With “easy” mortgage money a thing of the past, home buyers need the assistance of a knowledgeable mortgage officer to navigate through the complicated financing process.
“Clients need to be hand held,” said Nguyen. “You have to walk them through the process and be familiar with all the different products.”
Loan officer John Anaya said the process at Century 21 Mortgage begins with a “pre-approving” the homebuyer. In the lending world, Anaya said there’s a huge difference between “pre-approved” and “pre-qualified.”
He said homebuyers are pre-qualified for a loan after a brief interview with the lender. The lender basically estimates how large a loan a buyer can secure.
The pre-approved process is much more accurate and detailed. Lenders will order and study a credit report, verify income, savings, employment history and assets. A pre-approval carries much more weight than a pre-qualification.
Anaya, fluent in Spanish, estimates conventional and FHA loans each account for 45 percent of the loans he’s written. VA loans make up about 10 percent of his loan portfolio. Interest rates, said Anaya, are at record lows — 4.8 percent.
Anaya said FHA loans, which feature low down payments, are popular with first-time buyers. Homeowners moving up to larger residence and investors typically opt for conventional loans.
“Conventional loans are not as strict,” he said. “You don’t have to ask for pest or other inspections. That makes for a cleaner offer to the bank.”
In addition to being able to match a home buyer with the right loan, Nguyen said there is a definite advantage to dealing with a locally owned mortgage brokerage like Century 21 Mortgage.
“If there’s a problem, you always know where to find us,” he said. “I hear all the time, ‘I can’t get a hold of that loan officer any more.’ Our overall fees will also be about $200 cheaper. We don’t have junk fees.”
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