Ready to purchase your first home, land, or piece of real estate? Usually, you don’t need to have the entire amount to be a real estate owner. You can get a home or real estate loan, popularly known as a mortgage, to settle a big part of the purchase price and then pay it back in smaller installments over a longer period.
Securing a mortgage and, consequently, the property you are interested in starts with finding a mortgage lender.
So, who is a mortgage lender? What is the mortgage process like? And more importantly, where can I get the best mortgage lender near me?
Who is a mortgage lender?
Securing a mortgage is a significant financial decision, and working with a mortgage lender can make the process smoother and more manageable.
A mortgage lender is a bank or financial institution such as a local credit union that specializes in providing and underwriting real estate loans. They are responsible for evaluating a borrower’s creditworthiness, determining the amount of money they are eligible to borrow, and establishing the terms and conditions of the loan.
Benefits of Working with a Mortgage Lender
One of the benefits of working with the best mortgage lender is that they can provide you with a wide range of mortgage options to choose from. They can help you find the best mortgage product that fits your financial situation, including fixed-rate, adjustable-rate mortgages, and government-backed loans like FHA and VA loans.
This means you can save a lot of time by letting an expert handle the research and provide you with personalized mortgage products catered to your needs.
Another benefit of working with a mortgage lender is that they can guide you through the mortgage process step-by-step as we shall discuss later in this column. They can help you prepare your documents, such as your income statements, credit reports, and tax returns.
They can also help you complete your application, and answer any questions you may have regarding the different terms and conditions of each loan type, such as interest rates, payment schedules, and fees.
How to Choose the Right Mortgage Lender for You
Choosing the best one is an important decision, as it can impact your financial future for years to come. Here are some factors to consider when choosing a mortgage lender:
- Reputation – Look for a lender with a good reputation in the industry, with positive reviews and testimonials from previous customers.
- Rates and fees – Compare the rates and fees of different lenders to find the one that offers the best value for your money.
- Customer service – Choose a lender that offers excellent customer service, with responsive and helpful representatives and a user-friendly online platform.
- Loan options – Look for a lender that offers a wide range of loan products, including fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages, government-backed loans, and jumbo loans.
- Accessibility – Choose a lender that is accessible and convenient, with online and mobile banking options, and branches or offices in your area.
The Mortgage Process: What is Working with a Mortgage Lender Like?
Once you have identified a good mortgage lender near you, the process of getting your loan is pretty structured and straightforward. Generally, you should expect the following:
Step 1: Interview
The first step of your mortgage application process is known as the interview. This is where you discuss your needs with the mortgage lender. This stage aims to determine which mortgage package best suits you. For example, should you pick a fixed or adjustable-rate home loan? At this point, you also request fee details and any other information you might need.
Step 2: Disclosure
Next, the mortgage lender furnishes you with your loan estimate and application documents for your approval and signature. You will be required to e-sign the application and pay the indicated fees.
Step 3: Loan Processing
After receiving your mortgage package, your dedicated loan processor will contact you with its details. From this point, they will be your primary point of contact with the mortgage provider. You can expect this stage to last two weeks.
Step 4: Underwriting
To be approved for a mortgage, all necessary documents should be provided. In line with that, your dedicated Processor will collect all required documents before handing them over to an Underwriter. This party will give their final decision before your application is okayed for the next step. The entire process takes about two business days.
Step 5: Mortgage Post-Approval
After checking your documents, the Underwriter will provide your Processor with a Commitment letter. Your Processor will continue working with you to the point when your file is cleared for closing. This stage lasts about two weeks.
Step 6: Loan Closing
Your Bank Attorney and Closer or both will contact you to make arrangements for closing. They will also provide a copy of your loan closing disclosure as well as get any required documentation. This process typically doesn’t take more than two weeks.
Step 7: Loan Servicing
Once your loan closes and is funded, your account moves to the Servicing Team. You will get your monthly statements about 15 days before your first payment deadline.
Get the Best Mortgage for You
A mortgage is a tried and proven way of becoming a homeowner without straining your finances. Therefore, securing a mortgage is a significant milestone in anyone’s life, whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned property investor. But if you’ve never gone through the process before, it can seem incredibly confusing.
That’s why working with a mortgage lender is crucial to making the experience as smooth and stress-free as possible. However, you must be picky if you’re going to find a mortgage lender who suits your needs well enough by considering their reputation, client reviews, and transparency.
With the right lender, you can successfully navigate the mortgage lending process and officially become a homeowner.