You can find a mortgage lender in Seattle faster than ever before. It is easy to find mortgage rates online on lender and rate aggregation sites, and lenders aggressively advertise their rates as a way to draw you to their site.
You might be able to find special mortgage loan rates and fees through the banks or credit unions where you have accounts. There are also websites that aggregate information about top mortgage brokers and lenders — including ratings — online.
Last but not least, ask friends and professionals you trust for references. They might be able to recommend a lender or broker they have worked within the past.
Determine the type of lender you want
Identify what you want first! A mortgage lender in Seattle can be of many types, and each differs in a number of ways, such as how they obtain the funds to make your loan. Consumers, however, will likely look at two main types of lenders:
- Those who lend directly. Direct lenders provide financing directly to you, and you work one-on-one with them.
- A mortgage broker. Your broker acts as a mediator between you and your lender. Brokers help you compare lenders and find the best loan, but they may charge a fee.
You may find it difficult to choose between these two options since some lenders use brokers exclusively, while others do not. If you are just comparing a few of your top options, you may want to work directly with lenders rather than working with brokers.
How do you prepare?
Make sure you’re financially ready for a loan and get the best interest rate possible before applying for a loan and seeking pre-approval. Ideally, you should be:
- Enhancing your credit score. Before applying for a mortgage, you should check your credit score at least several months in advance. Pay off credit card balances, make your payments on time, and avoid taking out multiple loans and credit cards to increase your score or maintain a strong score.
- Putting money away for your down payment. Despite the fact that a 20% or more down payment is ideal, you can get a loan with as little as 3% down if you are able to make the monthly payments.
- Maintaining a steady income. Mortgage lenders check your income to ensure that you can afford the monthly payments now and in the future.
Bonus tip- Before you choose a mortgage, do your math
It makes no sense to look at houses when you are not sure of your budget. If you’re interested in more detailed information, speak with a mortgage professional. You can begin your research by using a mortgage calculator. To choose a house within a certain price range, you need to know what a comfortable monthly payment is. Getting into a home that is unaffordable is the last thing any future home buyer wants. You qualify for different things depending on what you can afford.
Here are some questions to ask a mortgage lender in Seattle
Here are some questions to ask before choosing a mortgage lender in Seattle and completing your mortgage application:
- What is your estimate of how long the process will take?
- How will you handle my concerns throughout the process? Will someone else take over when it gets to underwriting? What about communication?
- Are there steps that will be conducted online or in-person (such as appraisals and closings)?
- Do you recommend locking in the interest rate for a certain period of time? Do I have to pay an extension fee if the closing does not take place by that date because of no fault of my own?
When comparing mortgage loans, look for these factors
Comparison shopping is important before you decide on one lender or broker. By comparing interest rates and fees, you will be certain to get the best deal. Consider these options:
Rate of interest
This is one of the most obvious ways to choose between lenders, but it shouldn’t be your only consideration. You will want to ensure you have the right lender before locking in a rate and finalizing your application since rates change daily. If you want a lower interest rate, you can also ask about points, which are fees. Determine whether you need points and how much they cost.
Mortgage loans come with a variety of fees. Some of them are difficult to understand. One lender might list the fees individually while another lumps them all together. It is important to ask about all costs, including application fees, underwriting fees, and others that are incurred at closing. Comparing lenders and negotiating fees is a good idea.
Getting a mortgage and paying down the down payment
When you buy a home, you’ll want to pay as much down as possible, but you’ll also want to save money for the inevitable home expenses-such as repairs and furnishings for when you move in. Therefore, you should speak with the lender about down payment assistance programs that can help you get the loan without sacrificing your savings, especially if this is your first time buying a home. Private mortgage insurance (PMI) is likely to be required if you put down less than 20%.
Complete the application once you’ve chosen the offer that suits you best. The most difficult part of the loan process is likely over once you have your paperwork together and there are no unforeseen financial issues before closing day. Upon closing your loan, you will be able to move into your new home and sign your loan documents.
Have more questions? Contact us! We will help you.