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5 Reasons to Choose a Community Bank for Your Mortgage  


5 Reasons to Choose a Community Bank for Your Mortgage

Choosing the right lender for your mortgage is a crucial decision that can have a lasting impact on your homeownership experience. While national banks may be a tempting option with flashy deals and catchy slogans, there's a compelling case for considering a community bank for your mortgage needs.

Community banks, like SSB, are local financial institutions that have a deep-rooted presence in your community, and they offer a range of advantages that can make the mortgage process smoother, more personalized, and ultimately better for your financial future.

Here are the top reasons you should choose a community bank for your mortgage over a bigger competitor.

1. Local Expertise

Community banks have unparalleled local knowledge. Involvement in the communities we serve provides a deep understanding of local housing markets. While bigger banks offer standard products across markets, community banks are aware of the unique dynamics, trends, and challenges that are specific to your area.

Local insights are invaluable when it comes to offering guidance and advice as you navigate the complexities of the real estate market. Whether it's understanding the nuances of neighborhood values or identifying the best opportunities for your budget, community banks can offer tailored insights that national lenders simply can't match.

Community banks also offer a level of personalized service that stems from our familiarity with the local landscape. At SSB, we are happy to serve the North Hills, North Side and beyond.  When you buy a house in the Pittsburgh region, we become your neighbors. This personal connection allows us to provide advice that extends beyond mere numbers and statistics.

Your mortgage isn't just a financial transaction to community banks like SSB; it's a critical piece of your journey to homeownership or property investment. The combination of local expertise and personalized service makes community banks a trusted partner in your quest for the best mortgage, ensuring that you're making the right financial decision for your situation.

2. Relationship Building

Community banks put an emphasis on relationship building. At SSB, you're not just a number in a vast customer database; you're a valued customer in our organization.  Our staff takes the time to establish a stronger personal relationship with our customers, which leads to a higher level of trust and transparency throughout the lending process. You can read more about our amazing staff here.

At community banks, you speak directly with the loan officers and decision-makers, and will not get lost in a maze of automated systems and distant call centers. When you’re communicating with SSB, you’re never talking to a faceless customer service agent from some other part of the country or world. This connection fosters open and honest communication, allowing you to feel more confident and informed about your mortgage decisions.

Larger banks often have high turnover which means you might not be working with the same agent or representative throughout your whole mortgage process. Community bank teams are smaller and more tight-knit leading to longer careers that offer not only deep expertise but consistency throughout your journey with people like Heather, Josh, Skyler and John.

When you have questions or concerns about your mortgage, community banks offer a more accessible and human-centered approach. The accessibility at SSB means that issues can be resolved more efficiently, and any challenges that arise during the mortgage process can be addressed with a personal touch, ensuring a smoother and less stressful experience.

3. Flexibility and Customization

Community banks are known for their flexibility and ability to customize mortgage solutions. Representatives at bigger banks are rarely motivated to work with you to meet your exact needs. Most loan officers at these larger competitors make a commission on the mortgages they sell. This means they are motivated to sell you on a product, whether or not that product is right for you, and move on to their next sale. SSB team members don’t work on commission which allows them the freedom to work toward an effective solution for you.

Unlike more rigid financial institutions, community banks can work with borrowers on a case-by-case basis. This means they are more likely to consider factors beyond your credit score and income, taking into account your individual circumstances. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer with limited credit history or a self-employed individual with irregular income, community banks can often offer creative financing options that national banks might not be able to provide.

Larger institutions also use policies like loan-level price adjustments that disadvantage the borrower. A loan-level price adjustment allows the mortgage servicer to change riskier buyers, like those with a lower credit score or lower down payment, more for their loans.

The flexibility community banks use in tailoring mortgage solutions extends to the terms and conditions of your loan. We often have the capacity to offer more varied and creative loan structures, such as adjustable-rate mortgages, interest-only options, or specialized programs for specific types of properties.

Adapting to your specific needs can make a significant difference in finding a mortgage that aligns perfectly with your financial goals and long-term plans. This way community banks prioritize your individual circumstances and aim to create a mortgage solution that suits you rather than trying to fit you into a predetermined mold.

4. Faster Decision-Making

Speed is a significant advantage when it comes to choosing a community bank for your mortgage needs. Community banks are known for their streamlined approval processes and quick response times. Unlike larger, bureaucratic institutions where decisions may be subject to multiple layers of approval, community banks typically have local decision-makers who can expedite the mortgage process.

You'll receive faster responses to your inquiries, applications, and any required documentation, allowing you to move forward with your home financing plans more efficiently. At SSB, we make a point to communicate with you every step of the way. You will never be left wondering what’s next or when a decision will be made.

Our focus on personal service and accessibility also enhances the speed of the process. You are welcome to discuss your mortgage application in person or over the phone, bypassing the delays associated with email or automated systems at larger institutions. This direct interaction allows for clearer communication, quicker problem-solving, and a more streamlined process overall.

5. Community Investment

When you choose a community bank for your mortgage, you're not just benefiting yourself; you're also supporting your local community. Community banks have a strong commitment to reinvesting in the areas they serve. We understand that a vibrant and prosperous community benefits everyone, including homeowners. By partnering with a community bank, you indirectly contribute to the economic growth and well-being of your community.

The concept of community investment extends beyond financial contributions. At SSB, we frequently engage in volunteer work and community service efforts. We actively participate in community events, sponsor local organizations, and collaborate with other community stakeholders to make your neighborhood a better place to live. See some of our involvement here.

Learn More About a Mortgage with SSB

If you're in a time-sensitive situation or just prefer a more personalized approach to your mortgage application, a community bank might be the choice for you. Community banks like SSB work with you to build a product that fits your unique needs while offering ease of communication and personalized support. We are excited to educate you on your options and guide you throughout the entire mortgage process.

To learn more about mortgages with SSB, fill out the form below, and we’ll be in touch. We look forward to working with you.