Only thing I would add to your answer is not all banks are created equal. I work for a bank and we are fast and on time. We are not one of the jumbo banks, rather a mid sized regional bank. We do lend in all 50 states however. The key is where are your undewriters, closers, processors and operations staff. Ours are in Bethesda where I work. Makes a big difference. Hope this helps.
1st Mariner Mortgage
The process works the same if you contact a lender. We would review, credit, income and assets, provide numbers for down payment and closing costs and answer your questions. If you asked us we would provide the name(s) of local Realtors we have worked with before and trust.
That's why I said the process would work the same as to which person would refer you to the other if you wish to take the lender/realtor advice. Hope this helps and please let me know any questions. For what's it worth I think you should talk to a few local lenders and Realtors to develop a relationship and feel comfortable working with them.
Senior Loan Officer
1ST Mariner Mortgage
Lending in all 50 states
Once the first time buyer has had the opportunity to understand their financial situation and buying power, then they can get things started with their agent. All of that said, having a great agent around to answer questions an reinforce or help clarify what the lender is telling them and how that applies to the buying process can be beneficial.
RE/MAX Realty Group
That's the easy, fun part...
Much tougher to face reality; closing costs, monthly payment, qualifying range.
Definitely contact your Lender as soon as possible.
You can call your Realtor first for a good recommendation of LOCAL lenders.
I'm an EBA and I wrote a book called "Buying a Home: Don't Let Them Make a Monkey Out of You". It will be the best $6 you've ever spent.
Best of luck!
I hope this helps!
Keller WIlliams Realty - Leesburg, VA
While some may say its a waste of time and only help people who are prequalified that come through your doors our job is to help everyone customer service from beginning to end.
App Store download link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/close-it!/id647917344
I hope this helps,
Keller Williams Realty - Leesburg, VA
You are absolutely correct in all banks are not created equal. The big banks should exit the mortgage business and mortgage origination should return to the local banks. In the 80's the "Savings and loans" originated most of the mortgage loans until the "S&L" crashed due to their commercial loans crashed during the 1981 to 1984 recession.
In the 90's the FHA lending guidelines were adequate as the foreclosure rate still remained under 1.7% of origination's. There was no problem. The Fair housing Administration has been plagued by mismanagement for the last 10 years with most of it's political appointee's leaving with 42 million in compensation packages to hide the accounting nightmare's ( fraud) within the agency.
Franklin Roosevelt stared FHA in 1932 to re-finance the homes the under water (negative equity) homes during the depression. In 1946 FHA using the MIP reserves had all the loans covered.
RE/MAX Realty Group
as to how I would treat each one separately. If you are a first time homebuyer (or moderate income)
there are programs that can help you save alot of money in DC (HPAP, Property Tax Abatement etc)
and great "no pmi" programs (one area lender has a good one without a downpayment, some other
lenders have good no pmi programs with 10% down, and lender paid mortgage insurance programs.
Even though I am not a mortgage lender I do regularly study these as it will help your buyer client
save money irrespective of what they buy.
Also, the other main purpose of meeting up with a great mortgage lender is to get a fully credit
approval (much better than pre-qualification letter or pre-approval letter) as part of this process
would mean the lender would have reviewed your credit and underwritten your financial capability
so all that would be left would be for the lender to approve the property (appraisal, lender repairs etc).
With regards to meeting up with a Realtor - the absolute and only best way to do this is to meet
with a Realtor for a full buyer interview and counseling and do a "dry run over topics like agency,
contracts, types of home inspections, breakdown of settlement costs, types of approval letters
and other topics. This is time well spent and it prevents alot of misunderstandings down the road
between a buyer and their buyer agent. Another part of the buyer interview might involve going
over your needs and goals in terms of a property, amenities, schools and neighborhood.
Also, financially, buyers tend to have at least three bottom lines
1) price they are willing to pay
2) Cash to close (downpayment plus closing costs minus sellers subsidy (if agreed to)
3) monthly payment
Another valuable discussion of a buyer interview might be to reconcile these three categories.
Also, you might find it to be very interactive to spend about 15 minutes of a buyer interview
on the computer with a Realtor and see how they actually search for properties.
I sincerely hope you find this to be helpful!
Steven Figman Weichert Realtors 202-494-5902 Mobile
I would equate it to going to Nordstrom's and picking out your own clothes, or going to Nordstrom's and having a personal shopper help you find the clothes quickly and appropriately to suit the occasion. A personal shopper's advice at Nordstrom's is FREE, as is your agent's advice. Plus, they work with lenders on a daily basis and know who is good to work with - and who is not - so why not use their expertise to help you find a good lender that you will be happy with.
Wayne Johnson, Realtor
The same applies here. It's always good to know what you can afford. If you can afford a 400k condo, would you want to waste your time looking at 200k condos outside the beltway, or would you want to fall in love with places you can't afford?
Talk to a lender. A lot of Realtors have lenders in house for convenience. Tell them how much you want to spend a month. They'll run your background and tell you how much house they'll willing to back.
Then talk to a Realtor. Tell them what you're looking for and he can narrow it down. We can't really do our job without knowing how much you afford.
Also, once you decide on a price range, stick to it. Nothing makes me sadder than seeing a buyer get caught up in a feeding frenzy and spend more than they are comfortable with as a monthly payment.
To find a lender, you might start with your own bank. All the major banks have mortgage departments and those lenders can give you a good sense of what you qualify for and what your monthly payment will be. They can also give you a prequalification letter, which is very important once you find a home of your dreams. Most sellers will not consider a buyer's offer if the buyer is not well along the path of qualifying for a mortgage.
Once you have a good sense of what you qualify for, then I always tell my buyers to take a month or so to look at properties without giving their heart to any one home. You need to try on lots of properties to really understand the market and decide what features in a home are most important. Think of this as the high school phase of your dating life- lots of fun, but definitely not a time when you were ready to make a serious commitment. After a few weeks of looking around and testing the waters, then you are ready to commit to a Realtor and then a home. Make sure that when you sign that buyer agency agreement that you feel comfortable with that Realtor and that you know that your interests will be protected. Also make sure that it is easy to cancel the agreement if the relationship starts to head south.
Last of all - Happy hunting! I hope you find a great home! Let us hear back how the search goes! Good luck! Lise Howe
Haven't a clue about who a good lender might be? Find a reputable real estate agent and he or she should be able to provide good referrals.