March 27, 2017
Getting your financing lined up when first beginning the home buying process is one of the first things that need to be done. You can speak with a loan officer over the phone who can guide you through the process and even pre-qualify you over the telephone regarding how much you might be able to qualify for. Further, you can submit a loan application to that loan officer along with supporting documentation and receive your pre-approval. A pre-approval means you’ve applied for a home loan and all that’s needed is for you to bring a signed sales contract for a property you wish to buy. One of the things that not only can confuse borrowers but frustrate them is shopping for a mortgage lender by making phone calls and getting various interest rate quotes.
When shopping for interest rates buyers will soon notice that interest rate quotes are very similar from one lender to the next. That’s because lenders all set their mortgage rates each and every day on the very same set of indexes. Interest rates can change from day to day and they most often do but if one lender raises rates one day it’s very likely every other lender will too. However, interest rates aren’t the only reason to select a mortgage company. There are also other considerations. What else should you look for when searching for a mortgage?
Accessibility. You want to be able to speak with your loan officer without having to leave multiple voice mails or email requests. When shopping around for a mortgage, did you have to leave a message or was someone there who could immediately answer your questions? Having a local presence also helps accessibility instead of contacting a customer service representative who might be three time zones away.
Reputation. What about the reputation of a lender? You can ask a lender directly if they have a good reputation but what you really want are referrals from borrowers in your area. If you’re looking for a good mortgage company with a solid reputation ask your coworkers and friends for recommendations. You may get good responses or bad responses but you need third party verification regarding reputation. Sometimes a lender who quotes extremely low rates does so because that’s the only way to get any business.
Choices. You want a lender that offers the full suite of available loan products and not just conventional mortgages. You want someone who can offer government-backed loan programs such as VA, FHA and USDA as well as conforming loan programs underwritten to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guidelines.
Remember that mortgage companies close loans each and every day while you may only close a loan just a few times over the years. That means making the best choice possible. You want a competitive interest rate but you also want a respectable lender that has a solid reputation in the industry, offers a variety of loan programs and who returns your phone calls promptly. Don’t just go with the lowest rate, go with the best lender
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