When buying in Florida from another state, should we try to get a mortgage from a nation-wide bank, like Wells Fargo or use a local bank?

Asked by Ddms, Port Charlotte, FL Thu Aug 25, 2011

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Shane Milne, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, South Jordan, UT
Thu Aug 25, 2011
Since it sounds like you are planning on using financing, you'd want to first seek out a loan officer/mortgage broker/lender to work with, find out how much the payment is/money you'd need, the entire process from A-Z, etc. You can speak with & get pre-approved by many (do all of your "app"ing within 30 days for the sake of your credit score) but when it comes down to making your offer you want to have 1 particular loan officer in mind because you don't want to dilly daddle after your offer has been accepted.

How do you find that loan officer? That is tough, as I've read here at Trulia and everywhere else, a lot of people have problems qualifying for the loan after they've been pre-approved, or just are generally confused about the process, even at the closing table (real estate agents & loan officers at fault).

I suggest explore at least 3 options, and preferably at least 1 mortgage broker, 1 mortgage loan officer who works for a bank, and also one that would work at a smaller direct mortgage lender (not a broker, and not a bank, just a mortgage lender who arranges loans and sells them afterwards - usually to the banks)... it wouldn't be a bad idea if you had the time to interview up to 6. That way you can get a feel for how each does business, because not every mortgage broker is the same as another mortgage broker, etc.

You'll want to ask what the pre-approval process entails and how long it takes. Will the underwriter who will be allowing your loan to close be the person reviewing your file as part of that process? Will it just be the loan officer reviewing your information? Will they even ask you for documentation?

You'll also want to ask what types of programs they offer, and once your documentation has been thoroughly examined you'd want to get what options would then apply to you, as well as ask what your loan officer thinks would be the best loan program for your situation. Ask about the other program that would be 2nd best (as if the first one didn't exist), so you can realize why the loan you are being suggested would be the best.

You'll want to ask what type of fees & costs you could expect to incur along the way (credit report, earnest money deposit, home inspection, appraisal fee, lender & 3rd party closing costs, etc.), how much those costs are estimated to be, and when they are expected to be paid (at the time the service is performed, at closing, etc). You'll want to ask how much of a down payment you'll need, and if you have to provide it or if a family member or relative can gift it to you. You'll want to know how much extra money you would need to have beyond those costs & down payment, which are called "reserves" (ie. 2 months of reserves = 2 times your proposed housing payment), some programs don't need them but a lot do. You should also consider yourself how much you want to have on hand after you close on the home, it will vary depending on your comfort level but personally I feel at least 6 times the proposed housing payment is a safe plan.

You'll also want to ask what type of loan terms can they offer you if you were to lock in your interest rate today (you should ask all lenders you are considering this question on the same day so you can have an exact comparison, as interest rates fluctuate day-to-date and even can be intraday).

You should also ask when & how they will be available - are you someone who likes to discuss things after the normal work hours on the phone? In person on a Saturday? Through email? Someone where or not where you live?

There are more variables to think of, some will have greater importance to you and others will not, however I truly believe that you will have a feeling of pure comfort inside of you when you have found the loan officer who will be the perfect fit. You will leave the conversation having a full understanding of the road ahead and what is expected of you, as well as you'll feel the loan officer has left no stone unturned when going over your situation, listening to and addressing your needs.

Shane Milne | Loan Officer in Orange County, CA | NMLS #81195
Direct local #'s: 949-273-4161 or 646-257-4842
Lending in all 50 states, all types of mortgages
1 vote
Ddms, Home Buyer, Port Charlotte, FL
Thu Aug 25, 2011
Thank you all very much for your help in answering my questions. I will use your advice on my home buying journey and may even contact you again!!
0 votes
Beate Rodrig…, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Sunrise, FL
Thu Aug 25, 2011

....Shane said it all!!!!

I work with a direct lender (wholesale) local here in Florida and understand that everyone cannot communicate with their Mortgage Loan Originator during normal 9 to 5 hours, so I make myself available during evenings and on weekends, when necessary.

Please feel free to contact me at your earliest convenience , if I can be of any further assistance.

