The home buying search starts with house hunting but did you know that you should also be shopping around for a lender or broker?
Questions to Ask
When you first start looking for a lender or broker, you can begin with the following questions.
– What can I expect during the mortgage process?
– How much do I need for a down payment?
– How long do I have to pay off my loan (30 years is typical with shorter term loans available also)?
– What kind of rate can you offer?
– Are there any discounts or special financing that I qualify for (example: VA loan, FHA loan)?
– How will we communicate? Will I work directly with you or someone else on your staff?
– Can I get preapproved for a certain loan amount?
It’s important that any potential lender or broker listen to and answer your questions. Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned pro, there are no dumb questions. A good lender or broker will take the time to make sure you understand everything about your loan.
When To Keep Looking
If your lender or broker cannot give you a detailed estimate of your mortgage terms, including your interest rate, loan duration, and required down payment, it’s time to look for someone else. Often your rate will not lock in until a later date in the process, but you should have a good idea before you decide to proceed. Ask when you can expect your rate to lock in—if they can’t give you an answer, keep looking.
Your lender or broker should also ask for some information from you before giving you any sort of prequalification letter. If they are prequalifying you for a certain amount without knowing anything about your financial situation, they aren’t doing you any favors. A reputable lender or broker will be up front about how much money they are willing to let you borrow and why.