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Finding a Seattle Mortgage Broker: Loan Estimates

Sammamish Mortgage
July 11, 2012
Last updated:
June 29, 2021
Finding a Seattle Mortgage Broker

When you apply for a mortgage, you have every right to be fully informed of all pertinent details about your mortgage, including every fee that will be applied. It is your right to know exactly how much your mortgage is going to cost you, which is why a Loan Estimate will be provided to you. This document will outline all these details you need to know, and a mortgage broker is obligated to provide it to you when you apply for a home loan.

In This Article

The Loan Estimate, which replaced the Good Faith Estimate to give you a sense of the true cost of your loan and to compare loan offers from different lenders. The thing is, these documents can be difficult to read.

A mortgage broker can help you navigate your Loan Estimate GFEs and understand the full financial burden of your loan. If you’re looking for a loan in Seattle, WA, obtaining a mortgage broker to assist with reading your Loan Estimate is highly recommended. We encourage readers to contact Sammamish Mortgage to learn more and get in touch with a Seattle mortgage broker today.

When deciding to buy a home, several smaller decisions are involved at the same time. One of these decisions is “should I use a Seattle mortgage broker to help me determine the right loan for my purchase”? For many reasons, the answer to this question is usually yes.

Finding a mortgage broker in Seattle, WA will help you consider all the loan options available to you, and not just the mortgage loan that the lending institution wants you to take so they maximize their profit off your situation. A mortgage broker will look at your complete financial picture from the money you can put down to the monthly mortgage payment range to purchase price and help you craft the best financial picture for your situation.

These professionals will also guide you through the entire decision making process and ask questions you may not ask yourself to solidify a financial future that’s in your best interest, not the lenders.

What is a Loan Estimate?

As you begin the mortgage loan process, the government, through Thanks to the Federal Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, lenders are required by the government to give you a document that lays out all the costs associated with the mortgage. This document is called a “Loan Estimate” and must be produced within three days of your loan application.

The Loan Estimate helps borrowers compare the real costs of their loans against competing for offers to determine the lender offering the best deal for their mortgage loan. Loan Estimate closing costs outline everything from the interest rate to insurance fees associated with your particular mortgage loan.

The reason many people enlist the help of a mortgage broker in Seattle, WA in this process is because a Loan Estimate can be tricky to understand.  Some lenders won’t list costs the same way or lump services in fees different than other lenders and this can lead to confusion for even the most seasoned real estate investor.

How to Analyze Loan Estimate Closing Costs

If you are looking at your Loan Estimate from a lender, there are variables you should inspect to get a complete picture of the costs of your loan, including the following:

  • What’s the interest rate of the loan and are there any discount points?
  • What are the fees for the discount points and when will you start seeing a return on the lower rate to offset those fees?
  • What are the lender’s fees costs for things like the appraisal fee, the credit report fee, and interest lock-in fee?
  • Does the escrow fee include a title search or title insurance fees?
  • Are the fees locked in or might the lender be understating the fees only to raise them the day of closing?
  • Most importantly, what is your Adjusted Origination Fee vs. the interest rate quoted? The Adjusted Origination Fee shows the sum of all lender fees paid including origination and discount points.

A Mortgage Broker May Be Critical in the Seattle Area

Having a mortgage broker to help you accurately interpret the Loan Estimates of lenders may be more important in some areas than others. This is because some areas have more localized costs and expenses which can add to the overall financial burden of the mortgage loan. And, if you don’t have a mortgage broker to help you, localized costs and expenses may not be properly taken into account.

In addition to correctly reading your GFE Loan Estimate to understand the offers from lenders, you should also have a clear sense of the full financial responsibility of your mortgage loan. And this sense will involve taking into account the localized costs of your surrounding area.

For instance, a Seattle mortgage broker will know the applicable property tax rates for your county, as well as other expenses which are common to the local area (such as transportation). Your mortgage broker will reference these other costs so that you don’t have a distorted sense of the financial burden of your mortgage loan. This is one reason why you should consider obtaining a Seattle mortgage broker.

Today’s Seattle Mortgage Aug, 03, Tue, 2021

Finding a Seattle Mortgage Broker Who Can Help You Read Your Loan Estimate

As you can see, the Loan Estimate is just the beginning of navigating the choppy waters in the mortgage loan industry and without the assistance a mortgage broker provides, many people feel like they’re drowning in fees and expenses they don’t have the framework to understand.

If you’re beginning the process of buying a home and feel like finding a mortgage broker you can trust would make the situation more manageable, contact the mortgage loan experts at Sammamish Mortgage today to learn more about Loan Estimates and the “real costs” of your mortgage loan offers to make sure you get the best deal on a mortgage loan you can.

Loan Limits

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 limits if they have an active VA loan or a previous default on a VA loan.

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

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Need a Mortgage Broker or Have Questions?

If you are in need of the assistance of a seasoned mortgage broker, Sammamish Mortgage can help. We are a local, family-owned company based in Bellevue, Washington. We have been serving the entire state, as well as the broader Pacific Northwest region that includes Idaho, Colorado, and Oregon since 1992. We offer a wide variety of mortgage programs and products with flexible qualification criteria. Please contact us if you have mortgage-related questions.

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