Spokane Mortgage Lender: 15 Tips for Finding the Right Fit

Published:
February 23, 2021
Last updated:
January 20, 2022
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Properly navigating the Spokane real estate market means finding the right Spokane mortgage lender for your needs and financial situation. In this article, we’ll go over a few ways to make the process of finding the right fit easier.

Buying a home is a big purchase that is usually a joyous occasion and, for some, the culmination of a dream. Yet, the overall process can sometimes be a bit daunting and stressful. But the good news is that with the right Spokane mortgage lender by your side, the home buying process does not have to be that way for you.

Shopping Around For a Spokane Mortgage Lender Is a Must

When looking for a home loan, you have options, and therefore you should definitely shop around. While shopping around, you can save yourself a lot of extra work if you decide early on if you want a Spokane mortgage lender who is able to help you complete most of the process online.

Once you have found several quality Spokane lenders (on your own or through various referrals/recommendations), make it a point to ask each of them about rates, loan terms, down payment requirements, property insurance, closing cost, and fees of all kinds.

After finding your top five local lenders, you can compare these details, which can easily be done online for most lenders.  Finally, focus your search on one or two particular lenders and do yourself a favor by following a few more steps to ensure you get the best lender for your needs.

That said, before getting into those additional steps, it is important to note that the right lender is crucial. Like most of the country, Spokane, Washington is a seller’s market. Moreover, in this particular city, the median listing home price is $373,168 as of December 2021, and homes in Spokane, WA, typically sell after only seven days on the market.  As a result, having a local lender that knows this market and how to navigate it is essential.

What To Look For In a Local Mortgage Lender In Spokane, WA

One of the first things you should do in order to find the Spokane mortgage lender of your dreams is to strengthen your credit score. Improving your financial situation means you will have more power when it comes to negotiating better rates with potential lenders.

So, if you currently have a low or less than desirable credit score, lenders may view you as a risky borrower. This, in turn, means you will likely get a higher interest rate on your home loan. Note, if your credit score is under 580, then qualifying for most types of mortgages will also be somewhat challenging.

Speaking of mortgages, you want to make sure the mortgage lender you choose offers the kind that’s best for you. So, look for a Spokane lender with various mortgage programs and products.  The right mortgage lender should also be able to offer top-notch customer service, a swift closing, and an overall streamlined homebuying process.

A Spokane Mortgage Lender Can Speed Up The Process

A local mortgage lender in Spokane can help speed up the entire home buying process because, in general, a skilled lender or mortgage company knows how to problem-solve and close on time. For instance, if the mortgage program you need was discontinued? A great mortgage lender will find an alternative.

Moreover, the right Spokane mortgage lender knows how to effectively communicate according to your preference and touch base with you throughout the mortgage process. Plus, a local lender that understands your needs should be more than willing to work within your comfort zone.

For example, if you can afford a larger mortgage, but the potential payment makes you light-headed, a great lender will find a way to make you more comfortable —whether that is by finding a smaller loan size, a different mortgage program, or even offering some budgeting tips.

Ultimately, when you work with a great lender who is familiar with the top neighborhoods in Spokane, things just tend to move along more smoothly, which in turn speeds the entire process up.

Working With a Spokane, WA Lender

You should also keep in mind that you need to get pre-approved sooner rather than later. During pre-approval, you will be asked to provide documentation on your financials, such as your paystub, W2s, tax returns, bank account balances, and credit information.

This particular step is a valuable part of the home buying process because a pre-approval letter shows that you have been properly vetted and can qualify for a home loan. Once you have been pre-approved, then all you need to do next is find an eligible property. Once you apply with a lender, you will receive a Loan Estimate laying out the down payment, fees, estimated monthly payment, and so on.

What’s more, it is imperative that you work with a Spokane mortgage lender that has ample experience with your specific type of loan—in addition to having access to a wealth of programs—and walks you through credit score challenges or opportunities. Also, it may be beneficial to look for a lender that offers in-house underwriting since this is a great way of increasing the likelihood that the process of getting a mortgage will be a smooth one.

Finally, do not be shy about asking specific questions. By asking questions and raising any concerns you may have, you will be able to gain insight into the lender’s level of professionalism and communication skills.

Remember, you will be sharing a lot of personal information in your mortgage application documents and placing a lot of trust in this person. Ultimately, by doing your due diligence, you will be certain that you have found the best Spokane, WA mortgage lender for your needs, and you can start house hunting with confidence.

15 Tips for Finding the Right Fit

Start your search for a Spokane mortgage lender well in advance of house hunting. This will let you familiarize yourself with specific loan terms and understand the options you have.

  1. Identify your main goal.

    Are you buying a home to live in full time, a vacation or second home, or a house to rent out for income? Think long-term.

  2. Decide what type of mortgage you need

    The restrictions and requirements for homes other than a main residence can be more rigorous, so choose your mortgage type carefully.

  3. Know your credit score

    You can access your credit score and report for each of the main reporting agencies without charge once a year at www.freecreditreport.com.

  4. Improve your credit score

    Dispute wrong information on your credit reports. Pay down credit balances, and start using “phantom” cards for regular purchases that can be paid off monthly.

  5. Search for reviews

    Look at online reviews for Spokane mortgage lenders and request testimonials for lenders on your short list.

  6. Demand transparency

    Compare rates and request a list of expected costs and fees from lenders before you choose one to work with. You need a lender who is honest and open about rates and fees.

  7. Familiarize yourself with lending rates

    Be aware that many mortgage rates posted online are “best case” rates for lenders with large down payments and top-level credit. Get to know real rates based on your specific financials and credit.

  8. Seek a referral

    Talk to friends, family, and your agent about lenders. Sammamish is proud of our track record – most of our customers are repeat or referral business.

  9. Use your common sense

    All lenders are required to be licensed through the State department of financial regulations. It’s just good practice to check out lenders. In Washington, you can easily check this website: https://dfi.wa.gov/consumers/verify-license) to make sure your lender is in good standing and complaint free.

  10. Gather your paperwork

    Your Spokane mortgage lender should offer a secure portal available online so you can upload documents including:

    • Tax returns (most recent two years)
    • 401(k) or investment statements (two years)
    • Pay stubs (two months’ worth)
    • Bank statements (three months’ worth – for all account, including joint ones)
  11. Rein in your spending habits

    Track your spending and be able to back that up with bank statements and receipts in case your lender asks for documentation. Make sure you can afford your mortgage payment before you commit to a loan.

  12. Look at a lot of different programs

    Different loan programs have different requirements. You don’t have to have a 20% down payment as long as you pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI).

  13. Ask about the fees

    Escrow funds and closing costs will include most of the fees you have to pay. Your lender should disclose all fees in the loan estimate.

  14. Check for additional costs

    Double check the closing disclosure to make sure extra fees aren’t added (like “loan origination” fees.) Be prepared to shell out HOA fees separately if you buy into a neighborhood with a homeowners association.

  15. Push for expertise and customer service

    At Sammamish Mortgage, our loan officers (LOs) are paid a salary and we have a streamlined mortgage preapproval system. You’ll get expert, unbiased guidance and a smooth mortgage loan experience.

Spokane Mortgage Rates

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.

Get an Instant Mortgage Rate Quote Today

Why 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, 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.

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