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Finish First with an Arlington Area Local Lender

Is your lender a race car or a smash up derby car?

If you are planning on buying your first home or condo in Arlington, the first thing you need to do is get pre-approved from a reputable lender. Local Arlington real estate agents work every day in this market and they use particular lenders for reasons. Some of those may be selfish (their agency may share in costs with that lender, which has to be disclosed to you) but most of us have chosen lenders through the experiences that we have had with them. I cannot stress to you enough, the importance of using the right lender and listening to your agent’s advice! There are different types of lenders and for the purpose of this article we will call them the race car lenders and the smash up derby lenders.

The race car lenders are fine tuned machines that are specifically built to get you through the process quickly and reach the finish line first. They don’t do all of the other “bank” things like servicing loans and are usually not store front operations where you can deposit and withdraw money. They are there to help you with the buying process in competitive situations, you can reach them over the weekends and pretty much anytime you need them. This type of lender is built for doing loans, they get you through the purchasing process quickly and smoothly with in house underwriting, loan processing and highly credible appraisers. They are not brokers, they lend with their own money! This is very important in a hot real estate market.

Then you have your smash up derby lenders. They take on the entire model of banking and can do pretty much any thing from opening bank accounts, depositing money, having ATMs and store fronts and and initiating loans. They are usually closed on weekends and after hours…. right when you are looking at that new house that you want to write on. So essentially they build their cars for a smash up derby. They can take hits from all sides but still stay working. They are usually slower with more rules, more people to deal with and often times more trouble in the purchasing process. Keep in mind this is a generalization, not all big banks are smash up derby cars, but they definitely are not race cars.

The most aggravating thing a listing agent can deal with is accepting a contract from a buyer that ends up backing out on their finance contingency. If they really want the home, they should have their finances in order before they write a contract! We were 6 days from settlement when we learned that the buyer was declined for the loan because he was a salaried employee with most of his income coming in the way of commissions, something that usually needs a 2 years of history. (I will say that this could have also been the buyers fault, but probably not). He did not have a 2 year history. This scenario should have been squashed in the pre-approval process and he never should have gotten a pre-approval letter from the bank, but some banks work backwards. These banks are great banks for loyalty customers, they do big inspiring commercials on TV but they are often backwards and very hard to deal with on their lending procedures. Where they excel.. offering loan programs that you can’t find with some of the race car lenders. But what good is a loan program if you can’t get to the finish line quickly and efficiently? What good is a phone if they dont answer it and what good is a loan officer if I can’t talk to them? We live in the Washington DC metro area and this real estate market will fly right by you if you aren’t prepared.

So, my race car lender of choice is Thad Musser of Atlantic Coast Mortgage. And no, he didn’t pay me to put that there. I use him because I know that when I get a pre-approval letter from him, its as good as gold. My buyers are set up to win the race and finish in first place. To read more on Thad Musser and Atlantic Coast Mortgage or to do an online application, go to

My Race Car Lenders:

Atlantic Coast Mortgage (Thad Musser – click here)

Home Savings and Trust Mortgage (Sean Glennon – click here)

First Savings Mortgage (Jeff Blackburn – click here)

George Mason Mortgage (Jimmy Hummer – click here)