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Looking for my first mortgage...

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And that means interviewing lenders. I get that the learning curve is high buying your first house, so I'm trying to ask as many relevant questions as possible before I decide to apply with anyone. Please let me know what I am missing! Thank you!


What kind of mortgage products do you offer? 


Do I have to decide which one I want when I seek prequalification?


I have cash savings, but I anticipate needing some of that money for closing costs and moving expenses. Do you have down payment assistance programs? Downpayment minimums?


If I do apply, how long will my prequalification last? Will you pull my credit again before closing?


What do I need to apply?


What fees are associated with your loans? Origination fee? Funding fee?


What upfront costs should I be prepared for at closing? Escrow for taxes? Prepay homeowner’s insurance?


Are there any penalties or negative amortization?


At what point will I receive a Loan Estimate?


Will you be servicing the loan or are you likely to sell it off?

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You are shopping for a 360-month installment loan.  Total cost (upfront and ongoing) is by far your main consideration.  


Understanding every loan program on the market is unnecessary.  


You also aren't going to compare costs from one mortgage company to another by going line-by-line through the fees.  They all call them different things, and often you will find "no fee" loans that come with a higher rate.  Total cost is what matters.


I wouldn't NOT select a mortgage company because the servicing will get sold, or because they'll pull my credit a second (or third or fourth) time.  




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