Choosing a mortgage lender
More than half of home buyers don’t shop to find the best interest rate or loan program for their home purchase.
Generally a buyer would rarely purchase the first home they look at, they often accept the rate and terms offered by only one lender. Not all lenders are the same. They don’t offer the same terms and rates to the same buyer.
I advise my buyers that shopping around to compare rate and terms for a mortgage is a reasonable exercise considering that a half percent less interest rate could not only lower the payment but the cumulative interest that is paid throughout the life of the loan.
Mortgages consist of more than interest rates. They include the rate plus origination fees and discount points, which are prepaid interest assessed by the lender at settlement. Other considerations might include adjustable vs fixed-rate loans, low down payment vs high down payment, and whether there are prepayment penalties.
Most important, you will want to work with a lender you can trust, someone that will work effectively, and a lender that offers a range of mortgage loan options.
- Make a list of lenders. Your Realtor will know several area lenders and can provide you with a list of contacts.
- Talk to a loan officer. Call or visit the lenders on your list to learn how they might work with you. Ask questions:
- What types of loan products are offered?
- What are the rates, points, rate-lock period?
- What are the closing costs?
- How long is the mortgage application process?
- When will I know if I’ve been approved?
- What documents do I need to provide?
- What costs am I expected to pay?
- Is there an application deposit?
- Compare rates with other lenders. When comparing rates with other lenders, be sure the rates are for comparable loans.