Are you thinking about buying a home? Don’t be overwhelmed by all of your mortgage options. Our guide to mortgage options, home buyer programs and loan lingo will make the process a little easier.
Best Mortgage Companies in Washington State:
- Best for Bank Statement Loans: Angel Oak
- Best for First-Time Home Buyers: Quicken Loans®
- Best for Self-Employed Professionals: Wells Fargo
- Best Online Lender: Better.com
- Best for FHA Loans: Keller Mortgage
- Best for VA Loans: Veterans United
The 6 Best Mortgage Companies in Washington State
One of the first decisions you’ll need to make when you decide to buy a home is your choice of lender. From banks to online lenders, there are dozens of ways to get a mortgage loan in Washington State. In this section, we’ll go over a few of our favorite lenders in the Evergreen State.
1. Best for Bank Statement Loans: Angel Oak
Angel Oak Home Loans is a full-service mortgage lender offering traditional and portfolio mortgage loans. Among their many customized loan solutions is their Bank Statement product for self-employed borrowers across Washington. This loan does not require tax returns and includes a 1099 Income option for 1099 earners.
- Loan amounts up to $3 million
- 12 or 24 months personal or business bank statements
- Two years out of bankruptcy, short sale, foreclosure, or deed-in-lieu
- Owner occupied, non-owner occupied, second homes in Washington
- 1099 option available
- 40-year fixed interest only
- Delayed financing available
- Non-warrantable condos allowed
Angel Oak Home Loans offers a wide range of loan options allowing you to obtain any mortgage as long as qualification requirements are met. Washington residents can also refinance into any of these loans. The customer service team is easy to reach via email, phone or the online contact form, and you can begin your journey by searching for a local advisor right on the website.
Angel Oak is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia and is licensed in AL, AZ #0927070, licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act, CO, CT, DE, DC, FL, GA #32379, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MI, MN, MS, NV, NH, licensed by the N.J. Department of Banking and Insurance, NM, NC, OH, OK, OR, PA, Rhode Island Licensed Lender, SC, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, WA dba AOHL LLC, WI.
2. Best for First-Time Home Buyers: Quicken Loans®
If you’re buying your first home, Quicken Loans® is one of the best mortgage lenders online. Quicken Loans’ Rocket Mortgage® platform is a first-time buyer’s best friend. It’s packed with information on everything from state-sponsored down payment assistance programs to the many types of loans you can qualify for as a first-time buyer.
Quicken Loans has streamlined the mortgage application process down to its most basic parts. You can fill out your loan application quickly, and it’s simple enough to complete entirely on a smartphone or tablet.
3. Best for Self-Employed Professionals: Wells Fargo
If you own your own business or you’re an independent contractor, your mortgage lender might make you jump through hoops to prove that your income is what you say it is. This can be stressful and can cause your mortgage process to take much longer than someone who receives regular paychecks from an employer.
When you get your loan from Wells Fargo, you won’t need to worry about digging up years of tax returns. All you need to prove your income is your most recent profit-and-loss statement and your last 2 statements from your bank. Wells Fargo also offers a quick and simple application process that you can complete online or at your local Wells Fargo branch.
4. Best Online Lender: Better.com
Online lenders are a convenient and safe way to get a mortgage loan faster, and Better.com is one of the best mortgage lenders for issuing loans online. Better.com’s mission is simple: Make getting a mortgage less confusing and less expensive. Better.com has removed unnecessary steps from the mortgage process, leaving you with only a few steps to complete. By cutting out the middleman commonly involved in the mortgage application process, Better.com is able to offer lower rates and no lender fees.
Worried about finding the lowest rate possible? Better.com’s Better Price Guarantee ensures that you won’t find a lower rate with a competitor. If you do, Better.com will match it and give you $1,000 to put toward your closing.
5. Best for FHA Loans: Keller Mortgage
Keller Mortgage is one of the best mortgage lenders if you’re looking for a loan solution with looser credit requirements. You can qualify for a conventional mortgage loan with a score as low as 600 points and FHA loan requirements are less strict as well.
Keller Mortgage’s ZeroPlus lending program can also help you save more when you take out your loan. You’ll pay $0 in lending and service fees with a ZeroPlus loan. You may also receive a credit of up to $1,000 to put toward your closing costs when you choose Keller Mortgage.
6. Best for VA Loans: Veterans United
VA loans are a special type of mortgage loan for veterans and those in the armed forces. If you think that you might qualify for a VA loan, you’ll want to get a quote from Veterans United.
Veterans United employs a team of former service members from all branches of the armed forces so you’ll know that you’re getting the most accurate and up-to-date information available. Veterans United can help you determine whether you meet service requirements. They can also help you file your loan paperwork and get proof of service. If you don’t currently qualify, don’t worry — Veterans United can also help you get a conventional home loan as well.
Now, let’s get into the details of your mortgage loan. Two of the most common terms you’ll hear when you compare mortgage options is “term” and “type.”
Your mortgage term is the length of time that you’ll make payments on your mortgage loan. Most mortgages have terms between 15 and 30 years, but it is possible to find a loan with a term as short as 7 years.
