Recommendations for a good mortgage broker

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Submitted by amy on December 10, 2007 - 12:01am

We are currently renting but I am keeping a close eye on homes in the Carlsbad/Encinitas area as I would like to buy next year if we find a good deal(please don't blast me on this - we will continue to rent if we don't find just the right property at the right price). Does anyone have a good mortgage broker that they would reccomend? We have a high credit score and will put 15-20% down, but I still want to make sure we deal with someone we can trust. thanks for your help! I love this site and have learned a lot over the last few months that I've been lurking (and it's keeping me from buying now even though I would love to own my home, so my husband thanks you too!)

Submitted by jeeman on December 17, 2007 - 2:38pm.


Submitted by Chris Scoreboar... on December 10, 2007 - 7:40am.

Anica Welch, it is the only occupation she has ever had, and I have done about 20 loans with her. She is as straight forward and honest as they get.

If you decide to call her, use my name as a referral. She does not take on alot of new clients without a referral of some kind. 949-859-0808 is her office number. I know that Adam ( SD Realtor ) is working with her after dealing with her during my last home purchase, where he represented me.

She refuses to take on marginal clients, but has always gotten me the lowest rates I could ever find and prefers doing no cost loans. She does not need the money at this point in her life, so she picks her clients versus just dealing with anyone.

Submitted by amy on December 10, 2007 - 8:52am.

thank you so much! This will be a huge help. Piggs are awesome!

Submitted by SD Realtor on December 10, 2007 - 9:00am.

Per Chris's post, I have worked with Annica and found her to be a very good broker. There are some other clients I work with who are working with her and are very happy with her.

SD Realtor

Submitted by paramount on December 10, 2007 - 2:15pm.

"If you decide to call her, use my name as a referral. She does not take on alot of new clients without a referral of some kind. 949-859-0808 is her office number. I know that Adam ( SD Realtor ) is working with her after dealing with her during my last home purchase, where he represented me.

She refuses to take on marginal clients, but has always gotten me the lowest rates I could ever find and prefers doing no cost loans. She does not need the money at this point in her life, so she picks her clients versus just dealing with anyone."

Why not just go to a big bank? If you can't get a mortgage at Wells Fargo, BofA or similar type bank, you probably should not be in the market for a mortgage.

Now for my rant: 1st of all I want to identify what I think are the Top 3 scam/bloodsucking industries in America:

1. Mortgage industry/brokers: "She does not need the money" These mortgage brokers get paid more than surgeons - where in the hell are our values in this country?! 95% of all mortgage brokers are scam artists IMO.

1. Real Estate Agents - when I grew up I didn't even know of a real estate agent. Now they're everywhere - is this the result of the 'new' economy where people change jobs frequently? If so, what a terrible side effect. When I acquire real estate, I keep it.

1. The insurance industry - for proof of that in my opinion just watch "Real Wives of Orange County"

Go ahead, flame me, I don't care.

Submitted by HLS on December 10, 2007 - 3:17pm.

Your assertions are partially correct.

However, mortgage brokers don't get "paid" anything UNLESS they charge the borrower a fee for their service
overcharge the borrower in rate and get a commission back from the lender.
It's a reward for screwing the borrower into a higher rate than they actually qualify for. The lender gets a higher return for the life of the loan and shares the bounty with the mortgage salesperson. Welcome to America.

The don't get a penny if they offer the borrower the PAR rate. It's all highly regulated beyond what most people know.
Paying a fair fee to get the PAR rate in the best loan that they qualify for is what most people should do, assuming that they plan on keeping the loan for at least 5 years.

Assuming that " a big bank" will give you the best rate is simply ignorant.

Most people have no idea what they actually qualify for.

The service that one should be paying for, is to have someone get them a PAR rate, and have their loan choices and options explained to them in words that they can understand.

Banks have retail prices and wholesale prices. When you deal direct, you are dealing with a "retail" salesperson who has limited products to offer, and are at their mercy in both knowledge & programs.

