Choosing the Right Mortgage Lender in Eugene, OR

August 19, 2021
Last updated:
September 14, 2021
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If buying a home in Eugene, OR is on your radar for the near future, then perhaps the first call you’ll want to make is to your mortgage lender. Sure, a real estate agent should absolutely be on your list of professionals to get in touch with but you’ll want to get a handle on your finances before you start your search for a new home.

Your mortgage lender in Eugene will work with your and your finances to help you determine exactly how much you can afford to spend on a new home purchase. Without that knowledge in mind, you could be wasting your time looking at properties that do not fall within your budget.

But you shouldn’t work with just any lender. Instead, you’ll want to take your time selecting the right one to work with who can accommodate your specific needs. Every borrower is different just as every mortgage lender is different. As such, picking the right lender to suit our needs is best. 

Here are some tips for choosing the right mortgage lender in Eugene, OR.

Understand Your Needs

Are you a first-time homebuyer who is looking for a mortgage with a low down payment option and less stringent criteria when it comes to credit scores? Or are you a current homeowner who’s looking to upgrade a bigger home and has the proceeds for the sale of your current home to work with? Or perhaps you’re self-employed and have to do a little more work to get approved for a home loan?

Whatever your situation and needs may be, you’ll want to work with a lender who can help you and has mortgage products geared specifically towards borrowers like you.  

Prepare All Necessary Documents 

Your mortgage lender in Eugene will require a few key pieces of information from you to help get the approval process started. Depending on the type of mortgage you’re applying for and your financial situation, the documents may differ slightly. 

However, there are a few basic documents that all borrowers usually have to present to their lender, such as bank statements, pay stubs, tax receipts, letters of employment, and so forth. 

Having this paperwork prepared early on will make you ready to apply for a mortgage. 

Inquire About Mortgage Products

The mortgage lender you choose to work with should have the type of loan product that best suits your situation. That’s why it’s important to inquire about the types of mortgage programs they can offer. Depending on your scenario, one loan product may be better for you than another. 

For example, there are mortgages such as fixed-rate mortgages, adjustable-rate mortgages, conventional and jumbo loans, loans for bad credit borrowers, FHA and VA loans, and so on. Determine which mortgage is best for you and make sure the lender you work with can offer what you need. 

Find Out What Rate You’ll Be Charged

Mortgages come with an interest rate calculated on top of the loan amount you borrow. The lower the rate, the less you’ll pay overall, so your goal is to secure the best rate possible. As such, you’ll want to ask the lender what rate you may be able to qualify for. 

It’s also important to understand what the going rates are to help you understand the rate that you are eventually offered based on your financial situation. The loan amount relative to the purchase price of the home, your income and debt levels, and your credit score will all play a role in the interest rate you ultimately are offered. 

With this information in hand, you’ll be more knowledgeable when it comes time to compare shops among the various mortgage lenders in Eugene. 

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Inquire About Mortgage Lender Fees

In addition to the interest rate, there are other fees that usually accompany mortgages. As the mortgage lender what their fees are so you can determine exactly how much your mortgage will cost you overall. Lenders are obligated to disclose this information to you before you secure a mortgage deal. 

Most of these fees are due on the day your house closes, but some lenders may require other fees like credit report or appraisal fees to be paid upfront after mortgage approval. 

Strengthen Your Credit Score

With a strong credit score, you can vastly expand the loan options available to you. Before you approach a mortgage lender in Eugene, find out where you stand with your credit score, which you can do by pulling a copy of your credit report from the major credit bureaus in the US. 

If you find that your score is a little on the low side, take some time to improve it. You can do this by paying your bills on time every month, keeping your credit card expenditures low, and paying down your debts. And if you plan to apply for a mortgage any time soon, don’t take out any other loans or credit products. 

Not only will a better credit score improve the odds of mortgage approval, but it can also give you more negotiating power when it comes to better terms and interest rates. 

Compare Mortgage Lenders

Comparing lenders in Eugene is an important step to take before you settle on just one. You’ll want to compare things like mortgage interest rates, fees, and mortgage products offered. 

Be sure to look at lenders who are local to the area that you’re buying in. To help you get started, consider doing an online search, ask friends and family, or pick up the phone and make a few calls to get an idea of what’s out there.

Get Some Help from a Mortgage Broker

A mortgage broker can be a great place to start looking for a mortgage lender in your area. Rather than doing all of the leg work yourself, you can employ the services of a professional who already works with many lenders. 

Mortgage brokers are not leaders themselves, but rather serve as somewhat of a middleman to help connect borrowers with mortgage lenders. Brokers have a vast network of professionals that they deal with, so they can find a lender who works specifically with borrowers like you. 

The great thing about brokers is that they work for you, and not the lender. As such, you can rest assured knowing that they have your best interests in mind. Plus, you’ll have far more options to choose from. 

Compare this to working with a bank that only has a limited number of options and ultimately looks out for their bottom line rather than your best interests. 

Not only can mortgage brokers save you plenty of time and energy, but they can also ensure that you get the best mortgage with ideal terms to suit your financial situation.

Ask For Referrals

If you know anyone in your circle of friends, family, and acquaintances who have recently purchased a home, inquire about their experiences with their mortgage lender. You can get a lot of insider information just by asking people who you know. 

You can also consider checking out online reviews about the mortgage lender you’re considering working with. Just be sure that you’re looking at reportable review sites, like Angie’s List or Yelp, which are more stringent about the reviews they publish. Further, don’t place too much emphasis on a handful of negative reviews. 

Instead, read as many reviews as possible to help you get a better overall idea of the mortgage lender, rather than focusing too much on a few samples. And lastly, take online reviews with a grain of salt. Anyone can post anything, which is why it’s best to check out a reputable review site. 

Buying in Eugene

Eugene is a great city in the state of Oregon to live in. Home prices are currently averaging $414,246 as of August 2021, according to real estate research firm Zillow. That’s lower than the current statewide average of $447,968, making it a rather affordable place to buy a home and plant some roots.

The Eugene real estate market has been pretty hot over the past year, with prices having increased 18.5% over the past 12 months. That’s an astounding rate of appreciation, which has given current homeowners a fantastic opportunity to quickly build equity in their homes. 

Luckily, home values are expected to continue to increase at a healthy rate over the next year, so if you get into the market in Eugene some time soon, you can also benefit from appreciation in property values and build up home equity for yourself. 

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Need a Mortgage Loan or Have Questions?

Sammamish Mortgage is a local lending firm serving the broader Pacific Northwest region, including Washington state, Idaho, Colorado, and Oregon. We are proud to offer a wide variety of mortgage programs and products with flexible qualification criteria since 1992. Please contact us if you have any questions or are ready to apply for a home loan.

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