Negotiating The Mortgage Process

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“So, you visited AisForAtlanta today in hopes of finding one of my hard-hitting interviews, a profile on a neat-o neighborhood or a tip (or two) on cutting down on ye olde carbon footprint. And now that you’re here, you find yourself staring at a blog title about mortgages.

Don’t go anywhere. Please.

Getting a mortgage loan these days is slightly more complicated than it was back in the, you know, boom years. There are twists and turns throughout the process- so the more prepared you are, the better. And I wouldn’t be your favorite Realtor if I left you unprepared, right?


Here are a few tips that buyers should know as they go through the application process, courtesy of the Chicago Tribune and Mary Ellen Podmolik (with some edits by moi).

1. Ask for the “Good Faith Estimate” early. It won’t be released until it is officially “complete” and all the questions are answered. So… find answers right away to all the lender’s questions.

2. Read and ask questions about the fine print. Identifying and negotiating all the fees and charges can cut an applicant’s costs.

3. Shop title insurance.

4. Get a commitment. Insist that the lender or loan broker agree that there won’t be any other charges on the HUD-1, which most borrowers don’t see until they are at the settlement table. “”If [the lender] won’t agree to that, you have to be a little suspicious,”” says Claire Fennessey, senior vice president of Entitle Direct.

5. Question flood insurance. If a property requires flood insurance, contact a civil engineering firm with experience with the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s resources to ensure that you aren’t paying too much. Eligibility for a preferred risk policy can cut costs substantially.

Source: Chicago Tribune, Mary Ellen Podmolik (07/05/2009)

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Jon Effron is widely regarded as one of the leading Realtors in Atlanta, working with both buyers and sellers throughout the metro area to maximize their real estate investments. In 2014, Jon was the #1 individual agent at Keller Williams Intown, one of the largest brokerages in Intown Atlanta. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Jon was the Vice President of Development at Tujay Group, an Atlanta real estate development firm. His career pre-real estate included stints at, eGroups (now Yahoo! Groups) and Elite Traveler magazine, where he served as the Vice President of Marketing.