Cefrina and James Allen shopped around for a mortgage before they met with a loan officer at Prudential California Realty's in-house mortgage company earlier this year. The couple liked that the loan officer presented all their options and that he didn't pressure them. Plus, Cefrina Allen said, getting a mortgage through their realty broker had an added bonus. "Everything was right under one roof," she said. As interest rates climb upward, more banks are stepping up their efforts to reach home buyers like the Allens by getting closer to the source of home purchases – realty brokerages. With loan refinancings dropping off, lenders are trying to get as close as possible to the point of sale as a way of capturing more purchase-money loan business. "There's much more increased energy and effort in building the purchase business," Jim Panepinto, president of Chase Ventures Holdings, an affiliated company of Chase Home Finance, said. The uptick is apparent from the seemingly weekly a...
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