Are you looking for a residential mortgage loan in Florida or elsewhere? With competitive rates for home purchase or refinance and attentive service from start to finish, partnering with Cogent Bank can take the guesswork and stress out of the mortgage lending process. For this blog, we sat down with Randy Butler, VP, Residential Production Support Manager, and Brandon Roth, EVP, Managing Director Residential Lending to learn more about the residential lending experience at Cogent Bank.
What kinds of mortgage loans and terms does Cogent offer?
We’re a direct lender and direct underwriter. As such, we underwrite loans in-house and lend our money directly to the borrower. In addition, to Conventional loans, we are able to lend directly on all government programs as we have FHA, VA and USDA authorized underwriters on staff. We also offer jumbo loans to qualified buyers.
We offer a wide range of financing programs including fixed-rate and adjustable mortgages, construction-to-permanent loans, debt consolidation loans, renovation loans, and portfolio loans. We work to tailor the loan terms to each borrower’s unique situation and needs, while at the same time providing the same great service, regardless of loan product, location, or loan size.
Does Cogent offer any products besides primary mortgages?
Cogent provides financing for second and vacations homes as we routinely work with people who have a home in Florida and one in another state. We also offer financing for investment properties, including up to 4-unit properties or a primary residence with an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) for rent.
How do you help clients find a mortgage loan?
Regardless of how a borrower comes to Cogent Bank, whether they are referred by friends and family or their realtor, or are already a bank customer, we offer full-service assistance during the mortgage application process. Our experienced Loan Originators understand that most borrowers aren’t familiar with the nuances of obtaining a mortgage or the pros vs. cons of every home loan program. Our Loan Originators are here to listen to your needs and wishes, to answer your questions and ready to help educate you on the program details and navigate the loan process.
Some borrowers may not even realize they can qualify for a loan until they talk to one of our Loan Originators. For example, a first-time buyer with minimal resources for a down payment may qualify for a unique loan product. Understanding that the mortgage process is different for each borrower, Cogent Bank takes a personalized and full-service approach.
Do you participate in any homebuying assistance programs?
Cogent is an approved lender with Florida Housing Finance Corporation for all down payment assistance and loan programs at the state level.
How often do you communicate with clients regarding the status of their loan?
Your Cogent Bank Loan Originator will be the primary point of contact throughout the process and provide you updates every step of the way. In addition, while our online platform will notify you automatically of updates and documents needed, your Loan Originator is here to answer any questions and available by chat, email or text.
Do you offer pre-qualification or pre-approval?
Before you start shopping for a house, a Pre-Qualification is recommended at a minimum and Cogent Bank is here to help. Once you complete your initial application (minus property address), we will provide the application data along with your credit to an Automated Underwriting System (AUS) and issue a pre-qualification letter based on the findings. The benefit of getting pre-qualified is that it provides some strength to your housing search with both your buyer’s agent and the seller.
Taking it one step further, you can select a full Pre-Approval, known as our Buyer Ready program. This involves submission and verification of all income and asset documentation and then a full credit underwriting. The benefit of getting Pre-Approved is that you have a conditional approval, subject to finding a property with clear title, an acceptable appraisal, and purchase agreement.
As we continue to build out our online platform, we will provide the opportunity for the borrower to adjust the pre-qualification amount to align with the terms of the offer (up to the pre-qualified amount). This could potentially further strengthen the borrower’s negotiating position.
Are there any trends you’re seeing in the current real estate market?
Today’s real estate market can be tough for buyers, with rising interest rates and home prices being what they are. The landscape is especially hard for first-time buyers and those in the lower end of the housing market. Cogent’s goal as a community bank is to help meet the needs of the entire community and to provide beneficial residential loan offerings in today’s challenging environment.
In addition, Cogent is utilizing technology to make the mortgage process as painless as possible. We want to help you get a mortgage and close on your house as easily and efficiently as we can.
Meet Our Residential Lending Team!
Randy, Brandon, and the rest of our Residential Lending Team are dedicated to providing the personalized attention you need and deserve. Contact us to learn more about our approach to residential lending and how we can help you close on your first or next house.