How to Choose the right Mortgage Lender | Loan Officer | Mortgage Company

TDR Mortgage shows you how to navigate the Real Estate and Home Loan Process, easily, to make smart confident decisions when buying, selling or refinancing Real Estate in California.

Well, hi everybody how are you today? I’m doing fantastic not nervous at all. Not even a little bit.

Let’s see. I guess I’ll just jump right into it and get started today. Thank you for tuning in to my Facebook Live Episode Three of the TDR Mortgage Home Buyer Boot Camp, so welcome everybody. I have some notes, so I might be reading off this because last night I wrote all this stuff down. Being a mortgage lender, you would think it would just be a thought I wouldn’t hardly even need to do anything because I could just talk on the subject because, I’m a mortgage broker, so I totally know how to find someone if I needed to.

But, if I were a consumer, I don’t have all the knowledge that I have. I had to like, take my mind back and be like, “Okay, I’m a consumer, this is not what I do for a living. How can I give advice to just the average person to go out there and find a mortgage broker, a mortgage company, a loan officer, someone that will do a good job for you.” So, this is my best effort today.

How to choose the right mortgage lender in Southern California?

How to choose the right mortgage lender?   TDR Mortgage shows you how to navigate the real estate and loan process easily to make smart, confident decisions when buying, selling or refinancing in Southern California.

Okay, so I’m going to just tell you what I would do if I were looking for a mortgage lender. First of all, I would let’s say I needed a mortgage lender in, I don’t know Montana, because who doesn’t want to buy a house in Montana? What I would do is I would go on the internet and search for and would find the town or the county that I was, the area that I was looking at and I would put in Kalispell Mortgage Broker.

The reason I would do that is because I believe in the mortgage broker channel because of the many options that we have. Mortgage brokers have a higher level of licensing and experience than what the average loan officer does, and most importantly I want the lowest rate and I want the best overall term and a mortgage broker has the most freedom to shop and offer those really low rates that you see on the internet by people that you don’t even know that they’re a loan officer or know their background. Maybe they just work for Quicken or whatever and you can’t actually look that loan officer up.

Loan Officer License Lookup (click here)

I want to look that loan officer up, I want to validate their experience, and their credentials. That’s number one. So, I will just type that in. I might even look at articles and see if they’ve been featured anywhere, what are they saying? I mean, this is 2019. If you are in business and don’t have an internet presence, do you even really do loans? I’m just saying. Then I would call the person and I would talk to the person and and that’s how I would kind of narrow it down. I’d get a feel and I know what questions to ask the mortgage broker or whoever answers the phone and I would be able to talk to a couple of people two, three people and choose who was the best fit for me, or who had the best availability to meet my needs.

What is their License Level? Or are they even Licensed?

Okay, so but you don’t know anything, so what we would do is what you’re going to find out is what is their license level or are they even licensed? Here you are, you’re going to buy a $2 million property, aren’t you fancy? Well, if you’re going to be spending that kind of money, don’t you want to have someone who’s helping advise you on this $2 million purchase or $200000 purchase? Wouldn’t you want to use someone that’s actually licensed? I mean, I know I would.

The licensing for loan officers, if you are just a regular loan officer and work for a direct lender, or yeah, a direct lender, or maybe, let’s say a credit union, you have something called the NMLS license. That’s a national license registry where we have to go take all these continuing education classes, we have to maintain our license. We have to go do like fingerprint checks and things like that to make sure that we’re legit and not criminals, and would abscond with your money in any form or fashion.

They work under the institutions License?

A lot of the banks and even credit unions, those loan officers aren’t even licensed, and they work under the institutions license. Maybe back in the day these companies or these banks were fair and treated these loan officers well. That changed recently where the pay is just minuscule, it’s very, very minuscule, and a bank loan officer I’m sure there’s a lot of great people out there that work at banks, but a bank loan officer lacks the skills and abilities to bring it home in many instances and also does not offer the lowest rates so that’s my take on the license level thing.

Teresa Tims, President of TDR Mortgage and Real Estate Credentials

I might not have introduced myself properly but my name is, Teresa Tims. I’m president of TDR Mortgage and Real Estate in Upland, California, and I serve the entire Southern California market. I’m looking for home loans. I’m a loan originator. If you know anyone who is looking for a great lender to do FHA, VA, conventional bank statement stated loans, if you could pass along my name, I would super, super appreciate that.

I hold a mortgage broker license, I hold a California real estate license, and I also have a BA in Business Administration. I’ve studied all types of single family real estate investing and creative financing and I attend regular events to increase my knowledge so that I can be better at what I do and also create wealth through owning properties. That’s one of the things that I want to impart on people that I work with, people that I do loans for is that I want you to buy that one house, and then I want you buy another one, and I want you to buy another one, and I want you to buy another one.

