Wait! Before you start surfing websites for home listings, picking out new furniture or anything else in the home-buying process, connect with a mortgage specialist. This is the very first step in the process of buying a home, and here’s why:
“Buying a home can be a stressful decision, but it doesn’t have to be,” says Alan LaFollette, Vice President, Home Lending at FNBO. “By getting pre-qualified early in the home-buying process, you will be more prepared and ready to make an informed decision by avoiding delays and stress in the loan process later.”
Find the right mortgage professional for you.
You don’t need to spend hours searching for the perfect match, but taking a little time to meet and have a brief discussion with a potential home lender is ideal. This person is going to be in your corner when it comes to finding the best rate for you, finding a loan that’s right for your budget, etc. You need to be comfortable with them.
When you choose a bank that has a great reputation as a home lender, you’ll be in good hands with anyone on their staff, but it’s nice to find a mortgage professional that you personally connect with. It makes the experience all the more enjoyable.
Take note on first impressions, says Zillow.com.1 “Are they prompt to respond to your initial contact? Are they friendly and courteous? Do they honor their quote that you saw online? Are they willing to explain things to you or educate you about different choices? Do they proactively discuss the timeline of the loan (estimated closing date, when to lock the rate)? Do they discuss when/how rates will change?”
These are all important questions to ask. Comparing loan estimates from different lenders is also a smart move. As is finding a mortgage professional who is experienced in the type of loan you will get, whether that is a conventional loan, FHA loan, VA loan, etc.
How long has your potential lender been with his or her current company? Will you be working with that person throughout the loan process? The point is: Keep asking questions.
A good loan officer will get you to the closing table in a timely manner,” says mortgageloan.com. “They will communicate with you throughout the process. They will make sure your rate lock is protected or extended if need be. A good loan officer will usually be working for a good lender. Their livelihood depends on the lender they work for being proficient and competitive. If you find a good loan officer you most likely will also be finding a lender that has competitive mortgage rates and closing cost.”2
Find someone you trust.
Ask a friend whose opinion your value about their home buying experience:
Credit.com3 says there are several questions you should ask your mortgage lender, too, including:
“Whether it’s finding someone a competitive rate, explaining the advantage of points and how they work, or clarifying any fees that might be included – up front – we work with homebuyers every step of the way,” says FNBO's LaFollette.
“You’ll find answers to every question and find confidence during every step of the process.”
Got questions? Stop by your local FNBO branch today and visit with a mortgage loan expert (They love explaining home loans. Seriously, it’s their thing.)
1 “How to Choose a Mortgage Lender” – https://www.zillow.com/mortgage-learning/how-to-choose-a-mortgage-lender/
2 “Finding a Good Mortgage Loan Officer” – https://www.mortgageloan.com/finding-good-mortgage-loan-officer-9847
3 “How to Find and Choose a Mortgage Lender” – https://www.credit.com/loans/mortgage-questions/how-to-find-and-choose-mortgage-lender-broker/
The articles in this blog are for informational purposes only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations. When making decisions about your financial situation, consult a financial professional for advice. Articles are not regularly updated, and information may become outdated.