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Did you know that some lenders will help you several months to a year before you’re ready to buy a house? It’s all about finding the right mortgage lender for you.

When you’re ready to start, you’ll look at either working with a bank or a mortgage broker. Many people don’t know there are options other than going down to the bank. Let’s discuss the differences.

Working directly with the bank.

When dealing directly with the bank there are some things to be aware of. This option can be influenced by your relationship with your bank (Realtor.com), which can be an advantage. If you’re like me, you don’t have a relationship with your bank. I am not someone who goes into my nearest branch and they know my name. On the other hand, if you do have that relationship, sit down with them and talk about your needs. Just talking doesn’t mean you’re committed, but it will give you information and insight on options your bank offers. Banks typically only offer a certain number of mortgage types, so it’s important to speak to more than just your bank. It can be time consuming and confusing, so be prepared to have questions.

Working with a Broker.

Another option is a mortgage broker. To me working with a mortgage broker seems more flexible. First it’s important to understand that mortgage brokers are mortgage experts (Realtor.com). They will take your information, analyze it, and then find your best options. Your broker will handle all of the paperwork and communicate with lenders on your behalf.

Both options have pros and cons, so do your homework and have conversations before committing to any one person or institution. It’s worth the time spent to find the right mortgage lender!

Use your resources.

Now that we’ve covered your options, let’s talk using your lender or broker as a resource. The mortgage lending industry does not look at your credit in the same way as a credit card company or a car dealership. You might not know this unless you or someone you’re very close with is in this industry. I didn’t learn it until I got my real estate license and even now I don’t pretend to be an expert because I’m not.

What I do know is that a good lender or broker will work with you for a decent amount of time before you’re ready to buy. Finding a lender or broker that is wiling to take the time to  come up with a plan of attack so you can get your dream home is an invaluable resource and one, I fear, that is under utilized.

I encourage people to start working with a lender 6 months to 1 year before buying a home. This helps bring to light any potential issues that need to be addressed and gives you a solid foundation of information for when you go to actually buy.

And just as with an Agent, interview your broker or lender. You’re going to be working with this person during an important part of your life and there is a lot of confidential information they are handling, so it’s a good idea to find the person you work well with and feel comfortable with.

You are the buyer, so you create the team you want to work with to get your new home!

Source: Realtor.com – Mortgage Broker vs. Banks

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