‘Finding a good Realtor’ a transaction high point
The Mortgage Service Index polled more than 1,300 American homeowners who took out a home mortgage during the last 10 years and asked about their experience.
The survey found that homebuyer experiences are improving even with new loan and closing disclosures forms, and homeowners are leveraging creative ways to finance their home purchases.
While sentiment is on the rise, stress factors remain.
- The most positive aspects of the home purchase include getting approved for a mortgage, finding a good Realtor and finding the right lender.
- 42 percent expect the housing market to improve over the next six months, while 56 percent felt it’s a “good” time to buy a home.
- One in five consumers were “extremely likely” to purchase a new home in the next year, especially millennials (38 percent).
- 34 percent of Americans had an “excellent” experience with their lender, up from 28 percent in 2015; however, nearly one-third (32 percent) reported their home purchase was “very to extremely stressful.”
Positive home-buying experience but room for improvement
Year-over-year, homeowners are relying more on a lenders’ expertise, but there’s room for improvement.
- More than half of respondents rated their lender as “excellent” or “very good” in responsiveness, mortgage rate and terms, honesty and transparency, accessibility and keeping them informed.
- The top three areas that mortgage banks needed to improve: more information online, training frontline staff and offering home financing seminars or workshops.
- Millennials said the best way banks could educate them was to add more online information and resources (67 percent).
- 62 percent of respondents spent close to $2,000 in unexpected costs during the mortgage process, while almost half of millennials incurred up to $5,000 in unexpected costs.
“Our data demonstrates that home-buying sentiment is improving, but lenders still need to adopt a more omni-channel approach to providing financial guidance and expertise,” says Kevin Gillen, senior vice president of Mortgage at TD Bank.
Homeowners used unconventional mortgage strategies
New resources and lending options such as first-time homebuyer loans and affordability programs allowed buyers to make down payments of less than 20 percent.
- The number of homebuyers who researched their lenders through social media doubled over the last two years, rising to 14 percent in 2016.
- Over half of those surveyed put down less than 20 percent when purchasing their first home.
- 32 percent of respondents financed their home with a mortgage affordability program, including 56 percent of millennials.
- Almost a quarter of Americans share a mortgage with someone other than a spouse (42 percent among millennials).
- 26 percent of homeowners purchased a home with their significant other before marriage.