In today’s world where moving fast is the norm, you may think that finding the time to apply for a home loan is about as likely as finding the time to remove your jam-packed storage room of all the objects that don’t bring you joy.

John Jones

The good news is the process is probably a lot less time-consuming than you think. Back in the day, when interest rates were 15-plus percent (before online banking was even a thing), getting a mortgage loan required a trip to the bank for a conversation with your lender and a long slog to gather copies of paystubs, tax documents and bank statements. The process may have eveninvolved faxing documents to the bank. All that documentation was for good reason and is still needed – it shows you have the ability to repay your loan and are assuming a financial obligation you can afford. But mortgage companies have found much easier ways to move you through the home lending process.

Imagine this: you’re perusing real estate sites and find a property you like. You call the real estate agent and get an appointment to see it tomorrow, but it’s a competitive market so you want to be ready with your loan so you can make an offer. You pull out your phone and select a mortgage lender, such as Wells Fargo. They have an online mortgage application, and because you’re already an online banking customer, you can log in and be presented your profile information like checking and savings account balances to help you move quickly through the application. Once your application is in quickly you’re ready to house hunt! There were no paper documents to track down and you never left the couch.

As you pick a lender, here’s how to help ensure your homebuying experience can be smooth and easy:

Make sure your lender has a robust online application that allows you to easily apply and provide information.
Just because you can do it all online, doesn’t mean you want to. Shop around for a full-service provider who can offer guidance throughout the process.
Be sure you can apply for the loan when, where and how you want. Your mortgage company should meet you where you are. If you want a face-to-face conversation with a mortgage consultant, you should be able to do that. If you want to do it all online, you should have that choice, too.
Know that not all homebuying situations are alike, and complicated financial situations may require a little more legwork. Work with a lender who will take the time to guide you through the process.
Look for a lender who has a breadth of products and services and can offer the right options for your situation, as well as the convenience of digital tools.
Mortgage lending has come a long way from the days of fax machines and pushing paper. Take time to find a lender who is accessible in the way you want, committed to simplifying the experience and can guide you down the right home financing path for you.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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