So, big news over here: WE BOUGHT A HOUSE!!!! Not just any house, this is our dream home. Interesting story actually – it went on the market about 5 months ago and we found it when we were driving through a neighborhood one night (it’s our favorite neighborhood) on our way home from Publix. I had John stop the car so I could get out and take a picture. I LOVED this house. I even sent the photo off to a few friends and family members saying, “Check out this house! It’s my dream home in my dream neighborhood!”
Of course, at the time, John and I were both working for ourselves. We weren’t shopping for a house as we knew it would be another good 1 1/2 years before we could get a loan. Obviously by then, the house would be sold.
Fast forward five months, and both John and I found ourselves working full-time at awesome companies. Unrelated, but I just found out yesterday that my company is sending me to FINCON!!! I can’t wait to represent the company I believe so much in and look forward to networking with all the amazing bloggers and freelancers out there.
Anyway, back to my story. So, once John and I knew we could get a loan, we started looking at houses for sale in our area. Turns out, our dream home was still available. While it was out of our ideal price range, we figured we’d make an offer considering it had been on the market for so long. After going back and forth a few times, we signed the papers and are currently under contract! To say I’m excited is an understatement. Yes, the house IS still more than we wanted to spend, but John and I have multiple streams of income and follow a strict budget. Therefore, we can afford a nice house since that’s what’s important to us. We make plenty of sacrifices in other areas to be able to afford the lifestyle that we want. I love Afford Anything‘s mantra and I’ve mentioned it on the blog a few times before: You can afford anything, just not everything.
Once we went under contract, I knew I had to shop around for a mortgage. I’ll be honest, when we bought our last house, I didn’t shop around at all. My real estate agent suggested a lender and we went with him. I figured everyone would charge roughly the same interest rate and closing costs and I didn’t want to spend time searching for a loan if the difference was going to be minimal.
That was a huge mistake.
Why You Need to Shop Around For Your Mortgage
Now that I work at LendingTree, I was inclined to shop around just to see for myself if it really made a difference. Our real estate agent suggested a lender, too, so John called her first. She got all our information and sent us over a quote. I wasn’t too convinced with our rate/monthly payment so I logged on to LendingTree to shop comparison rates.
I ended up getting about five different quotes. Nothing too crazy, and honestly it didn’t take much time at all (like 10 minutes each). The other companies didn’t have to pull our credit since I knew what our scores were from the previous lender, which was good. Two lenders gave us the exact same quote, so I went with the one that had the lower origination fee.
How much did I save by shopping around? You won’t believe this, but we saved $150 per month on our monthly payment because I took the time to shop around. And yes, I compared apples to apples. We are not paying more in fees and we are not getting charged elsewhere, the difference really is in the rate and the closing costs. We are now much more comfortable with our house purchase because the payment is more affordable. Had we gone with our original quote and not shopped around, we would have had to adjust our budget and cut out an additional $150 per month of expenses.
Shopping around for your mortgage is extremely important when house shopping. I started shopping around the time when we put our offer in, and then once it was accepted I got EXACT quotes (meaning let the company pull our credit and I sent them all our income docs) from two companies and made my decision. Most of this was done via email, which is even quicker than a phone call.
Did you shop around for your mortgage? How much money did it save you?