Shopping around for a mortgage can be daunting, but you should still do it anyway. According to Freddie Mac’s research, borrowers can “save an average of $1,500 over the life of the loan by getting one additional rate quote and an average of about $3,000 for five quotes.” That’s money you don’t want to be leaving on the table.
You can make your mortgage search easier by working with a mortgage broker who can match your needs with the right loan.
What does a mortgage broker do?
A mortgage broker negotiates with lenders on your behalf. Using your information, they apply for loans for you and negotiate the best rates and terms. Once you’ve chosen a loan product, they also work with the bank/lender to make sure the underwriting process proceeds smoothly.
Here are some tips to help you find the right one.
- Know the types of mortgages available
- Fixed-rate mortgages – Loans whose interest rates are fixed throughout the term of the loan. This is the mortgage product most people will be familiar with and is recommended for those who want to be able to predict their monthly mortgage payments.
- Adjustable-rate mortgages – Loans whose interest rates vary throughout the term of the loan. The rates are typically lower and fixed for a certain period, after which they are adjusted periodically based on a market rate index. An ARM can be a good choice for those who are planning to pay off the loan in a few years.
- Government programs – Loans offered by government entities like the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the US Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), and the Rural Housing Service (RHS) to eligible homebuyers. States have their own programs as well, usually targeted towards first-time and/or low to moderate-income homebuyers. In Georgia, we have the Georgia Dream Homeownership Program.
- Ask for recommendations
- Research online
- Interview different mortgage brokers
Before you start shopping for a loan or looking for a mortgage broker, you should first familiarize yourself with the different types of loans available. This way, you can make informed decisions and ask educated questions.
The most common options are:
Once you have a better idea of which loan products best suit you, you can begin your search for a mortgage broker. Start by asking for referrals from people you trust who have recently worked with one. Inquire about the quality of the service they received and if the broker was able to provide a good deal. Your real estate agent will also likely be able to connect you with an experienced mortgage broker or loan officer.
During this step, the goal should be to get as many recommendations as you can so you can make a better comparison.
Real estate websites such as Zillow or LendingTree have profiles of mortgage brokers. These brokers will most likely have websites that detail their credentials and services. Take note of those with a wealth of experience and positive client reviews. You may also check the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS) for information on brokers’ licenses.
Start calling for interviews as soon as you gather recommendations and do some online research. Contact as many as you can and try to schedule the interviews within the same week. Ask about their fees, the lenders they work with, and why you should work with them instead of directly with a lender.
Verify by asking for feedback from their former clients if possible. Take this chance to ask them if the broker was able to secure great rates and terms and if communication was smooth throughout the process.
Looking for new homes for sale in Bonaire, GA? Wingate Custom Homes can connect you with dependable mortgage brokers and loan officers. Contact Wingate Custom Homes today!