Buying a new home is an exciting time.
But the euphoria can quickly wear off once you start going through the mortgage application process.
Just to give you an idea of what you’ll be facing - it’s extremely drawn out, there are multiple people involved (sometimes not communicating with each other), mountains of paperwork, and lots signatures that can’t be missed or else they can hold up the entire process.
Reali Online Mortgage is looking to turn the mortgage application process on its head.
See why we think Reali is one of the top online mortgage lenders - see how they compare to the best online mortgage lenders.
Note: Reali acquired Lenda in 2019 and rebranded it.
- Fixed rate 30, 15, and 10 year loans
- Low costs: No origination fees or broker commissions
- Online application process is easy to use and fast
Reali is a fintech based in San Francisco. Their tagline is “Home Financing Made Easy”. The way they do this is through a fast, low-cost, paperless process. How fast is fast? Rather than having to wait 3 days for a loan approval, you can get it within an hour.
In 2017, the average number of days it takes for a mortgage of all loan types to close was 43 days, according to mortgageorb.com. That’s down from 47 in February of 2015. It’s an involved process as you can see from the chart below:
Overall, you can expect a Reali Mortgage to close sooner, coming in under 30 days.
Reali offers mortgages for 15 and 30 year fixed along with refinancing options.
All Digital Mortgage Application
Mortgage applications have been slowly moving to digital but they are notoriously still cumbersome when it comes to the application process. There’s still lots of paperwork to wade through and upload. Much of this is because mortgage lenders simply haven’t streamlined the mortgage application process.
Jason Van Den Brand, CEO of Reali, had this to say about the traditional mortgage application process, “It’s made to be confusing. The less you know, the more you are going to pay.”
That’s where Reali makes a difference. You’ll find that their application process is all digital. Documents are generated and signed electronically online.
You’ll still need to upload some of your documents but Reali provides a checklist to help smooth out that part of the process. There’s just once place to upload everything rather than multiple touch points hat can get confusing.
One feature that really helps is a progress indicator, showing how far along you are in the mortgage application.
Reali likes to provide full transparency about their application process and fees. To get an idea of what the entire process will look like with Reali, they’ve outlined the 4 weeks it takes a loan to close in their mortgage guide:
The mortgage guide goes into detail for each of the above steps. You’ll get a better understanding of Reali's application process by going through their easy to follow guide.
It’s important to point out that you aren’t left alone with Reali's website. You’ll be assigned a Reali Advisor who will work with you through the above steps.
Lower Overall Cost
Cost is another area where Reali is able to differentiate themselves from traditional mortgage lenders. They don’t charge upfront origination or broker fees. Reali is able to accomplish this through reduced paperwork and a smaller staff.
In regards to younger applicants, Van Den Brand says they are “tired of being nickel-and-dimed at every turn”.
Reali's fee structure is a big shift within the mortgage industry. In a traditional mortgage application process, it’s not uncommon for various fees to arise out of no where.
While Reali doesn’t set mortgage rates, they do help you try to find the best rate as one of the first steps in their mortgage application process.
Besides the fees that Reali is able to control, there are many that they can’t control. But Reali does its best to help you understand the fees that you’ll incur through out the mortgage application process.
Not Yet Everywhere
One big caveat with Reali is that their services aren’t yet offered in all states. Currently, they are restricted to California, Colorado, Oregon, Texas, and Washington. They are working to expand their infrastructure into more states.
Additionally, there are some loan types not offered by Reali. These include:
It’s clear that one demographic Reali is targeting is millennials. Specifically because they prefer an all digital, simplified, transparent application process.
As Reali expands into additional states, they should be able to further improve and refine their existing application process, pushing them further in front of the competition as they continue to change the mortgage lending industry.
If this sounds interesting, get started with Reali here >>
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Reali is an online mortgage platform that is low cost, fast, and easy to use.
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him on the About Page, or on his personal site RobertFarrington.com.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.