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6 Important Home Loan Mortgage Tips: An Interview with Brent Mendelson of Choice Finance

By Brent Mendelson

Tell us a little bit about your experience, company history and the services you offer. Loan office since 2003.

I specialize in VA loans but offer a wide array of products including jumbo loan, FHA and conventional with as little as 5% down. 1ST Mariner also offers the HARP loans for underwater borrowers. 1st Mariner Mortgage is a division of 1st Mariner Bank which is headquartered in Baltimore, MD. We offer loans in all 50 states.

Can you explain the difference between a mortgage broker and other mortgage provider options?

Mortgage brokers work for a company that usually bring your loan to a bank and UW and close the loan at a separate remote location. Mortgage bankers work directly for the bank that funds, approves and works on your loan from start to finish. I was a broker from 2003 to 2010. And a banker since 2010. It's not even close to me which model works more efficiently in today's complex regulated world.

What are the main factors that people should consider before applying for a home mortgage?

What is the amount that they can afford? With taxes, insurance and any condo or HOA fees. What you can be approved to borrow and what you can afford are often not the same amount? There is nothing more important than this question in my opinion.

Is there a difference between pre-approved and pre-qualified?

Yes. However both terms are used very loosely by different parties in the transaction.
Pre-approved to me mean that I have pulled credit, reviewed your income, tax returns, W-2's etc and assets and run everything thru Fannie or Freddie's automated UW system. This means I've provided you with a payment and closing costs as well.

Are there any ways that a homeowner can help make the mortgage process move faster?

Listen carefully to your loan officer. ☺ Seriously though, let us know if you're going out of town, try and get back everything to us as quickly as possible so there is time to handle any unexpected delays in closing the loan on time. And ask us, if you aren't sure what we need please tell us. We're on your side and here to help you.

What is one of the most common problems for homeowners who are applying for a new mortgage?

Not fully understanding the process and the timeline. If there are any question, no matter how small or you asked and we gave you the insider answer make sure you ask us again.

What advice would you give to homeowners who want to choose the best mortgage lender for them?

Talk to 2-3 and see what the best fit is for you. Ask people you know for recommendations. Trust your gut. If alarm bells are ringing don't ignore them. Check online, Google their name and see what others have had to say. Mine are here: www.reviewbrentmendelson.blogspot.com.Ask them how they get paid, especially if they are a mortgage broker. Ask them if that's the best they can do when a rate is quoted. And remember "if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is."

What's the best way for people to reach you and your company?

Brent Mendelson
Senior Loan Officer
1st Mariner Mortgage
Office 240-235-5314
Cell 301-412-0259
Nmls #111407
Lending in ALL 50 states
bmendelson@1stmarinerbank.com

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Brent is dedicated to building relationships with his clients to make sure he can help...

Phone: 240-235-5314

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