If you're ready to start your home search, there is no question that getting pre-qualified for your mortgage can be a great negotiating tool. Sellers know you're serious and will show favor to prospective buyers who have taken that first step, knowing you will all get to the closing table faster. But just like you'd do some comparison shopping prior to any major purchase, don't forget to shop for your mortgage lender, too! Because there are many variables that affect the ultimate cost of your mortgage beyond just the interest rate, ask these questions:
What are the most popular mortgages you offer? Why are they so popular?
Are your rates, terms, fees, and closing costs negotiable?
Do you offer discounts for inspections, home ownership classes, or automatic payment set-up?
Will I have to buy private mortgage insurance? If so, how much will it cost, and how long will it be required?
What escrow requirements do you have?
What kind of bill-pay options do you offer?What would be included in my mortgage payment (homeowners insurance, property taxes, etc.)?
Which type of mortgage plan would you recommend for my situation?
Who will service this loan—your bank or another company?
How long will the rate on this loan be in a lock-in period? Will I be able to obtain a lower rate if the market rate drops during this period?
How long will the loan approval process take?
How long will it take to close the loan?
Are there any charges or penalties for prepaying this loan?
How much will I be paying total over the life of this loan?
Colleen Donlevy-Burns can help you find reputable lenders, too! Call her today to get started on the path to homeownership. (407) 325-2873
(original list compiled by The National Association of REALTORS)