Before you start shopping for a mortgage lender, it helps to know the basics of the industry. All lenders are not created the same. While your bank might be the right choice for a checking account or auto loan, there are companies that specialize in home loans, and for good reason. Banking is a complex industry and bankers are trained on a variety of products. Banking professionals may be well-versed in multiple product lines, but mortgage lending is a discipline unto itself. This blog will explore the benefits of working with a trained mortgage lender versus a general banking professional.
What is a Mortgage Lender?
A mortgage lender is an institution that lends money for home purchases, refinances, and in some cases, commercial real estate purchases. A mortgage lender might also act as the loan servicer after closing. The loan servicer sends monthly statements, processes payments, manages escrow accounts, and may serve as a point of contact for borrower inquiries.
What Does a Mortgage Lender Offer?
Mortgage lenders, also known as mortgage companies, underwrite and finance home loans. They train and employ loan officers (LO’s), who spend their career getting people the best deal possible on their dream home or investment property. The LO’s goal is to serve you and your family for generations by earning your repeat business. An LO will work to earn your trust and referrals, and will not be interested in selling you on a checking account, credit card, or other products. Ruoff Mortgage has been in business since 1984 and everyone on the team works diligently to get people into homes as quickly as possible. The experienced professionals at Ruoff also strive to get their clients to the closing table as quickly and with as little stress as possible. Opening and cultivating paths to home ownership are the things mortgage companies do every day!
Mortgage lenders are also versed at handling unique loan scenarios. If you are a first-time homebuyer without an established credit history, if you need to move quickly for any reason, or if you want options when it comes to home financing, contact us!
LO’s and the mortgage companies they work for are focused on home loans. They monitor rates in real-time, research trends in the real estate industry, and communicate with Realtors daily. LO’s also have experience working with appraisers, title companies, and other professionals who will be involved in your next home purchase or refinance. Some lenders, like Ruoff Mortgage, have the capacity to underwrite their loans-in house, possibly getting you to the closing table faster.
Time to Close
If you want to close fast, tell your lender and be ready to pull your documents together quickly. Find out how much time your lending company needs to process and underwrite your loan. The national average is 35 days, but Ruoff’s average is just 18 days. A speedy closing requires a solid lending institution as well as a loan officer who maintains great communication with all parties (not just the borrowers, but the real estate agent, title officer, etc.).
Conversely, if you need an extended rate lock, tell your lender this from the start. Some borrowers need extra time to get their financial ducks in a row before closing. For example, the underwriter may request that you save a certain amount of money or pay down some debt as conditions for final loan approval. Also, if you’re buying a house and have negotiated a closing date more than 30 days out, find out how long your interest rate will stay locked. In a market with rising rates, you may want to pay extra for an extended lock. An extended lock comes with a reasonable fee that could differ between lenders. You could also choose not to lock your rate early and instead secure the market rate when it’s time to schedule closing. Keep in mind, your rate must be locked before the closing is scheduled.
Where Can I Get the Best Rate?
Rates tend to be similar across banks, brokers, and mortgage companies, assuming each lender is working with the same credit score and application information. Call your loan officer to speak with them directly about rates instead of relying on the internet. Our LO’s monitor rates and will work with you on deciding when to lock.
You Are Valued at Ruoff
Ruoff Mortgage works hard to open doors for each of its valued clients. Customer satisfaction is a top priority, and you are valued every step of the way! If you would like to get pre-qualified for a home purchase or to inquire about a refinance, click here to get started.