If you are looking to buy a Boulder County condo this year, you may have some questions about how to fund that purchase. Many buyers know that they will be taking out a loan for the purchase of their home. But most buyers don’t know who can give them the best deal on a condo in the area and who can get them through the process with the least amount of worries.
Read on for the nitty gritty on how to get the best rate, work with someone you can trust, ask the right questions, and come out lookin’ pretty on the other side of your home purchase.
Ok, so let’s start at the top. We all know that mortgage brokers give loans, that the interest rate is great right now, and that most home buyers purchase their homes with loans. But here are a few more tidbits of info that are really important to take into account when you are going to purchase a condo in Boulder.
First and foremost, when it comes to lenders, always go local. Why? Because local lenders are truly the local experts in the area. They have less red tape and can be more flexible when it comes to loaning on special properties or in special circumstances. While the big banks have to worry about checking accounts, saving accounts, credit cards, etc., the smaller credit unions and local lenders are more focused. They can be more efficient. Ultimately, what that means for you is that you will get better, more personalized customer service and better rates.
Also, going local becomes really important in the appraisal process. If you work with one of the big guys, they may send an appraiser from Fort Collins, Colorado Springs or Denver. In that case, since that appraiser may not be as knowledgeable in the area, they may appraise your potential purchase too low. That can cause real headaches and sometimes even make the deal fall through.
When purchasing a condo, many lenders have special guidelines and rules they have to adhere to. The most important and common complication has to do with the owner occupancy level. When purchasing a condo, most lenders will require that the owner occupancy level of the complex (meaning how many owners live there vs. how many rent the condos out) has to be above 51%. In this case as well, the big, national lenders have strict rules and guidelines that they are bound to. Many times, local lenders can be more flexible or offer loan options which do not require a 51% owner occupancy rate. Ask your realtor for recommendations on what lenders specialize in condos in your area. They work with the lenders all the time and know who can get the deal done.
After you get the names of a few reputable, local lenders in your area, interview a few to make sure you get the best rates, like the loan packages they offer with condos, and like working with them. In the interview process, be sure to ask these key questions:
-What specific loans do you offer besides the typical FHA or conventional loan? Can I use any of these in the purchase of my condo?
– Can I have a list of all of the fees I will be charged when purchasing a home? What will my closing costs be?
– How much of a monthly HOA fee can I afford? How does this affect how much I can spend?
-Do you use local appraisers that work in Boulder much of the time?
-How do your rates and fees compare with others in the area?
Last but not least, make sure you like your lender. You will be working closely with them and they have a big stake in how smoothly your transaction goes. If you get along swimmingly, you may just start great business relationship that will benefit you for years to come.
Here are a few links to some of our favorite lending institutions in the area:
Elevations Credit Union– Fantastic and flexible programs for first time home buyers and people interested in condos.
Bank of Commerce Mortgage– Great customer service and competitive rates.
As always, if you have questions we are happy to answer them 7 days a week. Just give us a call at 303-956-1771 or shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
By Allison Benham & Ken Crifasi