7 Things to Know When Choosing a Lender

1. Relocation: Let’s start with if your company is providing relocation services. Some companies require that you deal with certain mortgage companies in order to qualify for your relocation assistance. If that is the case, then your options may be more limited. However, you still may want to explore what some other lenders can do for you. Especially a LOCAL Lender. 

2. Choosing Your Lending Institution: Look at a Local lender as well as a Regional and/ or National lenders. Each Real Estate market is unique in its own right. Many markets have stronger local lending institutions & options that may be able to provide your family with just as good if not better overall lending experiences. When choosing Local, you have the opportunity to meet with the Originator in person, discuss interest rates, and ultimately create a lifeline for all your questions, comments, or concerns. 

If you are looking at new construction homes, many builders have what is called “preferred lenders” who are often local lenders. The builder has chosen these specific lenders because they have found that these originators are able to close their transactions on time, know their own market better, and provide a higher level of customer service to all parties involved. 

Builders receive “construction loans” from specific banks in order to assist in funding the construction of their homes. Therefore, it is an ongoing continuous relationship with these lending institutions. Because of this relationship, the Builder receives a higher level of service on the loan and greater confidence that the home will close when promised. 

3. Choosing your Loan Originator:  Do your homework on the loan originator you choose. They are the person that will be guiding you through the lending process in harmony with your Real Estate Agent (ultimately that would be ME, Brittany Hopkins). A “bad” loan officer at a great company may still not give you the ultimate home buying experience. 

So how do you get the warm and fuzzy’s? Interview the loan originator to find out more about them and ask for a few references. Call the references and inquire about their personal experience using that loan originator. I cannot make this anymore clear SO LET ME BE FRANK, AN EDUCATED, SAVVY, LENDER WHO ANSWERS HIS/HER PHONE, RESPONDS QUICKLY TO EMAILS / TEXTS, AND ONE THAT YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE WITH WILL ULTIMATELY MAKE OR BREAK YOUR HOME BUYING EXPERIENCE. 

4. Associated Fees: Why is this important? Because these can be very tricky. Sometimes you may be quoted a lower Interest Rate when comparing one lending institution against another; however, an originator could have charged you more on the back end to help you in the front end. Important items to compare when consulting a lending institution are as follows but not limited to: 

  • Interest Rates 
  • Origination Fees 
  • Attorney Fees 
  • APR 
  • MIP 
  • Taxes 
  • Down Payment 
  • Type of Financing: Conventional | VA | FHA 

Unless you are looking at all these and then some together, you will not have a FULL and comprehensive understanding of what a Lending Institution is offering you. The person that is the expert on this is NOT your REALTOR, it is your Loan Originator. 

5. Get Qualified: You must get pre-Qualified prior to looking at properties. This is where having a phenomenal educated Real Estate Agent as your “wing woman or wing man” will help guide you through the dark to the light. Your comfort range is the most important. 

Remember, what you “think” you can buy is 100% different than what you can “actually” afford. Why spend a ton of time looking at properties not in your desired price point only to find that you can afford more home than you may have originally thought, or you cannot afford what you just got your heart set on. 

6. Maintaining your Approval Status: (1) Consult your chosen originator before opening any credit cards or making any major purchases while your loan is being processed. Let me type this twice to emphasize the importance of this. (2) Consult your chosen originator before opening any credit cards or making any major purchases while your loan is being processed. 

Often, Buyers & Sellers make innocent mistakes during the lengthy process of buying or selling a home. You think this would be “common sense;” however, I can promise you it is one of the Top mistakes First Time Homebuyers make every day. By not being aware of this simple advice, you can affect what you are pre-qualified to purchase and the associated interest rate you have been quoted by your loan originator. 

7. Communication: You have heard “Communication is Key” in a marriage, a relationship, a business, as a parent, so on so forth. This is essential Step #7. If you have an awesome REALTOR then you will want your REALOTR of choice and your originator of choice to stay in constant communication on your behalf. 

Some lending institutions will not allow this especially if you are pursuing a VA loan. On a VA loan, you typically are the only one that can contact your originator to assist in questions. It is imperative for the flow of a transaction that you make sure you have taken all necessary steps to ensure the “right hand is always talking to the left hand.” 

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