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5 Steps to Choosing the Right Mortgage Broker

For many people, choosing a mortgage broker is an afterthought in the whole real estate process. That's a mistake.

Here are five things you'll want to consider:

  1. Get recommendations.
    Just like you would do when choosing a doctor, a tutor for your child or a contractor for your home, ask around. Friends and family will be your best resource when you are looking for a broker. I have one client who gets all of her referrals from one well-connected friend who is particular and demanding. She feels that if this friend approves of someone, the person must be very good!

  2. Have at least three options.
    Once you've sought the advice of friends and family, get in contact with some of the mortgage brokers. Even if you love the first mortgage broker you meet, talk to two more. Make sure you are up front with them that you are researching your options, and don't have all three pull your credit scores. This is a big decision, and you want to make sure you have done everything possible to make the right choice!

  3. Expect responsiveness.
    First impressions are everything. If they respond to your inquiry quickly, that is a good sign that they will be responsive to your calls, concerns, questions and deadlines.

  4. Avoid fast talking sales people.
    If they are throwing around terms you don't understand you need to stop them and ask questions - you don't want to feel even more pressure then you already do. You are about to be in a personal, intense relationship with this person for the next couple of months, so it is critical that you feel comfortable and have confidence in them. While they may tell you that they have the best rate, it means nothing if they cannot get the loan closed for you.

  5. Know what you are looking to find.
    No matter what kind of endorsements different mortgage brokers come with, you need to know what is most important to you. When you meet them, look at the years of experience each broker has, his or her quotes for home loan rates, and how their personality meshes with yours. Don't let someone mislead you with statements such as "sure, he's not very friendly, but he'll get you a great rate." You want a good relationship with this person, one that includes a high level of trust and comfort.
When in doubt, try asking your mortgage brokers the tried-and-true sales question: What will I get from you that will be different than other mortgage brokers?

For some information, see the 5 things a mortgage broker brings to the table.

May's Home Value Improver

Make Going "Green" Work for You

Many of the energy efficient steps you take around your house are not only good for the earth and your wallet - they're more convenient, too!

In the spirit of making life as easy as possible, while being nice to the planet, I've compiled a list of steps you can take to make your home more environmentally friendly, while making your daily life easier.

Replace your light bulbs with energy efficient ones.
Those curly little guys last forever, meaning you will have fewer opportunities to climb precariously on a chair to change the light bulb in that that pesky high hall light fixture.

Keep your showers short.
You'll enjoy a much lower water bill, and keep your skin healthier at the same time. Being in the shower too long can dry out your skin.

Install a programmable thermostat.
Not only will the thermostat work behind the scenes to keep the temperature down when you're asleep and out of the house, but you won't have to feel an ounce of guilt when your are home and the house is toasty warm.

Unplug chargers that are not in use.
If your cell phone or other charger sits on the counter plugged in, awaiting its job, it's using energy and also looking rather messy. Toss the charger in the drawer and your counter will look neater while you save energy.

Fill in drafty areas around windows and doors.
Do I really need to explain the advantage of not having a draft come in under your doors? I don't think so. But don't forget the door to your garage. Many of them are not as insulated as the ones that go directly outdoors.

Cover pans when heating water.
You will save energy and have your boiling water ready faster!

Turn down the temperature on your hot water heater.
This is actually a bigger savings than you think, and you won't have to scald yourself when you first step into the shower.

Don't rinse off the dishes before you put them in the dishwasher.
Today's dishwashers do an amazing job at removing food crud, so just scrape off the chunks and put the dishes in. Talk about saving time!!

Westchester Mortgage

May 2011

Most of us are familiar with the process of searching for a home. There are the hours of Internet research, discussions with your carefully chosen real estate agent, open houses, viewings, inspections, and more. It's a marathon of paperwork and phone calls. As the biggest investment you will ever make, you don't likely take it lightly.

There is also a huge emotional investment in buying a home, and you need a great team on your side. Whether you work better with a hand-holding team or a "just the facts" team, you need everyone on your side to work well with you.

A key part of this team is your mortgage broker. While I hope you'll simply call me to serve in this important role, I do encourage those who have not worked with a broker to do their homework. This month's article helps you do just that.

I love answering your home financing questions. Feel free to reach out anytime!

Best regards,
Debbie Siegel
Westchester Mortgage

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