You can also check the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website to see if there are any complaints or disputes filed against them. You should avoid brokers who have a lot of negative feedback or unresolved issues.
4. Interview potential brokers
Once you have a shortlist of potential brokers, you should contact them and schedule an interview. This is your chance to ask them questions and get to know them better. You should look for a broker who is:
- Licensed and experienced: Make sure they have a valid license from the Texas Department of Savings and Mortgage Lending (TDSML) and have sufficient experience in the Houston market.
- Knowledgeable and transparent: Make sure they can explain the different loan options, rates, fees, and terms clearly and honestly. They should also disclose any conflicts of interest or incentives they may have from certain lenders.
- Responsive and accessible: Make sure they are easy to reach and communicate with. They should respond to your calls, emails, or texts promptly and keep you updated on the status of your application.
- Trustworthy and ethical: Make sure they are respectful, courteous, and professional. They should also follow the code of ethics set by the National Association of Mortgage Brokers (NAMB) and protect your personal and financial information.
5. Compare offers
After interviewing several brokers, you should compare their offers and see which one suits you best. You should look at:
- The interest rate: This is the percentage of the loan amount that you will pay in interest over time. It can be fixed or variable depending on the type of loan. A lower rate means lower monthly payments and less interest over time.
- The annual percentage rate (APR): This is the total cost of borrowing expressed as a yearly percentage. It includes the interest rate plus any fees or charges associated with the loan. A lower APR means a cheaper loan overall.
- The loan term: This is the length of time that you will have to repay the loan. It can range from 10 to 30 years depending on the type of loan. A shorter term means higher monthly payments but less interest over time.
- The loan amount: This is the amount of money that you will borrow from the lender. It depends on your income, credit score, down payment, and property value. A higher loan amount means higher monthly payments and more interest over time.
- The fees: These are the charges that you will have to pay upfront or over time for getting the loan. They may include origination fees, appraisal fees, title fees, closing costs, points, etc. A lower fee means a cheaper loan overall.
You should compare these factors carefully and choose the offer that best fits your budget and goals.
6. Review the documents
Before you sign any documents or agree to any terms, you should review them carefully and make sure you understand them fully. You should look for:
- The loan estimate: This is a document that summarizes the key features and costs of the loan. It should include the loan amount, interest rate, APR, monthly payment, closing costs, etc. You should receive it within three days of applying for the loan.
- The closing disclosure: This is a document that confirms the final terms and costs of the loan. It should match the loan estimate or explain any changes. You should receive it at least three days before closing.
- The promissory note: This is a document that states your promise to repay the loan. It should include the loan amount, interest rate, payment schedule, late fees, prepayment penalties, etc.
- The deed of trust: This is a document that secures the loan with the property as collateral. It gives the lender the right to foreclose on the property if you fail to repay the loan.
You should read these documents carefully and ask your broker or lender any questions you may have. You should also consult a lawyer or a financial advisor if you need any legal or financial advice.
7. Close the deal
The final step is to close the deal and get the keys to your new home. This is when you will sign all the documents, pay any remaining fees or charges, and receive the funds from the lender. You should:
- Bring a valid ID, a cashier’s check or wire transfer for the closing costs, and any other documents required by your broker or lender.
- Review and sign all the documents in front of a notary public or an escrow agent.
- Receive a copy of all the documents and keep them in a safe place.
- Celebrate your new homeownership!
Finding the best mortgage broker in Houston can be a challenging but rewarding process. By following these tips, you can make it easier and smoother. You can also save time, money, and stress by working with a trusted and experienced broker like Financial Capital Group.