Financing in Ewing>Question Details

Oem Programm…, Home Buyer in New Jersey

Applying for a Mortgage: Online vs. in-person. What are the benefits or drawbacks? I'm going "full doc" loan.

Asked by Oem Programmer, New Jersey Fri Apr 22, 2011

I have income statements for the past 4 months, my credit reports pulled, and seasoned funds for my downpayment, 3 years tax returns....anything else I'm missing? And if i apply online do i fax or email these docs? Will i get the same rate if I apply online vs in person at a "major" bank?

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You have received some good answers here, but I wanted to expand on it a little.

If you are talking about the SAME lender online vs in person, there is no difference.

Beware of some online lenders - Make sure you get a full list of their costs. When going with internet-only lenders, you can often get a good rate at the expense of a LOT more up front hidden costs. If closing costs are an issue for you, be very aware of this. Plus, if you have to get a hold of someone? It is a game of phone tag. "I'm sorry, I didn't get your message/email/fax/ what ever of the important document we have been waiting on."

Beware of Big Banks - Although I have heard that they are improving, there are horror stories of delayed closings, last minute document requests, and delays in funding. They often don't have the best interest rate anyway, as they can only provide their own rates.

Local lenders are usually the best. They don't have the huge overheads that big banks do, but they are local and you can deal with someone in person. Another thing that I look for is someone that has their underwriter IN HOUSE. I dealt with a lender one time who's underwriter made a rediculous request. Then, no one could get ahold of the underwriter even though the loan was supposed to close that Friday. The contract ended up falling through because of it.

To Summarize:

LOCAL private lender - Not a big bank.
Underwriter IN HOUSE.
Get a list of all fees up front. If they won't give them to you, then they have something to hide.

Best of luck with your home purchase!

It's more than real estate. It's RAYL-Estate!

Brian Rayl, REALTOR®, e-PRO, SFR
Keller Williams Elite Park Cities
Web Reference:
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 23, 2011
interest rates are much the same for quality of buyers. Closing costs are what can very widly. Sadly, there are few mortgage folks out there that will give you a "quote" for closings costs, often refered to as Good Faith Estimate. The reason they do not want to do this is because communicates all the closings cost they have or will stick you with in black and white, and then when they are not able to make as much money on the back side of the loan as planned they cant change the fees on the front side because it is already in black and white. They will also tell you it depends on the house you are going to buy...well you insurance, your taxes, your manicipality or state taxes will differ fine, but since those are not costs associted with the mortgage broker, you want to know what the mortgage banker/broker is going to charge. Points on the front end to lower interest rate, most are charging 1 point for thier fee, but maybe they have junk fees, those can add up....Suncoast Schools Federal Credit Union are the lowest costs I have seen for getting a loan. I refer tons of folks to them, i am not sure it they are in your area, but they are closing mortgages for $800...yep thats all they make, not 1% pluss fees, nope just even $800, imagine getting a $300,000 1% is $3,000 so if you went with them you would have a $2200 net savings, again rates are competative I have rarely had another broker beat each other out.
Here is a good blog about Mortgages.…

best of luck yo you
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 23, 2011
THANKS ALL for the help! I will be sure to shop around in the next 2 weeks to a few major banks in person, and try one or 2 online guys as well for comparison. I'm not in a big closing rush so I'm free to take my time. I don't have another home to sell (currently renting). I've got all my docs together per the lists below and online.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 25, 2011
It's always great using a local lender for your loan needs. Someone you can call after 5:00PM, and actually see a live person. I think like many others are saying, the home purchase will be the single most important purchase in your life. Financing is the key if you get the home or not. I would see a local loan agent in your area with lots of experience.

Good Luck

Jai Ramaiya
America Home Key, Inc.
Web Reference:
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 23, 2011
Your mortgage will probably be the largest single debt you will incur in your lifetime. It has significant long term financial implications for you. You want to be able to meet (and shake the hand of) the person working for lender you are dealing with. You also need to know where their “local” office is so you can go there and meet that person and others involved if there is a problem or issue.

Today with new regulations and lender procedures it is not uncommon to have issues and problems that need to be resolved before you will get your mortgage. You want to deal with a direct lender who has the money (financial institution or mortgage banker) not a mortgage broker who is a middleman and cannot really guarantee the funds will be there when you need them.

