When buying a home and applying for a mortgage loan, you cannot work with just anybody. Rather, if you want to find the best interest rate, have superior lending assistance, and purchase the perfect home for your needs, then it all starts with finding the best Redmond mortgage lender for your financial situation.
Considering a home purchase in Redmond, WA? If so, you need to find a reputable local mortgage lender, so you can successfully handle the home buying process and close on your new home sooner rather than later.
Like many complicated processes, the best way to start is with a clear plan in place. You should first determine what your home goals are, make a checklist to help you traverse the lender shopping process, and get ready to do some research.
15 Tips for Selecting the Right Redmond Mortgage Lender
It is highly recommended that you start your search for a Redmond mortgage lender online and long before you start house hunting. You want to have enough time to thoroughly vet a few different lenders and their available loan products.
The nice thing here is, many lenders provide a checklist specific to their unique process, which makes lender shopping less complicated. Thus, to help make searching for the right lender even easier, here are 15 tips for finding a local mortgage lender in Redmond, WA.
Identify your main goal.
What is your endgame for this home purchase? Full time residence, vacation home, second home, or rental opportunity? Once you have figured out what your home buying goals are, you should be able to clearly select the mortgage programs that are applicable to your situation and your current finances.
Decide what type of mortgage you need
There are different mortgage programs for each category, which means loan programs and rates will likely vary. For instance, if you are looking for a vacation/second home, the programs available to you will look slightly different from the loan products available for first-time buyers considering contemporary homes near popular school districts.
Know your credit score
You should have a good idea of your credit score before you go searching for the best and the brightest Redmond mortgage lenders. If you do not know what your credit score is or you have never pulled your official report, you can access your credit report, without charge, one time per year for each agency at www.freecreditreport.com.
Improve your credit score
You can improve your credit score by starting to use unused cards (try buying gas and paying off the crd each month), paying down high balance cards, and disputing bad information on your credit report.
Search for reviews
Try to get a feel for your potential lenders’ level of customer service. This can easily be done by paying attention to third-party website reviews. This will help you get a sense of the individual lender, the level of service they provide, and the quality of their support staff.
In the current seller’s market, you may be tempted to utilize a mortgage broker, but you won’t get personalized service or the best rates that way. A broker simply sells your information to a bunch of lenders, which can mean you keep getting annoying phone calls and emails for months after you actually buy a home. A broker also can’t give you the best advice on a loan tailored just for you.
Regardless of whether you are a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned real estate investor, you should make it a point to prioritize researching local lenders and what they have to offer, from rates to support to a variety of programs.
At the moment, Redmond, WA has it all, including wonderful homes. The average home price in Redmond is, as of January 20214, $1,240,830. As a result, you need to work with a lender who can navigate such a market, be scrupulously honest and clear about rates and fees, and help you secure the financing you need.
Familiarize yourself with lending rates
Yet, another important thing to keep in mind while browsing potential online Redmond lenders and their mortgage rates is if it looks too good to be true, chances are it is. Often the “headline” interest rates and the “as low as” rates you see advertised online are purposefully enticing.
Usually, sites that show these rates generate leads for lenders who will actually offer you a different rate after they have had a chance to learn about your financial background. Regardless of what you see, at the end of the day, your interest rate and terms will be determined by your credit score and financial situation. If you have a good credit score now but have had issues in the past, and see an online offer at a very low rate, make sure you read the fine print.
Seek a referral
Make it a point to speak with friends, family, or your co-workers. They may be able to provide a great referral. Additionally, another good resource for finding an experienced local lender is your real estate agent.
More often than not, your agent can help you navigate home buying issues, as well as steer you in the right direction when it comes to local mortgage lenders. This is especially true since agents typically work with lenders on a weekly, if not daily basis.
Sammamish Mortgage customers refer so much business to us that most of our base is repeat homebuyers and their friends and family.
Use your common sense
All lenders in Washington State are required to be licensed through the State department of financial regulations. Check https://dfi.wa.gov/consumers/verify-license) and verify that the lender you choose is in good standing and has no formal suspensions or complaints pending.
Gather your paperwork
Now is a great time to get all the necessary documentation together. You can get the ball rolling on the entire home buying process by scanning your financial documents and saving them on your computer in a PDF file.
You should locate and scan: the past two years’ tax returns, most recent 401(k) or investment statement, two months of pay stubs, and three months of your bank statements.
Your lender should be able to give you an online portal where you can securely upload these documents for verification and preapproval, which will speed up the entire home purchasing process.
Rein in your spending habits
Are you spending so frivolously that it will affect your ability to pay a monthly mortgage payment? Check your spending and document it to prove to yourself and your lender that you are ready for commitment.
Look at a lot of different programs
You don’t need a 20% down payment to buy a home. Plenty of programs exist for buyers with small down payments and less than perfect credit. Just be prepared to pay a slightly higher interest rate and/or PMI.
Ask about the fees
Find out what fees your lender charges and how and when they are paid. Your loan estimate and closing disclosure should match very closely, so be prepared to question every line.
Check for additional costs
If you have PMI, you’ll typically pay that on top of your mortgage payment every month. You may also need to pay HOA fees if you buy into an area with a homeowners association.
Push for expertise and customer service
While there are many online lenders, it is important to choose a company that gives you the support and service that you will need during this challenging process. Consequently, you should look for Redmond mortgage lenders with an established presence and reputation. Sammamish Mortgage delivers on all fronts.
Online Lending Makes Buying a Home Easier
Comparing mortgage rates and fees is becoming easier and easier for a consumer as lenders openly post real-time rates. Online loan applications and pre-approvals have made the home buying process less time consuming and more convenient. Borrowers can now submit documents online and personally track the loan process.
Furthermore, you can quickly access verifiable information, compare programs and fees, as well as interest rates offered by each company. Thus, if you stumble upon a reputable lender in Redmond who can provide you with all these things and more, then they should definitely make it onto your shortlist.
Loan Limit Basics
If you take out a home loan that is higher than a certain limit, your mortgage will be considered a “jumbo loan.” That’s because of loan limits, which are dollar limits placed on mortgages. For conforming loans, loan limits are caps that are placed on loans that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae will purchase or guarantee.
For FHA loans, loan limits are dollar caps on loans that the FHA backs. VA loan limits have been eliminated. But some borrowers may still be subject to them if they currently have a couple of VA loans or have defaulted on one in the past.
Loan limits are assigned to every county in the country and usually increase at the start of every year to reflect the growth in home prices.
Check out our mortgage loan limit tool for conventional, FHA, and VA loans.
Why Choose Sammamish Mortgage?
Sammamish Mortgage is a local mortgage loan company that has been serving clients since 1992. We support borrowers all across the Pacific Northwest, including Washington, California, Oregon, Idaho, and Colorado. We are proud to offer a wide variety of mortgage programs and products with flexible qualification criteria. Please contact us if you have any questions or are ready to apply for a home loan.