That No So Great Lender Who Almost Lost Me My Home

Several years ago I found myself purchasing my second home. As a Real Estate Agent I've got access to hundreds of great lenders to choose from. When the time came to select which of the many lenders I'd work with, I chose to work with a friend who had sent me a few client referrals instead of working with my preferred partner. 

First Mistake! Going off gut instead of interviewing his processes. 

The transaction ended up being one of the most stressful ones of both my career and personal life. This lender brokered me out to some no name lending institution in California with whom he had no personal connections. Underwriting services (the name for those folks that check all your background information and ensure that you're a solid borrower) were outsourced to people who's names he didn't even know.

The closing on my home required a 3 week extension and I almost lost the home twice. Up to the moment I was signing closing documents I still had no security that my home would actually close on time. I cried. There were tears, stress with moving, stress with not knowing if we'd find ourselves homeless, additional costs for staying beyond my rental period and so much more. 

Finally at 3:30pm on closing day I was given the green flag that I could close on the home. My lender in his delusion actually had the nerve to say he'd done a good job. Wow!

If you're looking to buy a home I recommend the following:

  1. Interview Your Lender - ask if s/he has in house underwriting or if its outsourced. In house makes a huge difference in the connections your lender has with his or her processing team. Including the deadlines they can meet and the additional useless paperwork they may or may not require.
  2. Request a Good Faith Estimate and ask your lender to give you a break down of costs and fees.
  3. Interest Rate - Ask how soon your lender can lock in your rate so you don't risk a rate increase, which would cause your monthly payments to go up as well.

I've taken the time to vet out the best lenders so that none of my clients ever have a nightmare experience like my own. For this reason I can confidently guarantee your experience will be a smooth one.

Ali Garbero