Author Topic: Mortgage rate finder and first time buyer help  (Read 2807 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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  • Posts: 4
Mortgage rate finder and first time buyer help
« on: March 03, 2015, 09:11:38 PM »
Hey all,

I'm looking to buy my first place; an apartment here in NYC. I found a place online and am viewing it soon but have no idea what the process looks like. I believe the first step is getting pre-approved for a mortgage; where do I find the best rates? Is there anything more than rates that I should be looking at when picking a bank?

Searching around I found a lot of comparisons online but they are loaded with ads and I'm concerned all of these sites are more concerned over their click throughs than actually getting me the best rate possible. Any help would be appreciated, thanks!


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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  • Posts: 23
Re: Mortgage rate finder and first time buyer help
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2015, 12:50:06 AM »
Take this with a grain of salt, I haven't bought a house yet, but started the process at one point.  I'm replying since no one else has. :)

When we started the process, we got rates from a few banks that we had already worked with in the past and compared.  You can also ask people that you trust.  One concern that may be valid is if and to whom they "sell" their loans to.  If it is a small/local bank they may sell their loans to Bank of America or something like that which can make things difficult communication wise, if you run into trouble, or if you have issues with BofA (just for example :)).  There are more specific issues with that, but I can't remember what.  If you search in the archives of This American Life podcast, they did a series explaining the housing crash, why, how, etc.  and I learned a ton from that (which I have clearly already forgotten).  Also, if you like his style, Dave Ramsey has some good stuff on his site in terms of new home-buyer advice.  Good luck!


  • Stubble
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  • Posts: 131
  • Location: Washington DC
Re: Mortgage rate finder and first time buyer help
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2015, 06:34:31 AM »
For a first time buyer, I'd try with a couple of banks you trust.  Use the rates you see online as a guide post, if you have poor credit, you'll see higher rates as the advertised is always best case scenario.

Before getting pre approved, check your credit score and try to minimize any outstanding debt you have (hold on cc purchases if you can).

Lenders will help you with pre-approval and that sets things up for an "easy" purchase.

Feel free to post updates on this thread for more feedback too!


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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  • Posts: 84
Re: Mortgage rate finder and first time buyer help
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2015, 10:11:48 AM »
Sitting down with someone face-to-face at your local bank is a good way to educate yourself.  So start here, but then obtain multiple offers.  For my original Mortgage and 2 Refi's I've always used online services like BankRate and Lending Tree to find a bunch of prospective lenders and get them competing.  Prior to being fully committed, you'll receive a document called the GFE (Good Faith Estimate) which really let's you compare lenders.  I'd recommend getting a GFE from at least 2 companies.  The Truth in Lending (TIL) is the other highly informative document that you'll want to look closely at.   


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Mortgage rate finder and first time buyer help
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2015, 11:23:58 AM »
Bumping to follow along - I'm just starting the process too!

I'll most likely be using the same realtor my family has already used to sell my grandmother's house. I've reached out to her to set up a meeting time and she recommended I contact her colleague who's a mortgage specialist. I have a phone appointment with him this week and will hopefully meet with him sometime soon.

FYI - I tried working with Bank of America and they just ticked me off. I used their pre-approval process, received maybe five or six calls from them during work hours (when I specified I wouldn't be able to pick up). They left me voicemails where I could barely understand them (poor microphone quality on their end / someone who just doesn't know how to leave a voicemail). When I called back they had no record that I was interested for a mortgage and I'd have to resubmit my pre-approval, but there's already a hard inquiry on my credit from them. I went into my local BofA and asked to speak with a specialist and they said they'd pass my info on to him, but I've never heard from him. So... screw them. Happy to take my business elsewhere.