How do I find a respectable mortgage broker for first time home buyers? I do not know where to to begin.

Asked by Mia E. M. Hall, 33023 Wed Oct 29, 2008

I was told that i need an approval letter before I speak to a realtor but I have already been looking for homes. I found several that I liked but do not know what I am approved for.

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Angela Schra…, Agent, Pembroke Pines, FL
Wed Oct 29, 2008
Hi Mia: As a Realtor who works with lots of first time homebuyers, I have experience with mortgage brokers good and bad. We aren't able to recommend mortgage brokers due to the liability issue, however, I would certainly be happy to give you the names of a couple that we've had good experience with. I would also recommend you compare their offerings to that of your own banking institution.

This isn't anywhere near as scary as it sounds and if you're working with a good mortgage broker and a good Realtor that you like and feel comfortable with, you'll be just fine.

If I can help in any way, don't hesitate to contact me - I'd love to work with you.

Best of luck - there are some amazing deals out there for you!

Villa G Realty, Inc. 954-816-7996
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1 vote
Leslie Harber, , Fort Lauderdale, FL
Mon Jul 27, 2009
The best way to check for a Mortgage , would be to compare three Good Faith Estimates. call me and I will be happy to per-qualify you and give you a Good Faith Estimate. FREE We are a Wholesale lender and I can offer better loan program then the banks can.

Leslie Harber
Transcontinental Lending Group
0 votes
Ralph Acosta, Agent, Aventura, FL
Mon Jul 27, 2009

Please come to my website, read my bio, and call me if you have any questions. I'd be more than happy to assist you.
0 votes
Jeff Holloway, Agent, Sebastian, FL
Thu Jul 16, 2009
Buyer BEWARE!!! There are alot of mortgage brokers that make alot of promises, but can't deliver. On the other hand, there a some GREAT lenders out there. Do your homework. Do they return ALL your calls promptly? Are they willing to come to you? How long have they been a broker? Check them out on-line. Cehck them out with the Department of Real Estate. Most friends or family may have only gotten a loan every now and then...but not like a GREAT agent who works with a fine lender. GREAT lenders are worth there weight in GOLD!
0 votes
, ,
Thu Jul 9, 2009
The key word you mentioned is "respectable". I would recommend polling your friends, family, and co-workers to see who they worked with and how their experience went. Get two or three referrals of loan officers who took really good care of them. Because at the end of the day, it's your overall home buying experience that counts. The lowest rate in the world won't make up for a miserable experience and there is a lot to be said for dealing with a known commodity. The proof is in the puddin' as they say
0 votes
Leslie Harber, Home Buyer, Dania Beach, FL
Thu Jul 9, 2009
Hi Mia, I'm a Mortgage Planner in Florida. I do Free Pre-Approvals you can contact me any time I'm happy to help you.
0 votes
Neville Batl…, , San Mateo, CA
Wed Oct 29, 2008
You have a few choices. Find a Realtor that you like and ask them to recommend a good mortgage broker. Go to a local bank or to some of the big banks like B of A or WFB. Ask friends. Be very careful with going on the internet and not being able to meet and develop a relationship with a broker before using them. Best
0 votes
Louise Warri…, , Lake Mary, FL
Wed Oct 29, 2008
Hi Mia -- It is very important that you shop around for a mortgage. Get Good Faith Estimates (GFE) from several lenders so that you can be sure that you are getting the best terms and a good rate. Unfortunately, there is still no uniformity between the GFE's so you really have to do a bit of work when you compare them. Some lenders add a lot of "junk fees" to their closing charges which causes you to bring more money to closing (and drives up the annual percentage rate when calculated over the life of the loan). Be sure you look at more than the rate. --and read the fine print of the GFE: If it says that "there may be other charges not disclosed herein," or something similar, make sure that you ask them to put in writing ALL of the charges to get the loan they are quoting you. Only when you know all of the charges and the interest rate, can you compare one lender to another.

Best of luck. I do invite you to contact Coldwell Banker Home Loans for a free quote and good faith estimate. It's always good to start your home search with a pre-approval letter in hand. That way you know in advance what your monthly payment will look like, etc., and what price range you feel comfortable with.

Best of luck. Happy House Hunting.


Louise Warring
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate
0 votes
Carla Rocha, Agent, Miramar, FL
Wed Oct 29, 2008
Hi Mia,

You should get approved prior to look into properties to find out how much a bank will approve you for, and what a property will cost you on a monthly basis. A lender should provide with along with the approval letter a good faith estimate which will tell you what your closing costs and monthly payments will be in a transaction. Your monthly payments will be a combination of your mortgage, property taxes, insurance and maintenance fee. So, before you decide on a property, you need to decide what amount you will be comfortable with and then start looking at properties. So, it is not that you need an approval letter to speak to a realtor, you need it to be able to make a decision as to how much you should spend on a property.

When you are looking into buying any product the old rule of checking with 3 sources aplies to the mortgage industry also. The best way to contract a service is always by referrals. Do you know anyone who has purchased a property lately? This would be a great source for you. What about your bank? Why don't you contact their loan department? If you are going to check your options, please note the best way to do it is to check them all (3) is in a period of 30 days; because it is within the same industry it will count only once on your credit report.

We are very experienced working with first-time buyers and would love to help you throughout the process: financing, inpections, title work and closing. Please contact us and we will be glad to meet with you to go over the buying process and to how we work and can help you.

Good luck to you,
Carla Rocha
0 votes
Jose Castillo…, Agent, Hollywood, FL
Wed Oct 29, 2008
Hi Mia
Angela is correct we as Realtor's we should not recommend mortgae brokers but as with Angela i have had some good experiences with several and can give you those names they are in the fort lauderdale area.
if you would like their information please email me at and i will provide those to you.

Best of Luck with your new home purchase.
Coral Shores Realty
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0 votes
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