Having a conversation with a Loan Officer as early as possible is important as borrowers often have preconceived ideas about what lenders are looking for which could differ from what is necessary to obtain a loan approval. For example, we have spoken with clients who have previously focused on paying down debt when their best strategy would have been to accumulate assets for the down payment and closing costs. Additionally, we have found that borrowers are pleasantly surprised to learn what financing options are available. Conversely, we often advise borrowers on steps they can take to put them in position to purchase a few months down the road (such as talking with family about possible gifts, etc).
We recommend first time homebuyers speak with a mortgage broker vs a mortgage banker as mortgage brokers usually have many more options (and lenders) to chose from to satisfy each specific borrowers’ needs. Mortgage brokers are multi-source loan originators. Banks can only offer their own products. Brokers know where to send a loan based on each borrowers’ specific needs at the most competitive rate.