We often hear the phrase “buy local,” but if you’re in the market to buy, build or remodel a home, you might also want to consider this one — borrow local. Especially in today’s competitive real estate market in the greater Madison area.
While it may be tempting to use an online mortgage lender, according to Trent Sveom, senior vice president residential and retail lending at Park Bank, building a relationship with a local lender can be of great value.
“You want to choose a lender that will help you,” he stresses. “With such growth in the housing market and so many moving parts, our role has never been so important.” Over the last couple years, getting pre-approval before even starting the process of buying or building a house, has become almost a necessity. He advises potential buyers to meet with a lender before they even start touring properties.“You can’t start early enough,” says Sveom. “The market is so competitive that your offer may not even get a look if you aren’t pre-approved.”
And advice like that is what makes working with a local lender so valuable. They’re familiar with the local market, the realtors and contractors.
For instance, many people turn to house-hunting thinking they can’t afford to build, but building may be more affordable than you think, according to Sveom. The cost difference between buying and building has gotten a lot closer. Again, that’s where a local lender’s knowledge comes in handy.“We know this market and once we understand your goals and objectives, we can help you navigate it,” he says.
But of course, not everyone is looking for a new house. So, what about remodeling? How can a lender help with that? “Whether you buy, build or remodel, the process isn’t dramatically different,” says Sveom. “We view our role as helping our customers advocate for themselves — in winning an offer to buy a home, understanding the steps involved in building or using home equity to finance a remodel.”
With home values rising significantly, tapping into your home equity for a loan is a great way to finance a remodel. “Having a solid idea of what your costs are going to be and where you’ll be putting those costs is very valuable when applying for a loan,” says Sveom.
And if you’re wondering what improvement yields the highest payback, he says that’s easy — the kitchen, living room or adding more square footage. In short, the places where you live the most — where life takes place.