Local Bank Lenders Work Best In Small Rural Maine Real Estate Markets.

maine real estate

The buyer for a property listing needs a real estate home loan.

Where to get the mortgage for financing the house for sale when cash is not an option. Or owner financing is not possible. Because the seller needs to pay off a mortgage and to replace the house with a new home address in another neighborhood somewhere else. Welcome to Maine!mainerock1

Nationally there is a shortage of real estate property appraisers.

My Dad was one of the first crop of Maine residential real estate appraisers when licensing for valuations became needed. Prior to that the licensed Maine real estate broker could issue valuations. Appraising a property, valuation was one of the three components of licensure when I took my Maine real estate broker’s exam in 1979.

Real estate practices and law were the other two components to master.

To getting, passing an agent or broker’s license test to hang on the wall of an agency. Valuation was the toughest teacher, Ted Sherwood from Bangor drove home the point and made sure you knew the fine points of valuation for which I thank him. Dana Devoe was the law instructor, Earl Black the practices teacher who I still see at state REALTOR conventions each fall. 

Maine small town bankers prior to appraisers being brought on board could visit the property and size it up for condition and value for the collateral securing a mortgage loan.

The home town mortgage lender made character loans too with local control and based on past experiences with the borrower or from family dealings in the small Maine town. Maine only has a handful of cities and small town communities is the norm in Vacationland. 

So back to the blog post title that kept your reading this far.

Local real estate bank home loans, protecting rural small towns in Maine. In my area of northern Maine the shortage of appraisers for the work load is felt in our local markets. One appraisal firm out of Washburn Maine recently announced they were pulling back their horns and not servicing southern Aroostook County any longer. So the tightness for appraisers to do the mortgage loan underwriting inspections and valuations just increase a few clicks on the rachet tension. 

So my advice to a home buyer looking for a home loan in Maine’s small rural real estate markets is to keep it local.

Use those banks with processing centers in Maine. With local outlets for lending from institutions that have banks, credit unions in the small Maine town or in one of the sixteen counties of the Pine Tree State. Why? Lots of reasons. First and foremost is the service you you receive and the time that is not wasted waiting for the clear to close real estate memo. 

I can ask a local lender, of which there are five of them for a bank home loan or any real estate financing product just where are we on this pending sale. What is the hold up or where are we in the process so if something is stopping the turning conveyor belt, I can run interference to collect what is holding up the show. houlton monopy

Everything can stop when the check mark of items is missing some important documents for underwriting a Maine home loan.

To help the process you need to monitor the activity and know what comes next with a little help from the real estate professional.

At our local rotary meeting, out in public at Walmart or shopping at the local farmer’s market, at a sporting event I run into the local Maine banking professional.

The branch manager, he or she can tell me they talked with the appraiser and our property is next up. Or the buyer is working on more paperwork. Or I can ask the local attorney doing the title search because I live and work in a county seat where we are blessed with a registry of deeds are we close to wrapping this up? And then relay what is the hold up and when to expect a closing that hopefully is close to the date on the purchase and sale agreement. So no extension after extension is needed.

Because the longer a real estate deal drags on, like a medical operation, the more apt it will derail or die. Life events that mess up a sale happen right on schedule. Because life happens and the home is no longer needed or the seller pulls the plug because they are tied of waiting. And missing out on other prospects to sell the home to and get on with their life plans. 

When the lender for a rural small Maine town home loan is on another solar system and their processing center is even further away from the Milky Way, delay happens.

Time is money and what’s worse, service from the local appraisal crew which is thin and tired is missing with a mega lender. Maine is an eight hour tall state and to call in a hired gun appraiser to travel four or more hours up Interstate 95 to do the valuation on a home is expensive and not efficient plus the local knowledge of the market is missing.mainehorses001

The local appraisers service the banks in the Maine communities first and they understand each other as natives of Vacationland. The bank in Atlanta, the mortgage lender in Miami does not and often want extra expensive hoops to jump through for termite inspections, tornado certifications that don’t apply to Maine. 

Beside better service, quicker appraisal valuation turn around from a rural local home bank mortgage lender, there is the all important local economy to protect. The local attorney who hired three secretaries who pay local property taxes and have kids in our community schools pays them with title work done in the community. Those dollars turn over six to seven times in the local economy. Take those attorney fees, remove the local lending bank loan fees and gypsies from outside the community economy can poach and hurt the financial health of the rural small Maine town. 

Recently, I had a Maine real estate closing on a co broker home sale with the mortgage underwriter being out of Hancock County.

And the mortgage broker suggested to the borrower he had a buddy who could write up the property insurance on the new home. The title company checking for liens, back taxes or other lint at the registry of deeds was from a hour away too. The closing was in a real estate office because the mortgage lender had no local sticks and bricks.

