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Finding a Portland Mortgage Broker to Work With When Buying a Home

August 20, 2020
Last updated:
November 24, 2021
Finding a Portland Mortgage Broker to Work With When Buying a Home
In This Article

Buying a home in Portland, OR is a massive financial investment and is likely one that you’ll need some assistance with. That’s where a mortgage comes into the picture.

With a home loan, you can purchase an asset like a home without having to come up with the cash up front. But a home loan requires a big financial commitment on your part. After all, it will take years to pay off this loan, which requires regular payments until you are mortgage-free.

For this reason, it’s imperative that you not only choose the right mortgage program that best suits your financial profile, but also the right Portland mortgage broker to work with.

You can always head down to your local bank or credit union to apply for a mortgage. But you’ll be at the mercy of the minimal options they offer. Instead, with a mortgage broker in Portland, you’ll have access to far more options, both when it comes to the lender you work with and the mortgage program you choose.

Reasons To Work With a Mortgage Broker

Why work with a Portland mortgage broker instead of a bank? There are plenty of reasons, including the following.

Mortgage Brokers Work With Several Lenders

Mortgage brokers in Portland typically have a big network of lenders that they work with, so they can shop around amongst the many lenders in their circle to find the one that best suits you and your needs. As such, you’ll have many more mortgage programs to choose from compared to what your bank has to offer.

Mortgage Brokers Work on Your Behalf

There is a misconception that mortgage brokers work for the lender who borrowers sign a mortgage contract with. This isn’t true. In fact, not only do mortgage brokers not work for lenders, they actually work for you. That means they have your best interests at heart rather than trying to squeeze as much money out of you to put more money in the lender’s pocket.

Mortgage Brokers Will Do All the Wheeling and Dealing For You

You can take advantage of the negotiating skills of the broker, who will work with the lender to get the lowest interest rate and best terms for you.

Mortgage Brokers Do All the Leg Work For You

It takes a lot of time and effort to ask around with various lenders to try and find the right mortgage program for you. Instead of doing that all yourself, you can enlist the services of a seasoned mortgage broker in Portland to help, saving you a lot of time and hassle.

Mortgage Brokers Are Experienced in the Mortgage Industry

The home loan industry can be a complex one for those who are not well-versed in it. That’s a big reason why working with a mortgage broker is so helpful, as they have the know-how needed to help you navigate the process of finding and choosing the best mortgage product for you.

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Tips on Finding the Best Portland Mortgage Broker

To help you narrow down your choices on which broker to work with, here are a few things to consider.

Ask For Recommendations

Odds are, someone within your circle of friends, family, and colleagues may have recently used a mortgage broker to secure a mortgage to finance a home purchase. If that’s the case, consider asking them if they have any suggestions on who to work with, or if they would recommend the broker he worked with specifically.

This is one of the better ways to find a mortgage broker in Portland, as the person making the recommendation will be able to give you specifics about what the broker is like to work with.

Otherwise, you can always do an online search for reviews of mortgage brokers. Just keep in mind that some reviews may either be exaggerated or untruthful. Consider the website that you are reading the reviews on, and read as many as you can to gain an overall sense of what the broker is like.

Make Sure Your Credit Score is Up To Par

Regardless of which mortgage broker you work with, your credit score will play a key role in the type of mortgage product you are able to get, as well as the interest rate you can secure. The higher the score, the better the chances of getting approved and obtaining a lower interest rate, which will make your mortgage more affordable overall.

If your credit score is currently lagging behind, consider taking some time to improve it first before you apply for a mortgage. There are a few ways to achieve this goal, such as making all bill payments on time and in full, spending less than 30% of your credit card limit, paying more than your minimum credit card amount, and avoiding applying for several credit accounts and loans within a short period of time.

Ask the Right Questions

The more detailed questions you can ask your mortgage broker in Portland, the more informed you will be when it comes to choosing the right broker to work with. Here are some questions to consider:

  • What down payment amount do I require?
  • Are there any down payment assistance programs I am eligible for?
  • What types of mortgage programs are available to me?
  • What interest rate will I be able to get?
  • Can I pay points to reduce my rate?
  • How long will it take to finalize my mortgage?

These are just some of the questions you may want to ask your mortgage broker before settling on one.

Get the Details About Your Home Loan From Your Loan Estimate

By law, all Portland mortgage lenders are required to provide their clients with a copy of the mortgage’s Loan Estimate within three days of applying for a mortgage. The purpose of this document is to give borrowers the opportunity to look over all the fees that are associated with their mortgage so they know exactly what they are paying when they assume the home loan.

The types of closing costs that your Loan Estimate will detail include the following:

  • Interest rate
  • Lender’s fees
  • Appraisal fees
  • Credit report fees
  • Discount point fees
  • Interest rate lock-in fees
  • Escrow fees
  • Title insurance fees
  • Adjusted origination fees

You’ll have plenty of time to look over these costs so that you are completely aware of your financial obligations before the deal is sealed. And by working with a Portland mortgage broker, you’ll have an expert on your side helping you to make sense of the information given in your Loan Estimate. Instead of having to make sense of this information by yourself, a Portland mortgage broker can help explain it all for you so you can make more informed decisions about your home loan.

Loan Limits on Mortgage Amounts

When you apply for a home loan, there is a limit to how much you can borrow based on type of mortgage you’re taking out and the county that you are buying your home in. If the loan amount you apply for exceeds this limit, the loan will be considered a “jumbo loan.”

Both conventional and FHA loans have their own specific loan caps that are adjusted every year to reflect the increase in home prices.

For VA loans, loan limits were eliminated in 2020. Having said that, some borrowers may still have to abide by loan limit if they hold a couple of VA loans or defaulted on a VA loan in the past.

Check out our mortgage loan limit tool for conventional, FHA, and VA loans.

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Ready to Apply For a Mortgage in Portland?

Do you have questions about home loans? Are you ready to apply for a mortgage to buy a home? If so, Sammamish Mortgage can help. We are a local mortgage company from Bellevue, Washington serving the entire state, as well as Oregon, Idaho, and Colorado. We offer many mortgage programs to buyers all over the Pacific Northwest. Contact us today with any questions you have about mortgages.

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