Is getting a mortgage loan one of those things you shop around for?

Asked by Tballer22, 90603 Fri Jul 22, 2011

I have 695 credit and recently found out that I qualifty for 170k at 4.625 int. Might there be something better? I am new to shopping for a home and I see a bunch of things that of course are catchy to the eye when shopping around, and I want to know if it's a method to lure potential home buyers in. I hear stuff like LOW DOWN PAYMENT or 3.5% down etc...etc...Also if I used a certain real estate agent do I need to go through whoever they use to apply for a loan?

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Rudi Hofmann, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, El Segundo, CA
Sat Jul 23, 2011
You make the choice who does your loan. The difference between 4.500% and 4.625% on a $170,000 loan is about $3.00 a month. Find someone you like and feel you can trust. Our industry is so heavily regulated you'll find most everyone's rates and fees to be about the same.

Happy funding, Rudi
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2 votes
Ed Torrez, Agent, City of Industry, CA
Sun Jul 24, 2011

Would you buy your 1st House at an Open House? Would you buy a new Ford without checking the Chevy? Would you buy a computer from Office Depot without looking at Apple?

I believe and hope, "No" would be the answer to these questions.

As was mentioned, work with someone you like and trust who can educate you about all the complexities of purchasing real estate and financing real estate.

There is a lot to learn and you have asked several questions which require dialogue with anyone of these professionals.

Do your homework. And write down all these questions and call and continue to ask any and all questions after you walk away from your initial appointment with any of these professionals.

Do your homework and get educated!

Happy Mortgage Hunting,

Ed Torrez
The Investor's Broker
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1 vote
Lance King, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Sat Jul 23, 2011

First, I recommend you use a real estate agent/broker to help you on your purchase because they are going to know the market and help you avoid things you may not be aware of, and I wouldn't use the listing agent/broker as your rep because you want someone exclusively looking out for your interests.

You do not have to use a particular lender of your agent/broker, but usually the lenders they regularly refer people to are good because they want to refer to someone who makes them look good and takes good care of their clients. And you will likely get more VIP treatment if you come in as a referral because they know future business depends on it. We regularly work with three lenders who offers different types of programs for different types of buyers, and they take very good care of our clients.

The other thing that will serve your interests better is that a referred lender should be less likely to make you promises they can't deliver on, and there is little more annoying in the real estate world for a buyer than going through the process on a property, spending money on appraisals and inspections, etc... and then finding out you can't get a loan.

These days the best agents/brokers are a fantastic source for lenders, contractors, and other industry professionals. Take advantage.

Best Regards,

Lance King/Owner-Managing Broker
DRE# 01384425
1 vote
Shane Milne, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, South Jordan, UT
Fri Jul 22, 2011
The 3.5% down payment relates to qualifying for an FHA loan - if you have 5% or more down then in your situation conventional financing most likely is the better option, but you should be aware of what loan programs are out there so I'd recommend you speak with your loan officer who pre-approved you to go over what options there are, even if it's just to point out that the loan program you are qualifying for is better for your situation than the rest.

You shouldn't just go with the first loan officer you speak with - they may very well be the one you eventually go with but in my opinion you should explore at least 3 options, 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.

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, 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 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 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?

There are more variables to think of, some will be important to you and others will not, however I truly believe that you will have a feeling inside of you of pure comfort 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.
1 vote
Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Fri Jul 22, 2011
You choice of a Realtor is completely independent of your choice for a Lender (and the Mortgage Agent).

You should definitely look at different loans and difference loan officers.

The quotes on Loans can vary greatly; the proof of a good loan is written on a GFE (ggod Faith Estimate).

I can recommend a great loan agent; Shane Milne;
He is honest and he knows what he is doing. He's not too far from you in Orange County.

Good luck and may God bless
1 vote
Mark Velasco, Agent, Whittier, CA
Mon Apr 2, 2012
You should ALWAYS shop around for the best rates and loan costs. Here is a list of questions that might help you out:

Here are some questions to ask your loan processor:

1. What would be my fixed rate today?
2. How long would my rate be locked in?
3. What are your up front (out of pocket) loan fees?
4. How many loans have you closed in the past year?
5. Could you give me a list of references/recommendations?
6. What is the best part of your service?
7. What could you improve on?
0 votes
Kawain Payne, Agent, Seal Beach, CA
Wed Mar 28, 2012
Do not shop around too much. Each time your credit is ran your score can go down a few points.

