If I have a "great" credit score and need a $1MM, 30yr fixed loan (with > 20% down) - who should I go to?

Asked by SF_Buyer, 94019 Sun Jul 29, 2007

To get the best rates. thanks.

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


Rob Regan, , San Francisco, CA
Fri Nov 23, 2007
I recently reviewed the book "Mortgage Ripoffs and Money Savers" (see reference link) which I can't say enough about in it's quidance for finding the best lender and best loan. She recommends contacting 2 Brokers and 1 bank and provides simple questions that shows them you know what you're talking about, and allows you to compare apples to apples to choose the best loan AND avoid over paying in fees and commissions. Several answers here gave recommendations, so choose from them, or get your own personal referrals. With 20% down and a "great" credit score (great is mid 700's or higher) lenders should be thrilled to work with you. And using the advice of the book, you'll be in the drivers seat.
3 votes
Mikhail Shto…, , San Francisco, CA
Sun Jul 29, 2007
before you accept anything double check on http://www.bankrate.com They provide a very good snapshot of available rates on the market.
Web Reference:  http://www.bankrate.com
3 votes
California M…, Agent, Oceanside, CA
Mon Jul 30, 2007
At the risk of sounding self-gratuitous, how aboot that me?
Web Reference:  http://delmar.typepad.com/
2 votes
Diane Glander, Agent, Spring Lake, NJ
Sun Jul 29, 2007
I would recommend that you go to at least 3 lenders and see who will give you the best deal. As a Realtor I recommend Chase, Wells Fargo, and Wachovia. The reps from those companies do the best job for my clients in NJ. As with real estate, it's not necessarily the company, but how hard the agents/reps will work for you.
Just be sure you get the full picture regarding not only the rates, but the fees associated with each loan.
Web Reference:  http://www.dianeglander.com
2 votes
Jed Lane, Agent, Petaluma, CA
Mon Aug 27, 2007
During this run on the Wall street mortgage lenders I am telling my clients to "double app". Work with a mortgage broker that has a proven record of getting the job done, my favorite is Asling Ferguson of Guarantee Motgage, and a major bank like B of A, Citi or Wells Fargo.
1 vote
Adam DaHill, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, New York, NY
Tue Aug 21, 2007
Referrals are a good place to start.

Some people on this thread said to check Bankrate.com. I would not take anything at face value from bankrate. They are being sued left and right by mortgage companies currently. They sell their advertising to lenders/brokers who have no obligation to deliver the rate they are advertising. If it looks too good to be true then it usually is. Try googling it and you will see what I mean.

I'm a boutique banker/direct lender and I sell all the big bank's products.
1 vote
Deborah Madey, Agent, Brick, NJ
Tue Jul 31, 2007
When it comes to loans, work via personal referral. Ask closing and settlement agents or Realtors who has a good reputation of getting to closing smoothly.
1 vote
Bruce Lynn, Agent, Coppell, TX
Mon Jul 30, 2007
On the West Coast you should try directly with Wells, BofA, and WaMu. Sounds like you have a pretty straight forward situation and they should offer you pretty good rates and low fees. In cases such as yours I tend to stay away from brokers as what I see is that it adds one more step to the process and also a fee. If you want a direct common sense lender you might try David Spaans at Guardian Mortguage 214-244-5054. I don't like bankrate.com, just too many people quoting rates they can't complete. The only online mortgage lender I've seen work well is quicken loans.
Web Reference:  http://www.teamlynn.com
1 vote
Scott Jower, , San Mateo, CA
Sun Jul 29, 2007
I would focus my search on individuals you know, trust, and respect and ask for a referral. Chances are you will end up with a top producer. Real Estate agents are told by their broker not to steer clients to certain 3rd party vendor/provider but to provide clients with 3 names to choose from; out to the 3 names provided only one is the true favorite of the referring source. When your reputation and creditability is on the line with a close friend or family member, are you going to give names to choose from or give the name of the person you know who will take good care of this individual and can perform? Start your search with someone your trust and respect.

