With interest rates increasing, it’s understandable that buyers are eager to select a mortgage lender who can provide the lowest rates. But after more than 30 years in the business, we warn against securing a low rate being the only factor in choosing a mortgage lender.
Many parts of the mortgage process are the same across all lenders, however there are often differences to consider when shopping around (which you absolutely should do!). Many buyers have found satisfaction in taking advantage of online mortgage companies. When a home purchase is straightforward and buyers have a great deal of flexibility, these online mortgage services seem to be a viable option. But what’s missing from this lending experience is often something my clients value: Service.
Our clients have seen the most success in working with mortgage brokerage partners and loan officers who are people entrenched in the local community. With our lives nearly completed shifted to the convenience of doing everything online, this is one area of business I encourage my clients to conduct offline.
Here’s what I mean by offline…
Besides rates and affordability, the most important part of choosing a mortgage lender is having a point person who you can pick up the phone and call directly with questions or to receive real-time updates. This accessibility can be a critical part of keeping your buying process on track. Better yet if this individual is local and they have a personal or strong business connection to the community you’re purchasing in. Creating a business relationship built on communication and mutual respect and trust is a worthwhile investment when you’re talking about one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make in life!
How do you choose the right local lender?
First, shop around. Interview lenders/brokers and the loan officers you’d be working with to see if it would be the right fit for your unique situation. You might consider asking questions like, “Which steps will take place online and which will occur in-person?”, “How long do you expect the process to take?”, “Who will be my main point of contact throughout the entire process and how will we keep in touch?”, “Do you recommend an interest rate lock, and, if so, how long of a lock do you recommend?” … as well as any other questions you may have specific to your home buying goals.
Second, get recommendations. Asking friends, family, and also your home buying support team…your Realtor! When working with the Mike McCurry Group, our clients have the opportunity to access our list of vetted mortgage lending partners that are recommended by our team. These are trusted partners who have a proven track record of successful and satisfactory lending experiences with our clients over the past three decades.
When you’re ready to buy or sell, please consider interviewing Mike McCurry. It would be an honor to help you make a meaningful move!