June 7th, 2021 12:50 PM by Jackie A. Graves
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Real estate technology meets a growing need
When COVID-19 spread across the U.S. and stay-at-home orders forced businesses to close their doors, the housing market had two options: shut down or adapt. Due to the variety of regulations that suddenly surrounded the mortgage process, adaptation came in several different forms.
Many real estate agents offered more virtual tours of homes. Matterport, a company that makes hardware and software for virtual tours, said it saw a 157% increase in the number of models created per week during the second quarter of 2020.
The mortgage market saw an evolution, too. The adoption of remote online notarization (RON) – which allows borrowers to sign documents in front of a notary from anywhere with wireless internet and webcam access – skyrocketed 547% in 2020, according to an American Land Title Association survey.
As consumers stayed indoors, title companies and lenders were still able to connect and close on homes. Now, as Americans begin to venture outside their homes once again, they can expect a new level of technological capabilities when buying a home. Experts predict there will be no going back, too, and RON transactions will be here to stay.
New products emerge
Many homeowners have struggled to keep up with their mortgage payments throughout the course of the coronavirus pandemic, and many have even entered into prolonged forbearance periods. In order to help homeowners struggling financially, new products have emerged to help low-income families afford their mortgage payments.
For example, the federal government began offering more mortgage refinance options for low-income borrowers on June 5, 2021. The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) estimates this refinance option could save borrowers between $100 and $250 on their monthly payment. The option also allows for lower debt-to-income (DTI) ratios and gives flexibility when it comes to missed payments.
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The bottom line
Home prices are surging in the U.S. and housing inventory continues to decrease. But despite these real estate challenges, obtaining a mortgage loan grew easier the past few months. Types of loans like VA loans, a USDA loan and FHA loans make home buying more manageable, and ensuring you have financial protection as the COVID pandemic ends is vital.
After you find a house you can afford, fill out a mortgage application and begin the mortgage preapproval process, you can be well on your way to completing the home buying process. Working with a financial advisor can help you make sense of the income requirements needed to get a mortgage loan, determine if you will need private mortgage insurance and assist in ultimately helping you pay off your mortgage in the long run.
To see your mortgage options, contact ChangeMyRate.com to talk to a mortgage expert and get all of your questions answered.