So you’ve decided to take the next step in your home-buying journey. Congrats!
Whether you’re just started out and have been obsessively browsing home listings online via sites like Zillow and Redfin, or you’re ready to make an offer on your dream home and secure your financing, it’s definitely an exciting time. (And one that’s bound to be a little nerve-wracking, too.)
With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the way we live and work, perhaps you’ve put your journey on hold, or are wondering how it might affect your search moving forward. But don’t worry—the real estate and mortgage lending industries are still working in full force. Have they changed a bit? Yup. But we think it’s for the better.
Keep reading as we explore what these changes mean for you, and how you can seamlessly continue the process with your real estate agent and your mortgage lender online and digitally.
Why Work With an Online Mortgage Lender?
Why make the home-buying process more complicated than it needs to be? Working with a digitally-savvy mortgage broker ensures you’ll get from start to finish much faster, and avoid any unnecessary headaches.
While some lenders are fully online and have access to a nationwide network, others maintain the best of both worlds. With Mortgage Goat, for example, we’re local to San Diego and know the area like the back of our hand. But we combine that local feel and personal touch with the right technology to get things done fast.
Connecting With Your Agent and Broker Online
As we mentioned earlier, the real estate market is still doing well, even with the current climate. The housing market was on solid ground before the pandemic hit the United States, and agents have reported that many home sellers are still moving forward, or have plans to continue once local lockdowns are lifted. Additionally, with the stimulus package and many people getting back to work eventually once areas open back up, many agents expect that we’ll see an economic upturn in the second half of the year.
While many agents and brokers aren’t working from shared offices anymore, we are still working. And those of us who are set up with the right tech are more than happy to help you.
Here are some things you can still do digitally to continue through the home-buying process:
1. Tour Homes
While you may not be spending your weekends going from one open house to the next, that doesn’t mean you can’t check out homes on the market. The solution? Video tours!
Redfin reported a 494% increase in requests for agent-led video home tours in mid-March, and as of March 22nd, 18.9% of its tour requests were for video-chat tours. Zillow reported similar numbers, with a 191% increase in the creation of 3D home tours. Virtual tours are recommended by the National Association of Realtors® as a way to avoid face-to-face contact while marketing homes during the coronavirus crisis.
2. Get Pre-Approved and/or Start Your Loan
Online mortgage services are more popular than ever, especially when it comes to comparison shopping and getting pre-approved for a loan. According to an Ellie Mae study, researching mortgage lenders online has become increasingly popular over the last five years, with almost all of recent borrowers conducting some sort of online search before contacting a lender.
The study found that 72% of all borrowers researched where to find the best rate, while another 59 percent researched their loan options. When it comes to applying, younger generations especially are going digital. A 2017 survey from NerdWallet, for example, found that 64% of millennial mortgage applicants would prefer to submit an application online instead of in person.
Here at the Mortgage Goat, we take all of the guesswork and research off your hands. We work with over 100 lenders to secure you the best rate out there. All you have to do is take a few minutes to fill out our simple, 100% online application.
3. Get Advice and Ask Questions
Even after you’ve done a ton of research on your own and used all the calculators out there, you’ll likely have a few questions. And while with big banks, you might get lost in the shuffle, this is where a more personalized experience with your broker is a huge advantage. At Mortgage Goat, our clients gain the benefit of working with one of the nation’s most knowledgeable originators, with years’ experience in the industry.
Some questions you might want help with, for example, include:
- What type of loan is right for you?
- How much mortgage can you realistically afford?
- What will my down payment and closing costs be on a particular house or property?
We’re always here to answer every and any questions that you may have. Whether you want to connect via email, phone, video chat, through our online contact form, or prefer to slide into our DMs, we’ve got your back.
4. Sign Documents
If you’ve never purchased a home before, get ready for an onslaught of paperwork and documents. And just when you think you’re done… there are a few more to sign. Back in the day, buyers had to either bring all their paperwork in-person to their lender’s office, or send back and forth via postal service or fax. Talk about an inconvenience.
Nowadays, thankfully, this can all be done digitally with your mortgage broker. You can save time by e-signing documents, securely linking to bank accounts to pull information if needed, and upload files for your lender to process. Plus, think of all the paper you’re saving!
Connect with Mortgage Goat Online Today
Ready to get started? We can’t wait to connect with you at this pivotal time in your life. Contact us to start your pre-approval instantly.