Finding the right home is your primary goal, but enjoying it with a lower payment and better mortgage terms is a very important secondary goal. I’ve researched and worked with many mortgage brokers and lenders in the Victoria area, and if need be I’ll be happy to put you in touch with someone who I feel is the best fit for you and your financial picture.
If at any point you’d like a few names, just say the words! In the meantime, here’s some things to consider moving forward:
A second opinion never hurts! – Just because there’s nothing special about your income stream, doesn’t mean that there won’t be differences in mortgages and lenders for your needs. Every mortgage broker (and most lenders) tend to work within their own requirements and procedures, and these may or may not be the friendliest terms for a salaried or hourly wage earner. I always encourage my clients to get a second opinion rather than give up hope (That’s why I have have more than one name on my list of recommendations).
Watch the Fees and Question Them – There are a number of fees associated with getting a mortgage, and the total of origination and other fees is usually the highest closing cost aggregate item in the deal. Never hesitate to ask about all fees, why they’re charged and why they’re a certain amount and how they’re calculated. It’s your money, and you’re the customer.
Sucks to be self employed… Or does it? – Since the mortgage and housing crisis that began in 2007, it’s become a grueling process business owners or self employed individuals to get a mortgage. With the right help however, it’s more than possible – just be prepared to follow the “second opinion” advice from above.
ARMs and When They’re Appropriate – Though most residential home buyers are buying a home they intend to occupy for a number of years, on average around the country at least eight, this isn’t always the case. Also, investors may be looking at a shorter ownership time frame. ARMs, Adjustable Rate Mortgages, are appropriate if the plan is to own a home seven or fewer years, particularly five or fewer. Because the lender is tying up their money for a shorter defined time period, they loan at lower interest rates. ARMs can result in hundreds of dollars a month in lower payments in some cases. They can also allow a buyer to qualify for a larger home. However, this isn’t generally a great practice, as once the ARMs fixed rate interest period is over, rates can escalate more than expected.
Financial Disclosure and Deal-To-Closing Considerations – These days, lenders and their underwriters are scrutinizing financial, income and expense information much more closely than ever before. Be prepared to dig out a lot of documentation, and it’s best to be forthcoming with any financial information that impacts your ability to pay the mortgage payment. Even if it’s not asked for early in the process, be prepared for questions and requests for documents throughout the process. Also, it’s highly recommended that you not add any credit card or other debt between the purchase contract and the closing. Just before closing, most lenders will do another credit check and a check for any liens or encumbrances.