It’s time for some mortgage myth busting.
One of the most popular ones out there is that you need to have a local lender to have a smooth experience.
For a long time, it has been believed that you needed to have a local lender because the fact that that lender has history in the community and has a recognizeable track record, helped to make sure that the ball wouldn't get dropped and there wouldn't be any concerns about you being able to close on time.
In years prior, when a lot of the paperwork was in-person, it would be more convenient to have somebody that you can go down the street and deliver your paperwork.
Now, the mortgage process has become modernized and streamlined with a lot of the paperwork being done via online portals and email.
But what it boils down to is this - being a good lender isn’t about geography, but about reliability.
Will they deliver on the promises that they say? Are they available? Do they answer questions? Do they offer great terms?
None of these questions have anything to do with where the lender is located but can determine if you have a good experience with your lender or not.
It's more effective to look at their previous work to understand their professionalism, their accessibility and all the things that really matter in the process.
Those are things that you can verify by talking with them and getting a good sense of who they are and if they understand your goals and by also cross-checking them with online reviews.
Always check out the Google Reviews or testimonials online to get a sense of the lender’s success with other clients.
One of my favorite ways to recommend finding a lender is by asking friends and family for referrals. This comes with an added element of trust because you know they have served someone you know well and you know what you can expect.
Keep in mind, all lenders have to use the same format for when they are disclosing loan fees to you so that makes it very easy to put offers side by side and make sure the offer they are getting is the best.
Lenders also can specialize in loans, which don’t depend on the location of the lender or client. For example, some lenders specialize in helping first-time home buyers while others specialize in helping people with investment properties. Looking into lenders who have experience with your specific situation can be a great criteria to consider as well.
One thing to keep in mind is that when you choose a lender, you’re choosing both the company and the individual loan officer which can affect the process. So if you do come across a lender through social media or online that you're considering working with they may be able to help - even if they aren't right down the street.
If you're looking at your mortgage options, I’m licensed in multiple states so please reach out with any questions and I would love to help.