Hi all: I was recently inspired to go back to my very first post here on Active Rain. That was in 2007! I spent 8 years in the mortgage business and was a relative newcomer (one year) when I joined The Rain at an acquaintance's suggestion.
It's interesting how the content hasn't changed much. The loan programs come and go but the way business is done essentially remains the same. Enjoy the read!
Welcome! I hope you enjoy this. My goal is to educate you about our business so you can make an intelligent decision and understand what at times can be an extremely confusing process. With that in mind, your goal should be the lowest payment you can get on your mortgage. Coupled with that would be the type of loan you're comfortable with. If you're not a risk-taker, perhaps a 30 year fixed mortgage is best for you. If you're an investor or you don't plan on owning your property forever, perhaps an ARM (Adjustable Rate Mortgage typically fixed for the first 2,3, 5, 7 or 10 years) makes more sense. Currently, fixed rates are as good as adjustable rates. This was not the case a couple of years ago and could change in the future.
So now you're ready to shop for a mortgage. Most people (70%) do this online these days. Be sure you're comparing apples-to-apples. A lot of advertising these days focuses on no points and no fees. What a great deal for you-but be wary! Understand that the lender you choose needs to make money on every loan they do. The bottom line is this. If the rate is low or competitive, you are probably going to pay some fees to the lender. If the rate you're quoted is higher, chances are all or most of your fees on the loan are being waived. If there are no points and no fees, the chances are great that you are being sold a loan that has a large rebate from the lender to the broker. That's not a bad thing-the loan may make sense for you. Then again, it may not. There's a tremendous amount of money to be made in our business. I personally abhor it when I hear about a loan officer who has made a lot of money on a loan. First and foremost, we should be about customer service and long-term relationships.
When you're shopping for a lender, I believe it's best to call a few and work with someone local who you can meet if at all possible. If all you're after is the lowest rate, etc., then you can use a lender out-of state. Otherwise, most of us are wired to work with someone we either know or are referred to. Do your homework, take your time, and best of luck to you in your home purchase or refinance. I'm always available to answer any question you may have. Talk to you next week!