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How to Choose the Best Mortgage Lenders in Berrien County, MI – Home Buying Tips

When you’re looking at mortgage lenders, it’s important to choose the right lender in the home buying process. We’re looking at a few of the things that go into your decision, and explaining how to choose the best mortgage lenders.

National Lender vs. Local Lender

You may have an allegiance to a national lender that you and your family have used for years. That doesn’t mean it’s the right one. A local lender is better. National lenders don’t know our market and they don’t have the same appraisal pool that a local lender will have. Therefore, during the process a national lender will often send someone out who doesn’t know our area, and there are always problems in the appraisal. This is at the end of the road, so if there’s a problem, you want to deal with it early on and not a day before closing.

Knowing the Best Local Mortgage Lenders

Talk with your real estate broker in St. Joseph, MI about who the reputable lenders are in the area. You want to make sure you have a lender that knows their underwriting department. They should be close with the underwriting department so if there are problems throughout the process, your lender can talk to the underwriting department to resolve any problems. Too many lenders don’t have that relationship, so if a deal falls apart it will create a lot of problems that are unnecessary.

We’re also in a market where there are a lot of multiple offers, so you want to go in with a good clean offer that can compete with other offers. The decision could come down to your lender. If the seller’s agent is looking at two or three contracts that are more or less the same, the reputation of your lender can make a difference. A golden lender will make your offer more likely to get accepted.

There’s a closing date on every contract. Most lenders look at that date as a soft date. We don’t look at it that way. We see it as a drop dead date to close. So, talk to people. You want to make sure your lender knows that’s the date you’re going to close. People make arrangements with movers and work schedules. Changing the closing date causes problems, so make sure you talk with your lender and get a reputable one.

Get Prequalified Right Away

Before you start looking for houses, get prequalified with a lender. Ask any lender for this. They should ask you seven or eight questions about your employment and who you are and where you live. You should get prequalified within an hour. You’ll have a strong letter of prequalification and a strong offer to present and get the house. If you do this later in the process, without a prequalification, you could lose the house you want.

Many people ask about the difference between prequalification and preapproval. Prequalification is early and through any lender. Once you have an accepted offer on a home, you have five days to choose a lender. Give the lender who prequalified you the opportunity to receive your business. Talk to a couple of other lenders and compare services,rates, and closing costs. Then you can choose your lender. At that point, the lender will get you preapproved. You don’t need the preapproval process until you are ready to close.

If you have any questions about local mortgage lenders or you’d like to hear more home buying tips, please contact The Heaps Team at Realty Executives.


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