In the world of mortgage lending, what you see is not always what you get.
I run into folks that are shopping several lenders and are only interested in the absolute best rate and lowest costs. And, while shopping is a fundamentally sound practice, home buyers should realize there’s much more to consider.
After twelve years in the business and hundreds of home purchases later, I’d suggest you consider a handful of other important factors.
- Expect Responsiveness and Accessibility. Today’s market often means you have to act quickly. And though email is an efficient way to communicate, an initial ten minute phone call to discuss your circumstances goes a long way towards avoiding bumps in the road. A good Loan Officer will take that time to discuss your specific situation, even at night or on the weekend.
- Experience Counts. Today’s list of mortgage rules is longer than ever, long enough that it’s impossible to memorize them all. Originators with at least a few years under their belt have been through enough Borrower scenarios to know what works… and what doesn’t. Countless times I’ve seen inexperienced originators lead someone down the wrong path.
- Details, Details, Details. The pre-approval process should ALWAYS include submission of your pertinent documents – pay stubs, bank statements, tax returns if necessary. I’m still shocked that some Lenders will still issue a pre-approval based on a phone call and quick check of credit. Insist that your Originator look over this information ahead of time.
- Real Estate Agents Love Local. Competing on a home with another buyer? Your chances of getting an offer accepted are higher with a locally-run provider. Agents know that the pre-approval process is thorough and the underwriting and closing stand a much better chance of remaining on track. And we’ll most often service your loan locally after the closing, too.
- Options are Good. If you don’t fit in the box that seems to shrink every year, find a Lender with their own money. We call that concept a “Portfolio Loan” at Great Midwest Bank. Fannie Mae and FHA require uniform Borrowers. One small difference and you could find yourself on the outside looking in. A Portfolio Loan might be a way for you to get into (or back into) the housing market.
At Great Midwest Bank, you’ll find competitive rates and low costs. That’s a given. It’s the rest of what we have to offer that really makes us stand out from the crowd. Find a Loan Officer here to get the process started.