It’s no secret that buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions you will make in your lifetime. It may also become one of the busiest times in your life as well. In this busy, modern world many of us shop online for goods and services, such as groceries or home owner’s insurance and possibly even mortgages. But, in this era of “browse, click, and buy,” how can you be sure you really are receiving the best mortgage services to fit your needs? If you are only shopping an online lender, you may be leaving money on the table. Not to mention, incurring headaches at closing.
Down Payment Assistance Programs and Tax Credits
There are numerous agencies on the city, state and even regional level that offer down payment assistance grants and tax credits to qualified borrowers. These agencies often require that the lender have a physical office within the state to be an approved lender partner. Even if you already have your down payment or are using a 100% financing product such as VA or USDA, the additional funds can be added to increase the down payment. Or, used to help cover closing costs. If you’re not consulting a local lender, you may be missing out on funds and tax credits available to you.
Improving Your Credit Score
Another way you may be able to save money is by improvements to your credit score. The higher your score the lower the interest rate you may be eligible for. Many times, a borrower’s credit score can be within a few points of qualifying for a better interest rate. Your credit report may contain errors or still reflect balances on items that have been recently paid off. A local lender would be able to review your credit report with you, report any updates needed, and then have your credit “re-scored.”
The re-scoring may be the boost you need to help you qualify for a better mortgage rate.
Smoother Loan Process and Closing
A rough loan process and delays at closing can cause headaches and be an unexpected burden on your budget. Think extra moving and storage fees to hotel bills and extra time off from work. Local lenders are invested in their communities and have a personal stake in your loan process going smoothly and closing on time. They are reachable by phone after hours and on weekends. A local lender is also going to be more familiar with HOA fees, local assessments, and jurisdictional taxes. This will help avoid surprises on your closing disclosure statement. Lastly, a local lender will be in the same time zone as your closing. So, if there are any last-minute documents or changes, you don’t have to worry about an office in another time zone that may be closed.
As you browse and click your way through mortgage options, make sure your comparison shopping includes a local lender. It could save you money and hassle.
All loans subject to credit approval.