How to Find the Best Mortgage Brokers in Sonoma County
Whether you are a first-time home buyer, looking to refinance, acquire a home equity line of credit (HELOC) or options for reverse mortgages in Sonoma County you will want to know who are the good mortgage brokers in Sonoma County. Offering fixed rate loans in Sonoma County, adjustable rate loans and interest-only loans, Sonoma County mortgage brokers and mortgage companies have access to many lenders and can help you find the low interest home loans in Sonoma County.
The following research by The Prime Buyer's Report identifies the best mortgage providers in Sonoma County and issues related to finding a mortgage.
Updated April 01, 2020
How to Find the Best Mortgage Brokers in Sonoma County
Mortgage brokers in Sonoma County are required to have one of two different state licenses but neither is specifically a mortgage brokers license. One is a Negotiator License from the State Department of Corporations which only allows them to negotiate a mortgage made by a lender who is licensed specifically under the state Finance Lenders Law and these mortage brokers cannot make direct loans under this license, nor broker or negotiate loans to banks, credit unions, or savings & loans. The other license a mortgage broker can operate under is the same for selling real estate. These mortgage brokers are allowed to broker loans to banks and also to negotiate loans secured by real estate, whether first mortgages or second mortgages.
Neither license requires the mortgage broker to have professional liability insurance to protect you the client from financial loss due to a mistake or negligence, however all mortgage brokers bearing The Prime Buyer's Report—TOP 10 symbol do have that liability insurance for your protection, in addition to passing all of the other requirements for Prime Buyer's Report—TOP 10 status such as our research phone calls to their previous clients to verify high satisfaction, hiring only documented workers, sufficient length of time in business, clean complaint record, and more.
Mortgage Providers in Sonoma County
Many people think they can't purchase property because of large down payment requirements, bad credit or excessive closing costs. But the best mortgage brokers and mortgage companies in Sonoma County will be aware of all the possible options for each person's situation. Mortgage brokers may have access to more options in mortgage loans if they're able to work with many mortgage lenders at the same time.
When you need a loan, whether for a car, land, construction or your first home, you have a number of mortgage companies in Sonoma County to choose from. Among the local choices, many work with FHA loans, sub-prime loans, bankruptcy loans, foreclosure loans, VA loans, fixed-rate loans, home equity loans, basic real estate loans, jumbo loans and adjustable rate loans. After a free loan analysis, you may qualify for home improvement loans or home equity lines, refi's, or reverse mortgages for senior homeowners.
There are local mortgage brokers in Sonoma County who regularly work with lenders that offer competitive, reduced rates for first-time commercial or residential buyers, individuals with bad credit, individuals who need to pay back taxes or collections debt and individuals who wish to consolidate their existing bills. Sonoma County mortgage brokers are Equal Housing Lenders and many can accommodate Spanish-speaking clients, and they may be able to find a direct lender that caters to borrowers with bad credit history.
Mortgage Brokers in Sonoma County Are Licensed
California does not have a mortgage broker license specifically. Anyone originating mortgage loans in Sonoma County must be licensed by the state of California either by the DRE (Department of Real Estate) as a real estate salesperson or broker, or they may be licensed by the Department of Corporations. When someone has a California Real Estate Broker license they are automatically licensed to function as a mortgage broker. Mortgage brokers licensed by the DRE may broker mortgage loans from banks and credit unions. Those licensed under the Department of Corporations may broker mortgage loans only with a mortgage lender licensed under the CFL (California Finance Lenders Law) which means they may not make any direct loans under this license nor broker loans from banks. All mortgage brokers bearing The Prime Buyer's Report—TOP 10 designation have had their active license status confirmed by researchers at The Prime Buyer's Report.
They are not required by law to have professional liability insurance; however, all mortgage companies and brokers bearing The Prime Buyer's Report—TOP 10 designation have professional liability insurance coverage which reimburses the client in the event of any damages caused by errors, in addition to passing all other requirements for certification as Prime Buyer's Report—TOP 10 such as reference phone calls to previous clients, verified license, clean complaint record, and more.
Some Providers of Mortgages in Sonoma County Are Much Better than Others
The Prime Buyer's Report lists these providers of mortgages in Sonoma County CA: First California Mortgage Petaluma CA, Mission Hills Mortgage Petaluma CA, Reverse Mortgage Plans Healdsburg CA, Priority Lending Santa Rosa CA, Allstate Mortgage Santa Rosa CA, Sun Pacific Mortgage Santa Rosa CA. Other mortgage brokers in Santa Rosa CA who might still be in business include: Essex Mortgage Bank Santa Rosa CA.
