Mortgage brokers: an overview of national providers

Using a mortgage broker to help you finance a new home is still a good option. Here are some national firms you should consider.

Each family or individual has specific financial needs that must be considered when shopping for a loan product to finance the purchase of a new home. While the nation’s housing crisis has had a devastating impact on the mortgage broker industry, there are still excellent mortgage brokerages serving the needs of homebuyers. If you are in the market for a mortgage broker, there are some leading national providers you will want to consider.

One advantage of dealing with a mortgage broker as opposed to a bank or finance company is flexibility. Whereas a bank can offer only a limited line of loan products, a mortgage broker can shop among multiple banks and other, alternative lending institutions to match the client with a loan that is most manageable and least cost-prohibitive. This is why some lenders are also licensed as brokers in the various states in which they do business.

While the majority of mortgage brokers are state or even regionally based, there are a handful of brokerages with national scope:

Multi-State Mortgage

Of the national mortgage brokers that strictly arrange loans for borrowers, New England-based Multi-State Mortgage concentrates on government-backed home loans, including:

  • Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans
  • Veterans loans from the Veterans Administration (VA)
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) rural housing loans
  • Federally backed reverse mortgages

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The brokerage also deals with FHA’s 203(k) loans. These are loans for a home purchase that may also require substantial repairs or upgrades. The loan is acquired for the amount of the property purchase as well as to cover the anticipated costs for repairs (click here for more information). Those with good credit and sufficient assets may prefer to seek out conventional financing, but Multi-State is well suited to first-time homebuyers and individuals with damaged credit histories.

Sharpe Mortgage Lending Services

This Atlanta, GA based brokerage specializes in the particulars of condominium loans. Considering the difficulties in obtaining master insurance policies and up-to-date fees from homeowners associations, Sharpe focuses on forging relationships with condo associations, insurance companies and its 10 wholesale lenders so that loan applications can be smoothly processed and approved.

The National Association of Mortgage Brokers (NAMB) is a voluntary organization of mortgage professionals that serves to educate brokers on legal developments, best practices and ethical considerations. In addition, the NAMB refers prospective homeowners to its members in every state based on the borrower’s’ own financial profile and preferences. According to the most recent reporting from NAMB, here are some of the top national mortgage brokers (by volume of mortgages) working in the U.S.:

  • Allied Home Mortgage Capital Corp. – Houston, TX
  • Mortgage Master – Walpol, MA
  • Empire Equity Group, Inc. – Charlotte, NC
  • Olympic Funding – Pleasanton, CA
  • Nova Finance & Investment/Home Loans – Tucson, AZ
  • East-West Mortgage, Co. – McLean, VA
  • Academy Mortgage Corp. – Salt Lake City, UT

shutterstock_199810043Because the laws governing mortgage brokers are state-specific, establishing a national presence is a challenge for a mortgage broker. Recent legislation requiring a nationwide standardized test for brokers may, however, affect oversight by individual states.

When evaluating a brokerage, you are well advised to see if it operates with certain niche products. Potential borrowers are also well advised to ask any brokers they are considering doing business with about the total number of banks or lenders they affiliate with. More lenders benefit the customer in terms of flexibility, but are, of course, more costly to the broker in terms of registration fees. The size of its pool of affiliated lenders is also an indicator of how much help it can be to you.

Mortgage brokers should be licensed through the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry (NMLS) which has an online consumer service which can allow you to review any serious complaints or disciplinary actions taken against a broker (click here for more details).

If you like the flexibility that a mortgage broker can offer you when you’re seeking financing for your new home, consider one of these national firms. RealtyNow can help you find a broker that meets your individual needs and can connect you to local real estate experts. To look at listings of homes in your desired area, enter a zip-code above.

 

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