In an article on USA Today, Brian B. Simmons (CEO of AskaLender.com) breaks down 5 key tips to help borrowers shop for their mortgage and Borrow Wisely®. Here is the article which breaks it down in simple format.
Know how much home you can afford
This may sound like a "doh" statement, but getting exact numbers is not as easy as it sounds. The article talks about a magical 43% debt to income ratio number, but it's not as simple as that. It's important to know that this new mortgage is not only something a lender would qualify you for, but that it's something that fits within your short and long-term financial objectives.
Knowing your own buyer profile
Sounds weird, but mortgage rates and what you can (or can't) do depends on your personal situation. The article points to factors like military service, first time home buyer status, employment status and type and credit to name a few. Everything matters and there is no one size fits all with mortgages. If there were, the world would just buy a loan from Amazon. (Don't get me started)
Compare loan officers
Why in the world would I put in my own blog post to compare loan officers. Personally, I want you to. Most consumers shop for rate and don't fully consider the difference between getting the best rate and the best loan officer. Most times they aren't that far apart. That's what I like about AskaLender. It showcases all the best by what fits the consumers exact scenario.
Understand interest rates
The article explains differences like APR vs Interest Rate. For years, the APR was used as the best comparison tool around. If one lender's APR was lower than the other guy, then lower wins right? Wrong. The APR can be shifted by things that aren't even considered costs and hence manufactured lower. If you would like me to do a full post on that, just leave a comment below.
On the other end of the spectrum regarding rate, knowing how interest rates move is imperative for the lender you are working with to know. Seriously, when should you lock? I have argued that knowing when to lock is more important than having the best rate and that shopping for the best rate doesn't work any more. Rates are important... I get it, but lenders can promise you a 1% rate and never have to close the loan! Best to find a competent loan officer that responds quickly, presents professionally, and gets the job done.
Get beyond the rate and terms
If you really asked yourself, what is important to you, rate or relationship... what would you choose? Be honest. You make choices based on a relationship over price every day. Where you shop, who you go out with, and who you trust with your money. A mortgage should be no different. Find a loan officer that you trust, makes you feel at ease and yet still gives you a competitive rate. It's good for the soul, trust me.
Find the best lender
AskaLender.com is a website that has a list of all the top mortgage loan officers. It breaks down the best for refinances, purchases and for type of loan program so you find the best for your exact scenario.