Found My Dream Home!
Now, How Do I Pay For It?
There are few things more exciting than shopping for a new home! Notice, I said shopping. Buying and actually paying for it, well, not so much. It’s quite literally one of the largest investments you’ll make in your lifetime. Plus, it’s a long term commitment in most cases – 15, 20, or 30 years. If you’re like me, the complexity of the paperwork and the ever-changing guidelines can be daunting, if not down-right frustrating. Fear not, for it doesn’t have to be! You just need to find a thorough and trustworthy lender who can help navigate this unfamiliar process with you. I say “with you” because most do it for you. The idea of letting someone else do everything is nice, but I promise the anxiety returns at the closing table when you’re signing a stack of papers you have no idea what they mean.
So, the answer is simple, right? Just go find a top notch lender. Unfortunately, that can be easier said than done. You just need to know what to ask and what to look for. Here’s a few tips to help you shorten the list of lenders before making your final choice:
You can’t beat the word of trusted confidant. Ask your friends, your realtor, or financial advisor. They typically have your best interest in mind. CPA’s and attorneys are another great referral source.
This is a hard one because you don’t know until it’s too late, sometimes. You can, however, ask questions like, “What is your follow up process? Will we meet in person or is it all over email? Do you share your cell phone number? Do you have any testimonials?” You can also get a pretty good feel based on how they walk you through their lending process. This stuff is confusing and you should demand someone who believes in communication.
To educate, not search. There’s no need to over-educate because the right lender will thoroughly explain everything to you. However, you should familiarize yourself with items like rates, points, fees, and basic credit criteria. Know enough to probe and then pay attention to the sincerity in response.
Banks, brokers, correspondent lenders and everything in between vary in the types of products they can offer you. You want someone who’s not only creative but can actually offer multiple solutions based on your individual needs. Don’t get pigeon-holed into one of only a few limited options. Find a lender with a wide portfolio.
Make It Personal
Are you doing business with a company or an actual human? This is big! You want and deserve personal attention during this transaction. Make sure your lender is available for “last minute life”. Things happen and you want someone who cares about your situation and future goals. You may buy again and the right lender will stick with you for this and future purchases and investments.
Ultimately, doing a little homework on the front side can save you a ton of heartache in the long run. Purchasing a new home or refinancing for specific events can and should be a pleasant experience. Heck, it should be fun! Hiring the right person to manage your financials can make a world of difference. You need a partner. Best of luck and enjoy that new home!
John W. Griffin is a Loan Officer with NOLA Lending Group, A division of Fidelity Bank. NOLA Lending is the perfect blend of a nimble, boutique practice with the power and support of Fidelity Bank behind it. Communication, professionalism, and customer experience are the building blocks of Mr. Griffin’s practice.