Lender Recommendations

Below you'll find some of the lenders that Adam and/or Garrett Realty Partners are affiliated with or have worked with in the past with positive experiences. I recommend getting rate quotes from multiple lenders, but keep in mind that the details of rate sheets are very important. A lower cost is about more than just lower interest rate, such as the cost of mortgage insurance for conventional buyers putting less than 20% down and FHA buyers. Adam has seen where lenders have purposely excluded certain costs in order to appear lower than other options. Also, be sure to ask lenders if the quote that they are giving includes taxes, insurance, and points that would buy down the rate. It is best to get pre-approved prior to the home search. Not all lenders have the same programs available.


While locating lenders that you want to rate shop for can occur over a long time span, it is best to do all rate quotes on the same day, with rate sheets that you can show to competing lenders to see if anything was left out. That way, the overrall market rates are the most similar, which is more of an apples to apples method than allow time to pass between quotes. That will also help to minimize credit impact, although with that, it should not matter so much with it being the same day as long as it's within a 7-14 day time span.


Also when comparing rates of different companies, if you like the personality or other non-numerical qualities of a lender but the rates of another are better, ask them if they can match the numbers so that you can still get the person you feel more comfortable with. 

While no lender will be able to do a perfect job, ask Adam for expectations, both positive and negative, with any affiliate. He can often mention some negatives as no one is perfect, but prefers to not publish that information. Adam has purposefully excluded certain lenders at times due to negative experiences. Even when Adam does not refer a lender, let him know if you are having issues, as sometimes you can transfer which lender you are using with the same mortgage company, and sometimes the seller will let you change mortgage companies. 

Any programs mentioned below are subject to change, so contact the lender about the current programs, and please let Adam know if he needs to update any information below.

I also recommend that you ask each lender you interview the following questions:
1. What percentage of your loans close on time?
2. How long do you typically need to close on a mortgage loan from the time of the contract?
3. Are there any programs that you can think of that can help reduce my home cost?
4. Are you ever able to match rates if another lender has lower rates or a closing cost rebate? What about the 1% closing cost rebate that a company is offering me (after you've asked Adam the name of the company first that he doesn't like to publish that gives 1% CCA rebates for his referrals & gotten rate quotes from that company)?
5. Do you work on Saturdays and after 5 PM? Do you have certain hours? What is your time zone if it's not Eastern? If there are days or times that you don't respond to calls, do you ever make exceptions and if so, for what sort of reasons?

6. What percentage of loans does your bank service/hold in the long run out of those that you initiate?

7. Do you text?


Lender Recommendations

Lenders with Offices in Garrett Realty Partners' Corporate Office

Below you'll find the lenders that have offices at Greg Garrett Realty. 

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Jeremy Malmgren

Mortgage Banker
- Excellent option for high-income borrowers who don't qualify for VHDA (even those that do qualify should compare the numbers) who want no MI, 100% financing, & don't want to pay extra for not having to pay MI
- For those purchasing a home less than $350,000, Home Saver Program has no down payment requirement & no MI for "1st time home buyers" (those who haven't owned a home in the past 3 years), with price limits that go higher than VHDA & cheaper than VHDA (including no 1.75% upfront charge that VHDA has) in many cases
- Excellent no PMI 5% or 10% down conventional loans without the rate increase or fees that you'll find with many other no PMI conventional products (670 credit score required)
- Langley Federal Credit Union is the largest credit union headquartered in Hampton Roads with 12 branches here & easy to get into. As a local credit union, they have greater flexibility to bend their own rules or other rules than many larger credit unions and banks
- Service their own conventional loans (unlike some of the options listed below; the problem with banks/credit unions that don't service their own loans is that you can have a great experience buying a house, but once the mortgage is sold to another bank, a terrible one. Some of the banks/credit unions that sell mortgages sell them to extremely poor rated institutions, including at least one of the lenders below sadly. By using a bank that services their own loans, you eliminate this problem)
- On some of their conventional loans, the seller is allowed to pay 100% of closing cost assistance for most costs of closing (not including buying down the rate, but including reimbursement for home inspection, appraisal, & earnest money deposit), which is very different than the standard 3% max on most conventional loans with many other banks & credit unions
- Able to help with credit repair
- Higher jumbo rates don't start until $750,000 (usually $472,000 with many other banks/credit unions)
- Allow escrow holdbacks, where, without increasing the rate (which increases with many renovation loans), buyers can pay for appraisal required repairs that sellers are unwilling to pay, increasing the number of potential properties for buyers
- Free HELOC's with no closing costs which only take 2 weeks to close
- can recast the loan for lower payment for $125 with no closing costs
- $5000 credit card available without another credit pull following a home purchase with them
- Do 20-year mortgages (which some lenders don't and which are an excellent option to consider, I might add)

