Reali Loans Mortgage Review

    Reali Loans Mortgage Review: One-Stop-Shop For Mortgage And Real Estate

    Getting a mortgage is only the first step of buying a home. Depending on where you are in the process, you may need to contact real estate agents to find properties for sale in search of your perfect home. If you’re planning to sell your previous home, you also need to place it on a sale listing. This process can take a long time, especially if you use the services of several different companies.

    Reali Loans (formerly Lenda) offers you the convenience of taking out a mortgage and getting the full complement of real estate services under one roof. But how does Reali Loans stack up compared to other more specialized lenders? We discuss that in this Reali Loans review!

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    Online Mortgage Lender Review Criteria 

    Before we review Reali’s performance as a lender, we break down the five main criteria we use in our review.

    Home Loan Products

    The most important thing that a lender can offer their customers is mortgage loans. To understand the terms and features of the major home loan products, we break them down in this section.

    Conventional Fixed-Rate Mortgage

    Conventional fixed-rate mortgages are loan products that feature a static mortgage interest rate. Regardless of market fluctuations, these loans will retain the same mortgage rate until it’s fully paid off. Generally, fixed loans require a minimum credit score of 620 and a 20% down payment.

    Thanks to their stable interest rate, fixed loans are very popular with long-term financial planners. Its simplicity also makes it more appealing for new homebuyers. 

    Most homebuyers opt for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. However, if they want lower mortgage rates, they can take the 15-year fixed-rate term instead.

    Conventional Adjustable-Rate Mortgage (ARM)

    The main difference of adjustable-rate mortgage products compared to fixed home loans is their moving interest rates. This interest rate is adjusted regularly based on the movement of a market index – if this index rises, your mortgage rates will rise and the reverse happens if it falls. 

    If you choose this loan, you need to be ready for unpredictable loan payments – your payment amount can fluctuate year by year. Similar to its fixed counterpart, you need a 620 credit score and a minimum 20% down payment to qualify.

    While the volatility of this loan can deter some, the lower rate on their initial period of fixed mortgage rates can lead to short-term savings. Generally, ARMs have 5, 7, or 10 years of fixed mortgage rates at the beginning of the loan before it shifts to the adjustable phase.

    Jumbo Mortgage

    Both types of conventional loan products have upper limits set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). This limit tends to differ by area, depending on local property prices. Because these limits hinder people from buying more expensive homes, lenders offer what’s called a jumbo mortgage.

    True to its name, a jumbo mortgage is valued above lending limits imposed by the FHFA. This means that the home loans aren’t insured by guarantor bodies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, leaving the lender taking a loss if the borrower defaults. To counter this added risk, lenders impose a higher minimum credit score and stricter down payment minimums – to ensure that borrowers show the financial capacity to pay this loan off.

    Government-Insured Loan

    Several departments in the United States government have a hand in stimulating the housing market by providing home loan products. These loans are typically meant for a certain demographic of borrowers and usually feature benefits not found in conventional loans, like lower credit score and down payment requirements.

    The three main types of government loans are:

    • Department Of Veterans Affairs (VA) Loan: This loan is geared toward veterans and active military personnel, boasting no down payment and lower minimum credit score.
    • Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Loan: Meant for low-income homebuyers, this allows borrowers to qualify for a loan with a lower minimum credit score and smaller down payment minimum.
    • U.S. Department Of Agriculture (USDA) Loan: This loan is different from the other loan types because they are geared to stimulate housing in rural areas – which means you’re limited to buying homes in USDA-designated areas.

    Refinance Loan

    The refinance process entails taking out a new mortgage to replace your old one. This is usually done to reduce your mortgage rates by taking advantage of falling market rates. Other uses include shortening your loan term and shifting your loan type from fixed-rate to adjustable-rate or vice versa.

    If you’ve had your home for a while and have built some equity on it, you can apply for a cash-out refinance. A cash-out refinance works by taking out a loan larger than your current mortgage balance. The difference will be paid out in cash that you can use for other needs.

    Mortgage Rate And Fee Information Accessibility

    Comparing mortgage offers from several lenders is one of the most effective ways to find the best-valued loan. Your rates aren’t the only thing influencing how much your loan is valued – you also need to know your closing costs and lender fees.

    If a lender provides information on their rates and fees transparently, you can have an easier time finding the best-valued mortgage.

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    Online Mortgage Convenience

    Most mortgage lenders now do business through their website or app. In this criterion, we examine their online mortgage banking features – mainly their loan application process, but we also take a look at other supplementary features they offer.

    Physical Availability And Support Services

    Because some people prefer to work with a bank’s mortgage team in person, we placed the company’s physical locations as part of our examination. We also examine the lender’s service area – whether their services are available in the entire United States or limited to certain areas.

    Level Of Customer Service

    One of the most important elements in a mortgage lender’s review is their customer service. If a lender has good customer service, it can become a reason for borrowers to return whether it’s for mortgage needs or other banking necessities. For a better measure of this, we examine reports from three main customer research bodies: the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Better Business Bureau, and J.D. Power.

    Reali Loans Review 

    Reali Loans (NMLS ID# 991397) started life in 2012 as Lenda, a company that provides home loans. This current incarnation of the lender came from the merger of Lenda and San Mateo-based real estate service provider Reali in 2019, creating the mortgage lender Reali Loans. 

    Reali Loans is only one part of the larger Reali umbrella. Unlike other real estate companies, Reali Loans deals with the entire complement of real estate services that cover every aspect of the property trade. In addition to mortgage services, Reali Loans offers a suite of real estate services that allow its users to buy and sell homes easily. Reali Loans can also link homebuyers and homeowners with Reali’s team of real estate agents. 

