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How to Choose a Mortgage Loan Officer in Portland, OR

Sammamish Mortgage
February 2, 2021
Last updated:
June 30, 2021
Finding The Right Portland Loan Officer

Choosing a loan officer is one of the most important decisions you will make at the onset of the home buying process, especially when purchasing a home in Portland. So, to ensure you make the right choice the first time, let’s go over what qualities are a must in your Portland Loan Officer.

In This Article

The right mortgage loan officer can make a world of difference when it comes to securing and closing on your dream home. The main reason you should look for proper loan originating assistance, especially in Portland, is because the housing market has never been hotter.

As of 2021, in fact, Portland has seen a serious influx of home buyers from cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco. Moreover, real estate experts agree that the single biggest driver for Portland real estate historically has been homebuyers making a lifestyle move, and this took on a whole new meaning in 2020.

Lately, people have been looking for exactly what Portland offers–what larger cities have but in a beautiful setting with natural surroundings. So, in order to successfully navigate such a market with increased home prices, home sales, and lower than low mortgage rates, a local loan officer that has your best interest at heart is exactly what you need.

That said, the right loan officer’s primary purpose is to assist you throughout the homebuying process. This means your loan officer will be working closely with you, examining a lot of your personal information. Therefore, you want to find someone you feel is knowledgeable about loan options, trustworthy, understands your local market, and is responsive to you and your needs.

What Qualities Should The Right Portland Loan Officer Possess?

A few other qualities to look for in a local loan officer to ensure you get the home and mortgage of your dreams includes an unmatched reputation, confirmed credentials, and an organized process. The right Portland loan officer should also welcome and encourage questions, be cooperative and willing to listen, plus understand your needs and financial situation.

Furthermore, a good loan officer will be working for a knowledgeable lender who is proficient in all types of loans and has everything you are searching for in a lender. In general, most mortgage companies or lenders offer diverse loan products or rather a wide array of mortgage loan choices.

As a result, your Portland loan officer should understand the complexities of each loan option and how they can be used in your specific situation. Thus, you need a loan officer that has access to a diverse range of mortgage loan options in the marketplace that they can easily explain and put to use for you.

That said, a well-known lender or mortgage company could easily assign a loan officer to you, but this still involves finding the right lender/company, which is often a completely separate process. That said, the right loan officer can lead you to a lender who meets your exact needs and financial situation—so it is important to keep that in mind.

Why Experience And A Reliable Support Staff Matter?

A good loan officer should be experienced and have access to reliable support staff. Loan officers typically rely mainly on their loan processor and assistants to ensure everything goes off without a hitch. Plus, as a borrower, you will likely speak to your loan processor frequently once you submit your loan and possibly interact with their support staff, so it is important you feel confident in their ability and professional style.

How Can You Find A Portland Loan Officer You Are Comfortable With?

Clearly, this is more of a gut response than anything, but you will want to work with a Portland loan officer that you feel comfortable with and not intimidated by. As briefly mentioned, the right loan officer has patience and is willing to spend the extra time to thoroughly discuss all of your options.

Moreover, a loan officer that is willing to go over all the particulars and one who is interested in fostering a business relationship instead of just closing another loan is what it is all about. Some borrowers appreciate making a decision based upon numbers, while others make their decision based upon the relationship and trust they have with their loan officer. Thus, if you have identified two qualified Portland loan officers, choose the one that is a better fit for your personality type—trust your gut instinct.

Live Portland Mortgage Jul, 31, Sat, 2021

How Much Weight Should You Give Referrals & Reviews?

If your potential loan officer is experienced, responsive, a good fit, with a talented team, and has ample loan options, then they should have a decent number of referrals. In fact, good loan officers will have more referrals than you can handle. Additionally, you should consider performing a Google search on your loan officer.

Find out what their Yelp or Google reviews say. But be sure to take them with a grain of salt, as most online reviews forums can center on the negative. If you do notice a trend, however, make sure to address those concerns with your loan officer.

It is also beneficial to inquire about your prospective loan officer’s experience in the mortgage industry. In other words, ask them how long they have been in the business. Of course, your future Portland loan officer does not need to have multiple decades’ worth of experience; however, your loan officer should have several years of loan origination under his or her belt.

Ultimately, you need an experienced local loan officer that can tailor a mortgage around your specific needs. But a loan officer who also promptly returns communication has a solid support staff, makes you feel comfortable, and has favorable reviews, matters. Thus, if you come across someone that meets all these requirements, then you have likely found the right loan officer to assist you throughout the entirety of the home buying process.

Loan Limits

You won’t necessarily be permitted to take out any loan amount. There are “loan limits” placed on mortgages that are dollar caps on home loan amounts, Any amount that exceeds this loan limit will mean you are taking out a “jumbo loan.”

Loan limits are adjusted every year to reflect the increase in home prices across the nation. Every county in every state will have its own loan limit set, though many counties may have the exact same loan limit.

Both conventional loans and FHA loans have their own respective loan limits based on each county. For VA loans, loan limits were eliminated in 2020. Having said that that, borrowers who already have VA loans on the go or have defaulted on a VA loan in the past may still be subject to loan limits.

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 and have been doing so since 1992. Contact us today with any questions you have about mortgages.

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