Direct Lender (e.g., BofA, WAMU, Wells) versus Mortgage Brokers
If your financial situation is “Vanilla” that is,
- 2years history of employment,
- 2 years history of paying rent,
- Seasoned down payment and 4-6 months reserves in addition to down payment,
- Debt-to-income ratio
1 vote
Michelle Car…, Agent, Coppertino, AL
Sun Jul 29, 2007
Check with friends, colleagues and REALTORS who have bought/sold/marketed properties like yours (generally considered "luxury" for $1M+ loans) and ask who they use (and who they would NOT use). Abdi Ghavi at WaMu specializes in these types of loans and has a whole team who help him. He's always in the Top 10 of WaMu loan agents nationwide; I use him for all of my personal loans as well. His # is 408.423.5331, just let him know Michelle Carr referred you. (No, I don't get any referral fee, just the satisfaction of knowing I set someone in the right direction). Also, he has closed loans for my clients in as little as 7 days, so if you're competing with others, he's great.
1 vote
Mario Pinedo,…, Agent, Cupertino, CA
Sun Jul 29, 2007
It is also wise to consider than different loan reps in the same bank will get better rates than the bank's guidelines. A top producing loan agent can get loans at preferred rates because of their influence over underwriters. A new loan agent at the same bank will not. If you want someone to talk to in the Bay Area, drop me an email.
1 vote
The Hagley G…, Agent, Pleasanton, CA
Sun Jul 29, 2007
Talk to at least three different lenders or mortgage brokers. Ask friends - or a Realtor - for a referral. A good place to start may be your local bank.
Web Reference:  http://www.cindihagley.com
1 vote
Sara, Home Buyer, Los Gatos, CA
Wed May 14, 2008
JPMorgan Chase does an excellent job in delivering high end exceptional customer service. One of the most competitive lenders. Not to mention the diverse products they have. They have the ability to use direct Chase money or broker out to other lenders. I personally worked with Good Carma which you can locate at GoodCarmaHomeLoans.com.
0 votes
Carrie, Both Buyer And Seller, Say Cheese!
Sat Nov 24, 2007
One thing I have noticed about brokers is that they charge sometimes very large fees for finding you a loan at a major bank. I no longer use them, since the time I spend with a large bank is about the same or less. Unless you are a rock star, brokers are not worth the time savings.
0 votes
Steve Larson, Agent, San Jose, CA
Fri Sep 28, 2007
You need a respected mortgage broker who will not just give you a low quote then bait & switch. These programs today are volatile and internet quotes have no guarantee. Sadly, those often ONLY looking for the lowest rate, find that they have overlooked more important questions. I'm happy to discuss all your options and provide an accurate based quote. References are available.
Web Reference:  http://www.SLarson.com
0 votes
Sylvia Barry,…, Agent, Marin, CA
Thu Sep 6, 2007
I also suggest to get several referrals from your friends/Realtor to work with; and you do want to watch out for the online advertising. Not too long ago, out of curiosity, I filled out a few online forms with the ones that advertise the 'lowest' rates just to see what I could get. Everyone came back with rates way different from what was advertised. So, buyers be careful.

Others have given you quite a few names, so I won't go there.

My company, Frank Howard Allen Realtors, is affiliated with North Coast Mortgage and they have a mortgage broker located in my office - No, we are not required to use them and we don't get any referral fee from the either - but the broker would be at our weekly meeting to give us her outlook on the lending industry. Due to Marin's housing price, they do a lot of jumbo loans.

Anyway, the mortgage broker at my office brought up a strategy to split the jumbo loan which is interesting. Because of the increase in jumbo rate, she suggested that our clients might want to think about getting a 1st loan just under the limit of the conforming loan, which has lower rate now, and then a 2nd 7 year fix loan for the remainder, minus the down.

Just something to think about when you shop around.

Sylvia . .
0 votes
Yvonne Jaram…, Agent, Honolulu, HI
Fri Aug 24, 2007
There are many good lenders, but many bad, so watch out for bait and switch, this has happend to me twice - get your rate locked in, in writing, before you are in a time crunch to buy.
0 votes
Jim Walker, Agent, Carmichael, CA
Tue Aug 21, 2007
You have gotten a lot of solicitations, referrals, and suggestions from poster so I'll not suggest a specific bank or LO.
One thing you need to be able to do is to compare apples to apples.
The best rate may the worst deal. How could that be, you ask. - (Or it could be the best deal)
1. What are the closing costs involved with just the loans. Remember Title insurance, and transfer tax are going to be pretty much the same across all lenders as they have nothing to do with charging or earning those fees, but they still have to estimate them to you. - So just loan fees okay - compare them.
2. Prepayment penalty or no ? Don't assume that it is neccesarily a bad thing. If you are 95 tp 99% sure that you will not need to sell or refinance in the next three years, a prepayment penalty may allow you tosave on some upfront loan fees.
3. Length of fixed period , As a rule the longer the fixed period, the higher the rate, 30 year fixed are usually the highest rates. If you can plan ahead with some certainty, you may be better off with a ten year a five year, or even a three year fixed period. . .. If the rate is sufficiently lower for the shorter periods to make a serious difference.
4. Fully amortized, interest only, and "pay option". -- Rates are slightly better for amortized than they are for interest only. Rates are often worse for some of the "pay option" type loans, which have the negative amortization option.
5. Down Payment 20% is good, You may receive a slightly lower rate on a Jumbo if you can swing 25% down.
6. Loan size: some programs are bracketed, say $417-750 is at the best possible rate and $750K -1MM is a tiny bit worse. I liked Aaron's caution about the possible difference between a $999,999 loan and a 1MM loan requiring a review appraiser and its fee.
0 votes
Aaron Wheeler, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Tue Jul 31, 2007
The market is changing - a great credit score to one lender may not be as great to another lender. Sometimes there can be a slight pricing differential depending upon which "band" your score falls in.

You did not mention if you are able to fully document your income and assets. Special situations such as stated income, no ratio verification, or no income/asset verification can change the pricing model.

Also, the difference between $999,999 and $1 million may be the difference between having to get a "review appraisal" or not - an additional expense.

It can be useful to work with a mortgage banker or broker that specializes in the luxury market as they know all of the subtle nuances that can help minimize your rates and fees.

[This is my area of expertise, so I would be happy to be of assistance. :) ]
0 votes
Search Advice
Ask our community a question

Email me when…

Learn more