These days, all the mortgage advertisements I see promote speed. Get your loan fast. Get it with the push of a button. Get approved in minutes, close in a week!
Hello Figure and Rocket Mortgage, and basically every other fintech newcomer in the space.
But how much does speed actually matter? And is it really beneficial in most cases? Let’s explore.
We Are an Impatient Species
We’ve become an impatient society. Well, to be honest, we’ve been an impatient society.
But perhaps ironically, thanks to new technology designed to make our lives easier, such as the internet and smartphones, we’ve grown less patient.
When I fire up the Uber or Lyft app to hail a ride, I get upset if it doesn’t match me up with a driver in seconds.
A decade ago, I remember having to call a taxi cab company and deal with their central command, who would tell me someone would be on their way shortly, maybe. Hopefully.
Today, I practically lose it if someone isn’t en route within moments of making a ride request.
The same goes for just about anything else, whether it’s a food order on Grubhub or Uber Eats, or a package delivery from Amazon. What’s taking so long!
A Mortgage Requires Some Thoughtfulness
Here’s the thing though – a mortgage isn’t a ride across town, nor is it a burrito.
It’s something that sticks with you for a very long time, and has the potential to significantly shape your financial situation.
In other words, slow down…take a moment to assess what the heck is going on instead of trying to just get it done as fast as possible.
If you’ve made it this far, you probably own a home or are looking to get your hands on some real estate soon.
That’s great because homeownership is an excellent way to build wealth, create stability, start a family if you want, be a part of your community, and so on.
It also means you’re a grownup with real responsibilities, like paying property taxes and homeowners insurance, maintaining a property, attending HOA meetings, and so forth.
This should make you a more discerning consumer too, one who takes the time to compare what’s out there, just like you would different 4K televisions or streaming platforms.
There’s a Cost to Convenience
- Generally no benefit to closing your mortgage faster
- Often a defined closing date and most lenders meet the deadline
- Be careful not to pay extra for the promise of speed/convenience
- Your mortgage could be with you for a long time, so focus on price over pace
Now back to that speed thing. Hopefully you didn’t rush (or are currently rushing) into buying a home, and actually put some time into researching how it all works, if it’s suitable for you, etc.
Even if you did make an impulsive decision, there’s a good chance it all panned out anyway because it’s hard to go wrong in today’s up and up real estate market.
With regard to the mortgage, it probably took (or is taking) a lot longer than you expected. After all, you were sold on speed. What’s taking so long!
How did a couple buttons turn into a couple weeks? Well, mortgages take time to close, despite promises otherwise. And that’s totally okay because there’s usually no big rush.
Sure, your closing date might be just 21 short days later, but that’s usually plenty of time for any competent lender or mortgage broker.
And even if it runs over a few days, it’s still perfectly fine in most cases.
If it’s a mortgage refinance, the need for speed is even less of a concern, and chances are the lender will close at the end of the month anyway to reduce out-of-pocket expenses.
So instead of going with the lender who promised to close your mortgage the fastest, I hope you chose the one who offered the lowest interest rate and fewest closing costs.
If you bought into speed, there’s a good chance your home loan still look several weeks to fund. And closed as scheduled. There’s generally no prize for closing early.
When all is said and done, would you rather be the homeowner who closed a few days sooner, or the borrower paying $100 less each month for the next 30 years?