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how to shop for mortgage lenders

We are looking for a 30 year FHA loan.  Are there simple questions I can ask a lender to determine who to go with?  Should I run pre-qualification applications with multiple lenders to compare?
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September 20 2012 - US
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Justin, that's a thumb for you.The published rate from Wells is not 3.75%, it is 3.25% and their APR is 4.274. As Justin points out the elevated APR is not due to excessive fees, the driver is mortgage insurance. If you were to calculate the APR on an FHA loan with 3.5% down the APR will still be 3/4 of a point higher than the note rate without adding origination or any other PFC's. The reason why published conforming or High Balance interest rates and APR rates have such a small spread is because advertisers assume an 80% or less LTV, Wells discloses those loans using a 75% LTV with the exception of their FHA disclosure at 96.5% LTV. BTW, a conforming loan with 5% down, note rate of 3.25%, and monthly MI using a .92 factor will have an APR over 3.75% before adding any fees like Origination, etc.       
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October 04 2012
I also see several rate sheets with premium pricing available at rate below 3%.   I personally think there is better value in maxing premium offered for rates above 3% when you can pay all closing fees and UFMIP with credit.

Brian, the spreads on Note Rate/APR on FHA are always thicker because the APR is including 5-12 years worth of mortgage insurance payment in the APR.   2.75/3.5 does not mean there are excessive closing fees.

Also, 800 lines on GFE disappeared at end of 2009, there is no such thing on current GFE.   Those lines do still exist on HUDs but those are not commonly provided with initial disclosure.
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October 03 2012
Yeah, Clay, I'd like to see the rate sheets you are looking at for a 30 Year FHA.  Maybe you are confused and are looking at a 15 year FHA.  I'd love to see a lender offering 2.75% on a 30 Year FHA with rebate pricing. 

Here's the big boy, Wells Fargo:
3.75%  APR 4.274%
Here's a popular online lender:
2.75% APR for a 3.501% 30 Year FHA.  Which means there are thousands of dollars of fees to get such a low rate.  I'd like to see a 30 Year FHA at 2.75% with an APR around 3.0%...
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October 03 2012
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October 03 2012
Brian, since your tag says you are a lender I suggest you look at an FHA rate sheet today. Those rates are actually paying premium today.
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October 03 2012
Really???  High 2's.  Sure go ahead and talk to someone who is offering a 30 Year fixed in the upper 2's and then take a look at the thousands and thousands of dollars that it's going to cost in points to get the upper 2's.

Get a referral from someone or contact a lender on these boards that you feel are reputable, upfront, honest, and knowledgable.
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October 03 2012
Ikool, are you ready to submit now? If so, get quotes on Zillow, you should see rates in the upper 2's for a 30 Year today with good credit ( including a lender credit).
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October 03 2012
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I am really looking to make sure I get the lowest monthly payment possible.  Not sure how much a lender can help with that,  other than with the interest rate.
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October 03 2012

What do you want to compare?  Rates, closing cost, lenders ability to close on time, loan officer experience, company reputation, your ability to qualify, lender overlays on credit scores and FHA guidelines.......?
Best option is to get a referral from a friend, co worker, relative, or Realtor to a loan officer they had/have a recent successful experience (s).
If you are a "plain vanilla" borrower without any special considerations needed, it is likely that the FHA rate would be the same among most lenders. Closing cost is likely to be with in a few hundred dollars, so selecting a loan officer to work with that you have confidence in becomes most important factor.

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October 03 2012
Adjusted Origination fee is the most important number, it equalizes bank/broker/lender. Best combination of rate and Adjusted Origination is where to focus.
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October 02 2012
compare the same interest rate on the same day and compare the Lender-related fees (all the items in the 800's on a GFE - 801, 802, 803, etc...)
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October 02 2012
 Its best to compare at least three lenders. This will not hurt your credit score. What state are your in?
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September 20 2012
 
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