DAM_MHP, I’ll PM you. If you’re outside of my region, the banks that I contacted likely won’t be of much use. The only fund local deals.
I shopped very hard for these rates. I started by visiting my state’s banking association that lists banks operating by county. In total I called around 20 community and independent banks. I asked detailed questions about how they calculate rates.
A couple of bankers were bold enough to tell me, “We set our rates based on what area competing banks are offering.” Then I told them they were a 1/2 point over the competition. Some simply didn’t know or were unable to explain. The more knowledgeable ones told me that their rates were based on a benchmark such as the WSJ prime or 10 year T-bill plus a certain number of basis points.
Everything is negotiable, from the rate to the origination fee. It may depend on how hungry the bankers are in your market. Call as many as you are able to, educate yourself, and make them compete for your business. In the end they will respect you and see you as someone who interested in making a good business decision. This is the type of person they want to lend to.