How do you know you’ve picked the correct lender for your current and future needs? What’s the best approach to use when you’re searching for a Mortgage Lender? Research and due diligence! Securing the right loan involves more than just your credit score. Check out these fairly simple yet often overlooked tips before you commit to a lender.
- Here’s one you don’t need me to tell you… Search for lenders. A Google search is the most common start, but don’t forget to dig a little deeper to really find the hidden gems out there. LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social media platforms are reliable tools in discovering lenders that offer financing in your area. Take advantage of these avenues to create a list of potential targets.
- Make a list of questions you will need answered by the lenders. Doing this will allow you to fairly compare the pros and cons of each option. You will have a point of reference to revisit before making an educated decision as to which lenders programs will benefit you most. Be thorough!
- After narrowing your search to 4-5 Lenders, it’s time to dig a little deeper by researching your top picks. Now you can really weigh those pros and cons we were talking about earlier. What is each lenders reputation? How accessible are they? Are they a large operation with countless clients or a boutique type company with fewer clients but more time available for each one? Reviews for Lenders are often not only on the individual companies’ website but in other locations across the internet such as Yelp or LinkedIn. Once you have read all the reviews and gathered all the information that is vital to you, you can start eliminating those who don’t meet your criteria.
- Be mindful of current mortgage lending rates. Keep in mind many traditional bank lenders have transaction fees that private lenders don’t. Private lenders often have interest only loans, which could save you hundreds if not thousands during the life of your loan, depending on your particular situation. This step is imperative, due to the requirements of traditional lenders it may be more feasible to secure a loan with a private lender. So, have your calculator ready and be sure to know about every single cent you will be paying.
- Once you’ve compiled a list of questions, add columns to reflect each pricing/fee category (IE: Closing cost, Escrow, Insurance and Title fees). This will allow you to make a financially sound decision. You will be able to price compare and have a check and balance system for all fee’s/ junk or otherwise, giving you a true idea of the cost of your loan. Always remember to ask for a breakdown of ALL processing fees. Inquiry about pre-payment penalties. Ask about the terms of refinancing. For your own sake have reserve funds set aside for delays that could happen while in escrow or otherwise.
- Research the neighborhood you’re targeting. By this I mean beyond the immediate few streets, too. You want to ensure you are driving around the entire neighborhood. Do so, within a 1 to 2-mile radius during the day and at night to get a proper feel of the atmosphere in terms of the overall community experience. Also, have an appraisal of the property done by a well-respected appraisal company. It’s best to arm yourself with as much information available to you beforehand. Lenders may decrease or increase loan amounts based on their calculated risk and Loan to Value ratio, among other factors. Being knowledgeable about the property and neighborhood will put you in a better position to get a higher return on your investment.
- It’s time to put all your preparation to work. Schedule an appointment with each of your top lenders and ask them all the questions you’ve compiled throughout the process. Bring along your tablet/iPad to keep a better track of the representatives answers for later comparison. And of course, don’t sign on the dotted line until you’re comfortable and confident with your decision!
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