It MUST be disclosed on your escrow statement if a commission was earned by a mortgage broker.
Banks and direct lenders do NOT have to disclose that you were overcharged, it's internal and the salesperson may not even know it. There actually is a purpose for an honest person to get you into a loan, the problem is finding one.
Your 95% is probably pretty accurate.

Anybody who plans on keeping their loan for 5+ years is usually making a poor decision to get a "no cost" loan.
It will cost much more in the long run.

Most people have been screwed on their loans in either rate, fee or term; and it was often by a family member, friend or neighbor.

Shopping for a rate is silly. Shopping for a person to trust isn't.

By your logic, if you don't shop at Albertson's, Vons or Ralphs, does that mean that you shouldn't be buying groceries ?

Submitted by Rich Toscano on December 10, 2007 - 7:04pm.

You already got some suggestions but I will throw in one more -- my colleague from my "day job" is a mortgage broker among other things. John Simon, He's extremely honorable and smart, and he's never written a neg-am or IO loan (and I think maybe only one or two adjustable rate loans).


Submitted by j on December 10, 2007 - 7:12pm.

Why pay for a broker? Go straight to the bank and save money. Most mortgage brokers would have a hard time passing a basic algebra class, all most brokers know how to do is calculate their commission.

Submitted by SDHousehunter on December 10, 2007 - 10:56pm.

A mortgage broker is a waste of money.

Imagine if you are a business (bank) selling lemons (loans). You have employees (Loan officers) who prepare the lemons (loans). One day you decidedyou want more business (loans) so you advertise in the paper for salesmen (mortgage brokers) to sell your lemons (loans) in exchange for a fee (yield spread premium). That way it would be cheaper than hiring more employees (loan officers).

My advice, why not get off you rear and drive and talk to bankers. . . .if you save 1.5% on a $400,000 home annually. . .well do the math.

Would you pay an extra 1.5% on your car loan if I drove you to a car lot to introduce you to the salesman and I kept the 1.5%?

Now imagine if you made 3-5 percent of a neg-am loan of $400,000 or an adjustable ARM as a broker? Can you see why all these brokers blew their money on cars, whores and cocaine :) Imagine if you did 6 deals a month on refis?

Enough said.

Submitted by HLS on December 10, 2007 - 11:18pm.

^Your analogy is flawed.

Wholesale rates are available to brokers that are not available to you walking into the retail desk at a branch.
The question really is how much will a broker charge you to get that wholesale rate.

You think that you know what you are talking about, but don't.

You may or may not get a better deal from the salesperson at the bank who might be on commission.

A neg am loan from a bank was not necessarily a cheaper or better loan than from a broker. Either way, it was a crappy loan, and it wasn't cheaper to you if you went to the bank.

Try finding an honest mortgage broker shop that gives you the par rate for a fair fee. You might just get a better loan and find out that going to a bank can be a waste of money.

You probably would suggest defending yourself in court rather than hiring an attorney, and you probably fix your own car instead of paying a mechanic, etc.
That's fine if you know what you are doing. When it comes to loans, most people don't really know what they are doing, including many of those that think they do, and don't get the best loan that they could have, from a broker OR bank.

Ignorance is bliss.

Submitted by cooperthedog on December 11, 2007 - 1:44am.

I assume you want the lowest rate and fees possible? If so, I would listen HLS and go with a broker vs. the retail arm of a large bank.

I would contact several brokers (such as the personal recommendations given above) and get a GFE from each, on the *same day* (to compare rates). Request par rates (no points), and compare using APR in relation to fees listed in the 800 block (these fees are related to the broker, vs. third party fees).

Also, a lower rate and higher fees may give a "low" APR, but if you don't hold the loan to term (e.g. 30 years), your true APR could be much higher. Also, a "no-cost" loan generally means you are paying the fees in the rate - no free lunch...

Submitted by Chris Scoreboar... on December 11, 2007 - 7:14am.


Maybe you are not aware of this, but you will get a lower rate through a broker than a bank every time, that is the reason to use them. If you want to pay more, by all means go to a bank directly.

