Finding the right home mortgage loan provider is complicated enough, but when you buy a house from a builder who has an in-house lender, the complications multiply. The builder wants you to use his lender, and will offer significant inducements to do so. This puts many buyers in a quandary as they realize that the inducements must be weighed against the likelihood that the builder's lender will overcharge them. Offering inducements is legal if it is done properly. A builder cannot post a sale price of $290,000 and raise the price to $300,000 if a buyer insists on using his/her own lender. But a builder can post a price of $300,000 and reduce it to $290,000 for borrowers who use the in-house lender -- as if there was a difference! In developing a strategy for dealing with a builder pushing an in-house loan provider, it is useful to know where the builder is coming from. He expects to make money on the lending operation, but the main reason for having a preferred lender is to provide a...
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