I want to be there to help consult you when you have questions about buying or selling, of market timing, things like that. We covered the … So, a couple of things in licensing. I have a checklist that I can send you just leave me a message down below and I can send it through Facebook for you, but there’s two things that you can do to validate if someone’s licensed. There’s a website through the NMLS that you can, it’s basically a licensed checker and then if someone’s a mortgage broker, you can validate them. A mortgage broker has to have a real estate license, so you can go and check the NMLS and you can also check the real estate, or through the Department of real estate.

Okay, so I talked a little bit about mortgage broker, obviously I’m a mortgage broker, so I believe that channel is the best. I’ve been a mortgage broker since 2001. I started off as a direct lender in 1998 through Marina Mortgage, fantastic company, fantastic leadership. I loved, I really, really loved working at a direct lender shop. I just like being around people and there’s so many great people, and there’s so much education and the environment is great.

You’re in the same office as underwriters and funders and so you know if you’re friends with those people, not only friends, you demonstrate that you’re a quality person and that you treat that person right and they see that you do a good job to help your borrowers. When you work for a direct lender and you’re in the same office as all of those underwriter folks, you better believe you get special treatment. They can sometimes do things that they wouldn’t normally protocol doesn’t normally … I don’t know, what am I trying to say? You know what I’m trying to say? Direct lenders are great. I’m not going to bash direct lenders at all, except this one thing, and that thing is their pricing sucks.

How to Choose the Right California Mortgage Lender CA Loan Officer CA Mortgage Company

How to Choose the Right California Mortgage Lender CA Loan Officer CA Mortgage Company

The direct lenders have all kinds of layers of management. They offer all kinds of training and literature and they hold all these nice luncheons for real estate professionals and parties and their staff is really excellent, and they have these super nice buildings but all that comes with a price, and the price is passed on to the consumer.

If a mortgage brokers has given a rate of four and a half maybe I can pay a couple of points on a purchase. A point is 1% of the loan amount if it’s a $400000 purchase, two points is $8000, so at four and a half I can give you an $8000 credit. Probably with a direct lender that four and a half you’re not going to get that two points for closing costs, and you might even have to pay a little bit so their pricing is off. Sorry my direct lender friends. I love you.

California Direct lenders

Direct lenders often have a lot of experience and I have a lot of great relationships in that area. The other type of loan officer can be the bank. I already told you earlier what I think about bank loan officers, I’m sure they’re great individuals. They just don’t attend the training. They don’t have experience in the purchase realm. Refinance is refinance, I don’t know other than property and appraisal stuff a refinance is pretty generic, but a purchase has so many moving parts to it, okay.

Nationwide Internet Lender (s)

I didn’t talk about the internet lenders, okay. Internet lenders, think of those as like chop shops. So, I’m brand new, I go get my license and maybe I have a sales background. Maybe I’m a little bit of a hustler and a grinder and I’ve heard that this loan business you can make a lot of money. Typically, what happens it’s very hard when you’re a brand new license to go out on your own, and make a living. So, a lot of times these newer loan officers will go work for the internet lenders, and basically it’s a call center so you can’t really validate that person. That person is only as good as the company, and even then especially in a purchase situation, an internet lender simply is not going to have the chops to step in and solve problems, the way boots on the ground mortgage broker or direct lender is going to be able to step in and help you.

Were they easy to find when you googled their name? Can you find the name of the actual Loan Officer that is doing your loan?

Okay, so this mortgage lender, were they easy to find? Like I said earlier, it’s 2019, type in the name, they should show up. Their name should show up on the first page, wouldn’t you think? Why would their name unless they’re this hidden underground loan officer, why wouldn’t they just show up on the first page of Google?

Reviews… what are people saying?

What is being said about them? When you do Google them, what are people saying? What is Yelp saying? What are the Google reviews saying? What is Zillow saying? Read the reviews and make a decision or use that in your total overall decision.

Okay, what else? I could see comments. What if someone knows nothing at all about home buying, can you help them? Dah, that’s why I have the Home Buyer Boot Camp. Number one, you have to go back and watch the first episode where we talked about, “Hey, I want to buy a home. What do I do?” Yeah, we have the series and of course, that’s what we do. We specialize in helping people that don’t know what to do because we know, we know it all, right Jocelyn? She said, “Yes, we do.”

Did they call you back in a reasonable amount of time?

