Buying a Home in 2014: 26 Loan Officers Chime in on What You Need to Know

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Getting a home loan can be challenging, as lender guidelines are tougher today than they were a few years ago. Ryan Cassidy, a realtor in North Carolina, asked 26 loan officers on how to successfully navigate the home loan process in 2014.

Out of the 26 loan officers who were interviewed, the most common advice for home buyers was to prepare for the current level of lender scrutiny and the need for documentation.

Potential homeowners can find the process of getting a loan confusing and frustrating. We reached out to the pros for advice on buying a home in 2014, and found that the most common advice involved the current level of lender scrutiny and need for documentation, making sure to select the right loan officer, and getting pre-approved before starting your home search. Below are the first 5 comments; for the rest of the comments please visit

"Remember that all of the outrageous scrutiny that your lender will bring to bear upon you has very little to do with you as a borrower/credit risk, and everything to do with the lender's ability to satisfy the requirements of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Logic does not apply. Simply do your best to cooperate with your lender!" - James Adair, PDX Home Loan

“Understand the level of documentation that mortgages require today. Mortgages are required to be fully documented. With any information that you provide to us, be prepared to document that information. Closed files a few years ago would be an inch or an inch and half thick. Today’s closed files are in the 4 to 5 inch range. Don’t let the amount of documentation scare you, just be prepared for it.” - Belinda Arender, F&M Bank/Mortgage

“First time buyers would want to know in 2014 that there are plenty of great down payment assistance programs available. Many first time buyers get discouraged and overwhelmed while trying to save up to qualify to buy their dream home. They may be much closer than they think.” - Gary Blount, BB&T

"Meet your loan officer in person! It’s the best way to make sure you are going to have a good working relationship with them and as a loan officer I find that people provide far more detail and context when we sit down together than over the phone. This is one of the biggest financial commitments most of us will ever make, so invest an hour in a meeting." - Gary Boyer, Northwest Mortgage Group

"Some advice I would give to a borrower looking to purchase a home in 2014 would be to get your ducks in a row in regards to “financing” before you find the house you want to purchase. So many times borrowers look online and find a home to purchase and then try to get the financing to work. This is backwards. Call to get your financing approved first." - Liam Bray, West Town Savings Bank

Getting a home loan can often be as difficult as finding your dream home, and hopefully this information will help homebuyers as they start the process. It's no surprise that there were more comments regarding documentation and lender scrutiny than anything else, as lending guidelines have changed quite a bit over the last few years.

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Ryan Cassidy
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Ryan Cassidy Realty
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