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How to choose a mortgage lender

Choosing the right mortgage lender is critical to the purchase of any home, coop or condo in the highly competitive seller’s market that exists in brownstone Brooklyn today. Seller’s contracts often contain deadlines for obtaining mortgage approval, so an appropriate sense of urgency is important. To select the right mortgage professional, you should first determine what type of loan you need and look for a lender that can do the best possible job for you.

There are several types of loans, the most common being loans on one and two family houses, co-op loans and condo loans. Less common and a bit more complex and unique are construction loans, mortgages that supply capital for construction rather than just on existing property.

When looking for a lender, consider the following:

If you already have a strong relationship with a retail lender, (more than just a couple of bank accounts), they may be a good choice for you. However, just using the “mortgage guy” at your local bank may not be your best bet, as they may end up wasting your time. They often don’t make sure that you qualify before taking your application, or have the where-with-all to push it through in a timely manner.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that a mortgage that it obtained directly from a bank is any cheaper than one obtained through a broker. Rates, which vary between income and credit worthiness levels, are very competitive.
A better choice is a mortgage broker or a mortgage banker who is paid on commission. They are highly motivated and much more likely to make sure that you qualify before accepting your application. Commissions are paid by the bank.
I always suggest that you ask for recommendations when hiring a mortgage professional.

If you’re purchasing a house, coop or condo in Park Slope, Bed Stuy, Ft. Greene or Bushwick, you need an experienced local real estate attorney with the expertise to guide you through the process. To discuss your upcoming real estate purchase, call me at 212-962-2000 or click here to send me an email.

Kurt Roth, residential real estate attorney in Brooklyn, New York.

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