CHOOSING A LENDER
It seems like everywhere you turn you see advertisements for mortgage lenders. It may seem easy and efficient to just get your mortgage online from the comfort of your couch by going through your existing bank or a national online mortgage company. That may get you a great rate, and I'm all for that! Shopping around can be great too...but please don't just only shop around from national online mortgage companies. Find an actual human that you can ask questions to. Better yet, find a lender that a friend or your real estate agent has worked with before. Why?
Rate isn't the only important factor here!
When you are buying a house, sometimes negotiations can still be ongoing up until the day before your scheduled closing. If a monkey wrench gets thrown into the deal at the last minute (like the seller damaged something on their way out of the property and now we need them to give you $500), but it is after 5pm and you can't get a real person on the phone, guess what? Your loan paperwork isn't going to be redone in time to close the next day. And that means everything you have planned, like your movers, is going to be delayed until you can get your lender to redo the paperwork.
That is why I like to work with a lender that I know. I have that person's actual phone number. I can call them directly and have them work with their processor to do everything humanly possible to get things done so you can close on time.
By all means...shop around for a great rate! But when you are doing your shopping, please make sure you find out how you can get in contact with an actual person, and consider interviewing one of the lenders below that I have worked with in the past!