What is the real difference between mortgage companies?

August 30, 2016

Finding a mortgage company is like finding a spouse – you have to find someone compatible, someone who’s willing to communicate with you and someone who fits all your must-haves. But in an era where you can use a traditional brick-and-mortar bank or use an online mortgage broker, how do you determine the difference between all those lenders?

Read below to see what you need to look for in a mortgage company before you even start looking for your next home.

Can You Trust Them?

When you’re first looking for a mortgage company, you want to find the best possible rates, fees, and conditions. Unfortunately, many of those numbers are not set in stone and can vary from the time you talk to the lender until closing.

One of the biggest issues that face potential homeowners is finding a mortgage lender who will offer rates you can afford – and not change them when you’re about to close.

Besides the interest rate, there are a variety of fees that homeowners have to pay during closing and throughout the loan. These fees can vary from each lender and are often estimates, so when closing time rolls around, these fees may have changed. Many of these fees go by different names so it can be difficult to compare between various lenders.

Homeowners need to find lenders who won’t change their fees at the last minute or try to hide extra fees during closing when it can be too late to back out.

When you search for a lender, try to find reviews or talk to people who have dealt with them. Talk to friends, family members, neighbors, and real estate agents. Read reviews from online forums and agencies to gauge the veracity of your mortgage company. Did their fees change at the last minute or did they stick to the agreed-upon price? Did they agree to their promises or did they flake out at closing?

Do They Have Time for You?

First-time homeowners often need more handholding than experienced buyers. They may have more questions and need a lender willing to explain the process to them. Those who are self-employed or with other complicated tax issues may also have more questions or need more guidance through the process.

When meeting with a lender, see if they have time for you as a client. Are they rushing to get to their next meeting or not fully answering your questions? Or do they appreciate the complex nature of the home-buying process and want to make it easier for you?

Going through the home-buying process is a tedious and complex affair. You need to have a mortgage company who’s willing, able and happy to go through the process with you.

Talk to people who have bought homes in your area to see what their experience was like. Did they have responsive and attentive lenders or did they have to call back several times just to get a response to a simple question?

It’s not all about finding the lender with the lowest fees if you’ll spend more time waiting in frustration. Remember, this is like getting married – you don’t want the spouse who has the best job or the biggest bank account. You want the person who’s going to be there when times are tough and be willing to go through it with you.

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