Purchasing a home is one of the biggest decisions consumers make. Generally, buyers only purchase a couple of homes in their lifetime, making the process complex and often confusing. The right mortgage lender can help create a process that is better understood and provide a smoother closing.
Too often, buyers focus solely on rates and closing fees. At closing, they may discover that the fees and rates for their mortgage are not in line with discussions. Finding a lender that can be trusted to look out for your needs is critical.
Speaking with a lender before looking at homes will help avoid disappointments. He/she will review your application and credit, help establish a home buying price range you are comfortable with, and determine a loan program to meet your needs.
Tips on finding a trustworthy mortgage company and mortgage professional includes the following:
- Get referrals. Referrals can come from friends, a real estate professional, co-workers or others who have recently closed loans. Find a company that has a good reputation.
- Interview lenders. Once you have a few companies you are interested in, “interview” a mortgage professional in each one. Rates and fees are nearly the same due to today’s competitive market, but can be presented differently. It is important to find a mortgage professional who can explain loan programs clearly and are focused on your needs.
- Understand the loan programs available. If particular programs are being recommended over others, you want to know why. The program selected should meet the needs you expressed and provide you with the best terms available to you.
- Understand the loan process. You want to understand the steps the mortgage company takes to ensure you will close on time. Real estate purchases are driven by dates and there is a sequence of events that must occur in order for that to happen. Mortgage companies should have processes in place to ensure these steps occur in a timely manner and the loan process is continually moving forward. Be sure to respond quickly to any requests for additional information that the lender makes during this process.
- Get something in writing. Be sure that you understand the difference between pre-approval and pre-qualification. If the company only asks a few questions, they can only give you a pre-qualification letter that will let your realtor know the price range of homes you should be seeing. If they request written documentation for what you tell them, they can provide a pre-approval letter that is always a stronger indication of what you will be able to borrow. If the pre-approval process includes pulling credit and verifying income, you will have greater confidence that the loan process will go smoothly.
Finding a mortgage company and mortgage professional you can trust who focuses on your needs and understanding the process of obtaining a loan, will help to create a smoother closing. Meeting with the chosen lender, gathering necessary documentation, and clearing up any credit issues you may have before looking for a home, will allow you to bid with confidence.
If you are in the market to buy a home or just considering your options, it costs nothing to learn more. Call or email Linda for a free, no-obligation, no pressure consultation – 910.409.3519, Linda@LindaMehner.com.