Finding a lender
With all the choices you face, comparing offers from banks, mortgage brokers and online lenders can be a real challenge. They are all quite eager to have you fill out a loan application on line and start the pre-qualification and pre-approval process. Given that most lenders are competitive, the best deal for you is one that meets your needs, so find a lender with local expertise who offers real service.
My strong advice is to think local. Go ahead and ask friends for recommendations, but in the end, a local lender with years of experience in Oakland-Berkeley-Piedmont is almost always your best choice. Certainly, getting a low, competitive rate is important. But even more valuable is finding a lender you trust, who understands your needs, the particulars of this market and can offer you a loan product that’s best for you. Managing the ever-important bank appraisal process, closing on time and protecting your fiduciary interest is critical. In the end, consider the total service package—in addition to the rate.
If you would like, I am happy to provide a list of respected, highly qualified local bankers and mortgage lenders for your consideration. Just drop me a line.
What can you afford?
To get a general idea of what your monthly payment would be at a given purchase price, plug the numbers into the handy mortgage calculator on the right. You’ll also find it throughout most of this site for your convenience. It’s an easy way to make a quick calculation as you explore different financing scenarios. Be sure to check with your lender for the specific requirements of specialty loans, such as FHA and for multi-unit properties.
To get an on-the-ground sense of how the market’s behaving and where it might be going, feel free to contact me. I can also answer specific questions you may have about homes, neighborhoods and other local market trends.