Real Estate
September 21, 2018
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What to look for in a mortgage lender

By: Scott Sheldon
July 13, 2018

Contrary to widespread belief, not all mortgage companies work the same. Buying a house is generally thought of as the most important financial transaction of your life and as such should be handled with extreme care and prudence. You want to make sure you pick the right mortgage company and more importantly the right loan officer to handle this high-ticket purchase. Here are some things to consider when gearing up to purchase a house.

Whether you are buying a primary home or rental property or even if it’s a move up home the lender that you work with should be a lender that has the long-term approach in mind. Many banks both online and brick and mortar will look at your profile and just tell you if you qualify. That is the bare minimum. You want a lender that will tell you how to qualify when needed. Moral of the story? Work with the lender who gives you choices and options.

Some mortgage lenders conduct their business online and for the right type of customer that model may work. Buying a home regardless of using an internet lender or a local lender is very involved. Maybe you have never taken out a mortgage before or it has been many years, those are legitimate reasons to explore a local lender vs. an online shop. It might not be a bad idea to consider working with the lender who invites you in for a face-to-face meeting and does a thorough pre-approval the right way. The value and expertise of sitting down with a local loan officer cannot be overstated enough. That way you can get a feel and a vibe for the person handling your financing and more importantly, you can ask questions.

Every lender has a value proposition, some are price, some are service and some may be a combination of the two. The lender that is 100 percent focused on price may not be the most responsive, communicative or driven to meet important contractual dates. In other words, the lowest price lender is so focused on price that service speed efficiency is not as important as the price. That might be fine if you’re refinancing a house, have an 800-credit score and 50 percent equity, but for everyone else that doesn’t have that type of scenario you might want to pick a lender who has a competitive price who has exceptional service speed efficiency.

You also want a lender who specifically knows how to do purchase business. Not all mortgage companies who do mortgages have specific experience in dealing with purchases. For example, if a refinance does not close or does not close on time it’s not that big of a deal technically because you still own the house, and you still have a roof over your head. On a purchase transaction you may have given notice to your landlord, you might be selling another property, there’s moving components and there is important contractual deadlines and time frames that the lender absolutely needs to have a system for specifically supporting that timeline. You want a lender who truly knows the purchase side of the business and is an excellent communicator not only with just you but also your real estate agent because they work together as a team to help you achieve your financial goals.

Looking to buy a home? Not sure where to start? Get a no cost quote now.

Scott Sheldon is a local mortgage lender, with a decade of experience helping consumers purchase and refinance primary homes second homes and investment properties. Learn more at www.sonomacountymortgages.com.