional, Jumbo, Renovation, Down Payment Assistance, etc.) *It’s good to know that if you don’t fit in one particular program that they have access to other options. That way your not needing to search for another lender after already being halfway through the process!
I hope this helps for when you are researching lenders and looking for a mortgage. If you would like to discuss and/or have any questions please contact us.