Mortgage Broker Vs. Bank Loan Officer

Pinpointing Differences

New home buyers frequently ask, “what’s the difference between a bank loan officer and a mortgage broker?” How they’re different can benefit you, but also depends on what you need. Most banks have more conservative guidelines, and if your circumstances are unusual, you may not be approved.

Factors that banks look at include payment history on your car, credit cards, and mortgage for the last two years. They want no collections or judgments (small medical collections excepted) for two years, a credit score 680 or over. Most lending institutions must evaluate if you are a candidate able to repay the loan. They check debt to income ratio is 43% or under, and that your mortgage payment is 30 percent of less of your provable income. Job and dwelling stability must be at least two years.

Bank Loan Officers

As employees of the bank, loan officers paid a set salary including bonuses for writing loans for that particular lender. A bank loan officer typically follows a specific procedure for approval as outlined by that institution. If your loan doesn’t fit the bank criteria, also referred to as overlays, your loan can be rejected. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get a home loan.

Mortgage Brokers

Mortgage brokers can work independently or with a brokerage firm but earn through commissions, dependent on the loan amount. They are far more accessible to you and give you individualized attention that you won’t get working with a loan officer at a large bank. As licensed and regulated financial professionals, Mortgage Brokers have a well-developed collection of lenders they work with. Brokers gather documents, pull credit history and verify income and employment. With this information, they apply for loans, on your behalf. They will shop the rates and see which lender is the best fit for your particular needs.

After establishing the lender, the mortgage broker collaborates with the bank’s underwriting department, the title company and your real estate agent to keep your deal on track until the day of closing. The broker usually keeps you informed of their need for additional paper work, or when conditions change.

A mortgage broker does all the work for you, applying for loans, checking programs and pricing with different lenders, finding the lowest rate, negotiating terms and working for your approval.

Too slick for youWho Submits the Paperwork?

By using a mortgage broker, you don’t have to fill out the applications for different lenders yourself, saving you loads of time. Brokers are also very skilled at working through the back and forth of underwriting departments. Even shrewd, experienced buyers know that it takes a lot of time, effort and communication to sail through the process. Brokers are set up to know the marketplace and provide you with loan product options to choose from. If you opt to apply on your own, shop at least three banks before making a decision that will affect your finances for years to come.

If you are leaning toward a mortgage broker, be sure to do your homework. Ask around among friends and relatives to get referrals and then check them out thoroughly by interviewing at least three potential candidates.

Questions to ask:

  • What service do they offer?
  • What level of experience do they have?
  • How will they simplify the process?
  • Are their mortgage brokers licenses current?
  • Research online reviews and/or check with the BBB.

doing the leg workWherever you choose to get your loan, the lowest rate will not be the only point that helps you decide. Your loan officer should appear to genuinely want your business and return your phone calls in a timely manner. Additionally, they will normally provide you with a list of typical fees. It’s always important to know what the expected down payment will be and if your broker or lender is approved for the loan products you need. Lastly, ask about how long it takes to be pre-approved, process and close the loan.

Considering these key points will help you find the broker or lender that is the best fit for you.

If you have questions, you can call us and talk to a loan officer or stop by our website, Ohio Capital Mortgage or visit us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

What Everyone Should Know About Fences

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What’s the Right Fence for You?

With so many fence options available, it’s important to know what you require of your fence before building or installing one. Keep in mind that a little homework ahead of time and can save you from unnecessary aggravation. You’ll want to consider fence maintenance so that your fence will serve you for many years to come.

The reasons for installing fences are as many as the people who want them installed. Generally, fences fall into four categories. Whether installed professionally or built yourself, each category is defined by its purpose. Each one has its own maintenance and price points which require careful consideration to get the most effective, longest lasting fence for your budget.

Fence Types

Security fences are often chain link and held up with metal bars. They’re designed to contain children and pets keep them from wandering off, prevent intruders and theft.

Privacy fences are often made of netting, plastic, wood, or other materials designed to enclose an area making it free from intrusion. Chain link fences can be covered to offer privacy with netting, plants or colored slats. They block your view of neighboring yards (and yours from them) and maintain privacy for you and your household.

Safety fences are required in all 50 states where pools, spas, and hot tubs are contained. Because of the liability issues surrounding pools, it is suggested that you check with your local city government to find out what their fencing requirements are as most states require signage on public and residential fences.

Decorative fences are quite possibly the most fun. Used to train vines, separate areas offence-railing-wrought-iron-barrier-51002.jpeg a yard, or add a bit of beauty or whimsy. These can be made of many diverse materials, short pickets or tall bamboo and wrought iron to name a few. These are mainly for visual appeal although in many cases, decorative fences can serve the above purposes.

Being Neighborly

Avoid potential disputes with neighbors by knowing HOA do’s and don’ts. They are within their rights to dictate height style and maintenance. Be sure to have your yard surveyed to make certain where boundaries lie. Research your local zoning codes to find out where they’re allowed, the type and height limits. Additionally, if restrictions are not to your liking, find out what the procedures are for appeal. Maybe a compromise can be reached.

Discuss plans with any your neighbors that your fence will adjoin and settle any property line issues before the installation. Most neighbors don’t want to be surprised by fence installation. One courtesy is to put the most finished face toward your neighbor’s yard or the street. Once your fence is installed, it is your responsibility to clean and maintain the fence.

Did we miss anything? We’d love to hear from you. Please comment below, or stop our website at We look forward to seeing you there.