The closing lasted for days with loose ends and delays. It was a time suck for us, it interfered with the local real estate offices other business and no money for the lending, the insurance coverage, the title work were done at the local community level. So zero dollars were added to the local economy and the service from the out of town lender was poor. No one knew who the appraiser was, what the delays were on the deal that kept needing more and more contract extentions. 

houltoncreditunionCreating new jobs for employment is always a community need in rural small Maine towns. But protecting the ones we have from siphoning from out of town entities is critical. We live in a age of Ebay, Amazon, Overstock dot com and impulse control to buy anything from a cardigan to a car is at your mouse finger tip. Loyalty to the local real estate deal practitioners is not something home buyers deal with day after day but brokers, agents, Realtors do. And protecting the local lender is critical or there will not be one after they go extinct. 

I have witness even local lenders making changes to the processing of new mortgage bank home loans.

One bank branch manager when asked who was doing the appraisal on a home loan that had been idling for two weeks said we have streamlined the bank. What does that mean? Well instead of local underwriting, the bank center was now in one of the Carolinas.

So does that mean the local branch manager was going to reach out and let me know so I could bring the borrower and seller up to speed on just where are we on this home loan? Nope.

She gave me an 800 number to punch out and requested if I hear anything, could I cue her in too because she was in the dark. 

I called the first 800 number in the marathon. I get an answering machine touting welcome to America’s most convenient bank and then on and on like an information about all the wonderful products. Finally after being forced to listen through the propaganda, the lady announced she is away from her desk and if she does not provide a call back within four hours to provide legendary service, please call the next most convenient loan arrangers in the world at this number. I did, got the same recitation, left a message. Wrote down another number in the banking food chain for legendary service .. I hope. 

The next day went back through the call after call and leaving voice mail. You can eat up a lot of time reaching out and doing so again when nothing comes back from the carrier pigeon or smoke signal. Finally I get a real live breathing honest to goodness person who quickly puts me on hold for fifteen minutes. Then back on the line to announce a name like Acme Appraisal Home Loan service out of Bangor Maine has been given the call to the bull pen. For the valuation assignment in Northern Maine. I had never heard of them, reach out and learn they don’t service Aroostook County. Ughhhh. That might have been why no experience with the valuation firm. 

Calls back to the Carolinas to let them know Maine is a big state, larger than say Delaware and Rhode Island. Weeks are flying by as the deal bleeds out on the mortgage underwriting table. Finally after providing them with a list of local appraisers, we convinced one to take on the mission. 

It was a VA mortgage home loan and it did finally close. But from a time expense viewpoint, the daily bird dogging to keep the loan on track was a lot more demanding then other local lenders who run their own interference behind the scenes. 

AMC, appraisal management companies are third party outfits that handle the scheduling of valuation orders for many banks.

The appraiser has to give these AMC’s a cut, a certain percentage of the appraisal fee for the business. Many local appraisers shy away from the AMC’s that often are tied to larger out of state lenders that have healthy marketing budgets for reaching buyers looking for a lender online. But these big banks or mortgage companies that promise the world often fail to deliver like the advertisements guarantee.

A real estate broker or agent needs to set expectations, to outline the steps in the buying and selling and to guide the process as the navigator overseeing houltonmaine01the property sale.

The more available information on where we are and any curves or wrenches thrown into the process are critical to adjust the process and keep it chugging along toward the sit down and pass the house keys please.

The local bank lenders we deal with on a daily basis can keep us crystal clear on where are we on the board game. The out of state mega lender does not and makes the agent or broker blind folded, just like the buyer and seller who begin to worry because they just don’t understand what is taking so long in selling, buying this house.

The better the communication on where the loan process is on a home sale, the less time spent digging by the broker or agent to learn what is causing the delay.

I like to attack the problem, not people and delay is costly for buyers, sellers, the agent and broker too that is supposed to be guiding the real estate home sale process. 

Buy local, thank goodness real estate is a fix based property location.

But get the lending locally, the insurance and title work for real estate legal work done at the community level.

Keep the money local and get way way better service in the rural small Maine town community level. You are going to need a local bank right after you move here right? Establish that connection early on and also the relationship with a local insurance broker, a local legal beagle to return to for other services on the local level where the real estate listing is located. 

Local service providers are your future community friends and neighbors. The community is the people, that all combine to make the area what it is. 

I’m Maine REALTOR Andrew Mooers, ME Broker

207.532.6573 | info@mooersrealty.com  | 

MOOERS REALTY 69 North ST Houlton ME 04730 USA

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