Okay, getting back to my theme. Okay, this is a big one for me. Did they call you back in a reasonable amount of time? Okay, now you have to realize that in mortgages … My hair looks weird right here. In mortgages, we in the morning we get into, we kind of work backwards. The stuff that’s closing needs our attention, the approvals need our attention. Typically, unless we have to call someone back in the morning, we’re working on these loans, working on pipeline that’s getting ready to close and then we call people back later in the day. That’s usually like what the flow is. So, you should be getting a call back, if you call somebody, you should be getting a callback that same day.

Blah, blah, blah. Is the loan officer available on nights and weekends, after hours? This is really important because when you are writing offers to purchase your realtor sometimes needs assistance in how to write the offer, in that does the buyer need any closing costs assistance? How fast can you close? Sometimes and you could close in two weeks, that helps get your offer accepted or maybe this particular buyer they’re like a super hard to qualify and we’re waiting on the verification of employment. It’s like it’s there, but we need 30 days to close that loan.

So, when the agent is writing the offer, I need to be available. If you’re working with an Internet lender, you’re not going to be able to call them at like seven o’clock on a Sunday night and have them pick up the phone and coach your realtor how to write that offer.

Another thing, did you know that oftentimes my education experience level is higher than the realtor agent that you’re working with? I will step in to assist and aid in writing the offer to have success. We talk about the closing costs and Mac sales price. Sometimes when it’s really competitive, I’ll step in and help strategize about, “Hey, well why don’t we offer, why don’t we go 3000 over or 5000 over the asking price.” Then the realtor has to step in and be like, “I’ll ask them hey, do you think that you know this property will appraise for another $5000?” If we’re going to offer more, is it going to appraise. There’s so much that goes into when you’re writing an offer that you really want someone that’s really highly experienced in purchase origination.

Also, there’s a lot of property issues that come up where we just had one the other day where somebody called in and asked about financing on this multi unit property, and part of its not permitted. There’s all kinds of like zoning and property issues that we have to be involved in and you want someone that’s very, very experienced in that kind of stuff.

This is another good one. Can they, do they have the chops to call the listing agent and schmooze the listing agent, instill confidence in the listing agent, make the listing agent want to do business with them? That sometimes alone is enough to push your offer into acceptance when you’re in a multiple offer situation. You want somebody that’s going to go swing a bat for you and hit a home run every time. Yeah, we could do that too.

How long have they been in business?

How long have they been in business? I do realize everybody has to start somewhere and I was new one time and even though I was new, I feel I was still a good gamble or a good risk because I was new but if I didn’t know something I could own up to that and I knew where to go to get the answer. Because the company that I worked for was super on point and my manager was super, super smart and he wanted me to succeed, I was on his team. It’s like, even though that I was new, I still had success at managing the transaction.

Ideally, me personally, I wouldn’t necessarily count out somebody that’s newer in lending if they had a strong company behind them and came from like maybe a business background, maybe … If they’re brand new out of high school or brand new in the job sector, there’s going to be a lot of floundering around, but like with real estate agents and loan officers, if those people have an educated background, they’ve been in the workforce, they’ve learned negotiation skills, they’ve learned that stuff in general.

When you’re working with somebody newer, if they have a really strong background, you’re going to be okay. You’re going to be served well with somebody that you know, like and trust and has met all this other criteria, so I’m not going to hammer too hard on that. Thank you, Michael.

Do they work alone or do they have an assistant or a team?

Let’s see, do they work alone, or do they have an assistant, or a team? I was struggling with how to answer that question. I just know what I like, and so when I’m going to go work, when I’m going to go work with somebody and I do all this research … Look at my eyes, they’re sparkling. I do all this research because I’m pretty anal when it comes to choosing someone of this magnitude to work with. I’m a shopper and sometimes it’ll take me a couple of weeks of shopping around to determine who I’m going to go with in certain instances, so this is really important.

I want to talk to the person that I did the research on. If Tammy Sue is the lender that I was going to use out in Montana, because wouldn’t that be her name if she’s out of Montana, Tammy Sue, and she has horses. She has a lot of horses, and she makes jewelry on the side too because it’s really cold there, so there’s a lot of indoor downtime. Okay, Tammy Sue.

Okay, what was I talking about? Okay, so Tammy Sue, if she’s with this big team, and I never get to deal with Tammy Sue, ever. I don’t talk to, Tammy Sue, she’s so busy. She’s like the manager, and she has all of her underlings doing things. Well, I don’t want to work with her underlings. I want to work with Tammy Sue, so me personally, I would find someone that is their own loan officer, maybe they have an assistant, or they have a partner and that I actually will get some phone time with that loan officer and that lender and then also the assistant. I want to know that the assistant or partner is not brand new. I don’t want to be working with brand new people, like I need to be, I need … I’m new in Montana, I don’t know the ropes in Montana. I want someone that’s skilled and knowledgeable, so that’s how I would approach that if they work alone or have an assistant, or a team.