Lenders with Affiliations with Garrett Realty Partners

Kimberly White

Mortgage Banker
Can get loans approved that others can't; great w free credit help.  

Mike Hartnett
Branch Manager
Offers some programs that others don't, including 16 varieties of renovation loans including for jumbo loans & manufactured homes.

Lenders with no affiliation with Garrett Realty Partners who provide unique offerings

Lower - I really like Lower, enough that they're 1 of the 3 lenders that I did a hard pull with in 2021 for a mortgage. They offer a quick initial application, low rates, no hard pull for a quote (which is rare for lenders), are textable on weekends (which is rare for online lenders), don't have the delays common among online lenders, & I can vouch for them to listing agents in a way I can't with other online lenders because of all of the business that I do with them. I probably do more business with them than any other lender at the time of this writing. Ask me about lenders with Lower that I've had great experiences with, since not all lenders with any mortgage company I'm aware of are excellent. Also keep in mind that they don't allow escrow holdbacks or reno loans and don't do VHDA loans at the time of this writing.
Steven Carpel
Mortgage Banker
Offers some programs that others don't, including a reimbursement of the first 4 months of paid credit repair with 1 company at closing.

Lori Marrow
Mortgage Broker
She offers some programs that others don't. At times she has offered 0% down VA construction loans and 3.5% down FHA construction loans, & a 2.75% interest VA mortgage for someone with a <620 credit score for instance. 

  • Phone: 757-870-0231

  • Email: lorimarrow@live.com

  • NMLS: 174955

  • Address: 742 Thimble Shoals Blvd

  •  Newport News, VA 23606

  • Website

North American Savings Bank
For an out of town lender, they are a good option. In my experience, Jeff had good response time and low rates (VA in example of buyers that used them). His many excellent reviews are warranted in my opinion. 

