How much will you need to put down on a property & how do different down payment amounts affect your mortgage rate & any PMI (Mortgage Insurance.)
How do different down payment amounts affect your monthly payment for a specific price point?
Answering these questions helps you determine your price range and gets us off to a great start on your search.
Go Local! Local mortgage bankers rely on referrals to get most of their business, so they have to protect their local reputation. A local loan originator (LO) will be much more motivated to close your loan on time & with little hassle than someone in Hoboken, NJ.
Use an LO & bank who specialize in mortgages. These types of LO’s are typically 100% commission jobs. So, they’re highly motivated to get you approved & to make sure your loan closes on time.
Use someone w/ a strong online presence, specifically with reviews. If your lender is rated well on Yelp, Google+, or AngiesList, that lender will want to protect his/her rating (and hopefully get a new, positive review from you.)
Stay away from national retail banks like Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Chase, etc… You might already bank w/ a national bank, and it might seem natural to go to them for a mortgage. In our experience, their mortgage departments are typically staffed with lower paid employees who aren’t heavily incentivized, which means they have little motivation to do a good job for you.