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How to find a mortgage lender

Of course, financial considerations are important to every home buyer, and you certainly should consider the different rates lenders in your area offer on comparable loans. But you also want a lender you can trust, and someone you can work with effectively. Remember, you’ll be working closely with your lender. Spending a little extra time at the beginning to find someone you’re comfortable with is well worth the effort. So don’t let rates be your only criterion.

Here’s a process you may want to follow:

Talk to people you know who have bought or refinanced a home recently and ask if they were pleased with the service. Ask your real estate professional for advice. Check the newspaper’s real estate or business section, or look in the yellow pages under “Mortgages.” Check with the bank or credit union you currently use since you have already established a financial relationship with them.

Review the different types of mortgages that are generally available. Most lenders will offer most of them, but if you are particularly interested in one of the less common types of mortgages, make sure the lenders you’re considering offer that type.

Call or visit the lenders on your list. Get a feel for what it will be like to work with them, and how they approach your needs. If you’re still uncertain, ask for references, find recent home buyers like yourself, and talk to them. At this point you are not filling out any paperwork, just having preliminary conversations.

Among the things that you will want to discuss with prospective lenders are the rates they offer on mortgages. When comparing rates between lenders, it is important to remember that mortgages with the same interest rate can end up costing different amounts because of additional costs such as origination and application fees.

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