Advice

Why Using a Local Lender Matters.

By Scott Silverstein, Caliber Home Loans

The homebuying process can be an overwhelming task: figuring out where to live, choosing a realtor to represent you, finding a lender, determining your budget, and, once you find the home you fall in love with, winning against a long list of other offers! PHEW! This can certainly make people nervous about buying a home. Fortunately, knowing a home is a smart financial investment, people are happily jumping in the housing market.

Finding the right realtor to represent you is a huge part of the home buying process. It’s important to find someone you connect with, understands your goals, and helps you lock down the perfect home. But what about the home financing component? Arguably the biggest financial decision of your life…who can you trust to make this process as smooth as possible? You wouldn’t choose a real estate agent that was on the other side of the country or just pushed you into a revolving door of files. Choose your lender like you choose your agent. Go local!

Qualifying for a mortgage is the first step in the home buying process. People hear lots of home lending noise from TV and radio ads, billboards, and the internet, and it’s often confusing. It’s important to understand what goes into qualifying for a loan. Using a local lender who can meet with you in person and discuss your options is key to answering your questions, explaining how home loan approval works, and ensuring a smooth loan approval process. Sure, you can go online and click through your way into getting loan offers, but how can you be sure you fit the specific box for the product they are offering? Do you know all the different fees and pieces that make up your loan? The interest rate sounds good but will that actually be the rate you end up with? Will the home appraisal be done by someone who is unfamiliar with the area? Will my loan be processed overseas? You’ll want to know the answer to all these questions prior to committing to the loan.

Your realtor is a great source for reputable local lenders. They work with lenders everyday. In fact, given the competitive nature of the Washington DC metro real estate market, using a local lender tends to be looked at more favorably when multiple buyers are vying for the same property. Local lenders who specialize in residential mortgages and conduct loan processing services out of their office tend to be more flexible and responsive when home offers need to be put together quickly and processed even faster!

For instance, across the country, 60 days is a common loan processing timeframe. However, in the DMV, 30 days or less is a key component in winning a competitive offer situation. 

As a local lender, Caliber Home Loans is 100% accountable to make sure our clients close to the terms they agree upon, ON TIME. Big banks and online lenders don’t care if you close today or next week. There is no one who is locally accountable to make sure things run smoothly and happen on a deadline. Your agent knows this, which is why they will recommend a local lender.

Interest rates are always at the top of a buyers’ mind. Your new home is a long-term investment and the interest will impact your return on that investment. Many times buyers will be lured in by an online lender with unusually low interest rates. Beware and proceed with caution! Bait-and-Switch tactics are prevalent with online lenders. They attract you with the low rate only to let you know later you don’t qualify for that rate or the rate is actually different.

Typically, local lenders don’t play that game (at least Caliber doesn’t). What you see is what you get!

Lender availability is paramount in a competitive market. Buyers should expect to speak with their lender when they need to, especially on weekends and evenings. For instance, if you attend an open house Sunday and are told offers are due Monday at 5pm, you should expect your lender to be available Sunday evening to chat about numbers and email a pre-approval lender to attach with your offer. 

There are many moving parts to mortgage loan approval. My goal as a local lender with Caliber Home Loans is to make sure your process is seamless from start to finish. Whether it’s a two-week close or you need months to find the home of your dreams, I make it a point to be available when you need me. My promise to clients is to close their loan on time and at the terms originally agreed to. All my clients have my mobile number so they can reach me anytime during the home buying process. And, don’t worry, I’m around after closing too, to answer any questions that may come up.

Customer service is paramount during the homebuying process. Will all the stress that goes into buying a home, why let chasing down your lender be on that list!  There are a ton of factors that go into buying a home. Don’t let the lender get in the way of you achieving your dream! Choose a local lender.

If you’re considering buying a home and would like to discuss lending options, please give me a call. I’m happy to sit down with you at your convenience. I can be easily reached at 301-254-9547 or scott.silverstein@caliberhomeloans.com.

 

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