Ask a potential mortgage lender these questions to ensure that you’ll get the very best rates, terms, and conditions on your next loan.

Here at California Real Estate Experts, we strive to help our clients find the best rates, terms, and conditions possible. However, there are a few questions that need to be addressed before settling with a lender—especially if they’re an online lender.

First, is shopping online the best way to get a mortgage? To be sure, you certainly can shop online for mortgages. They can pull your credit to get a copy of your report, and we can share it with our in-house lenders to see if there’s anything we can do to bump up your score between now and the time you actually purchase the house.

However, what online companies don’t tell you is where they’re located—they could be in Michigan, California, New Mexico, or Florida. This means that it’s a real crapshoot as to whether you’ll be able to close on time. I will say, though, that the online lenders we’ve found have actually been really good at refinancing; there’s a lot less work involved, and a lender doesn’t have to be present to do a high-level job.

For those who prefer to use a local lender, it’s worth noting that doing so isn’t a guarantee to get the best rates, terms, and conditions. We choose our in-house lenders based on their ability to give our clients the best, as well as their flexibility with down payment requirements.

“It’s absolutely critical to ensure that you’re getting the best rates, terms, and conditions possible.”

Second, what are the fees? A lender might want to charge you for application fees, credit fees, and a number of others until you’re paying $2,000 or $3,000 in fees! Be sure to ask about fees before settling with a lender.

Third, ask if they’ll help you build up your credit score. Having a good score will allow you to get the best interest rate on your loan.

Overall, you need to be careful when using online lenders. They may not communicate very well, they probably don’t have the motivation to get you to the closing table on time, they may charge you triple or even quadruple the amount an average local lender would, and you won’t have a physical, go-to person to speak with if you have any questions. 

It’s absolutely critical to ensure that you’re getting the best rates, terms, and conditions possible. Failing to properly vet your lenders could set you up for stress and, ultimately, failure to purchase a home.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us. We’d love to help and advise you about meeting your real estate goals.