Vice President, Residential Mortgage Division, about the pros and cons of applying for a mortgage through different sources. As a follow-up, let's take a look at Mark's tips on how to choose the right mortgage provider once you've located a couple sources:
Once you’ve taken the benefits and drawbacks of each potential lending source into consideration, there are a handful of tips that can help guide you to the right mortgage provider:
1. The cheapest option is not always the best.
A mortgage is no different than most things in life – you get what you pay for. The cheapest option can often come with unexpected surprises. For example, you may deal with a mortgage representative who doesn’t have much experience and that representative could end up giving you improper advice that ends up derailing your transaction or putting your contract deposit at risk. Your primary objective in choosing a mortgage rep should be to select someone you feel fully confident will be able to navigate you through the process effectively and get you to closing. Remember that the promise of lower rates and fees will mean absolutely nothing if the transaction does not close.
2. Do some background research.
Take some time to do online research with regards to both the mortgage representative and the institution for which they work. Ask each mortgage provider you are considering which lenders’ programs they have access to so you can ensure you have encompassed all of your financing options. Also, be sure to inquire about their experience with your specific type of transaction. Someone who has dealt with a similar loan situation successfully is always a big plus!
3. Make sure that your mortgage representative is local to your area.
Many direct lenders attempt to have out-of-state salespeople work on your loan. As NYC real estate is extremely unique and complex compared to the rest of the country, someone who does not do loans in the area on a daily basis is not going to be able to properly advise you on the nuances of mortgage lending here. Find out who will be working on your transaction and whether they are local to your market.
4. Seek out referrals from friends and family.
Did you call an 800 number for a bank because you have an account with them? Or did you contact a random bank as a result of seeing a great rate advertised? If so, then you are not basing your decision on the right characteristics. Every bank is good at certain things (and not at others), and you don’t want to decide who to use for your financing based on irrelevant criteria. That's why a personal referral is the ideal way to find the right lending source for your transaction.
5. Communicate your priorities upfront.
You should have an understanding of what is most important to you before you contact any mortgage providers. Do you need to close faster than a normal timeline? Are you only concerned about getting the lowest rates? Do you have an “outside the box” loan scenario that might not fit all lenders’ guidelines? If you communicate these priorities to a mortgage provider, they should be able to tell you how they can meet your needs. If they can’t give you an answer that you feel comfortable with then move on to the next person on your list. It is important to know that not all providers are going to be the right fit for your transaction.
6. Trust your gut instinct.
If you are having reservations about a certain mortgage provider, there is probably a reason why. Listen to your intuition and remember your needs.
VP - Residential Mortgage Division
Sterling National Bank
212-401-0843 - Manhattan
718-210-1143 - Brooklyn
Happy hunting! Don't hesitate to let either of us know if you have any questions or need any guidance with your search.
(Blog image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)