Many people think home ownership is out of bounds for them. Stagnant wages, high student debt, and increased cost of living have made things like home ownership. But, thanks to both government programs and new initiatives from private lenders, many everyday Americans can still make their dream of buying a home in Birmingham a reality.
After the obvious importance of finding the right home, one of the most important decisions new homeowners make is finding the right mortgage lender.
The right mortgage lender for one person might not be the right lender for another. Different situations mean different needs. The wide variety of companies and loan programs available means there are a lot of different options to choose from.
There are several factors that impact a homeowner’s experience with their mortgage company. Before you decide on a lender, you need to figure out what priorities are important to you. Things like interest rate, customer service experience, and approval requirements can vary from lender to lender.
Clever Partner Agents in Birmingham are top-rated local experts. Whatever your priorities when shopping for a home, a Partner Agent can help you find the right place while staying within your budget.
Without further adieu, let’s get to the top five mortgage lenders in Birmingham.
1. Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation
Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation is a great option for buyers with moderate incomes and credit scores.
Fairway Independent offers government-backed mortgages like FHA loans and USDA home loans, which have flexible credit requirements and down payment requirements as low as 3.5%. Its FHA loan volume has increased 38% since 2014, the highest rate of Alabama’s top mortgage lenders.
Fairway Independent also works with the Alabama Housing Finance Authority to offer tax credits and financing of up to 3% of the down payment to low-to-moderate income home buyers.
If you’re interested in a rural development or renovation loan, Fairway Independent may also be for you. It has a wide variety of home renovation loans, including the FHA 203k rehab mortgage and Fannie Mae HomeStyle renovation loan. These programs allow a cash-out of up to $35,000 to use for repairs and renovations.
2. Regions Bank
If you’re a first-time home buyer in Birmingham, Regions Bankmight be the lender for you. Regions Bank has the largest network of branches in Alabama, double the number of locations of any other lender in the state. It’s also a dominant force in the Alabama market and frequently ranks #1 for mortgage originations in the state.
Regions is highly rated for their customer service and frequently receive top customer service ratings from J.D. Power and Associates. It’s known for its well-trained staff and their ability to walk them through each step of the lending process. Regions also services its loans in-house, so the staff members its clients work with are familiar with loan terms and Alabama-specific issues.
Like Fairway Independent, Regions Bank participates in the Alabama Housing Finance Authority’s Step-Up and Mortgage Credit Certificate Programs, programs designed to help moderate-income buyers afford their down payment.
3. Classic Home Mortgage, Inc.
Classic Home Mortgage is a Birmingham-based lender that bills itself as a “one stop shop” for all of its clients’ mortgage needs. It’s known for its excellent customer service and its wide variety of mortgage products.
Classic Home Mortgage offers handy guides to prospective home buyers about the mortgage and home buying process. It also offers a short form application, to allow you to determine the best product for you and figure out what you can afford without a hard credit pull.
As a smaller company, Classic Home Mortgage prides itself on working with its clients to earn their trust. It also streamlines the lending process, to keep closing on schedule and stop mistakes from happening. It creates an individualized plan for each client and sticks to it.
4. Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans
Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans offers great rates, a fast application process, and an easy online experience. It prides itself on fast closings, often up to a week faster than most traditional lenders. For convenience and speed, it’s hard to beat Quicken Loans.
Quicken Loans receives top ratings from J.D. Power and Associates and is one of the most popular lenders in Alabama. Because it’s an online lender rather than a brick and mortar bank, Quicken Loans is perfect for those who are looking for an easy and intuitive online experience. Its website and apps are top notch and rated highly by customers.
There are several different types of loans available through Rocket Mortgage. And, unlike many of its competitors, Quicken Loans allows prospective clients to compare rates across several loan types without filling out an application.
5. Guaranteed Rate
For another top online lender, look to Guaranteed Rate. Guaranteed Rate has some of the lowest rates in Alabama, and like Quicken Loans, allows you to compare the rates on several different loan types through its website.
Guaranteed Rate has an automated program where prospective customers can enter their credit information and loan preferences and receive several suggested loan options to meet their needs. It prides itself on its quick process and allows eligible borrowers to pre-qualify for a mortgage in just minutes, using its online system.
Guaranteed Rate has fewer fees and lower rates most of its competitors. However, it also has high standards for borrowers. If you have a high credit score and annual income, Guaranteed Rate might be for you.
Buying a Home in Birmingham?
Clever Partner Agents are there for their clients through each step of the home buying process. They can help you through the mortgage process and find great properties that meet your loan’s requirements, whatever they may be. Contact us todayto connect to a local Birmingham Partner Agent for a free, no-obligation consultation.