The real estate market has been hot for many years. The real estate market stayed hot even though the economy has been on a virtual roller coaster. This has resulted in a large number of mortgage lenders entering the market with varying mortgage programs for people with different economic backgrounds and credit histories.
Home loans are now available for people with pristine credit, good credit, average credit, below average credit and even bad credit. There are loan packages available for people with large down payments, small down payments and no down payments at all.
For many first time homebuyers, choosing the right lender and the right home loan package may seem like a daunting task. There are so many competing lenders promising so many different things. They see advertisements for amazing interest rates and packages. Of course, those packages are only available for a small percentage of homebuyers who fit very specific criteria.
Many first time homebuyers fall into the trap of applying for home loans through various lenders offering different loan packages. While on one level this may seem like a good idea since it, at least in theory, opens up the number of possibilities for obtaining the right loan package for that homebuyer, the simple truth of the matter is these group of lenders may actually have less mortgage packages at their disposal, even added together, than some lenders and lending networks will have individually.
If you apply to a number of home loan lenders, each will invariably run your credit report. An inquiry on a credit report is noted and will affect your overall FICO score. Your FICO score is a credit score that compares you to all other people in the country with a credit history. This number can put you in certain mortgage programs and take you out of others. The last thing you want to do is engage in any activities which could lower your FICO score at the time you want it to be the highest possible.
With proper homework you can find a mortgage lender or network of lenders that will have enough loan packages at their disposal to have one that is right for you. The more they have at their fingertips the more likely it is that they can create a mortgage package that fits your unique circumstances. Even if you think your home loan will be fairly straightforward you may still benefit from a home loan lender that has a number of varying packages. Perhaps they can show you unique ways to have lower payments, avoid PMI, reduce the down payment you were going to make without it impacting your monthly payments and so forth.
Most first time homebuyers are typically unaware of the nuances involved in home loans. They are typically unaware of things like PMI, escrow payments, fixed rate loans versus variable rate mortgages and their respective benefits and drawbacks. A skilled mortgage lender will be able to explain these differences and show you a number of different options, including the option that may be right for you.
It is important to completely honest with your mortgage lender, unfortunately, too many homebuyers try to pull the wool over the eyes of the lender – this never works. In the end everything comes out in the wash – the more honest you are upfront the more options your mortgage lender will be able to review for you.
Look for a lender that clearly states that they can assist people with various types of home loan packages, including differences in credit history, employment history and down payment size. Again, the more tools they have in their toolbox, the more likely it is that they can craft the right loan for you.
Many websites now offer pre-screening services that can match you up with the right lender without each lender running your credit. Accurate and honest information is important when using these websites otherwise you may be paired with the wrong lender which will delay your getting the loan you need and could also hinder your chance to get the home you are hoping to get.
When speaking with your lender you should always feel comfortable to ask questions. The lender may not always be able to give you an instant response, but you should prefer that they find out the answer before giving you a quick but wrong answer. You should also feel that your lender is giving you honest information. If you feel like he or she is lying to you then that is not the right lender for you to be working with.
It is a good practice to provide your lender with whatever information they request. Never give them an original document and always make sure you have additional copies of anything they request. Calendar all cut-off dates they give you and make sure you stay on top of it. You will want a lender that is responsive to your inquiries and prompts you when things are needed or cut-off dates are approaching.
Picking a lender is picking a partner. You want to find the right partner for you that will be able to provide you with what you need while you provide them with what they need. Together, you and the lender will have you well on your road to homeownership and a stronger financial portfolio.