Ideally, you want a loan officer and assistant because then they can be more efficient. This is a lot, there’s a lot to consider when you’re looking for a lender.

What do they specialize in? Buying or Refinancing?

All right, what does the lender specialize in? Do they specialize in buying or refinancing? Why that’s important is because in a purchase transactions, there’s a million moving parts. There’s so many people involved, the buyer, the seller, the appraiser, the termite guy, the home inspector, title, escrow, you have the county recorders, you have taxes, you have insurance. I mean there’s just so much stuff and so many ways for things to go sideways.

When you have an experienced loan originator that has done purchase transactions when something goes sideways because you know what? Like 75% of the time things come up, every once in a while you just get something that it just goes. On our files, our buyers are so vetted before they go out and start writing offers, nothing happens with our buyers, but every once in a while, there’s a misstep. You could I don’t know the verification of employment could have came back wrong, and you didn’t catch it or whatever and something comes up, but usually it’s something to do with the house, with the property. Maybe the Home Inspection didn’t go so well, and you’re negotiating for repairs, or I don’t know, maybe there’s a zoning issue or who knows?

Okay. What was I saying? Do they specialize in buying or refinancing? So, you want someone that has experience in purchasing, if you’re purchasing, in refinances, if they’re an originator, that’s skilled in refinances. The thing that is most important on that is do they know value, do they have experience with appraisal issues. In a refinance one of the things that I do is I arm my clients with sales comparable’s, so we send an appraiser out there on a refinance, and the appraisers are just, they’re going to find the path of least resistance, maybe there’s 10 sales comparable’s, and they pick three, and they’re kind of right in the middle, and you needed a $400000 value, but it came back at 375 or 380.

Well, that doesn’t help you because now you can’t get your cash out or now you’re not at the loan to value to take advantage of that lower interest rate. So, we do our best to arm our people with sales comparable’s, so when they meet with the appraiser, they can show or before the appraiser goes out there, they can email these sales comparable to the appraiser and say, “Hey, Mr. Appraiser. I’ve done some research on my property. And I’ve looked at these 10 properties, and you know, it looks like there’s a range of I don’t know 360 to 400, but here are the top three that are close to 400 and if we were to sell our house we were thinking, you know, we talked to an agent or whatever and they would recommend sales price around 400 to 410. Based on these three highest sales comparable, here you go. I’m not trying to tell you how to do your job, but pretty much you should bring our house in at the upper end of the spectrum.”

It goes something like that, right? I mean, why not? Why not push for that value to put yourself in that optimal position of getting the best rate in term when you’re refinancing? Not everybody does that. I think. I don’t know. I don’t know anybody else that does that, but we do. What else? What else? Here’s one. Okay, so what was that agents name? Montana. Do you remember, Jocelyn?

Anyway, okay so I’m looking for a vacation residents in Montana, spend a chunk of money, $2 million. Thank you very much and if I’m taking advise from someone, not only do I want them licensed, I want to know that they actually own property.

If a mortgage person that is telling you what to do, and giving you advice on a mortgage, I sure would hope that they would be savvy enough to figure out a way to own property. That’s important to me, and if they’re giving me investment advice on investment property, I would hope that they are experienced and skilled navigators to actually own some of their own investment property. So, do they own a home? Do they own investment property?

Buying or Selling a home? TheSoCalLoanPro.com

Buying or Selling a home? TheSoCalLoanPro.com

How Fast Can They Close Your Loan?

How fast can they close your loan? You want, you don’t want this is one of like the biggest gripes with the banks. They’re so inefficient. One of the banks that starts with a C-H and ends with an S-E. I know people that work there and do you know that the loans take 60 plus days to close, half of the time, that’s if they even close, so just be really careful. Some people are really tied into their banks and if maybe if they’re super super savvy and have the wherewithal to push it along, but if you’re a newer buyer, I would highly, highly advise that you not go to your bank.

How Many Products can they offer?

How many products can they offer? If you’re a first time buyer, you’re going to go to a broker shop that does first time buyer programs. So, how many first time buyer programs do they offer? What do they specialize in? What do they recommend? Do they give you options? Do they say, “Oh, here’s the three programs that you qualify for,” and lay them out for you. “But, I recommend that you do this one, because this one’s in your best interest, blah, blah, blah.”

