Use a Local Lender With Local Knowledge and Local Experience

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA

I just talked with someone this morning. They had wanted to buy a lot in Pine Grove / Bluemont which is in Western Loudoun maybe 15-20 minutes West of Purcellville VA. They have their plans to build a new home on the lot and had estimate from builder. Total cost for lot, well, septic, and new construction of house, and related items like driveway, power, etc. came to $258,000.00. It's not easy to buy a lot and build in Loudoun county for $258,000.00, but it can be done. So it was hard to believe when their " lender" came back and said they couldn't lend them the money because the completed project would not appraise for $258,000.00.

 I didn't even have to look in the MLS to know that doesn't make a bit of sense, and that the completed projected would easily appraise for over $300,000.00. I don't know why they chose this lender? Maybe it was a friend or it was through their employment and/or had something to do with a relo. They aren't my clients, I just happen to run into them, and one thing led to another and real estate entered the conversation. I can't remember the name of the lender, ( never heard of them) but they told me they were located in Georgia.

 Why would someone wanting to buy land and build in Virginia, use a lender in Georgia? I suggested that maybe they should check with a few local banks while they were in town, like Cardinal Bank, Middleburg Bank, Bank of Clarke county, Sun Trust, etc all of which are within 20 minutes of Pine Grove and all have long history of local experience, and know their local market, and are familiar with construction to perm loans.


   Local Lender         VS       Non Local Lender


Jeff Pearl / Lic in VA

Remax Distinctive - Reston VA


Homes / Land / Farms / Historic

Equal Housing Opportunity Provider



Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Lenn Harley 05/17/2013 12:48 AM
  2. Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman 05/17/2013 02:28 AM
Home Buying
loudoun county va real estate
purcellville va
new construction va

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Mike Crosby
Mike Crosby Realty - Placentia, CA
Placentia- Yorba Linda Real Estate - 714-742-2897

Local knowledge isone of the factors that will allow Realtors to continue to thrive in the internet age.

May 17, 2013 03:31 AM #14
Jeff Pearl
RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA - Lovettsville, VA
Full Service Full Time Realtor

#1- Hi Allen, Local seems to work better for everyone involved. Thanks.

#2- Hi Richie, I agree. Thanks.

#3- Hi Marlis, Yes, looks like local is preferred in most cases. thanks!

#4- Hi Teral, Thanks. Reblogs are good!

#5- Hi Curtis, looks like the consensus is local is better! Thanks.

#6- Hi Paul, So true. It was probably buyers fault as well. they probably just asked someone local to them in Georgia.

#7- Hi Tosh, I agree. Locals have a feel for their area and are better at evaluating the market.

#8- Hi Graziella, Yes, true. local works best for everyone. Thanks!

#9- Hi Rebecca, your mom was correct. Common sense is missing in many places when it comes to real estate.

#10- Hi Aaron, I agree. And buyer does have to take some of the blame. maybe they'll start over and do it right this time, but i doubt it.

#11- Vanessa, Vanessa, Vanessa, Yes, Yes, Yes, Local, Local Local!

#12- Hi Patricia, Thanks. I've heard good things about First Mariner as well. Thanks!

#13- Hi kathy, true, but some people lack common sense. They wouldn't hire a home inspector or builder from Georgia, so why would they use a lender from Georgia? Strange.

#14- Hi Mike, Yes, Local knowledge and a hands on lender is an important factor. Thanks.

May 17, 2013 04:02 AM #15
Ronald DiLalla
Century 21 Discovery DRE 01813824 - Anaheim, CA
No. Orange Cty Real Estate

Hi Jeff, I am fortunate to say that I work for an office that has it/s own Escrow Co and Lender.

May 17, 2013 04:08 AM #16
Karen Cooper
Karen Cooper | Sr Retail Loan Originator ! NMLS # 223305 | 360 Mortgage Group LLC Austin Texas - Leander, TX
Helping Homeowners w/Home Loans in 27 US States

I Agree, Jeff - local is important. Our local Realtors' Association offers a grant program to area buyers, and of course stipulate that they use a local member of the multiple listing service and a local lender/originator. Buyers not working with those local players may never find out about those resources.

May 17, 2013 05:28 AM #17
Bill Reddington
Re/max By The Sea - Destin, FL
Destin Florida Real Estate

This is part of where the internet is not so great. Face the issue a lot here in Destin. I always suggest local lenders if only for a second opinion.

May 17, 2013 05:44 AM #18
Dave Leiderman
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Ocean City, MD
ABR, SFR - Realtor - DE & MD Beaches

Jeff, this is the story of my real estate life.  I list and sell in Ocean City, MD to Rehoboth Beach, DE, all prime areas for vacationers from Baltimore, Washington, D.C. and NoVA.  I think one out of every 3 or 4 of my clients tries to use a lender from where they live, not in the are they're buying in.  Sometimes it works out ok.  Usually it doesn't.  I always recommend that my clients use insurance companies, lenders and title companies that are local.

