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You have a lot of choices when it comes to shopping for a home loan, and this includes the location of the lender you choose. There are benefits to using a local Seattle mortgage company, as opposed to a national lender or “big bank,” which we’ll get into below.
Why should home buyers use a local Seattle mortgage company? Here are five good reasons to consider:
If you use an out-of-state mortgage lender or one of the big national banks, you might have a harder time getting answers to your mortgage questions. You’ll be limited to email and phone exchanges.
But when using a local Seattle mortgage company, you can come in for an office visit and meet face-to-face. This is a great way to get answers to your mortgage-related questions and to get to know your loan officer.
During a typical home buying and mortgage transaction, a lot of paperwork changes hands. Borrowers have to provide a variety of documents relating to their assets, debts, and income. That’s not to mention all of the documents produced by the mortgage and escrow companies. This is another benefit to using a locally owned Seattle mortgage company.
Being able to hand-deliver documents can be a real time-saver. On the other hand, having to fax, mail, and/or FedEx everything can add days to the process.
When using a local mortgage company, there’s a good chance your transaction will be more efficient. We touched on some of the reasons for this above. In many cases, the home buying process can be expedited when working locally. It’s easier to deliver documents, resolve issues that arise, etc.
Seattle-area mortgage companies (like us) usually have close working relationships with local real estate agents, escrow and title companies, home appraisers, and other housing-related professionals.
So, when you get pre-approved by a local Seattle mortgage company, you can also get recommendations for other top-notch housing professionals. This is a benefit you probably won’t get from a larger lender that’s based out of state.
Mention the phrase “mortgage lender,” and many people think of the large, multinational corporations that do most of the advertising. But are they the best option for you? A lot of consumer advocates encourage home buyers to work with a local mortgage company for the reasons stated above, among others.
The thing about the “big banks” is that they’re — well, big. Huge, actually. Big corporations tend to have a much larger customer base, compared to a local Seattle mortgage company. So, with a big bank, you might be just one of thousands of customers moving through the home loan process at a given time. And that’s not necessarily a recipe for efficiency.
A smaller, locally owned company has a better understanding of local real estate market conditions and provides a more efficient loan experience. This, in turn, could help you succeed in the hot Seattle real estate market.
Local lenders are more likely to provide you with a personalized experience compared to working with general lenders who may not be located anywhere near you or who don’t necessarily know the area closely like local lenders do. Having a close working relationship with a local lender can help you avoid any uncertainties that you may have.
You don’t have to get stuck on customer service lines or risk having your voicemails go unanswered for days before you hear back from the person you wish to speak with. Instead, local lenders are more closely tied to their clients and are much easier to get in touch with than mortgage companies that are stretched thin, trying to service borrowers across the entire nation.
Like local realtors, local lenders know their market very well. You won’t get the same level of knowledge about your area with a general mortgage lender like you will with one who works directly in the location you are looking to buy a home in.
Local lenders will have a clear understanding of the local economy and the property values in the area, which can go a long way at helping you get the right mortgage at a fair interest rate. Most local lenders may also be able to provide in-house resources to help ensure your loan approval process moves along quickly without a hitch. They’re also more willing to take extra steps to ensure a successful mortgage.
Seattle is a busy real estate market. We know that much already. But how does that relate to working with a local mortgage company in Seattle?
According to the WSJ story: “[home] buyers who need financing can strengthen their offers by working with a locally-based mortgage broker or loan officer.”
The article went on to quote real estate agents who said they actually prefer to deal with buyers who are using a local mortgage lender. “Agents want to work with buyers whose lenders know the local market and have a record of getting deals done. That reassures the listing agent and the seller that a sale will close.”
Now we’re connecting the dots. In a highly competitive, fast-moving real estate market like Seattle, home buyers need every possible advantage to achieve their goals. Working with a local mortgage company in Seattle (like ours) is a step in that direction.
Yelp and similar review websites are a good way to read feedback from local consumers who have used a certain business. These days, a lot of mortgage companies have Yelp profiles. This allows you to get unbiased reviews from home buyers and mortgage shoppers just like you.
For instance, Sammamish Mortgage has reviews on both Yelp and CustomerLobby.com. Read through our reviews, and you’ll get a sense of how we treat our customers.
It’s helpful for buyers to understand loan limits, which are dollar limits placed on home loans and are assigned to every county in the US. Conforming loans and FHA loans each have their own loan limits. When a buyer borrows more than the loan limit in their respective county, they are taking out a “jumbo loan.”
Loan limits for VA loans have been eliminated as of 2021. But some buyers might still be subject to them if they have at least VA loans on the go or have defaulted on one in the past.
Check out our mortgage loan limit tool for conventional, FHA, and VA loans.
Do you need a mortgage loan to buy or refinance a home? Do you prefer to work with a locally owned mortgage company in the Seattle area? If so, we can help. Sammamish Mortgage has been helping home buyers across the Seattle metro area since 1992. We are a local, family-owned company based in Bellevue, Washington, and work with borrowers in Oregon, Idaho, and Colorado as well. We can answer any questions you have about mortgage financing, and also provide you with a rate quote. Best of all, you’ll be “keeping it local.” Please contact our financing experts with any questions you have.
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