For many, shopping can be a somewhat traumatic experience. I know when I personally go car shopping I feel like I’m being smothered as I open the doors to the dealer. Dramatic, but completely true. Mortgage lender shopping though? It can all be done in your PJs at home on the computer – and, it’s pretty easy!
When you have made the decision to purchase a home there’s a few steps you’ll want to take first before you start touring those dream houses. Picking a lender and getting your preapproval letter in hand is definitely step one! This will prevent you from looking at homes outside of your price range or having your closing take more time than it needs to. But how do you find that perfect mortgage lender?
Did you know that fair lending is like a thing? Unfortunately, due to some shady lending practices in the past, laws had to be passed to ensure everyone is treated equally and has the same opportunities. The Equal Credit Opportunity Act ensures that everyone has the equal opportunity to credit. It prohibits discrimination in all forms and there’s some new requirements in there to protect those seeking loans from predatory practices, thanks to the Dodd-Frank Act. The Fair Housing Act does a lot of the same thing too.
Basically – make sure you know you are protected under the law and ensure that you are aware of your rights.
There are multiple avenues you can take when getting a mortgage for a home loan. Do research on each of them before you make your decision. Some are more appropriate for investment properties versus the home you intend to live in full time. It is advisable that you seek financial counseling to understand the costs and risks associated with each option. Check out Military One Source for financial counseling! It’s free – use your resources to make smart decisions.
As you shop for a mortgage lender, you’ll want to calculate the total cost information. These are the things you’ll want to be adding to your list:
Once you have your bottom line costs of each lender, haggle a little. Yes, you read that right! If one lender has a better rate or less closing costs associated with their loan – share that. See if the other lenders can match the deal you are seeking. You have the right to ask if they can waive or reduce certain fees. In the mortgage world this is expected and negotiations are welcome. Believe me, they want your business. Make them earn it!
Okay – you’ve narrowed down your search and found the best deals. The deal breaker for me is always how they treat their customers. Do some research on the company and read the reviews.
Two quick tips:
Word of mouth is incredibly powerful, people talk! Take the time to reach out to other military families and see how their experiences were. Google and social media will be your friend. People will share the good, bad, and the ugly. Use this to help you finalize your decision!
In the end, buying a home should be an incredibly exciting and fun experience! Do your research and pick the mortgage lender that’s right for you. Here’s a shameless plug: check out Caliber Home Loans and all that they offer when considering your next home loan! They’ve been given the Military Friendly® brand four years in a row. The end.
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Caliber Home Loans, Inc. is a mortgage servicer registered with the Superintendent of the New York Department of Financial Services. If you are a customer whose property is located in the state of New York, you may file a complaint and obtain further information about Caliber Home Loans by contacting the New York State Department of Financial Services Consumer Assistance Unit at 1-800-342-3736 or by visiting the Department's website at www.dfs.ny.gov.