Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, May 18, 2018

Are online mortgages more attractive than online dating?

Society’s general acceptance of and reliance on technology is permeating everything from dating to the housing industry. In fact, the number of Americans who say they’d feel comfortable applying online for a mortgage is greater than those who’d consider online dating.

That’s according to the Homebuyers Insight Report conducted by Bank of America. The report references a recent survey that found several other interesting statistics about home owners and prospective buyers, including:

The majority (52 percent) would apply or have already applied for a mortgage via mobile or online.

Nearly half (48 percent) feel comfortable taking a video tour of a home and 36 percent will gladly attend an open house using virtual reality.

Almost all first-time buyers think technology will play a role during each stage of the home buying process — not just in the researching stage, but also in the mortgage application, price negotiation and closing stages.

However, the online mortgage business has yet to gain the full confidence of many consumers. Nearly two-thirds of survey respondents said that despite the perceived convenience of online mortgage applications, they still prefer the “old-fashioned” method of working with a person when applying for a home loan.

Moreover, most new-home buyers will find that working directly with a local mortgage representative — especially one who’s familiar with the nuances of residential construction — often provides the smoothest experience. These representatives are best able to help you determine a realistic budget and then navigate through the home-buying process.

Some additional suggestions to keep in mind as you get started:

Shop around for the right mortgage lender: It could be a large bank, a local credit union or a home builder who offers the best financing options for your needs. Experts recommend speaking to at least three different lenders to compare credentials, programs and rates.

Keep an eye on those interest rates: Interest rates have increased in recent months and are widely expected to continue rising incrementally throughout 2018 and 2019. However, they still remain near historic lows, which makes now one of the best times to secure the long-term savings and peace of mind that come with investing in a new home.

Shop around for the right builder: Your friends or family members might be able to reference builders with whom they’ve had positive experiences. Or, if you’re looking at specific neighborhoods and developments, speak to some of the area residents about their experiences with their home builder.

The Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga would also be more than happy to assist you in finding the best, most qualified builders in the area who can build your dream home. Contact us at info@hbagc.net.