    Home Loan Products

    Despite offering a very wide selection of real estate services, Reali Loans Mortgage serves one specific niche. The only mortgage product that Reali Loans offers is a conventional fixed mortgage, available in 10-year, 15-year, and 30-year terms. If you need more money to purchase a higher-valued property, Reali Loans also offer jumbo mortgage products.

    Complementing the conventional purchase mortgage loans, Reali also offers two options of refinancing – rate-and-term and cash-out refinances. 

    If you’re looking for other kinds of mortgages like an adjustable-rate mortgage or any type of government loan product, Reali Loans mortgage offers may seem very limited. They also do not offer home equity loan products like home equity loans or home equity lines of credit. 

    Another important thing to note is that Reali Loans mortgage products are only valid for residential properties. They do not provide loan products for commercial or investment properties, nor do they take loans for mobile homes and manufactured houses.

    Mortgage Rate And Fee Information Accessibility

    Reali Loans scores somewhat low on their mortgage rate transparency. Their website features no publicly-available mortgage rate information for any of their loan products. Because the company isn’t obligated to report its rates to the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) database, it may be tougher to get a rate estimate without getting a quote first.

    To see your rate quote, you need to create an account and fill out a questionnaire-style survey regarding your home purchase, down payment plans, and credit score information. 

    However, the company possesses a distinct advantage when it comes to closing fees. Because of their streamlined loan application process, they’re able to skip unnecessary steps – allowing them to waive your origination fees. Since the application fees associated with a loan can cost you 0.5% to 1% of its value, this represents significant savings on your closing costs.

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    Online Mortgage Convenience

    Reali Loans provides a completely-online mortgage application process. Uploading documents and signing forms are done digitally, reducing the hassle of having to mail in copies of physical documents. Once your application has been submitted, one of their loan officers will contact you to start the pre-approval process. Typically, you can get pre-approved within days of submitting the loan application.

    The company also provides you with a dashboard to track your mortgage application process. Moreover, they also have a checklist of what you need to do with your application in the current step, making your mortgage application process very easy to follow. 

    Physical Availability And Support Services

    Due to its priority as an online mortgage lender, Reali Loans offers no physical banking locations. If you’re the type of borrower who prefers going through the application process in person, you may need to research other lenders. 

    Another potential deal-breaker is their service availability. Reali Loans is only licensed to provide mortgage products in twelve states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Washington. If you live outside these areas, then Reali Loans is unavailable to you.

    However, Reali Loans offers another unique service to their customers: educational guides. As a Reali Loans customer, you can access several guides regarding mortgages, refinancing, and tips on how to improve your credit score. These comprehensive guides are especially helpful if you’re a first-time homebuyer.

    If you encounter problems with your application or require information at any point during your loan process, Reali also offers the services of their customer support team from Monday to Friday.

    Level Of Customer Service

    As a newer mortgage lender, Reali Loans has limited information on its customer service. As of 2020’s J.D. Power study, Reali is not yet rated. Similarly, the CFPB doesn’t have any complaints filed against Reali yet.

    However, both Lenda and Reali are rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau which signifies excellent trustworthiness. Reviews on TrustPilot and Zillow also give Reali Loans a score of 4.6/5 and 4/5, respectively.

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    Advantages Of Borrowing From Reali Loans 

    While it has some major limitations, Reali can be the right choice if your needs happen to align with what the company provides. Here are the two main strengths of Reali.

    Full Suite Of Real Estate Services For Homebuyers

    Since Reali Loans is part of the larger Reali real estate service provider, you also have access to their suite of real estate services. Through Reali, you can connect with real estate agents and research prospective homes. You can also put your existing property on sale on Reali’s page. 

    If you plan to make use of real estate services extensively, then Reali should be one of your top considerations as a one-stop real estate service company.

    Low Closing Fees

    Another prime benefit of borrowing from Reali is that the streamlined application process cuts out unnecessary steps. This allows Reali to save money processing your application – which in turn is passed on to you in the form of a waiver of your origination fees. Because these fees can amount to 1% of your loan amount, this represents considerable savings on your closing costs.

    Caveats Of Borrowing From Reali Loans 

    As mentioned before, Reali has some major shortcomings when it comes to mortgage lending. Here, we break down the two potential deal-breakers when lending with Reali.

    Very Limited Loan Choices

    This is likely the largest shortcoming of Reali for most lenders. Reali only offers conventional fixed mortgages and refinancing. While it may be fine if you’re looking for fixed mortgages from the start, you may be disappointed if you came looking for other loan options. 

    Limited Service Availability

    Reali is only available in 12 of the 50 states – which means they’re only available for loans in one-quarter of the nation. If you’re drawn to Reali due to the features they offer but do not live in an area they cover, you need to look into other lenders.

    The Bottom Line 

    As the mortgage arm for a real estate service provider, Reali Loans provide you more than just loans. Reali customers can take advantage of the real estate services they offer as well. However, this full complement of service is only available in a small part of the United States – severely limiting your eligibility if you don’t live in the covered areas. 

    If Reali doesn’t suit your needs, Wesley Mortgage, LLC is here to help! We have a compilation of numerous mortgage lender reviews from America’s top loan providers so you can decide which one suits your needs best. For personalized mortgage advice, we also provide a private mortgage consultation. Contact us today for more information!

    Written By Ed Wallace
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