We are buying a newly constructed house and have been trying to compare loans from 2 different lenders (builder lender and our own lender). They both sent us the loan estimate sheet in similar format and we are trying to compare. The estimates are: https://i.stack.imgur.com/YRF0T.jpg and https://i.stack.imgur.com/eope7.jpg

Builder lender: gives $5000 credit if we take the loan but has a rate lock fee of $4600 if I want 3.375%, free lock at 3.875%. Also does not have any loan processing fee and underwriting fee.

3rd party lender: free rate lock at 3.375%, no other incentives, processing fee and underwriting fee estimated to be $1700. my parents know the agent personally and can be trusted to not have any hidden fees. So according to the 3rd party lender, the builder's deal seems too good to be true if they dont have any cost in section A. Section B and C are similar from both estimates. The builder lender requires section G (property tax and homeowner insurance in escrow) but I figured I eventually have to pay those anyway.


  1. What other section should I pay attention to when comparing the estimates?

  2. If I lock my rate with the builder lender (assuming their deals are legit and no hidden stuff) will I be able to switch if their real loan is different from the estimate?

  3. Are these estimates very similar to the actual loan terms or do they make it look great so you lock rate with them?

  4. Regarding transfer tax in section E, will this be the same no matter which lender I go with? the builder lender's quote is 3 times the amount as 3rd party lender for this section. ($1800 vs $600)

  5. Title insurance, as this is a new house I don't need this right? as it is to check if someone else is entitled to an older house?


  • You'll likely have to pay for the mortgage company's title insurance. You can optionally get your own, I believe. The property was created from an existing property which may have gone through it's own chain of title. You still need title insurance.
    – mkennedy
    Jul 22, 2016 at 6:47


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