The Benefits of Using a Local Mortgage Lender

Blog Post Image
Real Estate

Real estate is a localized market. You wouldn’t ask a Miami real estate agent whether you should buy a four-bedroom, three-bath home with a detached garage in Destin, right? Similarly, you wouldn’t ask a Miami mechanic to winterize your Chicago car, or your San Antonio-based colleague what she thinks about the public school system in Santa Rosa Beach!

All of us expect that a professional’s industry knowledge should extend nationally, but it's their local expertise that's unique to the market they serve. Mortgage lenders are no different. There are many benefits to using a local mortgage lender, which you should highly consider before choosing the right one for you.

Realtor Relationships

Local lenders on our Emerald Coast invest a lot of time and effort in building solid relationships with Realtors like me. This becomes particularly beneficial when it comes time to close the deal. The Emerald Coast real estate market is red hot right now and buyers need to move swiftly when they see a property they love. Often local lenders have extended hours, allowing you to contact them during the evenings and weekends. If you see a house you love on Sunday, you’ll be able to reach your loan officer and get a same-day approval. Plus, with everyone (Realtor, lender, and buyer) working in proximity to one another, the closing can happen on time and with local title companies. That final stretch of home buying is the most stressful part, and having one-on-one, in-person interactions will make the entire process quick, clear, and painless.

These Neighborhoods Are Our Neighborhoods

Every real estate market along our Emerald Coast is unique in its own right. From its streets to its businesses, home styles, industries, culture, traffic jams, and even dining and entertainment venues, each one of our towns along our Emerald Coast have a certain flavor that makes it sizzle. Like family members, every area also has its challenges, which may seem obvious to those who have become familiar with it over time, but may not be so crystal clear to new arrivals.

One of the benefits of using a local mortgage lender is that they can navigate all the ins and outs of that particular market. They know which condominiums are considered "condotels," which are "warranted" and "not warranted." They know which communities/homes may require special attention. They know which communities qualify for FHA, VA, and USDA loans. Local lenders know the market in your area better than anyone else. That means they have a better understanding of property values and the local economy. When you work with a smaller, local lender, you’re paired with a licensed loan officer and a team of professionals who are experts in the area of our Emerald Coast that you’re buying into. They’ll help you choose the right type of loan for your circumstance and keep you updated along the way, ensuring each step is done with care and concern.

Most local lenders even have the in-house tools and resources to expedite a loan, ensuring everything is taken care of with time to spare. Even if you’re a seasoned buyer, there are benefits to going local. No matter how many times you have been through the process, there can still be hiccups. Local lenders understand that customers are as unique as their fingerprints and they will work to find a solution that works for everyone. They’re more willing to go the extra mile to secure their customers a successful mortgage.

Online lenders and big banks have no way of understanding the complexities in your desired neighborhood because they don’t live, work and play in those same areas. In fact, there’s a good chance they don’t even reside in Florida!


Not only are most local lenders more affordable than big-box national brands, some even offer extra perks to really demonstrate their value to buyers. For example, every one of our Emerald Coast lenders is able to offer clients bonus benefits you won’t find elsewhere, like free home warranties and free pre-approvals. Pre-approvals are actual loan approvals that give you a commitment in writing for the loan amount you qualify for, giving you peace of mind while shopping for a home. That means you’re already one step closer to obtaining a mortgage and are qualified to purchase the house you’re looking at—which makes you appealing to the seller and gives you a leg up in the competition to land your dream home.

Local Lenders Network In Our Neighborhoods 

Just as you’ve built relationships with your favorite yoga instructor, son’s soccer coach, next-door neighbor, and morning barista, they've also cultivated relationships in our local communities between Pensacola and Panama City. Most of our local loan officers have spent years and sometimes decades serving their local homebuyers. In that time, they’ve developed healthy working relationships and vast networks of support services, including local appraisers, title companies, and real estate agents like me. Some can even recommend interior designers, landscapers, contractors, plumbers, pool services, you name it!

You cannot get that type of service from a big bank. Trust me on that one! This is one of the many benefits only a local mortgage lender can provide.

They're Tied Into The Inner Workings Of Each Local Community 

There are certain federal and nationwide lending programs many people can take advantage of when they’re buying or refinancing a home. However, many would-be borrowers may be leaving money on the table if they’re not privy to local programs that may be available to them. One of the benefits of using a local mortgage lender is they remain constantly up to date on the regionally available specialized programs that can assist with the home buying and/or refinancing process. Have you ever wondered why online lenders are able to process your loan applications so quickly with minimal effort? It’s because that company is simply utilizing its pre-determined algorithms to spit out one of a handful of cookie-cutter loans without fully taking the time to get to know you.

A local mortgage lender will sit down with you, review your current financial situation and long-term aspirations before exhausting all the programs that may help you achieve your dreams faster. That is one benefit of using a local mortgage lender that cannot be overlooked. Their localized approach means you work directly with your local lender and his or her team. You’re not routed through a call center, you don’t receive an auto-reply email and you don’t have to explain your situation to nine operators in the hopes that you’ll one day end up in the right hands. Think about the last time you called a big bank. How long were you on the phone? How many digits did you have to push and how many recordings did you have to listen to? Did you have to repeat your question to three different responders? Did you even get a live person on the phone, or did you hang up, frustrated, after you were placed on hold to wait out your days in call purgatory?

Many Buyers Think They're Going to Pay More by Using a Local Lender

Not true! I'm going to let you in on a little secret: local mortgage lenders cast a wide net. They can offer you multiple lending options through multiple channels to find the ideal solution for your situation. Big banks and online lenders, on the other hand, have to work within the confines of their portfolio of loan programs. This means if they don’t have a program that’s right for you, they cannot seek one out beyond their company and products.

I absolutely believe in shopping around and doing your homework. I think if you do, however, you’ll discover this little-known fact for yourself. That is if you can get someone on the phone to answer your questions, to begin with! They are always there to field questions, comments, and concerns, and you can contact them anytime. They're always happy to go over your unique situation before determining the ideal loan program for you based on your goals and your desired market.

Your Realtor and Local Lenders

You can use a Realtor (like me) who has a strong, deep relationship with a variety of local lenders. Communication between your agent and your lender can be key -- hiccups can happen at the most unexpected time and a Realtor who has the mobile number of your lender who will answer their call at 10:00 on a Sunday night is invaluable! I can't stress enough that the final stretch of home buying is the most stressful part and having one-on-one, in-person interactions will make the entire process quick, clear, and painless.

Call me any time for a list of reputable, knowledgeable, and successful local lenders!