Are you putting down roots in Georgia and considering getting a first home buyer loan? One of the very first things you need to do is research mortgage companies in Georgia. Mortgage lenders are the institutions that provide you with the funds to purchase your first home. They might be banks that offer other services or focus especially on mortgages. Or they might be specialty non-bank lenders.
As the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau points out, lenders aren’t the same as mortgage servicers, who handle the day to day functions of your loan. They also aren’t the same as mortgage brokers, who work as a middleman, connecting you to the lender that best meets your needs.
When looking for a first home buyer loan or any type of mortgage, it’s up to you to shop around various home buying programs from mortgage companies in Georgia and find a lender who offers you the best deal and a mortgage you can afford.
Look at First Home Buyer Loan and General Mortgage Rates
Not all lenders offer the same rates and home buying programs, even to the same type of borrower. When looking for mortgage companies in Georgia, it pays to look at the range of interest rates being offered, too. As the Federal Reserve Board notes, it’s your responsibility to find a mortgage you can afford, not the lender’s.
Look up the average first home buyer loan and mortgage interest rates online, then call up or visit the websites of several lenders to see what range they are offering.
Also, ask about different rate and term options for their home buying programs. For example, if you get a 30 year, fixed rate loan, you might pay more in interest than if you got a 15 year, fixed rate loan.
Look at Fees and Options
The cost of a mortgage doesn’t end with the interest rate. Some lenders charge higher fees than others, such as loan origination fees or closing costs. Some lenders offer a no closing cost loan option. That means that instead of paying fees upfront when you close, you pay a slightly higher interest rate.
Whether paying upfront or paying a higher rate over the life of the loan makes sense for you depends on your current financial situation and how long you plan on living in the home.
Do Your Research
Once you’ve got an idea of the rates and fees lenders charge for a first home buyer loan or other mortgages, it’s a good idea to meet with a few mortgage companies in Georgia and get the full story on them.
Ask the lenders about their experience, whether they are licensed in Georgia or another state, and ask them to explain the details of their mortgages and home buying programs— in plain language. A lender should be able to help you clearly understand the costs of a first home buyer loan and why those fees and rates exist. It’s also a good idea to ask potential lenders for references or referrals so that you can verify their experience.