5 Things I Wish All Homebuyers Knew Before Getting Their Mortgage

A good mortgage loan officer is like a financial psychiatrist for residential housing.  Years of training and experience are packed into our minds for the purpose of reacting top-5correctly to buyers’ financial profiles, stories and desires.  The moral of the story?  All those years of training and experience are an empty value unless you put your entire buyer profile, story and set of desires before your loan officer.  Not doing this is like buying a 600 dollar phone and only using ten percent of its features.

A good mortgage loan officer is not a peddler of a financial commodity (I can suggest some bad ones if you’re into that kind of thing).  They should perform a variety of functions prior to you having a purchase agreement on a home.  After finding the right loan type, program and structure (i.e. VA 30 year fixed rate loan structured with seller paid closing costs), a loan officer should apply this information in detail to properties of interest so that you can satisfy both your left and right brain while considering the properties you want to buy.  They can and should participate in an advisory and supporting role through your purchase contract negotiation.  The moral of the story?  When your loan officer is a complete pre-contract partner in your home-buying process, your decision making will be more acute and this will prevent buyer’s remorse and cancelled purchase agreements.

Simply put, the mortgage process is the perfection of a loan application.  It’s the first document you fill out and you sign the final one at closing; it bookends everything involved.  As the initial loan application makes its way to being a final loan application, the data is made to be more accurate until finally, it’s absolutely precise.  Every step in the mortgage process relates to verifying a fact or validating an assumption on the initial loan application.  The moral of the story?  Precision in the beginning matters.  Don’t guess on anything in your initial application.  Make it exact and you’ll set the tone for your transaction to be as perfect as it can be.

A loan officer will need a truck load of loan documentation and lending disclosures.  I guarantee you that when a loan officer or loan processor asks for various forms of documentation, not all of the requests will make sense.  In some cases, the requests might instinctively draw an indignant response from you.  The reality is that for every lawsuit, there’s a new disclosure that needs to be signed by everyone in the country.  For every batch of loans that goes into default, there’s some new dumb and circuitous way of documenting something that finds its way into mortgage underwriting guidelines (like documenting irregular bank deposits or gift funds).  We don’t ask for these things for our amusement and feel badly when we do.  The moral of the story?  When we do ask for paperwork, I’m happy to hear your indignant response because I empathize and some of them can be funny.  But in the end, just get the documentation.  I’m not being crass; I’m being real.  Fighting it is a road to nowhere.

Make sure that you like and get along with your loan officer.  Even in some cases where buyers are putting fifty percent down and have eight hundred and thirty credit scores, purchase transactions can go sideways and become stressful for everyone.  If this should happen, having a good relationship with your loan officer can really help with migrating through the dips and turns so you can right the ship again.  If you don’t have . . . chemistry, shall we call it . . . this process can be hell and sometimes personality clashes can prevent a derailed transaction from getting back on track altogether.  The moral of the story?  I hope we will like each other and get along. 🙂

Charles Dailey – Branch Manager, Loan Officer, Certified Military Housing Specialist – CA DOC, MN DOC & WI DFI


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The Home Buyers Scouting Report® is provided directly to the buyer by HBM II, a licensed national real estate brokerage service company, not to or through a lender. The FREE home finding service is provided directly to prospective homebuyers by HBM II and its real estate brokers, as part of their ordinary real estate brokerage services. HBM II, Inc. works cooperatively with other real estate agents across the United States in attempting to find ready, willing and able buyers for homes listed for sale. The role of the Preferred Loan Officer is to assist in determining a comfortable home price range for Home Buyers Marketing II, Inc. (HBM II) to use when it is searching for property listings within the buyer’s search criteria.