Getting the best loan means hiring the best lender
It is very important that you work with an experienced, trustworthy local mortgage broker. This person will help you understand your different loan options and find the mortgage package that makes the most sense for your needs and at the best price.
Here are the qualities I suggest you look for when interviewing and hiring your local lender:
· She or he is a full service loan originator who has successfully practiced for at least 2 years as a NC licensed, full time mortgage broker
· He or she is recommended by (or at least known to) your Realtor®. If she’s doing her job well, your agent will probably correspond more with your lender than you will, so it’s very important they have a good working relationship.
· She or he is an independent loan originator (meaning lending is her full-time, daily job)... not just a bank employee who happens to be sitting at the loan desk that day (meaning lending is a part time job along with her many other bank employee duties).
· You want to deal with people who do nothing but loan origination all day, every day as a full-time career - this means they are more skilled, practiced, and consistent in successfully completing loan packages for clients.
· She requires you to undergo the full pre-approval process up front (i.e. requests a full credit check, documentation of last 2 years of taxes, last few pay stubs, disclosure of your mandatory liabilities and available assets, etc).
· Lenders who don’t require all of these items aren’t fully preparing you to buy and this is a just disservice to you. Many lenders don’t initially pre-approve buyers because it involves more work for them up front and asking some in depth questions. Instead they pre-qualify you, which really means nothing. Great lenders know a pre-approval is required to give you an accurate lending advice and don’t hesitate to do so – it’s in your best interests.
· Listens carefully to understand your stated budget, goals, and limits
· Focuses on what you want to pay, not just what you can afford or qualify for in a loan (i.e. doesn’t encourage you to go over your budget)
· Discusses your goals and plans for your home. (i.e. Are you building or buying a resale? How long will live there? Do you want a fixer-upper? Are you trying to save money for something else?)
· Explains that APR is the most important number used to compare different loan packages NOT interest rates (because you can get really low interest rates but have really high fees too, canceling out the low rate benefits)
· Enjoys explaining your options and the lending process so you understand what is happening and what is expected of you
· Has readily available referrals from past clients/Realtors
· Fully discloses and explains all the fees, requirements, and documents you’ll need to qualify
· Works with competent, organized, swift team of processors who will have the loan ready ahead of time
· Attends closing (when possible) to answer your questions and verify everything is good
· Continues to follow-up with you even after closing