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Lenders are making it harder to buy! The rates are at historical lows! Just far more hurdles to jump!

     All lenders are becoming much more selective in who they will give a loan and what type of properties they are lending on.  Getting a local lender is the best way to start the process.  Out of town lenders are short on people and specifics.  They have really hard times closing on time and getting answers.  Its always the last minute.  This has been my experience of late.  There are several thing to do early on in the process before you actually start the process.

1.  Find a local lender that can do the loan and complete the process on time.  Get an idea of what your payments are going to be.  Give them a round number to quote you on.  They should be able to provide you with a truth in lending statement that will have your projected cost.  Not the exact cost as the property itself has to be known for that.  Find out the down payment that you are putting down.

2.  Know the type of loan you are getting.  Is it Conventional or FHA ?  Not all condos will qualify for certain loans.  Some condos will not qualigy for either.  The value of an FHA loan  is that it has a lower down payment and less stringent lending standards for the buyer.

3.  Rates are good once you have a contract signed.  You can get quoted on one but it will change daily until you lock in the loan.  Ask your lender about a float down feature.  If rates fall can you then get the lower rate ?  How long once you lock your rate in is it good for?

4.  Condo Insurance is in the condo fees.  The contents of the condo however are not included.  You will need to get an HO6 policy for that coverage.  See recent article on Condo Insurance, an HO6 policy.

5.  Appraisals are taking longer.  There are many more questions asked by all in the process.  The underwriters and the PMI companies are having a hard time responding to the needs of the purchaser.  Give yourself another week for the process.

    So start early and ask lots of  questions.  Ask about the details!  Ask friends what their experience has been lately.  As Realtors we know who is on time and makes it easy. Don’t hesitate to ask?

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Eric Bouler Realtor
Gardner Realtors
Metairie - New Orleans, La. USA