Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Local lenders - of thee I sing

Here's the average amount of paperwork generated for a mortgage loan

We're fortunate to live in Southern California, where many local mortgage lenders and brokers are pretty excellent, even the ones with large institutions like Wells Fargo, City National, and BofA.  I was reminded of this recently when a closing with an out-of-state lender went off the rails.

Why are out-of-the-area lenders problematic? Because they, and their staff, really have no skin in the game.  They don't know you, they are not working for your referrals or business, and they often just hand your loan application off to processors that are even farther away.  Here's what you want to look for in a local lender, aside from great rates and great closing costs.
- They promptly return your calls.
- Their staff (who will be touching your file a lot) are people that they supervise.
- Their staff doesn't ask you over and over to provide the same documentation.  Sure, mistakes get made and paperwork gets lost, but if this happens a lot it's a bad sign.
- They are proactive and answer your questions even before you may know that you have them.
- They oversee everything, right up to the minute of closing, even when the file has been passed on to processors.
- They are capable of meeting the several deadlines and timetables that happen during a home sale.

What's the best way to find a good local lender? You don't have to walk in to a bank, just ask your Realtor, friends and family for recommendations (or horror stories).  In one phone call, you'll be able to tell if your lender is heads-up, creative, and the right person for this huge financial purchase.

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