Best Regards,
Beate Rodriguez
Lic. Loan Originator
0 votes
Robbie Sifrit, Agent, Punta Gorda, FL
Thu Aug 25, 2011
I always recommend my customers use a local lender. They know the laws, customs, and nuances of the local market. A reputable mortgage broker can be invaluable in putting you in a mortgage that best suits your needs. I had a situation one time. I had the listing (seller) and the buyer's agent advised that her buyer was denied a loan after having a preapproval from the bank. I got the buyer with a local mortgage broker who got buyer a loan and we closed 2 weeks later. The local "national" bank put buyer in a loan that didn't meet the buyer's needs or her financial profile. So who you choose for your lender can sometimes make or break the deal.

It is important to have your financing lined out before you start shopping for a home so you know your price range and can provide a pre-approval letter with your offer.

Call me if you would like more information on this. I can guide you through the process.

Linda Atkinson, PA, ABR, GRI
Re/Max Anchor of Marina Park
Punta Gorda, FL
0 votes
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Thu Aug 25, 2011

Use the bank with which you are comfortable, hopefully one with a great rate. Today's real estate closing are made easy by technology. Wire transfers are common occurances and easily handled. Don't let your out of state status interfere with your transaction.

It is however, important that you use a title company or attorney for your closing that is from Florida and is familiar with the Florida process.

In the event you are financing and making an offer on a "foreclosed" property, consider giving me a call for some important information that you may find helpful.

Good luck,


0 votes
Nancy Doyle, Agent, Cape Coral, FL
Thu Aug 25, 2011
I have always found that using a local lender works the best.

Have a great day,
0 votes
Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Thu Aug 25, 2011
It may be better if you could use a national lender that has offers in yoru area you can meet with but complete the loan in Florida. If not ask the listing agent for a referral of who is a good loan officer in teh area of Florida the home is located. They often will take better care if you are referred by a local Realtor.
Web Reference:  http://www.ScottSellsNH.com
0 votes
Steve Vinson, , Florida
Thu Aug 25, 2011
You can do it from the comfort of your own home in your skivies if you like. We routinely handle paperwork via email, and fax, and if you so choose, can have the closing docs sent to a notary in your current state. I've had borrowers come in put a house under contract go home and start doing the mortgage process from their home state then fly in for the walk through and closing, then move 2 weeks after.
0 votes
Tammy Hayes, Agent, Port Charlotte, FL
Thu Aug 25, 2011
I would highly recommend using a local lender in the Port Charlotte area. It makes the entire process go much smoother. Many of my buyers that have used out of state lenders have run into problems. I would be happy to send you a list of recommended lenders that we have had success with.

Tammy Hayes, Realtor
Green Lion Realty
0 votes
Kevin Clouti…, Agent, Cape Coral, FL
Thu Aug 25, 2011
It really comes down to who you feel comfortable with. Personally, I would refer you to a local lender because they all offer the same programs and to be honest, the big lenders are not doing anybody any favors at this time.

If you need an agent to represent you, feel free to contact me directly.



Kevin Cloutiet
Southern Premier Realty
Web Reference:  http://Www.kevincloutier.com
0 votes
Danielle Sha…, Agent, Cape Coral, FL
Thu Aug 25, 2011
It's beneficial to use a local loan officer, regardless of whether or not the bank is large or small. As a buyer broker I find it incredibly frustrating for both myself and the buyer when dealing with a loan officer that does not know or work in my market place. There can be numerous delays if they do not know who to contact locally - i.e., surveyors, pest control etc.

Talk to your agent and see who they recommend.
Web Reference:  http://www.mysharphomes.com
0 votes
Ron Beebe, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Downingtown, PA
Thu Aug 25, 2011
Wells Fargo has offices in MANY towns/cities in Florida, and by using a Wells Fargo mortgage consultant closest to the town you are BUYING IN, you will have them there with you at closing. It is highly recommended by all Realtors that you do business with someone that will be in attendance at closing. Of course, there may be other banks that have branches in FL, I was only using WF as an example.
0 votes
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