Here's a good rule of thumb--walk into a local large bank and check their rate boards. Next, go to bankrate.com and check the national rate on a 30 year fixed. Now you will have a good feel for what is fair. Now start looking for a loan originator with a good reputation. Yelp is a good place to start. Call a few and see how they compare to the national rate, and to each other. Now you are making an informed decision. You will find that the independent mortgage broker (that works on the wholesale side) will always beat the national average rate, and will be far more experienced than individuals working at a local bank.
You wouldn't hire the lowest priced cardiologist if you needed surgery--the same applies to what will likely be the largest financial transaction you will ever make. Find a seasoned professional...
Low rates are great, but working with a trusted 'local' mortgage professional is best. Rates that are so low, may be too good to be true. Online lenders may have low rates, but lack accountability. I am local to Petaluma, and not only am I accountable to you, but to the local Real Estate Agent you work with as I am always looking for future referrals and must do a good job.
By putting down 20% there will be no need for PMI, unless you are in an FHA loan.
Pinnacle Capital Mortgage
I saw this question and your other question and wanted to address both. I am both a Realtor and Mortgage broker - a kind of hybrid if you will, and a one stop place to help people with real estate.
On your question about safe places, there are a lot of areas that are great in San Diego. Each has its own unique appeal and you really need to come down to visit and get a feel for the different communities to help you zero in on an area. I nor any real estate agent can tell you where you should live - only you know you and what you like. We can help you find it and give access to various options and provide ideas and thoughts, but what an agent prefers may not be the same as what you prefer and it is wrong for any agent to impose their preferences on buyers like that.
As far as lending... its a game of smoke and mirrors. The trick is to find someone you can trust. There is no guaranteed way to do that.
What I can tell you is that because I can help you in both purchase and lending, I can also help cover costs that others will not cover, saving you money. I want the best for my clients and do everything I can to get them the absolute lowest rates i can.
I am not interested in selling property or mortgage products. My interest is that of a consultant or advocate who gets you to exactly the answers to the questions you are asking...which means I tell you like it is and provide you with a wide array of ideas, insights and options so that you can make informed decisions on what is best for you. In the end, your best interest is what is most important.
If you are serious about coming to San Diego, I encourage you to call or email and I can provide more specific information and assistance. You have a lot to gain and nothing to lose by calling. I am happy to tell you if I can beat your lender's rate, which I expect I can, because I always do.
DRE 01775528 l NMLS 980076
Even if you're working with someone already, please feel free to join our next (free) homebuyer webinar on May 7th. I do cover a lot about how to get the best rate and terms and I also address the options for less than 20% down. The whole thing takes just a half hour and I promise there is no sales bias.
Contrary to what some comments might suggest, you have to go through the whole process of choosing the best fit for you. Nobody can save you from it. And there's no magic pill either. Just because someone works for a big bank or small broker doesn't make them better than the opposite. And just because someone is local doesn't mean he/she is going to get you a great rate and speak your language. But can you get everything you need if you ask the right questions and do your research? Absolutely yes. And you should make that effort.
I hope to help in that regard.
Agents typically have their "go to" Lenders which will be a safe bet; however, you should still understand the process.
To this last point, here's are a few links to help you understand the process and how rates are determined:
"Retail Banks vs. Mortgage Broker/Bankers" http://tinyurl.com/6qln6nd
Over the years we have dealt with tons of lender reps and mortgage brokers, and we don't use one twice unless they are the best. We have fine tuned our list to three and refer all our clients to them. This saves them the hassle of trying to figure out who to use and assures them they'll get the VIP treatment because we send so much business their way.
Lance R. King
King Realty Group