The Internet is not where you should be going for your loan. As I tell my clients, if you go on the Internet you could be dealing with someone whose office is the men’s room in a gas station in Fargo North Dakota. For a Mortgage you need to know who you are dealing with.

Also shop and compare APR (Annual Percentage Rate) rates not the simple mortgage interest rate (note rate) that can be used as a teaser by lenders. The mortgage interest rate is not what you will actually be paying as your true interest cost for the loan when comparing lenders, as it does not include fees.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 23, 2011
I think it depends ont he sure you get a good faith estimate...some lenders only work on line and are very repiutable...for example, other cases, you may not know their reputation and may want to do some research at the In person, at least you really know who you are dealing with and can ask to see their license....
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 23, 2011
Also forgot to mention this but often Credit Unions will have unbeatable rates/fees. Most credit unions nowadays will provide an instant online quote.

Another advantage with an online lender is you normally will get your final closing paperwork emailed well in advance of closing. Some of the larger banks and mortgage brokers who do not actually lend money will not even have the docs for your review until you arrive at the closing table! It's ridiculously poor customer service in this day and age of technology.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 23, 2011

When you work with someone face to face, you can rely on the information provided from that person and expect it to be the best possible data as they want to keep you within their business. When you submit on line, you become an number and will not benefit from the personal service of a local mortgage representative..

I am in tune to where the best deals are coming from and good reputable mortgage people. I was a fan of mortgage brokers for a while as they were getting better deals for my clients. I am now in sync with Bank of America, they have been best with rates and personal service. Yes, much better than local mortgage brokers I have been dealing with.

Alfonso Esposito
Mortgage Loan Officer
Bank of America
Cell: 908-531-8134

Tell him I said to give you a call.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 22, 2011
Always always always, use a broker. A broker has relationships with the big banks and can probably beat retail rates. Besides, a broker will only pull your credit once and can shop you with over 200+ lenders. Where are a retail bank can only offer you their products, not that of the bank down the street.

Have a great day;

Christina Solorzano;
CEO & SR Credit & Mortgage Consultant of
Everlasting Credit Repair
Making home ownership more than a dream...
Retired Mortgage Banker
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 28, 2013
Full application submitted after you complete attorney review - but to get there you'll need a solid preapproval. I highly recommend that you establish a relationship with an individual at a lending institution rather than submitting online. I've had experience with buyers going both routes and it never matters until it matters greatly - ie, when there is a hitch. Having a contact that you can tap directly can make all the difference in the world. If you need recommendations, I've got several very fine lenders I can recommend. Send me an email and I'm happy to provide their contact info.

Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Serivce
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 27, 2011
So you don't actually have a contract to buy a home? You may want to wait to "shop" until you have a contract in your hands.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 25, 2011
Fantastic Question! I usually prefer using our in house mortgage broker at Coldwell Banker. He beats everyone's rates and loan fees and I know he's reliable. That said, who does your Realtor recommend? I
keep track of all my closing statements and I know which local lenders over charge. Your Realtor
should know this too. There are HUGE differences in the loan fees. The question to ask the lender is "How much will my closing costs be for this loan". The rate and points are important, but the bottom line is all that
counts. For on line lenders, my clients who live their entire lives on line have had success with Quicken. Each lender's underwriter has different criteria they must plug in to qualify you for their ideal loan. These criteria can change often, and of course, follow Alma's suggestion of doing all your shopping within a tight
Good luck and congratulations on being soooo organized!
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 23, 2011
Studies have been done and found that most buyers do not "shop" around before selecting a lender so you're already ahead of the majority of buyers. Mortgage brokers who do not actually lend money may end up costing you money if they cannot get your mortgage closed on time for a purchase. I would not risk it. Go with a direct lender, whether it is your credit union or a well known lender or a highly respected online lender. I think there are only "full doc" loans nowadays so as long as your criteria fits in the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac direct underwriting guidelines than pretty much any lender can do your loan. Some will charge a lot of garbage fees and also overcharge you on your appraisal (yet the appraiser only gets about half of what you pay!)

So just make sure to keep your shopping to about a 2 week time frame and you will not affect your FICO score. This is another fallacy that some brokers may tell you so you do not "shop" your rate and fees.

