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For first-time and experienced homebuyers alike, navigating the process of financing real estate transactions can be overwhelming. How do you find the mortgage lender that's right for you? Great question, we'd love to help answer it.


Speak with someone local. The internet can provide a wealth of information, but just like when you're sick, consulting Dr. Google only gets you so far. "When starting the home buying process, resist the urge to qualify yourself on the internet, " says Debbie McEachron. Online calculators are fun to play around with, but actually getting pre-qualified with a local lender is the best way to prepare yourself to make an offer in today's competitive market.


Better yet, speak with more than one local lender. Many lenders have similar programs and rates and while shopping around may or may not get you a better deal, it will help you find someone you feel comfortable working with. "Financing a home is a bit of a process and you'll want to work with someone you can rely on and trust," said Deb Kelly. "If you don't already have a relationship established, it's a good idea to reach out to a couple of lenders to be sure you find the right fit."


Tyler Garrison urges you to start with your bank, "Call the local branch of your bank and ask to meet with someone about home loans. Both banks and mortgage brokers can provide home loans. Determining which one is right for you will depend largely on your personal situation, but starting where you already bank is a good first step."


Don't forget, you can always ask your real estate agent for a recommendation.
You don't buy a home every day, but your Realtor does!


Don't forget, you can always ask your real estate agent for a recommendation. You don't buy a home every day, but your Realtor does! (By proxy, anyway.) Talk to your agent about what type of property you're looking for whether it be land, a townhome, rural property, or investment as there are a lot of factors that play into determining your loan options. One lender might have a great loan program for new construction while another could be better for VA loans. Chances are your real estate agent will have experience working with a lender that fits your personal situation.


Be honest. Even during initial conversations with lenders, be upfront about your financial situation including any existing debts, your credit score, and how much money you are able to use for a down payment. Sure, that inheritance from Great Aunt Betty would be nice, but unless you have access to that money today then leave it out of the equation. Being real with your mortgage lender from the start will get you quick answers to not just "how much do I qualify for" but also the "how much can I afford" questions. It will also make for a less-stressful transaction when there are fewer surprises along the way and you can estimate monthly and yearly costs associated with financing.


Consider meeting with a financial advisor. "Recognize that a home mortgage is only one piece of your financial picture," said Ray Atteberry. Buying a home is one of the biggest financial moves you make. A financial advisor can make recommendations tailored to your immediate needs and your long-term goals. They will make sure you are prepared for things like a down payment, tax implications, and unexpected costs.

In summation, it's ok to shop around for the right mortgage lender. Browsing for the right product in the location you plan on investing in is always the safest bet. It's also ok to ask for help when you don't know the answers, we're in your corner!
Categories: Montana Real Estate


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