Monday, June 25, 2007

Selecting The Right Commercial Mortgage Broker

You've made a smart decision, to work with a commercial mortgage broker for your next commercial mortgage. The first thing you need to realize right out of the gate is that the right broker can save you thousands of dollars and the wrong broker can cost you just the same. At a minimum, a commercial mortgage broker should be able to assist you with the following.

-Loan package preparation

-Lender selection

-Loan package submission (to multiple lenders)

-Loan package evaluation

-Closing preparation

Now, where to find a good broker? You may ask around for recommendations from your network of business associates. Call the smartest and most successful commercial investor you know and ask them for a recommendation. If they are in fact smart and successful it is a good bet that they use a commercial mortgage broker. Other good options include real estate investment groups or the local Association of Mortgage Brokers. Make sure you select someone that has demonstrated experience and education in commercial mortgages and does not focus primarily on residential mortgages.

Because of the wide range of commercial property types, you will need to find out if that broker has the experience and contacts to close your particular loan in a timely manner. Many good brokers specialize. Look for a broker that specializes in the type of investment property you prefer. If you like apartment complexes, find a broker that specializes in apartment complexes. Think of it like looking for a doctor. When you have a problem with your foot you don't just look for any doctor. You look for a Podiatrist, not a Heart Surgeon. A good broker should have "been there done that". You are paying for expertise. Make sure they have it.

Selecting a broker before you need one is a good idea. This will allow your broker to perform additional research for your property type and loan options before you are ready. Commercial mortgage closings sometimes need to happen quickly and the last thing you want to do is be caught without someone looking out for your best interests. Pay close attention to the last thing I said, someone looking out for your best interests. Ensure the broker you select is working for you and not serving the interests of a lender or themselves. You want to go into this process with your eyes open so be sure to ask about their process, the points they charge, fees, and how many lender relationships they maintain.

Educate yourself. The only way to know that you are getting the best deal is to learn about the commercial industry and loan process for yourself. Interview a few brokers and talk about the options they may offer for your specific property type. A good broker will educate you on the loan process and provide you with resources for additional information. If the broker is not interested in helping you to learn about the industry, then take that as a hint. Either they don't want to make the time for you, the client, or they prefer to keep you in the dark about how they are doing (or not doing) their job.

Keep in mind that most states do not require commercial mortgage brokers to be licensed. So it is up to you to determine whether a broker is right for you and if they are worth the money you will be paying. Ask questions and check references to ensure that they know what they are doing. There are a lot of great options and equally costly mistakes that can be made in the commercial finance industry. A good commercial mortgage broker will make sure you don't make a mistake that will cost you thousands of dollars or more. Remember, the best interest rate is not always the best loan.

If you have difficulty selecting a broker or simply don't have time to perform the due diligence it requires, you should think about working with a company that matches brokers to your specialized needs. It takes time to find the right broker, but once you find one, you will realize what a great asset they are and the value they bring to the closing table.

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Mortgage Refinance Rates

Refinancing your existing mortgages has many advantages like lowering the monthly payments or interest rates paid. The latter is in fact one of the most important reasons for opting for refinance. Thus a vital point to be considered while taking a mortgage refinance is mortgage refinance rates.

Mortgage refinance rates depend upon various market factors as well as your personal factors as a borrower. But mortgage refinance rates mainly depend upon the interest accrued on the refinance loan. The mortgage refinance rate is expressed as the Annual Percentage Rate (APR). APR is the total amount of money repayable by the borrower to the lender on a loan, per annum.

It will also depend on the kind of mortgage refinance loan you would choose. The different kind of mortgage refinance options available can be broadly classified on the basis of:

-Fixed mortgage refinance rate: Various fixed rate refinance include 30 year fixed mortgage refinance, 20 year fixed mortgage refinance, 15 year fixed mortgage and 10 year mortgage refinance, etc.

-Adjustable mortgage refinance rate: This category includes 1 year ARM (Adjustable Rate Mortgage), 3/1 ARM refinance, 3/1 interest only ARM refinance, 5/1 ARM refinance, 5/1 ARM interest only refinance, etc.

Few ways by which you can reduce your mortgage refinance rates are:
-Keep a check on your credit score: Your credit history will have a great impact on the mortgage refinance rate you will be offered. Making payments late or missing payments will decrease your credit score. Also, take care to see that you don't use your credit cards and line of credit loans to the maximum credit limit available to you. Doing so will again decrease your credit score. Having a bad credit score will not stop you from availing a mortgage refinance. But the mortgage refinance rate offered to you will be 2% to 6% higher than usual. So try to improve your credit score to get lower mortgage refinance rates.

-Think about paying points: This is one more alternative to lower mortgage refinance rates. One point is equal to one percent of the mortgage amount. For instance, a mortgage loan of $10,000 with 3 points will incur additional $3000 as charges. Higher the points charged to the mortgage, lower will be your mortgage refinance rate. Points can either be paid upfront or financed by the amount from the loan.

-Do your research: As in all other sectors, there is intense competition in the lending sector too. It might make sense to obtain mortgage refinance from your current lender, but they might not necessarily offer you the best mortgage refinance rates. Thus it is wise to compare rates offered by various lenders. And with World Wide Web at your finger tips this should not be a tedious task. Applying online will help you get multiple offers from various lenders. Compare the mortgage refinance rates as well as the services of the lender and then choose the best offer suiting your needs.

To get the best mortgage refinance deal don't compare only mortgage refinance rates but also consider closing costs and redemption penalties.