Mortgage Brokers in Sonoma County May be Good, But it Pays to Check
Mortgage brokers vary in how well established they are in the market as well as the amount of experience they've acquired. The longer your mortgage broker has been at it, the larger his network of lenders is and the closer he may be to the specific programs available. Of course, this says nothing about his integrity. In order to find out these details, visit industry associations and organizations. Affiliation is optional and it indicates a certain level of dedication to the work. You can use other media to learn about mortgage brokers as well. Some professionals may have been noted in industry magazines or contributed to websites.
Working with Mortgage Brokers in Sonoma County
If you are not a mortgage aficionado and you've never purchased property, you're about to walk into an intimidating, foreign world that speaks another language and can be full of hidden charges. So supplement our other articles with this guide to find a respectable mortgage broker who offers a fair, workable quote.
Step 1: Background Research on Mortgage Brokers in Sonoma County
Make sure you don't waste any time with mortgage brokers that are not legitimate professionals. Verify licensing and certifications such as NAMB certification and DRE or CFL licensing. Investigate fraudulent business practices at the Federal Trade Comission Web site.
Step 2: Be Prepared For Speaking with Sonoma County Mortgage Brokers
Before you meet with potential mortgage brokers in Sonoma County, conduct a brief investigation into the current loan climate for the Sonoma County area and gather all of your current financial information. You should also have an idea of a feasible down payment. Be sure to present all of this information to each broker so that you can accurately evaluate the variations in their quotes.
Step 3: Ask Questions & Take Notes of the Mortgage Brokers in Sonoma County
After you present the Sonoma County mortgage brokers with your financial information and they have had a chance to assess it, delve into the details of the mortgage brokers' loan practices. Use the questions below as a basis for your own.
• How will your credit history affect your loan from mortgage brokers in Sonoma County?
• Can the mortgage companies give you a list of their current mortgage rates?
• Can the mortgage company give you names and numbers of previous clients that you can call as references? (All mortgage companies bearing the Prime Buyer's Report—TOP 10 symbol have already had a favorable response from client references called by research staff at The Prime Buyer's Report.)
• Are the rates from the mortgage brokers the lowest of the day or week?
• Do the mortgage companies offer fixed rate mortgages or adjustable rate mortgages?
• If the mortgage companies offer adjustable rate mortgages, how will your rate and loan payment vary? Will payments be reduced if the APR goes down?
• What is the APR on adjustable rate mortgages from mortgage brokers in Sonoma County?
• Do the mortgage brokers in Sonoma County work with any lenders that might be able to better accommodate your particular circumstances?
• What kinds of lenders do the mortgage brokers in Sonoma County work with?
• Do the mortgage brokers work for a flat fee or a percentage of the mortgage amount?
• If the mortgage brokers receive a percentage, ask them to quote their points as a dollar amount. (The more points, the lower the rate.)
• Do the mortgage companies charge a prepayment penalty? If so, how much is it?
• Are any of the mortgage companies' fees or costs waivable?
• Do the mortgage brokers charge a fee for locking in a loan rate? Is it refundable?
When you've chosen the most suitable mortgage company for you make sure they are still licensed in good standing either by the DRE or under the state Department of Corporations. (All mortgage providers bearing the Prime Buyer's Report—TOP 10 symbol have already had their license verified by research staff at The Prime Buyer's Report.)
Step 4: Make the Final Decision on a Sonoma County Mortgage Broker
Take a final stab at rate negotiation with the best mortagage broker. If and when you arrive at a decent number, you're done shopping. This is the point at which you lock in the rate if you've chosen to do so, but remember, loan rates and mortgage rates can rise or fall, perhaps a few times in a single day. There's always the chance that rates may become more favorable after they are agreed upon. Though lock-ins may be negotiable up until closing, they are usually fixed once they are put in writing.
Tips to Finding the Best, Low-Interest Home Loans in Sonoma County
Make Sure a Mortgage Broker is Necessary.
If you've been fiscally responsible and have few blemishes on your credit record, paying extra to have mortgage brokers find you lenders is probably a waste of time and money. The purpose of mortgage brokers is generally to help individuals with poor credit or minimal assets find a direct loan that can accommodate them and their situation. Don't pay for help if you don't need it.
Take Time Choosing Among Mortgage Brokers in Sonoma County.
The first quote you are given isn't necessarily the best quote you could find. Take the time to evaluate the practices and offers of several mortgage brokers and you're more likely to find a much better deal.
Interview Several Mortgage Brokers in Sonoma County.
You should talk to several potential mortgage brokers in Sonoma County to find out what institutions they use, how they are compensated and other important business details. But understand that the quotes you are given should have little affect on your final choice. This is because quotes vary from day to day, and the only guaranteed amount is that which you are given when you actually sign on and the rate is locked (if applicable).
