There are so many loan and lender options these days that it can be very hard to choose which will best suit you. There are numerous online companies that offer “instant approvals” and other promising features, but it will absolutely be to your best interest to use a lender that is in your area. A local lender will be more convenient to get in touch with and will actually be able to sit down with you, face-to-face to assess your personal needs, something an online broker will never be able to achieve.
Consider this: local market knowledge
An advantage to using a local lender is that they will be personally familiar with market and lending trends in your area, not on a national average basis. Your local lender will be able to work closely with your Realtor and title company to ensure a smooth and timely closing, and will likely have a lineup of reliable appraisers that are trusted to get an accurate home value, where a national or internet based lender will call the first appraiser they can find in the area, regardless of reputation. A local lender will also have better knowledge of local down-payment assistance or special loan programs that larger centrally-based lenders probably won’t pay attention to.
Consider this: face time
For most people, having the ability to meet in person with their lender is a huge necessity. A mortgage is a timely and sometimes confusing process, the availability to sit face-to-face with a real person and have them explain every step is something you just can’t get with a national lender. Another advantage here is the department underwriting your loan will most likely be down the hall from your lender, and not in Texas or Ohio. If a problem arises, your lender will be able to walk down the hall and fix it, saving you time and frustration having to call an online lender and work with their schedule to address issues. There have also been stories about national lenders holding up a closing at the last moment, simply because they were not licensed to work in the area of the buyer and were scrambling around trying to figure out how to get paid. If you are working with a local lender, you can rest assured that they are definitely allowed to be a mortgage facilitator in your area.
Consider this: flexibility & reputation
Many people don’t know this, but local lenders will generally have the flexibility and means to get you the best loan program and rate for your situation, something that most national lenders will not bother with. A local lender will also have a more personally valuable reputation to uphold in the community, so they are commonly going to work harder to make sure you get into a loan that is the best for you, and ensure that you are a very satisfied customer. No lender wants someone speaking ill about their uncaring practices in their home town; this can lead to lost business.