As online options expand, people still need home loans

The Skyline report covering residential real estate was recently published, and it showed that the 2020 Northwest Arkansas housing market was hot. The number of homes sold in 2020 was the highest on record, as was the number of newly built homes sold and becoming occupied.

In early 2020, there was a lot of speculation about how health guidelines might affect people’s ability to buy a new home, sell their home, or even go through the process of getting a home. a home loan and closing. After all, these processes have always been very personal and in person.

But while mortgage interest rates have reached historically low levels, everyone in the real estate and mortgage industry has had to adapt quickly. It forced us to become very nimble, flexible and even more comfortable with technology. E-commerce was already exploding, and financial services have been harnessing digital solutions for years to give customers more self-service options at their convenience.

The mortgage process continues to evolve, however. After all, buying a home for most individuals or families is probably the biggest purchase of their life.

A mouse click here or a confirmation button there might seem a bit casual for such a large transaction. It’s still a bit of a hybrid process, and for good reason – to protect both you and the lender (the one who funds, often, a large percentage of the purchase price).

Before e-commerce, as a customer, you would go to a bank branch or call to make an appointment with a mortgage loan officer, now known as a mortgage consultant, mortgage expert, or mortgage loan officer. mortgage lender. They would give you an application for a loan to take home and complete it, or perhaps complete it on the spot, if time permits. Then, an exchange of personal financial documents – pay stubs, bank statements, W2, tax returns, etc. – would follow.

Johneese adams

Today, many lenders have the option of at least starting your home loan process online. But this is where it can get tricky.

Some simply capture enough background information and then revert to a bit of the old days of talking on the phone or exchanging data and documents in a hybrid way of online, scan and email, or even postal mail. Some lenders can capture the entire official loan application, known as Form 1003, and also let you upload documents instantly.

Lenders today cover the spectrum of technological solutions. Yet the gaps are narrowing and several tech companies are working hard to capture the market to provide the operational context for the mobile or online applications of many lenders.

However, when deciding which experience is best for you, feel free to educate yourself about the process. Many may seem the same, and if a completely paperless experience appeals to you, be sure to ask the right questions and understand the pros and cons of each experience offered.

Having someone walk you through the process helps most customers, especially first-time buyers who are unfamiliar with the many facets and decisions made during the home buying process.

It is also useful for home loan veterans who have already gone through the process, as many changes in the industry and processes have occurred over the past few years. Asking a trusted advisor to explain the differences can save you time and, most importantly, money.

Technology is gaining ground in the home loan world, but it’s still a critical transaction that should have a lot of human interaction in the process for your sake.

Home financing in Northwest Arkansas was off the charts last year. Arvest has had the privilege of serving a record number of families through refinancing and real estate purchases. Ingenuity, adaptability, flexibility and patience have come together to help thousands of Northwestern Arkans take advantage of historically low mortgage rates.

Of course, borrowers were equally nimble in adapting to a changing process, including assisting and adopting technological tools that were suddenly less of an option and more of a necessity in doing business.

Like other industries, the mortgage world continues to learn from this past year. Everyone involved in the home loan process will come out of it with the lessons learned and continue to move towards a more efficient process for all.

Johneese Adams is Senior Vice President and Director of Mortgages for Arvest Bank in Fayetteville. The opinions expressed are those of the author.

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