People want to be told what they should do, because I’m the expert. I’m going to give you all the information so that you can make your own decision, but I’m also not going to stay silent. I’m going to give my opinion on what I think is the best thing for you to do. With all the education and everything we provide along the way, when you do make that decision, that is going to be the right decision for you and your family. What else? What else? What else? Okay, we’re almost done.

Do you Trust them?

Okay. The other thing is, do you like them and do you trust them? You’re going to be talking to this person regularly. They’re going to be working on this really important thing for you. You’re putting your hands and your trust of buying this home and closing it and you want them to communicate to you realistic timeframes. You’re putting your notices, you’re moving out of a house, you’re hiring movers, you’re packing. You have so much shit that you’re working on when you’re buying a house that the last thing that you want to worry about is your loan, your loan officer, are they doing what they’re supposed to do?

Listen to yourself, listen to your gut. That’s one thing that I would like to implore that you do is to really listen to yourself. In all facets of life, in dealings with professionals, if you get a bad feeling peace out, go find somebody else because you want a good feeling. You want to feel warm, fuzzy, confident, right? I know I do. Okay, so that’s it. We’re at the end of part three of My Home Buyer Boot Camp. Jocelyn?


Did you have anything that you want to add or what did you … Did I do okay job of breaking that all down? You have to come in here though because they can’t hear you up there. I love her. She’s the best. Don’t tell her I said that though. Okay.

I think you did a good job.

Thank you.

I think you covered everything. I think the most important thing that you should really look into is what are other people saying? Like really look up their reviews, look up like what their past clients are saying, because I know that’s one thing that I do. Like what are other people that are just like me saying about the process that I’m going to get into? Buying a house is a huge process so and I like that you covered I mean, who’s your team? What help do they have? You don’t want to work with someone that’s a corporation and every time you call you get someone different. You want someone that knows what’s going on with your deals.

What is your experience? Jocelyn is my partner. She assists me in all facets of my business. She does a lot of loan intake for me and talking to clients. When I talked about hey is that loan officer, are you going to be dealing with the actual loan officer. The way she and I work is she does the intake and gets all the information and once all the information is tight and we know that we’re probably going to be able to do something, then I give a call to the client and then we go over their wants, and needs, and expectations. You’ve been here for two years. Prior to that like what was your background?

I worked really just TCing for like five different brokers but they were all out of state. It was a lot of you know, a lot of it was foreclosed properties so it was like rehabbing and doing the TC work for them. Prior to that it was like loan modifications of foreclosure stuff, so really just helping clients through the process and doing the package for them and all that good stuff.

Is there anything nice you’d like to say about me before we close?

She gets shit done. She figures it out.

That is true. Have we ever not closed a loan?

No, and actually I got a call this morning of a girl, she’s grocery shopping around for if she should use a mortgage broker or her bank? I told her, she asked me what’s the rate of you guys closing your loan? I told her it sounds funny, but we have not had a loan that we can’t close. If we can’t do it in the beginning, we’re going to tell you why, and we’re going to tell you what we need to do to get it done.


We just, we get it done.

I just think sometimes too when I’m doing a lot of coaching and personal development right now and one of the things that comes up a lot is knowing when to say no, and I have a hard time with that. I really struggle because I want to help people and sometimes I know I can do it. I know I can do it, but sometimes that client isn’t up to task to do all the things that I’m telling them that they need to do to be a homeowner.


In instances like that, I’ve just become more in tune with … Remember I told you about that feeling. If I’m getting a bad feeling about it, I can help you but if you can’t help yourself, there’s not a lot I can do to bring it home and close and help you get into a house. So, I feel like I’m getting better at saying no, but it’s still hard because I just, I want to help people and all that good stuff.


Yeah? All right. Well, thanks girl.

All right, bye guys.

Okay, so I want you to tune in next week when we are on part four of our Boot Camp series. I’m trying to think what part four is going to be, let me see. Part and four is … Okay of course I can’t find the document but part four is going to be amazingly exciting and I will see you next week. Thank you so much for tuning in. Okay now I don’t know how to turn this off. Let’s see. Did I turn it off? I don’t know what happened to it. Jocelyn. Like seriously though. Okay, if it’s still on, podcasting loads. I seriously do not know what happened right now.

So, when you’re getting ready to make one of the biggest purchases in your life start with me, Southern California’s premier mortgage specialist!  Seriously, give me a call at 909-920-3500.  You can also call or text me at (909) 821-3093. I would love to help you and your family.


Nationwide Multistate Licensing System & Registry (NMLS)

DRE Lic Lookup (usually only have if they are a broker)