Buying a Home in Salt Lake City, UT


How to "Shop" Loans and Lenders Part 4 of 7 (TOTAL Cost)

Mortgage MoneyMany Buyers pay 1-3% too much for their loan in up-front costs, even after "shopping" for lenders. Some choose a lender solely based on which one has the lowest up-front costs, but they end up paying for it by getting an interest rate that is higher than they qualify for. Others unnecessarily pay too much in fees in order to get the lowest interest rate.

Shopping for a loan does not have to be difficult or complicated. The key is to take control of the process, get organized, and make sure you do it right.

Here are some basics on ONE way to shop for a loan. Click each link for more information on each topic:

  • Shop the lenders on the same day and at the same time
  • Make sure all the lenders have the same facts
  • Figure out the TOTAL Cost of the LoanSM

    After many years of evaluating how lenders compete for business, we have found a good way to calculate the TOTAL cost of a loan. We do this by considering how many dollars leave your pocket at the closing table (mostly made up of fees) and how many dollars leave your pocket each month you hold the loan (mostly a factor of the rate). This is the fairest way I have found to shop lenders, and even to compare different loan types from the same lender.

    Homebuyer Representation, Inc. has created a program that extrapolates these figures out for the term of the loan (15 or 30 years). It can show you the total dollars that have left your pocket at any point along the way. You can see on a graph that the best lender in the short term (lowest fees) is not always the best lender in the long run (often the one with the lowest rate.) They often cross paths along the way.

    What our system does is it allows you to see where this transition takes place (if it does). Graphing out the TOTAL cost of each loan option gives you the ability to make the best educated decision regarding which loan to choose.

    If you know you will only hold the loan for 2-3 years, it may actually cost you less if you choose a lender whose rate is a bit higher, but whose fees are substantially lower than another lender's offering. If you believe you will hold the loan for potentially a longer length of time, a lender who costs a bit more up front, but offers a lower interest rate, may cost you the least amount of money by the time you will be likely to either sell the home or refinance the loan.

    The problem with just judging a loan by the APR is that it doesn't allow you to understand which loan is really going to cost you the least amount of money based on your specific scenario. (How long you plan to hold the loan) Still, if you have no other way to compare, comparing the APR is better than just comparing the rate alone or the fees alone, as the APR does factor in the up front costs of the loan.

  • Don't skip the "shopping" even if you have a "friend" in the business or a "company special"
  • Ask for References!
  • A few extras

As advocates for the Home BUYER, one of the ways we protect our clients above and beyond what most traditional agents do is by offering to help them evaluate lenders and loan options using our TOTAL Cost of the LoanSM system.


If you have excellent credit and will be buying a $300,000-$800,000 home within 90 days and would like an agent who will work exclusively for you, make sure you get an Agent on YOUR side of the transaction! Make sure you hire an E B A!

Call us at (801) 969-8989 or contact us via the link on this page.

Exclusive Buyers Agents do not list homes and never represent Sellers. They represent Buyers ONLY on the Buyer's side of the transaction. They work to get BUYERS the Best Price and Terms when they Buy...

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Comment balloon 0 commentsBenjamin Clark • August 01 2009 03:43PM