- May 15, 2017
- Posted by: steve
- Categories: mortgage articles, mortgage broker
Buying a house can be a stressful process. You don’t have to go through it alone. Read here for the advantages of hiring a Florida mortgage broker.
As a first time home buyer in Florida, you might be tempted to jump on the first loan rate you qualify for.
After all, that’s a celebration, right? No need to shop around. You’re on top of the world, so pop some champagne!
Snatching the first loan you can isn’t a new thing.
Luckily for you, you’re sitting here reading this, so you know there are more options when buying your first home.
That option is a Florida mortgage broker.
They work for you, and they know that one of the hardest parts about buying your first home is navigating the complex terminology.
Like what’s a reverse mortgage? What does it mean if a mortgage is “adjustable rate”? What do I need a pre-approval letter for?
These are questions your mortgage broker can answer, along with any other concerns you’ve got.
Come on in, and let’s talk about hiring a Florida mortgage broker.
I’m a First Time Home Buyer: What’s a Mortgage Broker?
If you’re completely new to home buying, you’re probably wondering what a mortgage broker is.
Essentially, your Florida mortgage broker helps you get a loan. They talk to lenders, do paperwork for you, and make sure your home buying process runs smoothly.
This is different than doing it yourself — without a broker, you have to navigate a mess of banks, lenders, and paperwork that can leave your head spinning.
So that sounds nice and all, but what are the actual advantages of using a mortgage broker?
Advantages of a Florida Mortgage Broker v. a Bank Mortgage
Compared to doing it yourself, there are a lot of perks to having a Florida mortgage broker on your side.
They make things easier on you
When you buy a home yourself, you are responsible for everything. You fill out paperwork and talk to banks, and this can take a lot of time.
When you hire a Florida mortgage broker, they do all of this work for you.
They will shop for different lenders, get pre-approval for loans, and they can even get you approved when the bank would deny you. You might not know the ins and outs of getting a mortgage, but this is your mortgage broker’s job — they are more likely to know the process than you.
Flexibility is part of the equation as well.
Lenders may have different requirements and hoops to jump through that make it tough to find the right one. To a broker, though, the lenders look like a deck of fanned cards — there are so many to choose from, and they just need to pick the right one.
So while your situation might not fit every single lender, your broker is a chameleon, helping people from various credit scores and financial situations.
They can save you money
Looking at mortgage rates can give you a headache. All these numbers mean something, but it’s difficult to tell just what.
Think of your Florida mortgage broker as a jewelry appraiser.
To the untrained eye (or the first time buyer), every necklace or ring might be valuable…or fool’s gold. However, brokers have enough experience to tell which items are fakes and which ones are money.
Brokers sift through all of their lenders, and they have connections often unavailable to the public.
They look at all of the different rates and determine which one fits you.
The best part? When lenders know they’re competing, the rate you pay goes down. They want your business, after all.
They’ve got your best interest in mind
So brokers make things easier on you, and they can make the process more affordable.
Surely there’s a catch, right?
You’d think that, but unlike some banks or lenders, a Florida mortgage broker has strict regulations on their business. They go through federal background checks and need to have certain licenses in order to work for you.
Even despite these regulations, brokers still want to give you the best service they can.
- Brokers get paid when your loan is done. That means they can’t (and won’t) take the money and run.
- They have much more time than banks do to devote to your loan
- They’re a person, not a company — you’re meeting with them face to face
Their personal service can help soothe your fears as a first time home buyer.
They know a lot about mortgages
Think about the first time you ever learned chemistry. You had to learn about elements and bonds, and it probably seemed too complicated.
Navigating the mortgage market can feel just like that first chemistry class: overwhelming and stressful.
Enter the Florida mortgage broker.
They are subject matter experts that can get you your first loan, and they can explain it to you as well.
For example, you might be unsure about what a jumbo loan is. You think this is some kind of enormous loan, like a blimp-sized mortgage or something.
Your broker can sit down with you and tell you that you’re basically correct, and they can further clarify it for you.
Now that you understand how a mortgage broker helps you, you might be wondering what you need to start with.
Getting a Mortgage Broker: The Quick-Start Guide
You’ve read the advantages, and you think: I’m ready. Let’s get a Florida mortgage broker.
First of all, slow down a little. There are some things to consider when shopping for a broker. After all, this can be a little intimidating.
However, with the internet and some knowledge, you can make the process of finding a broker much easier on yourself.
Understand your mortgage qualifications
This is something your broker can help you with, but it’s useful to know going in.
There are many different types of mortgages out there:
- FHA (Federal Housing Administration)
- VA (Veteran’s Affairs)
- Reverse mortgage
Knowing what type of mortgage you can get will save you time in the long run.
Do some internet sleuthing
Just like you shouldn’t jump on the first loan you get, you shouldn’t jump at the first Florida mortgage broker.
It can help to read reviews and testimonials online to make an educated choice.
Here are some things to think about:
- Look for an NMLS certification. This means that they are a licensed broker, and are more trustworthy than unlicensed brokers
- What do you need as a client? Do you want someone you can network with online, or someone you can sit with at a diner and talk?
- What kind of experience do they have?
- How long have they been “in the game”?
Luckily, the internet has tools to help you find the best option.
Examine your credit score
Your credit score is an important part of scoring a loan, and your mortgage broker will need you to be up front about it.
That’s a scary concept, especially if your credit isn’t amazing.
However, knowing this information can help your broker find loans that fit your profile.
For example, FHA loans can work for people with lower credit, as long as you fit their requirements.
Do some math of your own
I know you thought you were done with math after school, but stay with me here — you need to do a little math yourself.
With home buying, sometimes unexpected costs can give you some trouble.
It’s better to do some math now and be prepared for later.
That way, you can work with your broker to find something that fits you.
The internet houses loads of calculators that can help you figure out interest rates, taxes, and payments.
Use these to your advantage.
The more information you have, the better off you will be.
Ask friends and family
Don’t be afraid to ask the people closest to you for advice.
Maybe your brother just bought a house, and his broker got him an FHA loan.
Or your sister just got a mortgage pre-approved through a broker.
Ask them about their experience and if they trusted their broker!
Some things to ask:
- How quickly do they communicate?
- Did they stay true to their promises?
- Do they have a lot of experience?
- Did you have to prompt them to get the best rate?
Don’t hesitate to ask these questions to your broker, either.
After all, it’s your mortgage — you deserve the best you can get.
So now you’ve done the research, you’ve done the math, you’ve exhausted all your options, and you still don’t have anything to show for it.
You were looking forward to that beachfront property in Tampa, too.
But don’t fret — there are places you can turn.
Let Us Help
If you’re looking for a mortgage in Florida, we can help you.
We have an experienced staff, great clients, and easy online tools to help you apply.
Looking for your new home in Florida doesn’t have to be difficult or scary.
In fact, it can be easy, and we can help make it that way.
Give us a call if you’re unsure, and we’d be happy to steer you in the right direction.