Mortgage: When In-Person Isn’t Possible
As state after state initiate social distancing mandates to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic, much of life as we know it has ground to a halt. However, there is one thing that isn’t restricted during times of isolation: access to your bank—including essential mortgage services.
Digital: the New Trend in Home Mortgages
While many homebuyers and sellers may think about holding back from entering the real estate market during these times of uncertainty, that isn’t always necessary. Thanks to digital technology, realtors are devising savvy solutions to help you view homes, including virtual tours and virtual live open houses. Consequently, financial institutions are also developing ways for customers to “mortgage digitally.”
Buying a home is a big decision and a big purchase. You may be asking yourself: how do I get comfortable going through a virtual process that feels personal and complicated? The answer is to start with a knowledgeable and trusted loan officer, who can help you navigate all the steps on the path to homeownership—no matter where you are when it is time to take them. Your loan officer will have the expertise and is focused on helping you achieve your dream of homeownership, and doing so in a way that provides you with a sense of safety and security. They can help you with the application, hold meetings via phone or video conferencing, and stay connected with you by email or even text messages. From start to finish, you will understand the complete mortgage process even when you can’t be there in-person.
Where to Start when Starting from Home
Be prepared to submit your application online. This isn’t new, and it is a secure and simple process that allows you to enter the necessary details about your financial situation and your new home on a computer or mobile device. Even some of the documents needed to process your mortgage can be uploaded through secure portals, resulting in a safe and streamlined process.
If you aren’t comfortable working with your lender completely online, they will work with you to find a solution. Loan officers understand that home buying in these challenging times has a lot of complexities, but they are more than willing to do what it takes to make sure your questions are answered and your needs are met. If that means helping you with the application over the phone, or figuring out the best way to submit documentation, they are here for you.
I’ve Submitted an Application, Now What?
Once you’ve submitted an application for a new mortgage or refinancing, your loan officer can use the various channels described above to keep in touch. Phone is one of the most common, but email, text and video conference are also possible based upon your preference.
When it comes time to sign documents for your new loan, your bank will do everything possible to respect social distancing protocols, and will explain how these newly developed “hybrid” closings work. Electronic signatures, for example, make it possible for borrowers to digitally and securely sign some documents and there are processes in place, so that a borrower doesn’t always have to show up in-person to the final closing.
There are creative solutions being implemented every day during the pandemic, so don’t let distancing keep you from achieving a homeownership milestone.
Covid-19 and Mortgage Refinancing
As the Covid-19 pandemic ramped up in early March, mortgage interest rates fell to record lows. As a result, mortgage lenders have seen a surge in refinancing activity. In fact, Mortgage Bankers Association reports a activity for the week ending April 10.
To keep pace with record demand, some banks have had to slow or discontinue their mortgage refinancing options. However, FNBO remains ready and committed to assisting customers with all their refinancing and buying needs during these unprecedented times.
If you’re concerned about any the caveats listed in this article, that’s perfectly normal as the world innovates during this “new normal.” It makes your partnership with your loan officer all the more valuable, and having a trusted partner by your side will put your mind at ease. Even if you can never be in the same room together, digitally buying or refinancing a mortgage loan is still very possible and your loan officer is going to be there to hold your hand—virtually, of course.
Remember to be completely open and transparent with your lender about your current situation. Don’t be afraid to share how the pandemic has impacted you professionally, financially and emotionally. Even if you’ve temporarily lost your job due to Covid-19 furloughs or layoffs, don’t hold that information back. It is still possible to qualify for a mortgage during financial hardship, but failing to tell your lender upfront could result in delays as your closing draws nearer. There are options, and your loan officer will walk you through them so that you are making informed decisions.
We’ll Get Through This Together
During the Covid-19 pandemic, and always, your loan officer will be by your side, supporting your goals and helping to facilitate the services you require. They want to make sure that buying or refinancing a home isn’t overwhelming, but rather, gives you peace of mind. You may not have to postpone your dream, it may just take on more digital qualities. Look at the upside. You’ll learn new technology, and you’ll be able to do it from the comfort of your easy chair.
The articles in this blog are for informational purposes only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations. When making decisions about your financial situation, consult a financial professional for advice. Articles are not regularly updated, and information may become outdated.