Brett Stomps | Windermere

Going Local with Mortgage Lending

Going local isn’t just a fad to be cool. In the world of Real Estate, hyper local service is today’s first-class way to shop for loans. After picking up the pieces of broken transactions from online and out of area lenders promising the world, the evidence is overwhelmingly convincing to me, going local with mortgage lending in the Columbia Gorge is the way to go.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents

Local, Out of Area, and Online Lenders

As a Realtor in the Columbia Gorge, I’ve worked with local lenders, out of area lenders, and even online lenders like or The reality is, there is nearly an unlimited number of lenders to entrust with your real estate purchase. Just like you wouldn’t hire an out of area Realtor to represent you in an area they’ve never even heard of, it seems slightly less clear to buyers, the same applies to mortgage lenders as well. Going local with mortgage lending can improve your overall expirence.

For those of you who have gotten Pre-Approved but don’t have a “solid relationship” with a mortgage lender yet, keep reading. Here’s why you should use mortgage lenders in the Columbia Gorge:

A Caveat to Out of Area Mortgage Lenders

Now, I want to begin with a caveat. There are three conditions where I find using a local lender may not be the best choice for some buyers.

  • The first is, if you have closed a mortgage with your lender before and you are thrilled with their service.
  • The second is, if the lender is your friend and you make a good team together. Even if your friend may not be the most experienced. I understand the Importance of a Strong Real Estate Team as well as the privilege of working with a good friend. Generally, these situations are fun and rewarding.
  • The third is, the mortgage lender used to work in the subject area.

Am I missing any reasons?

This is your loan after-all. I just ask for you to keep an open mind as I explain the benefits to going local with mortgage lenders in the Columbia Gorge. The gorge is a unique area, so it just might save your bacon (transaction).

They Have a Local Reputation

In small towns like the Columbia Gorge, word travels around. Sometimes before you can even make it home to sit with the feelings of your embarrassing night out. As a local Realtor in the Columbia Gorge, I am lucky to work with more local mortgage lenders than not.

Each time I complete a transaction with one of these local mortgage lenders, I learn a bit more about them. I learn about their ethics, loan programs, availability, and more. Using local mortgage lenders in the Columbia Gorge are, therefore, pre-qualified by me, my team, and other local realtors.

This insight is simply impossible to have if a buyer comes to my office pre-approved with a mortgage lender they found online elsewhere. It’s this earned reputation and collaboration among professionals that create strong bonds that benefit the client if and when situations get tough.

As I say jokingly to some of my clients, if they mess this up, at least we know where they live…

Just in the same way I will help you find the best mortgage lender!

They Have Relationships With Local Appraisers

Local mortgage lenders in the Columbia Gorge who have been in the business long enough start to collect the names of appraisers who operate in the in our area. Appraisers are third parties to a real estate transaction when Buying a Home or Buying Land. They represent the bank’s interests by doing a deep evaluation of the property’s value that a buyer wants to purchase.

As markets shift upwards or downwards, depending on how volatile the market is (see our Market Updates page), appraisers can be a real stick in the mud and create appraisal issues. There are two type of issues that we generally see. The first, low appraisals. The second, loan conditions.

An experienced, local mortgage lender, will have a stronger line of communication to remedy these problems as their arise. If repairs or pricing negotiations need to be made, it’s good to have a local mortgage lender on your side to potentially smooth out the situation with the listing agent.

They Understand the Pace of the Market

Imagine this, your online mortgage lender lives in a large metropolitan city dishing out loans across the county. They sit behind a cubicle pushing digital bank statements around with dozens and dozens of clients being managed in their CRM. You just found the home you’ve been waiting months for and you’re ready to pull the trigger. You just need to update your pre-approval letter to submit the best offer you can to the seller.

So, what do you do? You call your online mortgage lender and you’re sent to voicemail. You write an email request to follow it up, then wait some more. Until finally, you call the customer support line and go through the hot mess that is their phone tree. A real person answers the phone and you learn your mortgage doesn’t work weekends, “care to leave a message?”

With local mortgage lenders (at least the ones I work with), they understand the pace of the market. They will make every effort to be available to you when the time strikes or when (again) issues arise that are time sensitive. I simply do not want your experience as a buyer being represented by me to be anything but predictable and fluid.

Price Matching

Lower interest rates are generally the number one reason why buyers choose to work with online mortgage lenders or lenders in different locations. Ask local lenders if they will price match, or what other value proposition they have to offer. Most of them can adjust their pricing, especially in slower markets.

Additionally, when your loan funds and you close on your new property, your relationship with your mortgage lender doesn’t end (and doesn’t need to). They will often provide you fantastic annual insights into your equity, ways to lower your payment, and other person to person customer support needs. Just like a Realtor or your CPA, your local mortgage lender is apart of your long term team.

Read: The Importance of Your Real Estate Team

Their Commission Stays in the Community

Lastly, your mortgage lender is paid on commission just like your Realtor. When they help you close on your new house or land parcel, the money they earn stays in the community you are now a part of.

For a list of preferred residential and land lenders, visit my Mortgage Lenders page.


The information provided on is intended to be educational and accurate. However, information on does not substitute as buyer and seller due diligence when transacting real estate. Buyers and sellers are advised to work directly with a licensed real estate professional, seek additional professional services when applicable, and to inquire at the state, county, and city offices for their due diligence.