When it comes to selecting someone to handle the largest financial transaction of your life, you don’t want to hire to first Tom, George, or Sally with a mortgage license.
Think of your mortgage similarly to the way you would think of any union, like a marriage; you want to go into the process confident that you can trust and communicate with your partner.
Just like with any union, you want to enter your mortgage with a lending partner that has a certain set of qualities. Here at Heart of Lending, we got together and prepared a list of the most important qualities we believe every lender should possess. (Be sure to save this post and keep it handy when shopping for your lender.)
One thing those big-box lenders simply can’t offer is personalized attention on your home loan. This can be a stressful and confusing process and you deserve to have timely service and answers to your questions from start to finish. Select a lender that has the time to deliver on service and keep you in the loop from day one.
Experience and Ability
While we understand that everyone has to start somewhere, the idea of getting your mortgage from someone who got their mortgage license last week doesn’t exactly bring about a case of the warm and fuzzies, does it? There are a lot of snags and hiccups that come with processing a home loan and should they come up, you’re going to want to be on this path with someone who has the experience and competence it takes to tackle the situation head-on.
Honesty and Integrity
If nothing else, you need to work with a lender who values these 2 qualities. A lender who will lie to you to get you off the phone or lead you to believe things are okay when they are not, is only going to hurt you and your financial standing. You need to go into this process with full confidence that your lender will give it to you straight and work for your success more than their paycheck.
Finally, we want to stress how it is important that you have a lender on your side who is willing to teach you along the way. Whether this is your first home or your 19th, there is always something to learn about the process, or how this purchase could impact your financial future. At Heart of Lending, education is at the forefront of our approach because we believe that the more you know, the better prepared you will be to buy or re-finance again when you’re ready.
Ready To See If You Qualify To Buy A Home?
Dreaming of your next home will always be just a dream if you don’t take the first big step and get yourself qualified and approved to purchase it.
If you're not quite sure where you stand and would like to speak with a lender get in touch with us here.
Let’s be honest, it is a whole lot more fun and exciting to go shopping for your next home than it is to shop for the loan you are going to need to pay for it.
We get it!
Attending open houses and trying to picture your new life in all the beautiful homes is a thrilling experience.
However, just as you find yourself discriminating against potential abodes for this next phase in your life, it is important that you also invest some time into choosing your lender.
Just as you probably wouldn’t feel quite right about buying the first home you come across no questions asked, you shouldn’t feel comfortable about hiring the first lender you meet without at least quizzing them a bit.
At Heart of Lending, we are dedicated to preparing you for more than just getting approved for your home loan; we’re here to educate you on everything you need to be a prosperous homeowner. That is why we are covering the five key questions you need to ask your lender before signing on the dotted line with them.
1. Can I Get Pre-Qualified Or Pre-Approved?
There is a big difference!
Many buyers get these two confused because they sound so similar but getting yourself pre-approved gives you a lot more buying power and credibility than getting pre-qualified. Generally speaking, you can be pre-qualified without any hard pulls on your credit or significant verifications on your income-to-debt ratio.
Before you start filling out dozens of applications all over the place, it's wise to consult with a lender over the phone or in person to give them an idea of your financial standing so they can predict the likelihood of your application being accepted.
Being pre-qualified or pre-approved is the first step to homeownership so if your lender doesn’t think you are quite ready, stay tuned for question number five.
2. What Is The Process and Timeline For Getting Pre-Approved?
In a serious rush to get moving? You will want to ask your lender how long the approval process will take them.
It's very important that you're careful not to make any financial moves that could impact your credit during this time. DO NOT open any new lines of credit or close any. You can always check your own credit score using a site like Credit Karma without doing any damage, to get an idea of where you stand before going for the approval.
You should also clarify the length of time the pre-approval will be good for. Don’t make the mistake of thinking once you are pre-approved you are set to shop for homes for six months. Many lenders’ pre-approval is only good for 60-90 days but can be extended with proper communication.
3. How Do You Communicate With Your Buyers?
The last thing that you want during this process is to be left in the dark or subject to any last-minute surprises by your lender.
When you speak to your potential lender, ask them how they plan on staying in touch with you, how often you can expect updates, and how they plan on communicating. Think about how you would prefer to communicate with them throughout the process (email is common) and share your feelings with them as well.
4. How Much Will I Have To Come Up With For My Downpayment?
The amount of your down payment will vary based upon a few factors:
5. What If I Don’t Qualify For A Loan?
Just like with most things in life, getting a mortgage can come with its own set of obstacles. If your lender tells you that you are not likely to qualify or you are not approved for your loan, don’t worry.
This does not mean that your dreams of home-ownership are dead!
The best lenders will take this opportunity to step in as a teacher and offer step-by-step guidance on what you can do to get that approval stamp on your next application, just as we do here at Heart of Lending.
Before you choose your lender, make sure you ask them what type of programs or assistance they offer you if you are not able to qualify. You might be surprised at how many lenders are not willing to put in the work to get underqualified applicants to the closing table. You deserve a true partner in your success, not just a salesperson, hungry for their next fast commission.
Ready To See If You Qualify To Buy A Home?
Dreaming of your next home will always be just a dream if you don’t take that first big step and get yourself qualified and approved to purchase it.
Susan Avakian-Koroghlyan is a mortgage professional, a mom, a cancer survivor, and former teacher.