Also, no cost does not mean you are paying more, many brokers take the money out of their fees to pay things, and just make less per loan. That is one of the lies propogated by mortgage brokers to keep their commissions up. They can just choose to make a lower fee, Anica has done this for me over and over again over the years.

Submitted by HLS on December 11, 2007 - 8:06am.

Chris, Chris, Chris, No cost DOES mean that you are paying more, each and every month for the life of that loan.
There is NO other possibility.

Getting a GFE is fine, but until you are locked in AND approved, talking about the rate is like talking about the weather. It changes.

Chris, if you are getting loans to keep longer than 5 years, in most cases that no cost loan is a HUGE mistake.

It ABSOLUTELY, positively DOES mean that you are paying a higher rate and higher monthly payment for the life of the loan.
It's comments like yours from people who THINK that they know what they are talking about but obviously haven't got a clue, that just make me laugh.

A $5000 rebate to the broker might mean $150 a month in higher payments, which is $1800 a year net cost to you.
The ONLY way that there is a commission is when the borrower is charged a higher rate than they actually qualify for.

There is NO commission at the PAR rate, not a penny.
If you don't understand this, then you've been lied to.

The par rate for a 30 YR fixed was 5.50% last week. It was 5.875% yesterday. Your friend with the no cost loans was probably well over 6% last week.

It's obvious that she's got you fooled, and here you are recommending her like you are an expert, but you don't even know what you are talking about.

Welcome to America!

PS: I am in the biz, and don't lie to people about what the best rates are or fool them into believing that a no cost loan isn't costing them anything.
Many/most people in the biz will lie to you, and it does amaze me that they still get referred to.
Your friend may or may not be on the level, but from what you appear to know, I'm not so sure that you got the best rates that you could have.

Ignorance is bliss!

Submitted by amy on December 11, 2007 - 3:03pm.

wow - this is turning into quite the discussion. FYI, we do have a connection at Wells Fargo that we are talking to, but I also wanted to speak to a couple of mortgage brokers to see what they could do for us, so we can have an broader view of what our options are. So the "get off your rear and go drive" comment was really unnecessary and not very nice - come on, folks, there's no need to be nasty. I am not a professional in regards to mortgages and different types of lending options, but I want to learn and that's why I follow the discussions on this site. Hence my request for referrals. Thanks to all of you for the education and the broker names - I really appreciate it & look forward to learning a lot more from you all before we buy a home.

Submitted by NotCranky on December 11, 2007 - 3:17pm.

Unless your are absolutely sure you understand what the referral folks are selling you and able to compare it somehow with what is the best you probably should comparison shop and make them compete. Loyalty is for after you know what you are doing and someone delivers, sounds like you have a good jump on it. That is no offense to any referral offers posted here.

Someone once posted that it is a good idea to print your own credit report and get a commitment on that upon verification after you have comparison shopped. Sounds like a good idea.

One thing I wonder about , Rich said his colleague is recommendable, in part, because he didn't do interest only loans. I wonder why selling that kind of loan would impinge someones credibility? I have enjoyed using them in my small time builder/investor deals. I am in school here too, maybe I should look at that again? Yes I will look at my costs much more closely next time around. I will admit sometimes cash flow comfort is the biggest factor and I will eat costs too, just want to be more careful.

Submitted by SD Realtor on December 11, 2007 - 3:28pm.

Amy it sounds like you are doing your homework which is very well done. I would call several different brokers and also check with the banks, credit unions even on line lenders to see the differences. Get a good scope of the situation.

Before you look at house number 1 make sure you have the financing aspect totally closed and well understood. To many people do the house part first and the financing part second. Have your financial strategy set before looking fot the home.

SD Realtor

Submitted by Rich Toscano on December 11, 2007 - 4:35pm.

Rus - He feels (as I do) that mortgage rates are a lot more likely to rise than fall over the next decade and that in the majority of cases it makes sense to lock in a fixed rate. You may or may not agree, but assuming for the sake of argument that this is the case, the point I was attempting to get across is that he's pretty strict about getting people into the best situation for their long-term net worth as opposed to maximizing the loan amount or any fees. Not trying to impinge anything.

