So you’ve found your dream house and you’re ready to make an offer, but you still have a lot of questions—as you should. Your home will likely be your most valuable asset, so before you sign a mortgage you want to make sure you’re fully informed. Here are some questions to ask your lender so that you can feel confident as you complete your mortgage application.
Ask for an upfront estimate of all closing costs. In addition to your down payment and homeowner’s insurance, there may be other costs you will be expected to pay at closing, such as Home Owner Association application fees, escrow accounts for taxes and insurance, or various lender fees. Being aware of these costs in advance will prevent any unpleasant surprises and allows you to plan accordingly.
Find out how often they close on schedule. You want your closing process to go as smoothly as possible so you can move in to your new home, but an unprepared lender can delay or complicate the process. Ask your lender how many closings they handle per month, and whether they’re more experienced with home purchasing or refinancing. You want to work with a lender adept at efficiently closing home purchases. It’s also a good idea to find out what they do to help buyers when the process does get delayed.
Determine whether the underwriter is local. It’s not uncommon for lenders to work with underwriters from out of state, but it’s in your best interest as a buyer for the underwriter to be familiar with the local market. The better they know the local market, the better they can assess the risk involved in your mortgage application.
Find out how accessible your lender is. While house hunting can be a long, drawn-out process, once you find the right house you often have to act quickly. You want to make sure you’re working with a lender that you can reach even on the weekend to provide you with the loan approval letter you’ll need to make an offer.