Great post.

May 17, 2013 05:45 AM #19
Frank Harper
Idaho Family Real Estate - Boise, ID
Broker/Owner, Realtor, GRI, SFR.

I always cringe when I get a loan commitment letter from an out of area lender. It seems they always go sideways!

May 17, 2013 06:27 AM #20
Jeff Pearl
RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA - Lovettsville, VA
Full Service Full Time Realtor

#16- Hi Ronald, I've had good luck with lenders who have in house underwriters. Thanks

#17- Hi karen, That's a good program. Locals know the local benefits! Thanks.

#18- Hi Bill, I agree. I was thinking that theie lender just googled " appraisers in virginia" and picked one.

#19- Hi Dave, I know how you feel. Even though your area doesn't seem that far away, local only  extends so many miles. Thanks.

#20- Hi Frank, Yes, so true. Just like these people, and things can go sideways for quite a while before the lender finally springs the bad news on potential borrower.

May 17, 2013 07:35 AM #21
Marc McMaster
RE/MAX Centre Realty - State College, PA
Putting my clients before myself

I generally tell people the same thing but lately I've had pretty good luck with some big lenders that have done a great job and are no where near my area. 

May 17, 2013 08:57 AM #22
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Local lenders means loans don't die on the vine from inattention.

May 17, 2013 09:38 AM #23
Jeff Pearl
RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA - Lovettsville, VA
Full Service Full Time Realtor

#22- Hi Marc, Glad you found some good large lenders, I know there out there, but usually we have locals that we can rely on. Thanks.

#23- Hi Andrew, True, local has to perform if they want repeat business! Thanks.

May 17, 2013 09:59 AM #24
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

Local lender and a local appraiser that knows how to comp a property in that area.

May 17, 2013 10:17 AM #25
Melanie Narducci
Hillscape Properties, Inc. - San Francisco, CA
Your San FranciscoBay Area Real Estate Expert
Local knowledge goes such a long way toward a smooth transaction, from lender, to appraiser, to builder, to Realtor and home inspector.
May 17, 2013 10:19 AM #26
Jimmy Faulkner
Florida. Homes Realty & Mortgage - Wantagh, NY
The Best Of St. Augustine

A local lender is a very important ingredient to have a successful sale. Knowing the terrain is important for a successful transaction & knowing where to get the funds & what programs are available.

May 17, 2013 11:46 AM #27
Steven Pahl
Keller Williams Tampa Properties - Tampa, FL
Real Estate Consultant Tampa, FL 813-319-6423

Just had a young Veteran receive an "online" pre-approval at $160 K for a VA loan, but they wouldn't give us a GFE (good faith estimate).  Had him qualify with a local lender that I have referred many clients to and the pre-approval is $100K.  Now we know for sure what price range in which to base our search!

May 17, 2013 01:04 PM #28
MichelleCherie Carr Crowe Just Call...408-252-8900
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years
Yes having the local knowledge is key. However I've seen some appraisers only want to value new construction at construction cost.
May 17, 2013 02:21 PM #29
Jeff Pearl
RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA - Lovettsville, VA
Full Service Full Time Realtor

#25- Hi William, Yes, local with knowledge and experience is good! Thanks.

#26- Hi Melanie, Agree- Seems all goes smoother with local players!

#27- Hi Jimmy, yes, knowing their local terrain is a must! Thanks.

#28- Hi Steven, Don't you hate those loan officers that just issue a letter without doing any research. Thanks.

#29- Hi Michelle, I still don't understand how some appraiser think. Thanks.

May 17, 2013 08:53 PM #30
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

I am working with buyers who showed me the good faith estimate by a lender and it showed a few thousand dollars less than the amount they would need.

May 17, 2013 09:40 PM #31
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Good post and reminder about using a local lender. I also see realtors and appraisers from Portland, across the river from the Vancouver, WA area- try to work here. They often don't have a local feel - or the knowledge of our market. If you don't normally work and understand a market - don't try to pretend that you do.

May 18, 2013 12:29 AM #32
Jeff Pearl
RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA - Lovettsville, VA
Full Service Full Time Realtor

#31- Hi Gita, That soesn't sound as bad as some of the stories I've heard. I wonder how laon officers come up with those figures sometimes? Thanks.

#32- hi Debb, Thanks. Yeah, sometimes it doesn't take a lot of miles to encounter totally different markets that appraisers aren't familiar with.

May 18, 2013 08:47 AM #33
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