A big challenge for potential homebuyers – beyond finding the perfect house – is finding a professional, reliable and trustworthy lender for what will probably be the largest purchase they make in their lifetimes. Choosing the right lender, even if others offer comparable rates, can save you a lot of anxiety and concern during the stressful escrow period and down the road.
Since most people have one or more banks they use for daily services like checking and savings account, they develop a familiarity and comfort level with those institutions. Large banks almost always provide residential mortgages, and the marketing clout they have extends to residential lending. While it is easy for many people to simply apply for a loan with their bank, a firm that specializes in residential lending may actually be a better choice.
Choosing the right type of firm for a mortgage
Many different types of institutions provide residential mortgages. Some of the most familiar ones include:
– Credit unions.
– Savings and loans.
– Commercial banks.
– Mortgage banks.
– Correspondent lenders.
Credit unions require membership and typically require an affiliation with the armed forces or a union, though many have now eased membership restrictions. Savings and loans used to dominate the residential lending industry but have become scarce due to industry consolidation. Mortgage banks and correspondent lenders have the highest degree of specialization, but mortgage bankers work for a specific financial institution.
With an array of product types including VA, USDA and FHA loans, a homebuyer may better off with agents who have experience in these areas and the nuances of private and federal mortgage insurance programs. At First Centennial Mortgage, we perform all loan processing in-house. This translates into a customer-focused, speedy, and accurate closing.
Large, multipurpose banks and finance companies often are guilty of inflating titles to make mortgage professionals appear to have a lot of seniority or authority. In many instances, relatively junior loan specialists can have titles like Senior Loan Officer or Senior Loan Advisor.
In addition to shopping for the right type of firm, it is also important to be comfortable with the individual who will be involved in your loan processing. Take the time to understand their credentials and experience with different types of loans.
A correspondent lender uses its own processing, underwriting, and closing staff for mortgage loans, and has the capacity to close loans with its own resources. Since correspondent lenders are not part of a larger financial organization, they tend to be more entrepreneurial and focused on sourcing the best deal for their customers.
Whatever route you take to secure a home loan, understand the entities that provide these loans and remember that any company is only as good as the individuals who are working with you. Your lender should provide a base of knowledge about different types of loans, rates and competitive products.
First Centennial Mortgage provides home loans and home renovation loans, and we pride ourselves on being customer-focused. We invite you to discuss your home financing needs with us, whether you are a first-time buyer or an experienced home buyer.