With all the lenders and mortgage companies vying for your business, we assembled this "Mortgage Tips" section so you can arm yourself with the right questions you should ask when comparing loans and lenders. We're confident that after all is said and done, your final choice will be LoanMax.
If you find a rate lower than what LoanMax offers, we ask you to please compare two things; the Closing Costs and the Rate Lock-In Period a lender is offering.
"What are your Closing Costs?"
If you find a lender with a rate lower than LoanMax, compare their closing costs to ours. We constantly "shop" our competition and are amazed at what we find in "Mortgageland"......
We recently called one out-of-state lender in Pennsylvania who had quoted our borrower the same rate we did but with 3/8 lower on the points. We were intrigued, so we called. We asked about closing costs on a loan for a $151,000 mortgage and were told that there was just a flat fee of $2,150 that covered everything.
"Everything?" we asked. "Well no" came the reply, "It does not include the closing attorney fee or the title search OR title insurance, you have to arrange that on your own". YIKES!! Adding in the cost of those items would have brought their closing costs to over $3,100 (ABOUT $1,400 HIGHER than LoanMax). Initially, one might have thought their loan was better but it would have cost you almost $800 more than one from LoanMax even though their points may have been lower. ON top of that, they would not guarantee in writing that there would be NO origination fee charged at closing! How do you deal with that surprise when it's too late?
Make sure the Lender you are
dealing with will put in writing ALL the costs you will be expected to pay at
closing. AND make sure it includes "minor" things like the closing
attorney and title search and title insurance.
"What is the Lock-In period?"
Many lenders will quote rates with a 30-day lock period (because they ARE in some cases cheaper) as opposed to the 60 day lock-ins that LoanMax quotes. In some cases a 30-day lock is unrealistic.
In the first case, you may be purchasing a new home and for one reason or another, you OR the seller may not WANT to close within 30 days.
Secondly, lenders usually require your loan to be recorded and disbursed on or before the date a lock-in expires for your rate to be honored. Do you know that on a refinance of an owner-occupied home, the day you close is NOT the day your loan is recorded? It can sometimes take until 6 days AFTER your loan closes that your new loan is recorded due to Federal Right of Rescission Laws. That can make a 30-day lock extremely unrealistic assuming you might have to close within 24 days (and you might be dealing with some lender in California!) Wow, 24 Days. We'll say it again....YIKES!
Should it turn out that you are buying a home and ALL you need is a 30-day lock-period. We'll be glad to see if one of our lenders will grant it to you at a rate that may be slightly better than that we normally quote
"When can you "Lock In" your rate?"
OK, so you've found a lender with the same rates and points and closing costs as LoanMax offers AND they will offer you the same 45 or 60 day lock-in and they'll put it all down in writing like we will. What do you do then?
Find out WHEN you can lock in your rate. Many lenders will quote a rate today but you can't lock-in your rate until they receive your mortgage loan package BACK from you in the mail! Or you have to drive somewhere to "Meet them in person". And, they'll collect a lock-in fee when you do lock-in!!!! We could be talking 3-7 days down the road. A lot can happen in 6 hours to interest rates, never mind 3-7 days!
Would you believe there are some lenders that don't even let you lock-in your rate until your loan is approved!?
We say, "NONSENSE!" At LoanMax, you can lock-in with one of our lenders TODAY, RIGHT NOW, RIGHT-THIS-VERY-SECOND, FOR FREE!!! Why risk rates going up after doing all that comparison shopping you've been doing? You'd have wasted a lot of time.
"When will my loan be approved?"
At LoanMax, most of our loans are approved online by our lenders through "Fannie Mae DeskTop Originator" or "Freddie Mac Loan Prospector". Fannie Mae (FNMA) and Freddie Mac (FHLMC) are the two major conduits for conventional mortgage financing in the United States.
In simple terms, what this means is that we submnit your loan applciation through our lenders to Fannie Mae's or Freddie Mac's underwriting system and a decision is made on your loan usually within ten minutes. TEN MINUTES!
Loan approvals from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac usually have far fewer loan documents required than those of the past. Often times we don't need copies of W-2 forms, and often only 1 month of bank statements compared to the usual 2-3 months required in in the past.
Imagine getting on the phone with LoanMax, completing your application in under 10 minutes, and having your loan approved subject to certain conditions by one of our lenders 10 minutes later!
"What happens after you apply for your mortgage?"
This is a great question to ask, especially when dealing with some of those out-of-state mortgage lenders with their HUGE call centers. What you really want to ask is "Ultimately, who do I talk to if I have a question or someone along the way drops the ball and screws up my application paperwork?"
At LoanMax, you deal with THE SAME PERSON from the application ALL the way to the CLOSING of your loan. ONE PERSON! Not someone in the Call Center who you give your information to, who passes it off to someone in Loan Processing, who passes it off to someone in the Underwriting Department who passes it off to someone in the Closing Department (Who, by that time, may need to pass your loan off to someone in the lock-in department because your application took so long to process that your rate expired!) GO Ahead, Say it with us........YIKES!!!!
Repeat these words...."At
LoanMax, I will deal with the SAME PERSON through the entire process from
application to closing."
"Who will close my loan?"
Can you believe there are actually some lenders out there who make YOU go out and find an attorney to close the mortgage loan for them? After all the rate and comparison shopping you've already done, now you have to start ALL OVER again with attorney's and title companies........
At LoanMax, we use only a very limited number of law firms and attorney's in Massachusetts to close loans. In turn, because of the amount of volume we send these firms, not only do our clients receive superior service, they receive it at a cost that is less than if they had to hire one on their own. Our attorneys are also well aware of the intricacies of dealing with each of the secondary market lenders we work with.
Imagine having to hire an attorney on your own and then finding out they had never done a closing for the particular lender you chose to obtain your financing from? Had never seen what their closing packages looked like? Had never dealt with that lender's closing department? Last time.....we promise......YIKES!!
"Where is the lender or broker located that will help me obtain my mortgage?"
LoanMax is in Massachusetts. We ONLY offer mortgage loans in Massachusetts. One State, that's enough. But we think we know it pretty darn well.
Ask other prospective lenders (especially if they're out of state - we'd love to hear their answers) if they know the following:
What is the South Shore? North Shore?
Where is JP? Where is Florence?
Where is the South End? Where is Southie?
Where is Greendale? or Feeding Hills? Chestnut Hill? or Marstons Mills? or Whitinsville?
Buying a home in "The Acre"? (Hello Clinton!) Forest Park? (Hello Springfield!)
Who pays for the title search in the Worcester area when you're buying a home? (weird little rule... the seller does)
What it Title 5? And what is a Title 5 Waiver?
Where exactly is the Pioneer Valley?
Why are there still tolls on the Pike? (This we don't know the answer to either)
Thank you for taking the time to read this section. We promise that LoanMax will make your home-buying or refinancing experience as easy and stress-free as possible. We encourage you to call anytime if you have any questions and I look forward to calling you "My Client"
81 Adams Street
Boylston, MA 01505
Licensed Massachusetts Mortgage Broker # MB 1319
NMLS Company ID # 1601 NMLS Individual Broker I.D. # 3788