When you’re making the decision to purchase a home, you want to make sure you get the best team possible on your side. You’ll need to decide if you’re going to have realtor representation and you’ll also need to choose a mortgage lender, a home inspector, a closing attorney and a moving company. If you’re building new, you’ll need to choose a builder and do adequate research into the quality of the homes they build. All of these individuals make up your team, and you want to be mindful of who to include on your team because you’re going to be spending a lot of time working with these people.
Reviews come in all shapes and sizes; look for reviews online, check the individual/company’s profile on the Better Business Bureau, check the company’s status with your local Chamber of Commerce and ask for personal reviews. Another great tactic is to talk to your friends and family to discuss their experiences with the builders, lenders and realtors they have used.
When you’re choosing a team, it’s important to consider the size of the company you’d like to work with. Of course, there are benefits and drawbacks to choosing either a large or small company, so consider the following: Do you need a streamlined, well-organized service to suit your busy lifestyle, or are you more interested in face-to-face personal interactions? Do you need several payment options including online, direct deposit or phone service, or would you prefer a more old-fashioned check-mailing payment? Thinking about your lifestyle and values will help you determine what size company will fit best with your needs and values.
While this part may seem like common sense, it’s important to pay attention to your interactions with the companies you’re looking into during the beginning stages, as this is most likely how they will continue to service you in the future. Is your lender easy to reach? Does the realtor go out of their way to help you solve your problems? Do the customer service representatives employed by your builder seem knowledgeable and friendly? Make sure that the company has people you enjoy dealing with, because you’re going to be dealing with them a lot.
Once you’ve narrowed your list down to a few potential lending companies, ask each to give you a “good faith estimate.” A good faith estimate is a detailed list of costs to the lender that includes closing costs, interest rates, title insurance, attorney rates and more. This estimate can help you understand which lending company will best suit your budget.
When buying a home, consider using a preferred lender service. Preferred lenders offer a streamlined lending process, which can make your life much easier. All of the important lending steps can be taken care of at one office, and your mortgage and loan decisions can be made more quickly.