18 Fun Summer Festivals to Get You Out of the House

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Let the Good Times Roll!

With summer in full swing you may want to take advantage of some festivals that are happening in and around the greater Columbus Area. Feeling like a musical vibe? If a little drive time doesn’t scare you, throw down the top and cruise over to the Dayton Blues for one day this weekend 7/16 – Dayton Blues Festival.   But if you’re a die-hard festival goer, it’s hard to beat our own three-day Columbus Jazz and Rib festival.  Serving up hot ribs and cool jazz & delighting foodies and music lovers since the 80’s. Tickets are on sale for this must hear, see, and taste event. Check out the lineup on the official site. 7/21-7/23 – Columbus Jazz and Rib Fest

pexels-photo-103290This Thursday July 13 kicks off the 7/13-7/15 – Alexandria Fun Days at Northridge Primary School. This family friendly brings exhibits and rides and plenty of food, music and more. If you enjoy a nice scenic drive in the country, the Johnny Appleseed Festival in Apple Creek may a-peel. The Johnny Appleseed Festival still amazes people as its unique signature requires 200+ vendors to dress in 1800 period dress, sell products, demonstrate trades, entertain and provide food potentially available within the 1800’s. No modern conveniences are allowed.  Cooking must be done over an open fire, without the use of propane gas. Definitely worth the trip to step back to a slower pace for a day.

If you’d hoped to attend the Hippie Festival in Logan, just a heads up that its sold out. However, there are local festivals aplenty for the remainder of July. From the Classic Car Show to a Serbian Festival. Many of them are family friendly but if you’re not certain, be sure to check out their website or Facebook page before you go. There’s sure to be something for everyone!

July Events Around Greater Columbus

7/13-7/16 – Picktown Palooza – Pickerington
7/15 – Art Affair on the Square – Urbana
7/15 – Gardening and Arts Festival at Scioto Gardens – Delaware
7/21-7/22 – The Dawg Daze Festival – Plain City
7/21-7/22 – Sweet Corn Festival – Mt. Gilead
7/22 – Taste of Hungary Festival – Columbus
7/22 – 2X2 Hip-Hop Festival – Columbus
fair horses7/28-7/29 – St. Elizabeth Parish Festival & Classic Car Show – Columbus
7/28-7/29 – Johnny Appleseed Festival – Apple Creek
7/28-7/29 – St. Margaret Parish Festival – Columbus
7/28-7/29 – Canal Winchester Blues and Ribfest – My Review
7/28-7/30 – Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival (Balloon Classic/Jackson-Belden Music Fest &Fireworks) – Canton
7/28-7/30 – Ohio River Ferryboat Festival – Fly (with Sistersville, West Virginia)
7/29 – Serbian Festival – Columbus
7/29-7/30 – Harmar Days Street Festival – Marietta

Stay Ahead of the Heat with These 7 Tips

Power cord into A/C unit

Here in Central Ohio, air conditioners have been buzzing for a couple of months. Although the sweltering days of summer loom near, many have already lowered the thermostat and shut the windows just to remove stickiness from the air. If you haven’t already done so, familiarize yourself with your air conditioning system with an eye toward maintenance. Keeping your unit working at top efficiency is easy with these 7 simple tips. You’ll keep cool all summer, avoid costly emergency breakdowns, and help your unit run at peak efficiency which saves money on your on utility bills.

All of these tasks can be done by a homeowner. If at any time you feel unsafe, it is best to err on the side of caution. Your local heating and a/c co will be more than happy to help. A trained pro will also come out and check your refrigerant levels and do some internal cleaning to ensure it’s working efficiently and lasts as long as it should.

1. Be sure to replace the air filter with one of good quality. The condition of your air filters significantly affects indoor air quality. Keeping them clean helps your system work at its peak. Filters that are choked with dust have a harder time drawing air which also makes your air conditioning unit work harder and longer to cool the air.


2. Examine the thermostat. Turning the temperature down and sliding the tab to cool should cause the air to kick on. Also, you might consider getting a programmable unit that can save you even more money.

3. Outside, the condenser unit fan should blow warm air when it runs. Nothing should touch the cabinet, allowing air to circulate freely and unobstructed. If you notice significant debris inside, it is advisable to clean it out. First, shut off the power, then remove the fan grill to get inside. Clear out with a wet/dry vac or hose.

4. Take a look at the fins. Air must flow through them for peak efficiency. If they are bent, using a butter knife, gently straighten them so as not to damage the embedded tubing. Return the fan cage and screw back together.

5. Additionally, notice the two pipes at the back. The top one should be insulated, and the insulation should be in good repair. The lower pipe, a Freon liquid line, should be warm.

6. Keep plants shrubs and trees away from the cabinet of the condenser coil unit. Giving it room to breathe helps the unit maintain peak effectiveness and prevents organic matter from interfering with the fan. Check to make sure the fan isn’t loose, rattling or bent. There should be no smells, hard starting or oil on the ground.


A unit with crumpled fins.

7. An evaporator drain line is usually routed into a basement floor drain, utility sink, or outdoors. Mold and mildew form inside the pipe and in some cases forms a clog which prevents waters drainage. Water can back up in the house causing stains and floor damage. Prevent clogs in the drain line by developing a yearly routine of pouring a cup of bleach mix (half water and half bleach) into the access hole each spring. This kills off mold and mildew which prevents buildup. If you’re not familiar, have your AC tech show you where it is. Remember to turn your power back on to have a cool summer!