Working With Your Mortgage Lender

(This post is Part 2 of my “Mortgage Lender” blog series. You can read the first blog in the series here.)

Once you’ve found a mortgage lender you trust, it’s time to get to work. But not just for your mortgage pro — you need to be involved, because the more you know, the better.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /

You’ll want to know as much as you can about:


This is one of the most important parts of the homebuying process. Getting a good mortgage loan rate means less money in your monthly payment — and more money in your pocket.

Talk to your lender about:

  • Delivering on the rate or range they mentioned.

    • (It might not seem like it, but there’s a big difference from 5% to 6%.)

  • How your rates may vary, and the contributing factors.

    • (Ex.: Your income, assets and credit will be highly important.)

  • When the rates will be determined.

    • (They cannot be determined until credit and other guidelines are met.)


A “point” is one percent of the amount of your mortgage loan. Make sure your lender explains:

  • What your points will be equal to and how they affect your loan rate

  • How points can be charged (for both fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages) in order to increase the yield on the mortgage AND to cover loan closing costs

    • These points are usually collected at closing and can be paid by the borrower or the seller — or may be split between them.


Banks charge them, lenders charge them — fees are an unavoidable part of a major transaction like a home purchase/sale. Make sure to ask your lender:

  • What fees are associated with my loan?

  • Can you explain each one and how they might affect the overall loan?


There are lots of other details worthy of your attention. You’ll want the answers to questions like these:

  • What loan programs do you offer?

  • Can I see a good faith estimate right away?

  • Can I see estimated closing costs?

  • Are you certain you can get a deal done by closing?

  • Can you get approval for my loan locally?


  • Do your homework. This is a huge amount of your money at stake!

  • Make sure you’re working with someone you trust at a reputable company.

  • Before you sign on the dotted line, make sure you understand all the details.

If you have a question about mortgages or choosing a mortgage lender, let me know! I’m a REALTOR who also worked as a loan officer in the mortgage industry — and I can help point you in the right direction.

Think you’re ready to start the homebuying process? Call 267.566.3448 or email me at right now!

© 2013 by Shannon Rubin.


Building Your Own Home: A Good Idea?

Maybe you found some inexpensive land in a great location. Maybe you’ve looked at dozens of homes, but none of them are the dream home you’re looking to buy.

So maybe building your own home is the right option for you. Yes, it requires a great deal of work and lots of hard decisions, but the ultimate reward is having the home you’ve always wanted and imagined!

Build Your Own Home

Build Your Own Home

A few of the most important things to consider when building your own home:

People love the idea of buying a home with a warranty that covers everything for up to 20 years. And the warranty on a brand-new home starts immediately on your closing date. But remember — your warranty doesn’t cover normal “wear and tear” or improper use of home components.

Many home builders offer incentives to get you to sign on the dotted line. Sometimes they’ll even throw in upgrades and bonus money that can be used for closing costs. However, now that we’re in a “seller’s market,” there are less reasons for builders to offer additional incentives. So in the current housing market, you might have to pay for that stainless steel fridge upgrade as an out-of-pocket expense.

This might be the best part of building your own home — getting to pick the style of home, layout, square footage and room size, paint colors, even the building materials. And you can choose low maintenance options, energy-efficient appliances and other things that can save you money over the long run. But the initial costs can be high.

These are just three of the things to keep in mind if building your own home is the right choice for you.

I’d be happy to discuss your home options — contact me at 267.566.3448 or email me at today!


© 2013 by Shannon Rubin.