Now get back to your control room and moderate those comments. ;-)


Submitted by NotCranky on December 11, 2007 - 5:08pm.


Now get back to your control room and moderate those comments. ;-)

That is too funny. Please don't take a poll as to who thinks mine should be moderated. Thanks for your even handedness with this forum.

I also feel that mortgage rates are going to go up and post that opinion frequently. My own conjecture has it that my timing has been flawed because of these not so free market bailouts that you have been documenting and other 'engineering'. I have hunch we see some bumps and maybe jumps up when this phase is waning if not sooner. I guess if I borrow cheap money now eventually inflation will be my friend too..sorry JWM.

For the blog:
I want money now,from my residence,to do a lot split and build a rental unit and buy gold :). The money will get used slowly. My situation is usually a bit of a cash flow disaster so I spread that monthly out as much as I can to stop capital bleed until my sweat equity phase is through. I am making progress. The rate question has me wondering if I should be thinking fixed and eat a percent or two, while the money sits in a CD or go for Heloc or a combo or both. I am leaning for a combo. Perhaps some of the other participants on this thread could speak to the topic?


Submitted by Raybyrnes on December 11, 2007 - 5:37pm.


I am not a mortgage broker or affiliated with the industry but I would also look and see wheat the requeirement are for the first time homeownrs program. Your income might be too high but if you fit the box it is an excellent program.

This programis comparable to many of the VA and Cal Vet program.

Best of luck. Coniue to gatehr your informaiton. I ahve a3 ring binder at this point that I ahve compiled over teh last year or so. I yuse it as a refernce guide.

Submitted by amy on December 11, 2007 - 6:45pm.

Hi Ray, Thanks for the suggestion. Unfortunately, we don't qualify as we've owned several homes (and currently own one in Austin, TX that we are renting out) and our income is too high. But it sure is a different story buying a home here in San Diego County than what we've paid before! I think all our houses combined won't be as much as we'll spend on one here. Depressing...

Submitted by Raybyrnes on December 12, 2007 - 10:32pm.

One otehr option that is rarely discussed is looking at soem of the differnet brokerages. Many of them enterend the mortgage business. Charles Schwab offers a guaranty to match or beat any rate (problem is limited product selection) Merrill Lynch allows you to avoid the down payment if you have assets in a brokerage account there Offer wide range of products.

One final suggestion is to also consider looking at Costco which parners with lending tree and offers a rebate program.

I like doing some preliminary research on

Best of Luck

Submitted by HLS on December 12, 2007 - 10:50pm.

Regardless of what method you use, very few borrowers actually get the best possible rate that they could have on the day that they lock.

Shopping for a rate is exactly what gets you into this mess.

Until you know what you actually qualify for, you will be fooled by the best liar.

On any given day, 10 different lenders will have 10 different "best rates"

Henry Ford guaranteed to sell you a car in any color, as long as it was black.

Submitted by Raybyrnes on December 13, 2007 - 9:33am.


"Shopping for a rate is exactly what gets you into this mess.

Until you know what you actually qualify for, you will be fooled by the best liar."

Have to say that I am in total agreement on this. A person can tell uyou anything you want to hear. Rate is 5% on 30 year fixed are we "closing in the next hour". No. Okay then we will ahve to see where the creditmarkets are at on that day.

I remember when I worked in Fleet sales that there would be a number of Manufacturers rebates that came up after I ahd signed orders. At that point I had a decision to make I could call the client and inform them of the good luck or pocket the difference.

I had the luxury of working for a company that was focused on the customer so I didn't catch heat for calling my customer and making them aware of the reduction. I knew that over the long haul that would realize my intention was to build and long and last relationship. If they didn't recognise my value then I wanted to drop their busienss.

I would think that the mortgage business will present similar oppotunities for a mortgage professional. Many will pocket the difference. The better ones who seek long term business and referrals will inform the borrower and will still make a good living for themselves with repeat business.