Consider Each Sonoma County Mortgage Broker's Payment Plan.
Depending on the size of your down payment, the way the mortgage brokers are compensated can either help or hurt you. If your down payment is small, it's usually more beneficial to pay a broker a percentage of the loan. This can usually be lumped into your regular monthly payments. If you're able to put down a large amount, a flat fee is usually more reasonable, as a percentage fee will be much larger.
Be Prepared When Speaking to Local Mortgage Brokers in Sonoma County.
Mortgage brokers in Sonoma County can assess your situation or find suitable loans only with information on current income from all sources, total available cash, expected down payment amount and all current debts including the balance and payment. So have all of this information before a consultation.
Get it in Writing From the Sonoma County Mortgage Brokers.
Because of the inherent risk in large financial transactions, be sure to put every facet of your agreement in writing. Oral agreements are difficult to prove and you need to protect your assets.
Do Your Homework Before You Sign an Agreement with the Mortgage Brokers.
Before you sign on with a mortgage broker, verify relevant credentials, including NAMB certification and DRE or CFL licensing.
Negotiate with the Mortgage Companies in Sonoma County.
Most mortgage brokers in Sonoma County are open to negotiation on their direct compensation, so don't immediately settle for an unfair fee. Use your business sense to work with the mortgage brokers. There is a chance they will be persuaded to accept a more reasonable rate.
Know Your Rights When it Comes to Sonoma County Mortgage Companies.
You are protected by the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, RESPA, The Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, The Fair Housing Act, The Truth in Lending Act and a number of other statutes enforced by the FTC. To read about the laws that affect Sonoma County mortgages and mortgage companies, visit the Web site for the California Department of Consumer Affairs or the Legislative Counsel for the State of California.
Resources About Home Loans and Mortgage Companies in Sonoma County
Regulatory Bodies & Industry Associations Related to Mortgages in Sonoma County
BBB Better Business Bureau (http://www.bbb.com/)
CAMB California Association of Mortgage Brokers (http://www.cambweb.org/)
CFL California Department of Corporations (http://www.corp.ca.gov/)
CMA California Mortgage Association (http://www.cmabrokers.org/)
DCA California Department of Consumer Affairs (www.dca.ca.gov)
Diamond Certified www.diamondcertified.org
FHA Federal Housing Administration (http://www.fha.gov/)
FTC Federal Trade Commission (http://www.ftc.gov/)
HUD U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (http://www.hud.gov/)
LCCA Legislative Counsel for the State of California (www.leginfo.ca.gov)
NAMB National Association of Mortgage Brokers (http://www.namb.org/)
NRMLA National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (http://www.reversemortgage.org/)
Media Regarding Mortgages in Sonoma County
Mortgage Banking Magazine
Mortgage Technology Magazine
National Mortgage Broker Magazine
Mortgage Lending Compliance Alert
National Mortgage News
The Prime Buyer's Report provides information for the Top Ten Mortgage Brokers in Sonoma County within the following zip codes:
95403, 95421, 94953, 95407, 95439, 95408, 95476, 95492, 95452, 94923, 95431, 94999, 95472, 95406, 94972, 95409, 94922, 95433, 94954, 95450, 95402, 95480, 95448, 95487, 94952, 95430, 94951, 95436, 95471, 95405, 95446, 95497, 95425, 94927, 95465, 94931, 94975, 95404, 95444, 95486, 95412, 95419, 95462, 94928, 94955, 95401, 95442, 95473, 95441 and 95416
The Prime Buyer's Report provides information for the Top Ten Mortgages in Sonoma County within the following cities:
Agua Caliente, Alexander Valley, Annapolis, Asti, Bloomfield, Bloomfield, Bodega, Bodega Bay, Cazadero, Cloverdale, Cotati, Fallon, Forestville, Fort Ross, Freestone, Fulton, Geyserville, Glen Ellen, Graton, Guerneville, Guernewood, Healdsburg, Jenner, Kenwood, Lakeville, Larkfield, Monte Rio, Occidental, Penngrove, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Roseland, Russian River, Russian River Mdws, Salmon Creek, Santa Rosa, Schellville, Sebastopol, Sonoma, Stewarts Point Rancheria, The Geysers, Valley Ford, Windsor, Boyes Hot Springs, Camp Meeker, Duncans Mills, El Verano, Eldridge, Fetters Hot Springs, Rio Nido, Sheridan, The Sea Ranch, Villa Grande, Vineburg, Lytton, Mark West, Temelec and Two Rock