Owning a home is definitely a core pillar in achieving the American dream. It is probably the most significant purchase you’ll ever make in your lifetime — and if you don’t have the money to pay for it in cash, you’ll need a loan.
If you are thinking of joining the crowd of almost 63 percent other Americans who own homes in the United States,1 you will need a professional and solid mortgage lender by your side. Finding a trustworthy and competent lender is an often overlooked step in the home buying process that shouldn’t be. Mortgage repayment can take up to between 15 and 30 years, so you need a lender who not only offers a cheap interest rate but also professionally guides you the whole process.
Here are a few tips on how to get the best mortgage lender by your side:
1. Ask For Referrals
Referrals are most often the best way to get connections to a reliable mortgage lender. Ask your friends, colleagues, and families for recommendations to mortgage lenders that they have contracted before and who provided them with satisfactory services. If they don’t give you the right answer, ask your real estate agent for advice. An experienced real estate agent will link you up with trustworthy mortgage lenders who are reliable in the business. And considering that they work with plenty of lenders now and then, they will have great options for you.
Plus, you can expect a non-biased referral because agents are barred from receiving commissions for referring clients to a mortgage lender.
2. Understand the Mortgage Lending Market
Understanding the mortgage lending market will help you know what your options are when choosing the best mortgage lender. It’s wise to know the players in the lending field and what advantages each player offers. Several lenders to choose from include:
- Mortgage bankers
- Credit Unions
- Mortgage brokers
- Correspondent lenders
3. Compare Rates
The interest rate a mortgage lender offers on their loan should be a significant factor in your selection. However, you will need a lot of patience on this because you have to balance between getting a reasonable rate and not sacrificing on professional services. Plus, there are so many options available to choose from that it can be difficult to tell which one is best.
When it comes to comparing rates, here are a few considerations from Christopher Patille, VP of Mortgage Lending with Guaranteed Rate:
While you should seek a competitive rate, shopping around should not strictly be monetary. It should also be based on who you connect with, who you want to work with, and who will be available to work up the numbers for you when you need them. When a potential lender is scared to answer questions around their rates, and fees for that matter, that either means they don’t know or they’re embarrassed about what the answer is.
Contacting a lender, or the internet, is an excellent place to begin your search and compare the different rates lenders are offering. You can then apply to several lenders who will give you accurate quotes based on your credit info — from which you can compare who provides a better rate.
4. Find a Lender Who Offers a Wide Variety of Mortgage Programs
The best lender for you is one who provides a wide assortment of mortgage plans to choose from. This could include FHA loans and VA mortgages. Without a wide variety of options, your lender could lock your options and limit the benefits you can derive from a diverse mortgage program elsewhere.
5. Look for an Experienced and Reputable Lender
A great mortgage lender has to be skilled and proficient in their job. You don’t want to put your trust in a person that could potentially mess with your hefty investment. Make sure to look for a lender with many years of experience in your specific type of loan, one who can get your loan pre-approved fast, and one who can walk with you through your credit challenges. They should also offer in-house underwriting and receive many positive reviews from their previous customers — both physically and online.
6. Ask Plenty of Questions
To find out as much as possible about a potential mortgage lender, put a lot of emphasis on asking as many questions as possible. Don’t assume anything. Ask and weigh the answers to get a clear and accurate picture of the lender to determine whether they can be a good fit for you. If possible, list all key questions you may have and ask them to different lenders to gauge their capabilities or how they go about closing a loan and attending to customer needs.
All in all, keep note that the right mortgage lender can make a massive difference in your borrowing experience. Don’t rush the process. Use the above tips to be on the safe side. As of the time of this blog, contributor Christopher Patille is taking on new clients and be contacted through his website if you have additional questions about your situation, myLenderChris.com
This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information, and provided by Twenty Over Ten and Christopher Patille of Guaranteed Rate. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.