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Real Estate Investing: How to Choose a Lender


To become a successful real estate investor it's vital to have a long-term relationship with a good lender. Having a flexible lender who knows your needs and objectives can be the difference between success and failure in your investment career.

Choose several lenders to begin with, and then interview all of them. Ask friends, other investors, and realtors for referrals. Call all of your potential candidates in the same week, so you'll have identical criteria for comparing their rates, fees, and programs.

Instead of trying to fit into a lender's program, interview your lenders by finding out how they can accommodate your needs. Here are a few questions to ask:

1. What are their requirements for middle credit scores and income?

2. What are their standard loan costs? These include things like points, processing, underwriting, documentation preparation, filing, and credit report fees. Can you add these fees to the loan amount?

3. Is there a required holding period before you can resell the property? Are there prepayment penalties when you flip your investment properties?

4. Do they require mortgage insurance? If so, what is the minimum percentage you'll need to put down in order to avoid having to purchase that insurance?

5. How much can you finance, and can you finance fixer houses? How much down payment would be required on such houses?

5. Can sellers help with the loan costs, and to what extent?

After you've interviewed your potential candidates, make your choice according to the programs that fit your needs, as well as from the feeling you get from that person. Do they seem as if they'll be easy to work with from a personal standpoint? Since you're hoping to use that lender again and again, it's important that you feel comfortable with them as a person as well as a source of financing.

A good lender wants your repeat business and works hard to find the right loan for each transaction. They may even be able to help you locate potential investment properties. Finding a great lender is a crucial component for your ultimate success as a real estate investor, so choose carefully.

(c) Copyright 2004, Jeanette J. Fisher. All rights reserved.

Professor Jeanette Fisher, author of Doghouse to Dollhouse for Dollars, Joy to the Home, and other books teaches Real Estate Investing and Design Psychology. For more articles, tips, reports, newsletters, and sales flyer template, see http://www.doghousetodollhousefordollars.com/pages/5/index.htm


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