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How to Choose the Best Lenders for Your Home Loans

Who are the best lenders for your next home loan?


There may be a lot of ads for mortgage loans out there. How do you know who to trust and which is the best for your next purchase or refinance loan? How do you choose?


The Importance Of Picking The Best Lenders For Your Home Loans


The biggest mistake that home buyers and homeowners make when looking for the best lenders in Seattle, WA is to just pick the one advertising the lowest interest rate online. This frequently turns out to be a very painful and expensive experience.


Here are some of the reasons it is so important to be more conscious about the Seattle mortgage lender you choose to work with.


Getting The Best Mortgage Deal


Everyone wants a good deal. You deserve one. However, this is more than just an advertised rate for the general public. 


A good mortgage deal is one that gives you the best overall costs (APR), and meets your needs foro the short, medium and long term. It takes into account the cost of financing, your cash situation, payment tolerance and goals.


Getting Your Mortgage Loan Closed


It may not be obvious if you are a first time home buyer. Yet, simply getting from loan application and even an approval to a closed loan and keys in your hand or money in your pocket is no small feat. Many lenders struggle to close any loans on time. Some have very low completion rates.


If you can’t close, or can’t close by the date in your purchase contract, you can lose the home, your entire deposit, and any money you’ve spent on appraisals, inspections and other costs in the meantime. Nothing matters if it doesn’t close.


Avoiding Lost Time & Money


You also need an efficient process. You probably don’t have time to make getting a loan a full time job for the next two to three months, or longer. 


Some lenders are very inefficient. They’ll lose documents and ask you to resend them. They’ll forget what you need and ask at the last minute, postponing your closing. Or they may deny you and you might have to start all over from scratch again with a new loan application. 


You need ease of process. One that is considerate of your time and money.


Ongoing Service


Right now you may just be consumed with getting this loan closed. It is taking up all of your focus. Don’t get so blinded by this that you ignore the big picture.


You have made sacrifices to get where you are today. You’ve worked hard. You are putting in work to get a great loan. The last thing you want is to lose it all because your lender completely lets you down after the closing.


Chances are you’ll be making payments and have a relationship with this lender or their loan servicer for years. Some are notorious for nightmare experiences after the closing. Others are really on your side and step up to help you. Especially during crises like COVID-19. 


How To Choose The Best Seattle Lender


Company Reputation


What is this lender’s reputation? There are some really scary fraud cases out there. There are really big banks that have been around for a long time, which are well known to continually take advantage of and even defraud their own customers. They don’t care. All they care about is getting more money this month. They have proven again and again that they will break every law they can, and hope to settle for a small amount in court. Then they often don’t pay the settlement fees.


Take a look at their online reviews. Make sure you scroll down and check a few pages deep on Google, as they have billions of dollars to try and hide the bad reviews. 


Your Individual Loan Officer


The truth is that 99% of your success in getting a mortgage loan funded all comes down to the individual loan officer or Seattle mortgage broker who is handling your file. 


It really only takes a couple weeks and a few hundred dollars to become a licensed loan officer. It’s not much harder than getting a driver’s license. In fact, there isn’t even any practical on the road test to take. 


It takes a few years for loan officers to go through enough experiences to get good. There are so many nuances and hidden glitches and rules to this business, they can only learn by encountering them. 


It also takes years to build the relationships with bankers, underwriters, attorneys and others to get exceptions granted and to fast track loans when needed. 


So, you need a loan officer who has a good reputation themselves, and has at least a few years of experience in the trenches under their belts.


Loan Programs


Look for a lender who has the loan programs that are a match for your needs, not someone who will just try to squeeze you into their box.


You might think one program is for you, without knowing all of the options out there in the market. There can be 100% financing loans, loans for bad credit, loans for tough to prove income, and jumbo mortgage loan programs, as well as many more.


Knowing the lenders’ underwriting criteria is a big part of this. Talking with a loan officer will reveal what documentation you really need, and don’t.


Location & Property Fit


Some lenders don’t like lending in certain zip codes or towns. They won’t advertise this. You have to ask. Some don’t like to loan on condos. Others will even loan on non-warrantable condos.


Even if you can squeeze through the system, if it isn’t a loan they are really eager to make, they will make it tough and charge you more. 


Post Closing


Will they help or scam you after you get the loan? Some lenders are infamous for forced place insurance fraud, identity theft and fraudulent foreclosures.


The COVID-19 crisis was a very insightful moment which revealed which lenders have no interest in helping people, versus those who stepped up with voluntary payment assistance in a crisis. That tells you a lot about them.


Talk To A Human


Filling out a mortgage application online is convenient and easy. Though, sometimes there is nothing like talking to a person. You can now have the best of both worlds with Facetime, Whatsapp, Skype and via the phone. Interview them, and have a person accountable and accessible, versus companies where you are just getting passed around by call center agents who can’t help and don’t care.


Find all the ways to contact Seattle’s Best Mortgage Broker here.


Summary


There are great lenders and loan programs out there. Yet, with so much on the line it is well worth using this checklist to make sure you are selecting the best Seattle lender for your home 

About the Author Joe Tafolla

Seattle's Mortgage Broker specializes in closing Washington home loans extremely quickly. We are out of the box thinkers and are often referred to as the 'golden ticket' when it comes to winning in multiple offer situations. We found our 15+ years of on time closings has built a solid reputation with listing agents and mortgage lenders, which helps us get our clients the best options every time.

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