Buying a home with your VA mortgage eligibility is most likely the largest purchase you will make in your lifetime. Unless you have just recently won the lottery or have a very generous rich uncle, you will need to qualify for a mortgage. When you begin to research lender options, knowing how to choose can be difficult. What is the difference between a local lender, mortgage lender, mortgage banker or credit union? And what do those variations mean to you as the consumer?
Working with a local lender that comes recommended from your real estate agent, friend or next door neighbor carries a lot more weight than one you randomly find online. In fact, a recent study shows that 90% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know, like and trust.
Why Work with a Local Lender
1. You can look them in the eye – Sitting across from your lender while they explain the loan process is very different than trying to track someone down that’s across the country. How uneasy does it make you feel when you call to ask a question only to find out that the person you’re talking to isn’t even qualified in your state to answer that question?
2. They can’t hide rates or fees – When you’re sitting face to face with someone, it’s very difficult to hide behind a computer screen. Working with a local lender allows you to go through every detail of the loan with a real person, not someone on the other end of a phone line.
3. They should will show up at your closing – I can’t even count the number of times I’ve been asked by a real estate agent or buyer “what are you doing here?” when I show up at closing. It’s my duty to make sure you’re taken care of from beginning to end and that includes attending your closing. How can a National Lender answer last minute questions or handle any final needs of your closer when they’re half way across the country?
4. The best rates possible – Contrary to what national lenders may tell you, a local mortgage lender will be able to offer you the lowest interest rate; lowest fee’s and best customer service available. Just because they’re smaller doesn’t make them less effective.
5. Your best interest is a VA loan – Many mortgage companies are filled with loan sales representatives that will sell you a loan product regardless of whether or not it’s in your best interest. They are only interested in the numbers game and it has nothing to do with what numbers work best for you. They worry about their bottom line, not which loan program is right for your family. Working with a local lender ensures that they have an established reputation within the community. And if it’s not a positive one, well – you’ll find this out through word of mouth research.