mortgage-lendersIf you’re in the market to buy a home, you’re probably in the market for a mortgage, as well. Here are some suggestions on choosing a lender.

Know your options for obtaining a mortgage. You’re not limited to a bank with nationwide branches or one of the big online lenders. Credit unions and regional banks offer home loans, as do mortgage brokers. Armed with connections to multiple lenders, mortgage brokers might offer a lower interest rate and better overall terms than banks and online lending institutions.

A borrower will be best-served by a lender who offers a product that aligns with the borrower’s needs — and those needs might not be apparent even to the borrower unless the lender asks the right questions. A first-time buyer might assume mortgages are one-size-fits-all and inquire about a 30-year fixed-rate loan because … because … because that’s what his or her parents had. Choose a lender who can identify a loan program that works for your budget, financial picture and objectives. Not all lenders provide this insight. Many just tell you what you qualify for and let you choose from a menu.

Understand the total costs of the mortgage each prospective lender is offering. Shopping lenders based upon an advertised interest rate is a fallacy. There’s a lot more than that rate that goes into the cost of a mortgage, and not all parts are equal from one lender to the next. Different lenders might have different names and charges for similar line items.

Choose a lender who “feels” right. Does the lender embrace your unique situation, or does he read off a script every time you have a question? If you’re a first-time borrower, is the lender willing to explain every line item on your paperwork? Conversely, if you’re an experienced borrower, does the lender realize he doesn’t need to tell you what points are?

“You want to sit down with two or three lenders to make sure you find one who’s a good fit, the right match for you as a borrower rather than a product pusher,” Michael Jablonski, executive vice president and retail production manager for BB&T Home Mortgage, said in a article. “Mortgage lending should be a collaborative process.”

Ask prospective lenders to explain the timeline of a loan and what happens if speed bumps arise. Get an estimate for how long an appraisal, underwriting and closing will take. Ask what would happen if the appraised value doesn’t support the value of the loan, or if a family emergency before closing makes buying a home impossible. Ideally, surprises won’t arise, but it’s better to anticipate the unexpected than to be blindsided.

Choosing a lender is a crucial part of buying a home. It’s important to select a lender who can help the buyer understand the full matrix of elements that make up a loan program — someone with integrity and someone who has the ability to follow through on the representations that he or she makes. A lender local to the region you’re looking to buy in is important, too.

Integrity is vital in the Realtor you choose, also. Whether you’re buying a home or considering putting  your home on the market, I promise I will work in your best interests to obtain the best deal possible for you. To learn more about how I can assist you in your real estate transaction, contact me at (541) 383-1426, or visit Bend Property Search to connect with me through my website.