The Benefits of Using a Local Lender
Written by Steve Stovall
With all of the road construction going on right now we have to really depend on road signs to help us get where we need to go.
Several years ago I lived near the Mall, and there was one intersection near my home that became my pet peeve. It’s the intersection of Robertson and Buffalo Gap Road. The problem is that Robertson does not line up exactly with the road that goes into the Mall there by McDonalds. In order to go straight into the Mall you have to be in the LEFT lane on Robertson, directly facing oncoming traffic. Since most people have a slight aversion to possible head-on collisions, they tend to stay in the RIGHT lane and try to go straight. The problem is that the RIGHT lane is for right turns only, and the green light to go straight doesn’t come on unless you are in the LEFT lane. Sometimes people sit through 2 or 3 green arrows waiting for a green light to go straight. This causes much distress to those of us parked behind the folks who are waiting for a green light that will never come unless someone else pulls up into the left lane. There is a very small sign. I think there should be a very large sign, with flashing lights, and a voice that says “This lane is for turning only!”
Good Directions Over Detours
A mortgage lender can be much like a street sign. A good lender can save you from embarrassing delays and roadblocks, while a not-so-good lender, can take you down a painful road of detours.
While there are some out-of-town or internet lenders that do a good job, we recommend finding a LOCAL lender. Local lenders know our market. They know where all of the potholes are. Local lenders are, well, local! They are your neighbors. You see them in the grocery store. They usually have more at stake in making sure that your transaction goes smoothly.
One problem with using an out-of-town lender is they don’t know the market. Even though you may be getting a standardized government loan, local markets vary widely. An out-of-town lender may not even have a local appraiser on their “approved list.”
Local Versus Out-of-Town
Another problem with out-of-town lenders is that you never know what you are getting. Promises of cheap rates may be offset by fees that are higher than are customary in our market. Be sure to get all of the facts in writing. Usually our local lenders can meet or beat any “deal” you can find elsewhere when you compare apples to apples.
Finally, with an out-of-town lender you may never be able to speak to the same person. Often you are just a number while your loan gets passed from clerk to clerk. Many times important terms of your contract, such as the projected closing date, may be ignored, causing delays and friction between you and the seller of the property. Delays by the lender can even cause a buyer to lose his earnest money at no fault of the buyer. With a local lender you can discuss your loan with an actual person that, if necessary, you can reach across the desk and strangle. Problems can usually be worked out in time for closing, or at least in time to get the closing date extended.
Local lenders support our community. I believe that whenever possible we should “Buy Big Country.” Not all out-of-town lenders are bad, and not all local lenders are good. It’s a good idea to seek the advice of your agent to find out the experience of other buyers. Your Realtor does this every day. Like a good road sign, a good lender will take you where you want to go.
To read our previous blog, click here.