Submitted by HLS on December 13, 2007 - 10:50am.

I don't pull anything over on anyone.
I had a borrower happy with a PAR 5.75% rate 2 weeks ago, so I locked it, but ended up taking him to another lender for 5.625%. Saved them money, at no extra cost to them.
Did I have to do this ? NO.

Auto finance is a good analogy, but it isn't regulated through an escrow company.

What most people don't understand is everything through a broker shop is regulated, and escrow disburses funds.
There are NO backdoor deals or rebates or commissions or YSP or bonuses or any other form of compensation that is paid outside of escrow. It's illegal.
What is paid through escrow is on the statement.

A PAR rate doesn't pay a penny of compensation, not 1c.

The are still PLENTY of whores in the industry and no shortage of johns lining up for their services.

To the stubborn mules that think going directly to a bank will always get them the best rate, ignorance is bliss.

I'm still waiting for proof from a couple of morons on this site that were going to prove that interest only loans pay a higher commission than other loans. They refuse to believe that a par loan pays NOTHING, that's why a fee needs to be charged.

A direct lender (Bank, etc) does not and will not disclose the back end overcharging. They don't have to.

Mortgage brokers were cutting into the banking business so the banking industry lobbied and came up with a way to try and screw the brokerage business. The result was that brokers' need to disclose everything, TO THE PENNY, and banks have to disclose nothing, giving the false impression that banks are cheaper.

If you find an honest person at a broker shop to give you the PAR rate for a reasonable fee that is what you want.
Shopping by rate is simply STUPID.
Rates change, ethics don't.

Average people are blinded by monthly payments regardless of rates or fees just like on cars.

The best PAR rate that I have today is 5.875%. It was 5.50% last week. That will cost a fee to get, usually 1% of loan amount. Go knock yourself out shopping around. I don't even know what you qualify for, but that's the rate today.

Had a guy in Bressi Ranch recently that was proud of his loan. They paid 2.75% to a "friend" in origination fee, over $13,000. I could do that loan for an enemy for $5000, and get them a better rate.
With friends like his, he doesn't need enemies.

There are other fees for title, escrow, etc that don't net me a penny, but I know who has the best deal and can get the job done.

The ignorance of some educated people is astounding.

Submitted by rbresident on July 13, 2008 - 11:56am.

Does anyone has update email addresses for these mortgage brokers? I can't get a reply from them and I did check my junk mail folder. Here is what I have:


John Simon:

Submitted by rbresident on July 13, 2008 - 11:57am.

removed by poster

Submitted by Rich Toscano on July 13, 2008 - 1:17pm.

Hi rbresident -- That is the right address for John... your emails must not have gotten through somehow (or vice versa). I will tell him to email you or you can just call the office at 619-276-7756.


Submitted by j on July 13, 2008 - 2:10pm.

Go straight to the bank and save money. Never trust a mortgage broker!

Submitted by SD Realtor on July 13, 2008 - 10:38pm.

rbresident -

HLS is

Submitted by urbanrealtor on July 13, 2008 - 10:47pm.

I really have to agree with HLS here.
Banks are not governed as tightly as brokers.
I have seen drama on virtually every loan handled by a bank.
I have also seen a crapload (technical term) of dishonest brokers.
Best example, there is a firm offering a "no closing cost" mortgage. The rate is about half a point above market. This is not what gets quoted when you walk into the branch. The loan officer is a salaried employee who handles dozens of loans a week. While this is good because he definitely knows his lending products, it also means he does not really care if a particular loan lives or dies. I recently had a conversation where one such employee complained that the loan he was handling was the smallest one he had handled that month and he implied he would sabotage the loan if my client needed too much hand-holding. Real nice. I have only ever dealt with one loan officer who has never given me issues ever. His name is Dave Espinosa. He is certified mortgage planner. (dave (at) sailwithdave (dot) com. He is not always the cheapest or the most salesy. However, he is consistently the most skilled and honest. And yes, he occasionally does interest only when the dollar amounts financial planning make sense.

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