Recent changes made in the mortgage process, especially concerning new loan and closing disclosures, have made the process even more complex and time-consuming. Surprisingly, information gathered for the latest TD Banks Mortgage Service Index supports a rise in customer satisfaction, despite these complications. Not only do more than half of those polled consider it a good time to buy, but a significant number also believe that the market will continue to improve throughout the year. New homeowners credit these positive reactions to realtors and lenders that helped them to understand the process and to get through it successfully.
Advice from TD Banks
According to the Senior Vice-President of Mortgage at TD Banks, Kevin Gillen, financial guidance and expertise should be provided through an omni-channel platform that offers multiple access points of information to consumers. Prospective home owners need mortgage banks that offer more information online and staff that are trained to present seminars and workshops about home financing.
Gillen also suggests that understanding the process makes for a better overall consumer experience, and encourages consumers to find a lender who will educate and guide them through every aspect of the mortgage process. Most participants gave high marks to their lenders citing accessibility, honesty and transparency, keeping them informed, mortgage rates and terms, and responsiveness as key points to their satisfaction.
The Era of the New Home Buyer
Millennials make up a significant portion of the home buying population and the process should accommodate their age of maturity, which has been influenced by advances in technology as well as an awareness of the consequences of careless borrowing and lending. TD Bank has taken strides to meet them in the middle by providing more manageable financing. This includes a flexibility in loan options that considers all levels of personal income. Social media platforms also play an important and increasing role in connecting with potential buyers.
Millennials also make for new and diverse kinds of buyers. With home prices and interest rates on the rise, embarking on the housing market for the first time means that an affordability program or a first time buyer’s plan should cover the non-traditional aspects of loans and borrowing. Nearly half of this demographic entered into a loan situation with someone other than a spouse. More than half that number committed to a home purchase with a significant other outside of marriage. Lenders are going to have to offer more diverse mortgage options in order to provide satisfactory service to up and coming home owners.
Best and Worst Selling Points
Other issues of concern pertain to unexpected costs and low down payments. More than half of the millennials polled experienced unexpected costs of up to $2,000 while the other half experienced more than twice that unexpected expense. On the brighter side and other end of the experience, these new home owners were able to complete their transactions with a down payment of 20% or less. So the bottom line is that a successful transaction depends upon a mutual effort on the parts of the borrowers and the lenders to understand exactly what is going on throughout the mortgage process.
Jodi Bakst has been serving the Chapel Hill, Durham, Raleigh area for the last 20 years and was recently recognized as one of the 10 best of 2016 in client satisfaction, by the American Institute of Real Estate Professionals