Portland Home Loans – How to Choose One. 2019 Update

choose portland home loan

Talk about thousands of options, and you might be discussing the Portland home loan industry. Seems like every local Portland bank and credit union is offering home loans, as well as local mortgage only (or direct lender) companies, and now multiple online mortgage offerings are thrown into the mix. Where would you even start? Here is our guide to choosing the best Portland home loan for you.

The two most important things to consider in choosing a Portland home loan are:

  1. The actual terms of the home loan are crucial. What is the interest rate they are charging? What is the loan origination cost (fees you’re paying them direct)? What are the total lending costs depending on your credit score and down payment amount? Thankfully, the home loan industry is pretty heavily regulated right now and so the information you get from a local lender should be pretty clear and relatively easy to understand.
  2. What kind of loan service will you get? This is the hard part for a potential home buyer to figure out. This is why most home buyers will ask their local real estate agent for a recommendation. A bank could offer you amazing terms (see item 1) but then fail to close your loan at all! They could fail to close on time; they could fail to close at all! Many home loan lenders don’t do enough work upfront to make sure that the home buyer can get the loan and then after the home buyer has paid for the inspection and appraisal and is almost ready to close, will reject their loan application due to something they found in what is called “underwriting.” So a bad home lender can really cost you a ton of money, a home loan lender that looked like (see item 1 above) they they were going to save you all kinds of money, could end up costing you more than you might imagine. This is why as a top Portland real estate agent, we always have a couple vetted home loan lenders to recommend to our clients – lenders that won’t mess up the deal or cost our clients unexpected money.

Start shopping a home loan with your local bank.

Why not? You already bank there. It will give you a base line for mortgage rates and offerings. However, please do not end there. Please. Most of the time you can find a better loan offer and better loan servicing through a local mortgage only direct lender in town. You would be doing yourself a disservice to only shop at one location for a Portland home loan. As a top Portland real estate agent, I can tell you that most of the time, from my experience, you do not get the best offers or best loan service through your local bank or credit union.

Next get a quote from a local Portland mortgage lender.

Ask your real estate agent for a top local direct lender recommendation (we keep a couple on our site, just go to the ‘Extra Services” tab on our menu to find them). These providers can either qualify you online, or you can set up a meeting with them at their office to get a quote. Often they will have the best rates available, but it is almost certain (in my experience, licensed since 2003) that you will get the best home loan service (see item 2 above), and have a great purchasing experience.

If you’re curious, look at online mortgage lenders, but be careful!

Online mortgage lenders might have some of the best looking deals (see item 1 above) but often they are honeypots, look great at first but turn out to not be so great when you read all the fine print. Also, they are the highest risk (in my experience) of messing up your home purchase transaction, by not closing on time or failing to even fund the loan at the end of the day due to bad “underwriting” because they did not pre-qualifying the buyer well enough up front to ensure they would have a happy experience. Home buyer beware.

Choose the right buyer’s agent specialist:

Set an appointment with our top 1% Portland buyer’s agents to get expert advice on your next home purchase.

July 29, 2019

Stephen FitzMaurice

Stephen FitzMaurice, Realtor is a top 5% real estate agent in the U.S. and a top 1% agent in the Portland Metro. Principal Broker in Oregon, Managing Broker in Washington he has been licensed since 2003 for residential real estate sales in the Portland Metro area. Call him direct: 503-714-1111.

Pay less (4.5% commission max.) and get more with his top 1% listing team or buy your next home with his excellent top 1% buyer’s team. We work from Salem, Oregon to Vancouver, Washington and beyond. Check out our full services areas on the top menu.