Choosing the Right Mortgage Lender

(This post is Part 1 of my “Mortgage Lender” blog series. Coming up in my next blog: “Working With Your Mortgage Lender.”)

Image courtesy of fotographic1980 at

Image courtesy of fotographic1980 at

One of the most important decisions you’ll make as a home buyer is choosing the right mortgage lender. It’s really the first major step in your decision to buy!

If you have the full cash amount to pay for a house, you don’t need a mortgage. But most people need to get financing — and what you really need is a reputable mortgage company and a loan officer you can trust.

This is your home we’re talking about, and the big monthly bill you’re about to start paying for years to come. You deserve to work with someone who’s “got your back!”


A good starting place is getting referrals from the people you trust the most — your family, friends and colleagues. Get some names of mortgage lenders they’ve worked with — chances are, if they really enjoyed working with them, they still have their card and contact information handy.

Then, check out the company and loan officer online. Search their names and look for any reviews of their services, because many people like to share their experiences — both good and bad — online for others to learn from.


Whether it’s on the phone or at an in-person meeting, the best way to get to know your loan officer is to ”interview” them. Here are some questions to ask:

  • “Will you walk me through this process?
    Real estate transactions can be very complicated. You need someone who will take the time to explain all the terminology and details.
  • “Do you have a lot of clients?”
    You also don’t want to be treated like a number. Obviously, you’re not their only client — but you do matter and deserve to be treated well.
  • “Are you reachable?”
    A good loan officer is responsive. They’ll take your calls, respond to your emails and answer all your questions in a timely manner.
  • “Can you deliver on your promises?”
    Your loan officer needs to meet deadlines and back up what they promise — especially when it comes to locking in your mortgage rate. And there should never be any hidden fees or “oops, I forgot to mention this fee!”

And finally, get referrals from other satisfied customers. If they’re good at what they do, they should have plenty!


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.

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

© 2013 by Shannon Rubin.

Image courtesy of fotographic1980 at


Home Buying Tips: What You WANT vs. What You NEED

First, I’d like to wish you a happy and healthy New Year!
Now, on to the blog:

Being realistic is one of the biggest problems facing potential homebuyers. Many people dream of owning a mansion with every possible feature and amenity.

But unless you have an unlimited budget, you might have to give up a few of those dream features. What it really comes down to is figuring out which things are WANTS — and which things are NEEDS.

It’s helpful to ask yourself:

Where Do I NEED To Live?
We all know the old adage: “Location, Location, Location.” But most people need to live near work, or at least near major roads that make commuting easier. And if you have children, an area with good schools, culture, sports and activities is a “must-have” for you.

What Kind Of Home Do I NEED?
Sure, a 10-bedroom, 8-bathroom mansion with an indoor pool would be great. But do you (or anyone except The Brady Bunch) need all that? A few things you DO need: to know your minimum number of beds, baths and square feet; a list of locations to consider; and a good idea of what you can afford. (A pre-approval letter from a mortgage lender is a great start.)

Which Amenities & Features Do I NEED?
You need to think about what’s not negotiable for your day-to-day life. If you need a home office (a den, study or a spare bedroom), put that on the list. If a double oven is a must because you host lots of dinner parties, put that on the list. But as cool as it might be to have a heated, indoor, Olympic-sized pool, you probably don’t need it unless you’re training for the 2016 Summer Games.

Please remember: the better you are at identifying your WANTS — but focusing on NEEDS — the faster you’ll find the home that meets your needs and your budget.

You WANT and NEED a real estate agent who takes the time to help you make the best possible decision. I’m that kind of REALTOR® — so contact me at 267.566.3448 or email me at today!


© 2013 by Shannon Rubin.