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Shopping for a mortgage

When Shopping for a mortgage, what things should I be looking at?
  • January 13 2013 - Redlands
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Answers (4)

Profile picture for CA Direct Lending
Wayne has some very good advice.  Shopping for rate first can lead to problems if you don't consider all the many other important aspects of the loan process.  Google the person and the company and read their Zillow reviews.

I disagree with Annette completely about avoiding online and out of state brokers or lenders.  It's like saying I should avoid working with clients who won't meet with me personally and who are only in my state. 

While there are enough online-only lenders whose poor reviews you can read and who you should avoid, just because the person and company you've reviewed and Googled isn't down the street from you to sit with you if there are any problems, doesn't mean you should automatically discard them. 

My clients are from all over the state as my license allows.  Some of my best clients I never see until the transaction is over when we meet for coffee or lunch.  It is not necessary to limit yourself to choosing someone within a 5-mile radius or so to get the best rate, terms and service. 

In this electronic age, it's entirely possible to get the best deal even if you're sitting poolside with your iPad in Hawaii while on vacation.  There should be no need to wait until you get home and back to work so you can knock on some local guy or gal's door. 

The Zillow Mortgage Marketplace is a good place to start your search.  In many cases, these lenders have more reviews than Yelp and Google can provide and they're screened.  You can anonymously post your loan scenario and get rate and fee quotes from many, many lenders.

Good luck!
  • January 14 2013
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Profile picture for SoCal Engr
When actually looking at mortgage vehicles, you want to look at rates, terms, and fees. Are you looking for an ARM (not recommended for the typcial buyer) or fixed-rate? How long a term (typically 15 or 30 years)?

However, as others have said, you really should start by looking at brokers. Most any lender can provide the majority of vehicles and will have access to competitive rates. Some are out-of-whack with their fees, and these are "easy throw aways".

Once the first pass is done, it's how the remaining lenders conduct their business, and how well you communicate with them (and vice-versa) that will determine how smoothly the oveall process goes.
  • January 13 2013
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There will be different scenarios for different cost. An decent lender can give you the numbers. So besides that here is a different kind of approach: Be local with your mortgage. Should you ever need help and support it is so much easier to sit down with somebody you personally know. You should look for a lender and loan officer with a good reputation (ask a local title office, they know the people who consistently work well). Avoid online and out of state lenders.
  • January 13 2013
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Loan officers experience and reputation, their companies reputation, rate, and loan cost.  I listed rate third because one could shop til they drop and likely only find .125% differential between lenders. Cost may only vary by $200-$300.
What will vary considerably is how loan officer handles their business, and how their company performs. Biggest issue is knowing that your loan application is handled professionally, will be approved by Underwriting 30-45 days later, and company will close the loan by the sales contract date.
Best and probably only way to be assured of a "no surprises" experience is use a loan officer that has performed for others. Getting a referral to such a loan officer will pay dividends in the long run.
  • January 13 2013
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