Program where I am not supposed to publicly advertise their name due to a rule of theirs that offers better rates more effectively possible than any lender above:
Expect the most demanding time needed to get approved out of any other lender above, with the worst reviews of any lender above, but also typically better rates (including less than <.5%) for lower costs possible than any lender above through their unmatched rate buy down features. Also, these loans have no income limits and credit score is not considered. For those with plenty of funds for a buy down or even those without, this option is a solid one since the seller can buy down the rate very often, especially in light of the "no closing costs" & no down payment requirement. In addition to being time consuming to acquire, there is a little annual volunteering needed for the life of the loan, however means of volunteering include as easy of measures as sharing about the program on social media. 
Veterans United - If working with me as your buyer's agent, if you use Veteran's United, be sure to let them know that I referred you. That can save you over $500.
Lower - I really like Lower, enough that they're 1 of the 3 lenders that I did a hard pull with in 2021 for a mortgage. They offer a quick initial application, low rates, no hard pull for a quote, are textable on weekends, don't have the delays common among online lenders, & I can vouch for them to listing agents in a way I can't with other online lenders because of all of the business that I do with them.
Other Lender (ask me their name since I don't want to publish it) - 1% closing cost assistance rebate for buyers I refer to them. Be sure to let them know that I referred you in order to acquire this assistance. There is no income limit so if you're buying a $500k home it could save you $5k. 
Lenders to Avoid
I generally recommend avoiding lenders who are not able to be texted for responses on Saturdays & at night (even if you don't text) & avoiding those who are not local (with Lower being the notable exception) unless they offer products that are superior to local options where locals will not match it (Such as NASB above or another lender above that offers 1% closing cost assistance rebates to those I refer to them. Lenders who are not local typically experience more closing delays & are not informed about the local appraisers. In addition, for those seeking VHDA financing, VHDA loans are not an option with lenders who are not based in VA. If an out-of-town lender is offering a better rate than local options, give a local lender the out-of-towner's rate sheet and see if they can match them. If they can't, see if I know a local lender who can. Also, keep in mind that if any lender does not have online reviews, they have one more reason to be deceptive. Some lenders, especially out-of-town lenders with no reviews (in town lenders have a word of mouth reputation to uphold as well), have less reason to be honest.
I have seen where an out-of-town lender did not include a number of closing costs in the rate sheet and had lower estimated costs than a local lender not because of actually having lower costs, but due to inaccuracy. While the closing costs of the local lender appeared on the rate sheet as over 60% higher than the out of towner, the reality was that the closing cost inclusions that were based on the out of town lender were actually higher, not lower, than with the local lender after the local lender was willing to match the rate of the out of towner and remove a half discount point. If looking at a rate sheet, the primary closing costs to look at that vary by lender are loan origination fee, discount points, appraisal, credit report, & sometimes an additional processing fee. Most other closing costs are not dependent on the lender, so if a rate sheet from one lender has a number of additional costs, make sure that you ask about those the lender does not include them. In addition, make sure that both lenders are using the information from the title company that you are planning on using. When rate shopping, I recommend getting all quotes on the same day. If getting quotes on different days, I recommend checking to see if rates fluctuated in between times here. 
Prior to me mentioning names, keep in mind that I have to be careful here. Defamation according to the Cornell Law School legal institute includes "1) a false statement purporting to be fact; 2) publication or communication of that statement to a third person; 3) fault amounting to at least negligence; and 4) damages, or some harm caused to the person or entity who is the subject of the statement." https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/defamation
Both of these lenders have, some would say, a negative reputation among real estate agents because of the problems that have occurred with them that has caught the grapevine. While I had heard that both Navy Federal & USAA had problems prior to having problems with them, I have now had problems with both, whether it be a bad preapproval, closing delays, or difficulty reaching them on nights and weekends. 
Not everything is bad about these firms. For instance, the car insurance that USAA provides can be a good value. USAA also has a 5% cashback credit card for military base and gas station spending that is a solid option for those who are active-duty military. Also, Navy Federal offers no down payment loans for non-military up to 1,000,000, which is rare in the industry & also a good option if you are looking between $750,000 & 1 million and looking to put no money down. Some people have good experiences with their mortgage or 2 with one of these institutions. Some lenders are better than others within each institution. That said, I generally recommend against them for mortgage loans due to what I believe to be (my opinion) higher chances of problems vs other local lenders. Below is an example of where I was representing a seller and the buyer opted to change lenders after contract ratification upon hearing about closing delays with USAA that were not the case with another lender. Representing a buyer who used USAA despite what I said about them, they once requested almost a month following the ordering of the appraisal (which I don't recommend until after all inspections have been performed and repair requests have been agreed upon) to close. 
I also do not recommend The Federal Savings Bank due to closing delays seemingly more likely in my limited experience. I haven't recommended them before but sometimes buyers like to go with their previous lender. The only transaction I've done with them at the time of this writing is experiencing long lender-derived closing delays and the listing agent's only experience with them prior to this transaction was negative.
While he may not be a lender for long, in case you get a call from Benjamin Heilberg, it would be important to note how my only conversation with him went. He was first a mortgage loan officer in February 2021. In March 2021 he left me a voicemail, saying his name and that he found me online, but not sharing that he was a loan officer or what he was calling about. I returned his call, having no idea what I was able to get into. He asked me if I would be willing to sit down with him, him buying me coffee or lunch, for him to share with me about how he could "help grow my business" or something along those lines. I shared that I don't do discussions like those with lenders as a matter of policy. He shared that if I wouldn't sit down with him like that, that I wouldn't be the kind of Realtor that he would want to work with anyways. The conversation lasted for <2 mins, but was memorable. I would be concerned about him using pressure sales tactics with buyers though I know so little about him based on that conversation. Beyond the prospect of pressure sales, I would not want to work with someone who said that they didn't want to work with me either.
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