Mortgage rates shopping

Asked by P R Ranjit, Brandon, FL Fri Feb 6, 2009

How to shop for a mortgage?Other than going to and getting some fictitious numbers, whts the best way to shop for mortgages?

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Paula Bean, , Orlando, FL
Sat Feb 7, 2009
I agree with not letting a lot of people pull your credit. You can get a free credit report yourself from the 3 major reporting agencies, but there is a small charge for the fico score. With this knowledge you can shop lenders, but without a professional who can interpret the Good Faith Estimates, it will still be difficult for you to do this yourself.

btw - just a note: Once you fill out an application, you don't need to request a good faith estimate. By law you have to have one within 3 business days, but I would get one asap for comparison issues.

If you run an analysis of 3 different GFE's (good faith estimates) you'll see that sometimes the lowest interest rate is not really the best deal due to garbage fees. Additionally the GFE has to quote the APR (Annual Percentage Rate) which is supposed to factor in all the fees, BUT everyone has a different method for doing this to make their program look the best.

Find an experienced agent you and let them guide you through this difficult choice. They know the market, they know the good lenders from the bad and since they won't get paid if your loan doesn't close, they will not recommend a lender who waits til just before closing to inform you that they can't do the loan.
1 vote
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Sat Feb 7, 2009

Lynn makes an excellent point about not allowing these agencies to pull you credit score because of the potential for lowering it.

Our recommendation is to shop first...collect information on programs and rates before considering approval. Once you have found what you believe is the best rate and program for your specific needs then go for pre-approval.

Remember to request a "good faith estimate" which is documentation of the program and rates quoted by the agent.

Good luck
1 vote
Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Sat Feb 7, 2009
Dont allow mortgage broker pull your credit scores, it will be lowered approx. 5 - 10 points per pull.

IF YOU KNOW your credit scores speak in general terms with potential lenders, request for a GFE good faith estimate compare "apples to apples" many lenders could have hidden fees, high closing costs and etc. Appears as an awesome deal at 1st till you see bottom line perhaps other lender was less expensive.
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1 vote
Debbi Tinker, Agent, Brandon, FL
Sat Feb 7, 2009
The answer is by working with a professional. We know several local lenders (Regions, Bank of America, M&I Bank, etc) in the area that are very competitive. They are ALL required to provide you with a good faith estimate which makes it very easy to compare fees. There are no financial incentives to us, so it doesn't matter which lender you use but we like to always have the contacts to provide extra service to our customers. If you would like these names, please just send us an email.

Also,don't know if you have heard yet but congress is considering a new tax credit. It would provide a $15,000 (or 10% of purchase price) that consumers can use as a credit on their tax returns over two years. This new bill would do away with the previous $7500 credit and the big difference is that it would not have to be paid back. It was passed by the Senate Wednesday and just waiting for a vote in the House. We can keep you posted on that as well.

If you are not already working with a realtor, we would be happy to assist you. We have both lived in the Brandon area for MANY years. Feel free to visit our website for additional resources.

Debbi Tinker & Lynn Seevers
The ACE Team - Keller Williams
1 vote
Paula Bean, , Orlando, FL
Fri Feb 6, 2009
btw - noticed after the fact that you are in Brandon, FL. I know of an excellent and honest mortgage professional there that I could give you the number to, and I also know several very experienced real estate agents.

If you are interested in getting these recommendations, let me know by emailing me at and I'll be happy to give you their info and my hearty endorsement of 30 years working in this industry. After this long, you know who is good and who is not, but you need to have someone help you with what you are trying to do.

If you are one of those people (like me) who still want to be a control freak and research til your ears fall off, I can refer you to a million sites that will put you to sleep at night ;-) but need a real, live, honest, experienced person to help you.
0 votes
Paula Bean, , Orlando, FL
Fri Feb 6, 2009
Unless you are in the financial, real estate or mortgage industry there is no way you can shop for the best mortgate for yourself, you need a professional to help.

Rates change 3 times a day, based on what happens in the market.
Mortgage bankers, mortgage brokers or end lenders? who charges upfront fees to get the lowest rates?

I could give you a number of sites to look at, but as I said, unless you have more expertise in the area you will not make a good decision and you need to rely on a professional for guidance. If you are going to buy a house, find a good agent who has knowledge of finance and connections to good lenders who can help you.

Trying to learn this on your own is like trying to get an MBA in a week - it is not going to happen.

Hope this helps!
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