Buying a home can be an exciting adventure. Some people search for months for the perfect home, while others spend only weeks. No matter your preferences for buying a new place to call home, it’s imperative that you be financially ready to make an offer when you find a property you are interested in. To do this, you will need to evaluate different mortgage lenders against one another. When doing this, you’ll want to keep these factors in mind:
Does the bank offer a low down payment mortgage loan?
If you have enough funds saved up to drop 20 percent as a down payment on your new home, then you most definitely should. The larger the down payment, the more attractive the rates will likely be. If, however, you are like the millions of other Americans who can’t afford a 20 percent down payment, then you should look for banks that offer mortgage loans with low down payment options. You might even be able to find one that doesn’t require you to put any money down.
Does the bank have a good reputation?
Another key feature to look for when searching for the best mortgage bank loans is whether or not the bank has a good reputation. Fortunately, there are many ways to check on the reputation of mortgage lenders, with the primary way being to check with the Better Business Bureau. By doing this you can easily look over any reviews and complaints that the bank has received. You’ll also want to ask your friends, family and coworkers for their opinions on any banks you are interested in.
Does the bank provide a Loan Estimate?
Any reputable bank that offers mortgage loans should be able to provide you with a Loan Estimate. A Loan Estimate is an estimate of the fees due at closing for a mortgage loan that must be provided by a lender, to a borrower within three days of the lender taking a borrower’s loan application. While a Loan Estimate is not set in stone, it can help you compare different banks to one another so that you can determine which loan is best for you. A Loan Estimate should take into account the following expenses:
- Attorney fees
- Credit check costs
- Interest rates
- Title insurance
- Partial month interest
- Closing costs
- Property insurance rates
Does the bank have a branch near you?
Whether you are buying your 1st home or refinancing a home that you’ve lived in for several years, the mortgage loan process is one that can bring many questions. Choosing a mortgage lender who has a branch in your area is one way to ensure that someone is close by to help you with the process and get you the answers that you need. Most banks have options that allow for at least part of the process to be done online if that is your choice, but by choosing a local community bank, you’ll also have the option of meeting your mortgage lender face-to-face and building a personal relationship with them from filing the application all the way through closing and beyond.