Simply put, finding the best mortgage interest rate requires due diligence and plenty of time. If you are like the average consumer, you probably don't feel particularly up to the task. The most efficient and painless way to discover the best mortgage rate available is to consult a knowledgeable and trusted professional.
So the true key to unearthing the mystical rate is in knowing and trusting someone in the real estate and/or mortgage business. Think back to your last real estate transaction: were any of the principals (realtors, escrow agents, mortgage agents) noteworthy? Do you feel that the individual genuinely served your interests? If so, your problem is solved! Pull out their contact info and drop them a line or a give them a quick call. This professional will do all the legwork for you and deliver the tidy package of your personal best mortgage interest rate to your inbox - all for free.
However, most first time home buyers either have yet to partake in a real estate transaction or don't remember the principal players in their last one (note, first time home buyer is categorized as anyone who has been off title for three or more years). In this scenario, the buyer seeking a great mortgage interest rate will inevitably require research and time. The first step is determining what you would like to research: the current and ever changing market or finding a trusted professional. There are definite benefits to either approach.
If you opt to research the market, you would most likely spend a significant chunk of time on the information superhighway. For optimal organization, create a document for copious notes on the data you find on various bank, government, NGO, and business sites. Make sure you insert a spreadsheet to keep track of the fees that accompany your mortgage. Example fees include transfer and recording fees, tax rates, title costs, personal mortgage insurance, miscellaneous costs, and of course, your amortization rate.
The main benefit to researching the mortgage interest rate yourself is that you can reuse your organized system over and over again to stay abreast of the market on your own. However, this positive is also the main detractor in this approach since mortgage rates can change multiple times in a single day. Staying abreast is difficult unless you reapply your research without ceasing.
If you choose to go the route of forming a trusting relationship with a professional, you may need to invest just as much time up front as if you decided to research mortgage interest rates on your own. However, once you establish that relationship, any real estate or mortgage related advice is only a phone call or email away. This will save you massive amounts of time later.
The best way to start your search for mortgage interest rate options is to ask a friend or colleague. Since consumers are far more likely to discuss a negative experience, a recommendation for a trustworthy and knowledgeable professional speaks volumes. A simple email query or phone call should cue you into the individual's professionalism and level of commitment. Make sure you let the professional know that your friend or colleague recommended them. This keeps them on their "A" game. For example, if they just happened to do something extra special for your friend, mentioning the reference lets them know that you expect the same treatment.
First of all, your query should be returned promptly - if not, move on to the next name. Secondly, the individual should ask you enough pertinent questions that they can give you a rough overview of what needs to happen next. After the phone call you should have a warm, fuzzy taken-care of feeling. A face-to-face meeting is always a good next step if possible. This will solidify your relationship and round out your impression of the individual's professional ability.
Within a reasonable amount of time (say 3 business days), you should have an outlined plan of your options delivered by the newest member of the make-your-life-simpler staff. If you fail to achieve a perfect fit after the phone call and meeting, simply ask another acquaintance for a recommendation. It is highly unlikely that you will fail to find your ideal person after two tries. Professionals in this field will not earn an endorsement if they aren't knowledgeable, professional, courteous, and - to a certain extent - likeable. These qualities all make them well suited to be your personal advocate when dealing with others in the industry.
Locking in your personal best mortgage interest rate comes down to people interacting with people. Having a professional, courteous person working for you trumps the best software and the fastest flash drive any day.