Choosing a Mortgage Loan Officer

When it comes to one of, if not your largest investment in life, you really need to take time to choose who originates, processes your mortgage loan. Someone who is there for you during your mortgage loan process.

First, as always, you need to discover someone with whom you “click”. Personalities are important as well as trust in that person and their company. This person and whomever processes your mortgage is going to have the most personal information about you that is available. So personality, professionalism and a company behind this loan officer is very important.

On line mortgage loans vs. face to face, local business? This is a no brainer, choose someone with whom you can go see face to face. Someone who does not hide from you during this process. On line mortgage loans may sound good but you have no visual contact. Also, most often, these lenders offer what appears to be lower and better terms but fees seem to arise from thin air as time progresses. Therefore they are actually higher and more costly. Once “hooked” and you are on a time frame to close, there is little you can do about this but continue forward with this institution.

Owning a real estate firm that has been in Lynchburg since 1905, I of course feel supporting local businesses is better.  But most importantly you have the face to face contact that is so important. Always compare at least two lenders’ rates and closing fees. Ask for “good faith estimates” from two lenders / loan officers and compare these side by side to know how costs compare. One lender may have a lower interest rate but much higher closing fees. In the long run a little higher interest rate may be better for you vs. immediate cash out of pocket for additional closing costs to achieve a lower rate.

Finally, the dreaded processing! After the worst real estate economy since “The Great Depression”, obtaining a mortgage loan today is tough. Reverting from 2006 when it appeared if you were breathing you could get a mortgage loan. To today’s standards where you have to furnish, furnish and often refurnish information to obtain a mortgage loan. You will need to give every detail about you, your finances, work and residence history, tax returns, driver’s license, debts and more. Plus most all loans are credit score driven, so keep that credit score clean and as high as you can!

As you begin this process you can always depend on your Realtor, as your buyer’s agent, to direct you to a few loan officers to speak with. Take your time with all of these processes. Do not allow anyone to rush you, make this a happy experience!

Robert Dawson, Broker, LAR President

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