Any realtor will tell you that one of the first steps to buying a house is to get pre-approved for the loan. This single action will help to determine which houses fit your budget, and which ones are a too expensive. Since there are so many options out there for mortgages, how does one go about choosing the best mortgage company? Choosing the right company depends a little on your own financial needs, and a lot on what kind of service you are looking for.
The very first step is to decide if you want to use a mortgage broker or a mortgage lender. Each one has its advantages, and each one will serve clients differently. Neither is better than the other, it just depends on your personal situation as to which one you want to work with.
Shop by Rates
On the right hand side of nearly all the Primerates pages is a local interest rate search feature. Simply put in your zip code, and the site will do all the hard work of tracking down the companies nearest to you that offer the best rates. From there it is just a matter of setting up a meeting, getting a quote, and seeing what they have to offer. The downside, is that the search is not exhaustive, and there may be a company that offers a better rate.
Shop by Ratings
As with any business there are lenders and brokers that are great at their jobs, and some that are lousy. Before committing to go with any company it is always best to read third party reviews and get other peoples’ opinions on whom to deal with. This can save many headaches by not having to deal with lousy customer service.
Shop by Recommendations
The best advertising for any business is word of mouth. Start with your realtor and see who he or she would recommend to initiate the loan. Then ask friends how their experiences with various lenders have been. Some will give glowing recommendations, others will tell you to stay away from the company they deal with. Combined with the other methods listed above should narrow down the choices nicely.
There is no single best mortgage company. Some will specialize in one area, others will specialize elsewhere. It is always possible to get the one bad customer service representative in the company, and sour your taste on the whole institution. Some lenders will offer great rates, others will offer great service, and others will offer low fees. The best mortgage companies will be able to combine all three, and make you feel comfortable. The one who makes you feel the most comfortable is the one you should commit to dealing with for the next 30 years.