5 Reasons to Choose a Local Mortgage Lender

Buying a home might be the single biggest purchase you make in your life. You want it to go right. That is why the mortgage lender you choose is critical to making sure your homeownership dreams come true and the experience is hassle-free.

Whether you are a first-time buyer needing assistance through the lending process or you are an existing homeowner seeking to refinance or purchase a vacation home, it pays to go with a local lender as opposed to a big-name national bank or brand.

Here are 5 reasons to choose a local mortgage lender like Mortgage 1.

1. Personalized Service
A local mortgage lender gives you the chance to to work face-to-face with an expert, if need be. The growth of digital mortgages, like our Pro SNAP app, has eliminated the need for as much face-to-face meeting in the past, but as a home buyer it can be reassuring to know that your loan officer is right around the corner as opposed to across the country or overseas.

A local lender gets to know you. Your messages won’t sit in a voicemail box unanswered for weeks on end. With Mortgage 1, you’ll get a cell number for your loan officer and can call or text them at a moment’s notice to get your questions answered.

2. Local Expertise
Another advantage of local lenders is their familiarity with local market conditions. We know our local neighborhoods, so we know what’s going, what the trends are, and we use that knowledge when helping buyers obtain mortgages.

For example, a national lender with no roots in the local community may be reluctant to approve a mortgage for an atypical property, such as an original farmhouse on acreage that’s now covered by a subdivision. A local lender like Mortgage 1 will know the history of the area and the changing demographics and economic trends and may be more comfortable underwriting such a loan.

Local lenders also have their finger on the pulse of the local or regional economy, and have a better sense of the lending risks in the area. What looks to a big lender like a dilapidated section of town might actually be an up-and-coming area where properties re increasing in value. Local lenders will know this.

Local lenders may also be more attractive to some home sellers and real estate agents who want an efficient and timely closing. Reputation matters. In situations where several offers are on the table, having a local, trusted lender could be the difference between closing or not closing.

3. Realtor Relationships
Local lenders invest a lot of time and effort building relationships with local Realtors. Realtors and lenders are the yin and yang of real estate. Mortgage 1 loan officers are on a first-name basis with most of the real estate agents in their local areas.

Also, with everyone on your team – the Realtor, the lender, you– working in proximity, a closing can happen quickly and without hassle. The final stage of home buying is sometimes the most stressful. Having a unified team that is familiar and comfortable with each other can make the process quick and painless.

4. Varied and Specialized Products
Local lenders have a better understanding of property values and the local economy. When you work with Mortgage 1, you’re paired with a licensed loan officer and team of professionals who are experts in your region. Our loan officers help you choose the right type of loan for your circumstance and we keep you updated along the way. We have in-house tools and resources to expedite a loan, ensuring everything is taken care of in a timely manner.

Local lenders are where you’ll find the specialized loans the big lenders won’t bother with. Maybe you want an adjustable-rate mortgage with a 15-year lock? Or you want to buy a vacation property that lacks a furnace? Or you want to buy or refinance a home for less than $100,000, an amount too small to be of interest most lenders? Or you want a jumbo loan?

Local lenders are have more flexibility. Big banks need process large numbers of loan applications. To do that, they have rigid guidelines about who they will and won’t lend to. Big banks are more about volume than customer service.

At Mortgage 1, we have been Michigan’s leading MSHDA first-time buyer lender for 9 straight years. We are also a recognized USDA rural development leader.

5. Reliable, Responsive & Flexible
Local lenders are better at closing loans on a timely basis. If the closing of a loan has to be extended by a week, local lenders are more flexible than big banks who have corporate mandates to crank out the volume.

Local lenders, along with local real estate agents, have an incentive to provide you with excellent service because they want you to be a referral source for future business. They stake their reputation on each and every customer.

With a local lenders, you are much closer to the decision makers with the authority to approve your mortgage. You aren’t dealing with a corporate bureaucracy.

Mortgage 1 loan officers are more likely to get personally involved in qualifying you for a mortgage, as opposed to big banks. Often, it’s a matter of the getting to know you. Perhaps you are self-employed with irregular income. Or you have poor credit due to a financial crisis, but have good income and low debt.

Mortgage 1 loan officers are better suited to be responsible and flexible for borrowers like these.

At Mortgage 1, you will never be just a name or number on a loan application. We manage every step of the mortgage process, from application to underwriting to closing, to make the process easy. We have been financing the American homeownership dream for nearly three decades. We can do the same for you.

What to Expect With a Home Inspection

You’ve found a house you love. Why do you need a home inspection? In this article, we’ll explain the what, why, when, and how of a real estate home inspection.

Many home buyers place a home inspection contingency in their offers. Some mortgages (such as an FHA loan) require an inspection before they will approve an application, but most do not. So why should a prospective buyer bother?

Let’s dig into the world of real estate home inspections.

What Is a Home Inspection?

Some people get home inspections confused with home appraisals, but they are two very different things. A home appraisal is mainly concerned with ascertaining the value of a property (house, acreage or lot, outbuildings, and all). A home inspection is a much deeper look into the safety and structure of the actual house.

Why Get a Home Inspection?

Imagine buying your dream house, only to find that the roof leaks and there’s a massive mold problem that costs thousands of dollars to remedy. This is exactly what a home inspection aims to prevent. So, even though home inspections are not usually required for traditional home loans, it’s a good idea to get one. No one likes unexpected, expensive repairs.

Who Pays for a Home Inspection? When Do You Need It Done?

Usually, the buyer pays for a home inspection. This is done after the seller accepts the buyer’s offer but before the buyer pays for the house. The actual home inspection should be done within a certain time frame, which is generally specified in the offer.

Many buyers include a home inspection contingency clause in their offer. This means that if the home inspection reveals issues that weren’t already disclosed by the seller, the buyer can negotiate for a better price (to remedy the undisclosed defects) or walk away from the offer entirely.

What to Expect During a Home Inspection

The first step is to find a reputable home inspector; your real estate agent will probably have some recommendations for you. If not, try to find one who is certified by a nationally recognized agency (like ASHI or InterNACHI). Depending on your state, home inspectors may also need to be licensed. Finally, be wary of home inspectors who try to sell you repair services; they may recommend expensive and unnecessary changes.

What happens during the inspection? According to the ASHI, “The standard home inspector’s report will cover the condition of the home’s heating system; central air conditioning system (temperature permitting); interior plumbing system; electrical system; the roof, attic, and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors; and the foundation, basement, and structural components. […] If certain areas are inaccessible (locked door, tenant’s belongings in the way) or unsafe conditions (severely steep roofs, poor structural integrity) the inspector will explain the situation and note that they were not able to assess that specific area or system.”

It’s also important to note that while the inspector will look for signs of possible internal structural problems (e.g. water damage marks), they won’t open up walls and check for actual damage. They’ll make a recommendation that this issue be examined by a professional who specializes in that problem.

Most home inspections take a few hours. Buyers are urged to be present during the inspection so that they can talk with the inspector about any concerns. After the inspection, the buyer will receive a detailed report on the condition of the house. If any previously unknown issues are found, the buyer and seller can discuss remediation or price reduction options.