If you consult at least two MAJOR lenders you should be ok.

Best of Luck to you!

Kawain Payne, Realtor
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0 votes
Donne Knudsen, , Simi Valley, CA
Sat Jul 23, 2011
Without knowing all the details of your financial and personal situation, it's hard to know whether or not you would qualify for a different loan or better rate. There are other affordable home loan options besides FHA. Once again, without knowing more about you, it's hard to tell if you may qualify for some down payment assistance available to low-medium income first time buyers.

There are also loans for special types of REO's that also only require 3% down and right now, there is a special incentive that if you close by the end of September, you can get a 3.5% seller credit. As others have suggested, you need to really talk to a few different referrals for lenders and/or MLO's. As your friends and relatives if they know lenders or MLO's that they would recommend. For those of us who are good at what we do and who treat our clients well, our friends, relatives and past clients have no problem referring us to those they know.
0 votes
Steven Lazer…, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Diamond Bar, CA
Sat Jul 23, 2011
As a real estate broker and lender for over 20 years I see many of the different offers out there. Some are valid and others I consider simply bait and switch where one loan is proposed that is too good to be true in order to lure you into a secondary loan which is not as good as the first one. In today's market the realtor may try to steer you into using their "in house lender". This is simply a lender that works for the broker of the real estate agency. There is nothing illegal about this as long as it is disclosed up front to you. You are under no obligation to use this lender. Be careful about an agent who tries too hard to get you to use a particular lender or tells you that you cannot purchase the home if you do not use that person. The agent may be getting a referral fee from that lender for referring them to you which in all cases is illegal.

The 3.5% down payment loan is a valid loan under the FHA. The rates on FHA loans are very competitive right now. If the home is a foreclosure where the loan is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac and the house is in need of some repair, these two agencies of the government will allow a low down payment loan similar to the FHA in many cases. E-mail me for further details at:
0 votes
Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Fri Jul 22, 2011
you may understand why I would recommend Shane.
0 votes
Melissa Krch…, , Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Fri Jul 22, 2011
If you're using a direct lender, they're usually offering you a great deal. Should you ask around to see if their numbers seem realistic and normal? Yes. Don't go for the lowest thing if it's the lowest by a lot because that usually means they aren't giving you real numbers. FHA is a type of loan that only requires 3.5% down. You don't have to work with anyone you don't want to (no matter what the agent says). I happen to have some guys that are really great so I reccomend them to all my clients. I think it's a matter of personality and who you like as most numbers are going to be quite similar. I've attached a list of all the people I work with and you can find 3 guys under the title "Lender". Any of them would be great for a 2nd opinion.
0 votes
John Arendsen, Agent, Leucadia, CA
Fri Jul 22, 2011
What are you waiting for?.......................................August 2nd? That's not a bad deal. Don't kick a gift horse in the teeth for crying out loud. Pull the trigger. In the overall scheme of things if you're looking for a home to live in for awhile you can't beat this deal.

But, on the other hand, if you're a sophisticated investor looking for a good deal on a buy and hold you wouldn't even be asking this question. I say go for it. Interest rates have never been this low and after we get through screwing things up in DC come 8/2/11 they may never be this low again in your lifetime.
0 votes
Natalie Romo, Agent, South Whittier, CA
Fri Jul 22, 2011
Hi there! If you are in doubt and not happy with the results of your prequalification, definitely get a comparison. Sounds like you have a lot of questions. You do not have to use your Real estate agent's lender, you have the right to chose whom you work with. It is your right to get the best deal possible when shopping for this major purchase. There are some programs out there for that may fit your needs better than what you have been offered.
whittiier agent
0 votes
Caroline Choi, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Fri Jul 22, 2011
You do not have to use your agent's lender -- it's your choice since you're basically hiring them to do the loan for you. You should absolutely shop around for a mortgage -- different lenders can offer you different loan products, and there might be a loan that's more right for you that not all the lenders can offer. Talk to a few different lenders, maybe a mix of direct lenders and mortgage brokers and see where the chips lie. Once you have more information, I'm sure you'll be able to pick out which is the best option for you. Good luck!
0 votes
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