If you’re a local Tuscaloosa or Northport, Alabama home buyer, shopping for a home can be challenging and frustrating in this hot market. Getting a good deal on a solid mortgage to buy that home? It’s kinda like being grilled by the police under suspicion of committing a crime or having a government agency rifle through your personal information.
Worst of all, you usually end up paying a lot more than you should simply because the prospect of approaching more than one lender feels, well, like gluttony for punishment.
Plus, for some absurd reason, every time you apply for a mortgage, guess what? Your credit takes a hit simply because the lender checks your credit! It’s enough to make almost anyone just make a quick choice in a lender and never look back; good, bad, and ugly notwithstanding.
But what most people don’t realize is there really are big advantages to applying for mortgage approval, then shopping around. We spoke with Jesse Crane, a local broker with First Federal Mortgage here in town. According to Jesse, it’s one of the big, “single moment” opportunities buyers have when they’re purchasing a home:
“Most buyers don’t realize they have 15 days from when they first apply for a mortgage pre-approval to shop around with other lenders or brokers without having their credit score take a hit, ” said Crane. “The more you shop around, the more likely you are to not only get a better loan deal but also get some cash incentives to boot.”
Crane’s firm, for example, offers a “second opinion” incentive for qualifying shoppers who want to see what they can offer by way of different loan packages, rates, and terms. They provide a $100 Visa gift card to eligible borrowers just for letting them see what they can do.
As well, often times borrowers think that the deal they’re getting it pretty much the same deal they’ll get elsewhere. Not true, according to Crane, who says that loan qualifications, programs, and deals can vary significantly from lender to lender. Many local firms even have self-funded local “portfolios” that offer better programs for home buyers and investors that are not available in standard loan programs.
Make sure you shop around for your best loan deal. In this hot market, also make sure you seek pre-approval before even looking at homes too. Since homes are going within hours, you’ll greatly increase your chances of landing your dream house with a pre-approval to go with your offer.
By shopping around for loans, you’ll also make sure you don’t pay more than you should for it too.
More Resources for You: