But I can give one piece of advice: DON'T get a mortgage through Bank of America, especially if you're buying something other than a standard house. Especially x2 if it's a co-op in NYC.
BoA sends ALL of their mortgage applications to an office in Tampa, FL for processing. I've had three loan reps at this office in the last two months, not counting all the people on their hotline that try to help me when my loan reps aren't at work.
Because they are in FL and not NY, my dealings with them went something like this:
Sassy: When can I expect to close on the co-op, if they approve me tomorrow? My contract says late January, but my lawyer says it can be earlier.
Loan rep #1: Sure! We can probably be ready for closing the first week of January.
(One week later)
Sassy: So the co-op approved me, and they need a Recognition Agreement form before we can set a closing date.
Loan rep #2: What's a Recognition Agreement? Oh, your old loan rep got sent to another department, after taking a week's worth of vacation and doing nothing with your application. Whatevs.
(First week of 2009)
Sassy: I still need that Recognition Agreement please? Can you send it to me?
Random Banker: From what I see in your file, your case has been transferred again. But that person's manager is very experienced with mortgages, so he'll probably know what you're talking about. Because I don't. What's a co-op?
(Second Week of 2009)
Loan Rep #3 (voicemail): We've mailed the R.A., but we won't say to whom. And then our phones are going to get torn up, so when you try to call back you will be redirected to the Atlanta office. :-P
Sassy's Lawyer: They sent the forms to the bank's lawyer, who sent it to the co-op, instead of to you. Without even looking at them, the co-op's lawyer says they aren't in the correct format.
BoA's Lawyer: We don't print R.A.'s in any other format than ours, so take it or leave it :-P
Co-op's Lawyer: Fine, we'll take it. But it will be another two weeks to get them from the co-op's management office to our law office :-P.
Today, the co-op's lawyer finally got the necessary documents from the bank, but don't have the results of the LIEN search, so I still don't have a closing date. I got approved by the co-op board on December 15th, and I'll be lucky if I close before February 15th. I kinda want to hit things with sticks.
Co-ops are difficult to deal with on their own, but thanks to it's mismanagement and foot-dragging, BoA has stretched my transaction out weeks longer than necessary. To add insult to injury, the interest rates have gone down since we started this long painful dance. If the other parties in this real estate deal can't settle on a closing date before late February, my mortgage offer expires anyway and I have to start from scratch.
I don't know what other parts of the U.S. are like, but if you are investing in something other than a standard house (co-op, condo, kabutz), try to keep the transaction within your state/city lines. It may add fees, but it may also cut time.