Good luck on your home purchase.

All the best,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 23, 2011
I would have to agree with Lyle on this. It would serve you well to apply for your loan in person. If you have a relationship with a banker, mortage broker, at your local bank then by all means go to it and speak with them. Restrictions have changed and I just had a client make his mortgage a grueling ordeal by applying online. He ended up going back to his local bank, Wells Fargo, who treated him like a deserving patron of their bank versus John Doe online. He was able to negotiate a better rate by going applying in person. Depending on the type of property you are buying will determine the loan documents required. My client purchased a waterfront property and some guidelines have changed. Wells Fargo, his personal bank, had the loan closed in three weeks versus he had been dealing with the online bank, Amerisave, for over two months with the same loan request. Relationships count. If you have them.................use them. I hope this helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 23, 2011
Try they have the lowest rates and "lender related" fees.

Best to shop around for the best rate and fees. Also you have to make sure to quote on the same day because rates change daily. And do not let the total estimated closing cost figure sway you, only look at the "lender related fees" because these are the only costs your lender has control over. the other costs will generally be the same and some lenders overstate or understate these "estimates".

check out it a great website to learn how to shop for the right mortgage.

All the best,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 23, 2011
Go with In-person. They can put a face with a name & if you go local, you will not just be a number. Brian sums it all up below.
Good luck
The Marie Souza team - Top Selling on Cape Cod
Phone: 508-790-2000
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 23, 2011
You said you were going to apply to a "major bank" for a mortgage loan. You should receive the same loan rate whether you apply in person or online. Obviously, you will be shopping for the best rate available and probably are comparing rates between major banks in your area.
As a Realtor, I would advise you to contact a loan officer in the bank of your choice in-person. The benefit to using a bank over a mortgage company is that the banks cost associated with generating that loan are usually lower. Also, a bank can do what is called in-house loians where most mortgage companies cannot.
No mention of credit score, or whether you have been employed with the same employer or related type job all will make a difference in your mortgage rate.
Good Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 23, 2011
As a REALTOR I recommend in person. There's no substitute for knowing your loan officer.

Laura Giannotta
Keller Williams - Atlantic Shore
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 22, 2011

I'll give you my biased answer. Who you select really depends on what you expect in terms of customer service from your financing experience. I recommend going through an individual mortgage banker/broker as they will have access to many different loan products & lenders than any one Big Bank will ever have. Talking to a banker/broker can be like talking to 10-20 different lenders at once AND this will likely include the Big Bank you are already talking with trough their wholesale lending channel which you don't have access).

Banker/Broker are paid for production and thus HAVE to give better customer service than the big banks in order to survive. This means, they will answer your phone call at night or on the weekends if necessary (at least the good ones do).

Items you'll need: last 2 months Bank Statements, Last 2 years W-2s, Last 2 years Tax Returns (if self employed) to get you started. Lender will ask for additional items from there but that should offer enough info for your pre-approval.

Another item to consider, a banker/broker can get loans closed quicker than a Big Bank if time is of the essence for you as their companies are smaller and more nimble with Processing/Underwriting/Closing & Funding operations.

Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 22, 2011
Major banks....what a joke! The service stinks.

Find a great mortgage broker licensed in the state. Everything is done by either fax/email or (we use)

The broker is going to be much more competitive, be able to shop, will take better care of you, is individually licensed, background checked, etc. The bank loan officer is not!

Good luck!

Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 22, 2011
Hi Oem,
In most cases it is best to reveiw your information in person and to explain the various options you would have as a potential homebuyer. Your initial application can be done verbially, through the internet or via fax, but in some cases you may want to be across from the person as he or she is reveiwing this information so there is no misunderstanding.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 22, 2011
Online is very very competitive on rate/fee that Banks normally can't compete with .. well the reason being that online has lower overhead costs; therefore, they pass it on to consumer via rate and fee. If your paper is not perfect, don't even try ... you will lose your initial deposit and appraisal cost. You can fax or email as attachment .. they accept all those forms ... but you will not be able to meet them in person (unlike banks). Full doc is mandatory and it also seems like that they cherry picking "A paper" customer only. is a good reference.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 22, 2011
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