Your mortgage term also usually tells you about your interest structure. Your loan might have one of 2 interest structures:
- Fixed: If you have a fixed-rate loan, it means that your interest rate remains the same throughout your loan term. This keeps your monthly payments predictable.
- Adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM): An ARM is a type of mortgage loan that has a variable interest rate. Every ARM begins with a period of fixed interest. After your fixed-rate period ends, your lender will raise or lower your interest rate as market rates change. ARMs include caps that limit how high or low your interest rate can go.
There are 3 major types of mortgage loans and 3 major term structures. Let’s take a closer look at what each loan looks like.
- Conventional: Almost every lender offers conventional mortgage loans and you can use a conventional loan to purchase any home. To qualify for a conventional mortgage, you’ll usually need at least 3% to put down on your home and a credit score of at least 620 points.
- FHA: FHA loans are government-backed loans with lower credit and income requirements. To qualify for an FHA loan, you’ll need a credit score of 580 points or higher and a down payment of at least 3.5%. You can only buy a primary residence with an FHA loan.
- VA: VA loans are government-sponsored home loans for veterans and current members of the military. Before you can get a VA loan, you must meet service requirements and obtain a document called a “Certificate of Eligibility” (COE) that confirms that you’ve served. Your lender might be able to help you get your COE if it offers VA loans. VA loans are attractive because they have no down payment requirement.
- 30-year fixed: A 30-year fixed-rate loan has a term of 30 years and an interest rate that stays consistent throughout the loan’s term. Thirty-year loans are a good option if you have less income each month to cover your payment.
- 15-year fixed: Fifteen-year fixed-rate loans have terms of 15 years and consistent interest rates. They have lower APRs but higher monthly payments.
- 5/1 ARM: The 5/1 ARM is the most common type of ARM loan. 5/1 ARMs begin with 5 years of fixed interest. After this period ends, your lender will adjust your interest rate every year.
Which Mortgage Lender is Best for You?
There are dozens of lenders that offer loans in Washington State. Which one should you choose? The best lender for you will depend on your individual circumstances. Some qualities you might want to consider include:
- The lender’s available loan types: Every lender doesn’t offer every type of loan. Figure out which loan type and term you need before you begin comparing lenders.
- The lender’s average time to close: Some lenders specialize in fast closings, while others take a longer and more thorough approach. Current interest rates and fees. Every lender uses its own formula to calculate what you’ll pay for your mortgage. Check a few lenders’ online average rates to make sure that you aren’t overpaying.
- The lender’s process and offices: Some lenders have physical locations, while others issue mortgage loans entirely online. Decide which method you’re more comfortable with before you choose a lender.
Lender Credit Score Minimums in Washington State
The higher your credit score, the better candidate you are for a mortgage loan. Almost every lender has a minimum credit score that you must meet before you can qualify for a mortgage. Some example credit score minimums are as follows.
Current Mortgage Rates in Washington State
Mortgage rates are always changing. Your local housing market, the current state of the economy and bond interest rates can all influence the eventual price you’ll pay for your home.
Staying up to date on current average interest rates can help you find the most affordable loan possible. We update this table frequently to reflect the most accurate mortgage data in Washington State.
|7/1 ARM (adjustable rate)
|5/1 ARM (adjustable rate)
Average Days to Close on a Loan
After you put in an offer on your home and reach an agreement with your seller, the closing process can officially begin. During closing, your lender will schedule a visit from a home value expert called an appraiser. Your appraiser will take a look around your home and assign a general value to the property you want to buy. Lenders require appraisals because they need to know that they aren’t lending more money than your home is worth.
You might also want to get an inspection. During an inspection, an inspector will list specific problems and repair needs your property has. Most lenders don’t require appraisals, but you should still get an appraisal to ensure that your home doesn’t have any expensive issues.
After your appraisal and inspection, your lender will finalize your loan paperwork and schedule a closing meeting. During closing, you’ll pay your down payments and closing costs and get the keys to your new home.
Do you need to be out of your current space by a set date? You might want to choose a lender that specializes in faster closings. Let’s take a look at how long you might expect your closing process to take with a few different lenders.
Becoming a Homeowner in the Evergreen State
Still confused about mortgage loans? Don’t panic — you can find plenty of online resources to help you learn more and educate yourself on how home loans work. Though the process of getting a mortgage might seem intimidating, knowing exactly what to expect is half the battle. Research multiple lenders in your area and give yourself plenty of time to learn about all of your loan options before you make your decision.
Get Ready for Take Off
Rocket Mortgage® is an online mortgage experience developed by the firm formerly known as Quicken Loans®, America’s largest mortgage lender. Rocket Mortgage® makes it easy to get a mortgage — you just tell the company about yourself, your home, your finances and Rocket Mortgage® gives you real interest rates and numbers. You can use Rocket Mortgage® to get approved, ask questions about your mortgage, manage your payments and more.
You can work at your own pace and someone is always there to answer your questions — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Want a fast, convenient way to get a mortgage? Give Rocket Mortgage® a try.
About Sarah Horvath
Sarah is an expert in the insurance, investing for retirement and cryptocurrency space.