As of March 2019, the downtown San Diego condo market was still trying to adjust to ongoing economic conditions. Sales activity has come down by a couple of notches, but prices have bounced back from slightly lower levels in January. Real estate analysts believe prospective condo buyers are still very interested in the downtown districts, but they may be waiting strategically for prices to adjust downward, and chances are this will likely happen later this year. What is certain about current market conditions is that nearly all closings will require home financing. Foreign buyers with suitcases full of cash are now a rare sight because of new restrictions, and even lower prices won’t eliminate the need for mortgage lending.
A good mortgage lender is like a great business partner, particularly for first-time homebuyers. Choosing the right bank or broker to do business with can make a significant difference not just in terms of reaching the closing table but also in relation to how much you’ll end up paying for your condo. Here are some recommendations to help you choose a mortgage lender.
Review Other Lenders Aside from Your Own Bank
Many first-time homebuyers gravitate toward the banks they already do business with when they think about mortgage financing, and they often do so out of a misplaced sense of loyalty. Big commercial banks already know this, and many won’t make worthy efforts to present competitive offers. Instead of checking out your bank’s mortgage offers first, make it a point to review at least three other lenders beforehand.
Find a Lender That Will Handle Condo Mortgages
If your mind is set on a downtown San Diego condo, make sure to mention this when you approach brokers and lenders. Some banks won’t touch condo loans because of certain underwriting considerations that must be applied. In some cases, they don’t want to be bothered with the process of getting the required certifications from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Administration, or the Veterans Administration.
Ask Your Real Estate Agent for Advice
Seasoned agents always remember closings that were made smoother by a sharp mortgage broker, an efficient loan officer, or a good lender. Keeping in mind that condo loans are more intricate than those made on single-family homes, asking your real estate specialist for advice makes sense in this regard.
Make Home Affordability a Priority
Before you get around to talking about discount points and interest rates, the loan officer should insist on completing a home affordability worksheet, which will provide a realistic estimate of how much condo you can afford when taking into account factors such as association fees, utilities, taxes, and insurance. You should only work with mortgage lenders willing to provide you with preapproval documents instead of prequalification letters, and they should never try to talk you into buying a property other than the one you’re interested in.
When you’re choosing among mortgage lenders, make sure to seek input from a real estate agent with expertise in the intricacies of financing real estate in downtown San Diego. The trustworthy professionals at 92101 Urban Living can offer you savvy advice based on their years of experience, and they’ll guide you through every step of the condo-buying process. Give one of our friendly agents a call today at 619-649-0368.