AmeriHome Mortgage Review: A Lender with a Countrywide Mortgage Pedigree

Last updated on October 5th, 2020
AmeriHome Mortgage Review: A Lender with a Countrywide Mortgage Pedigree

Today we’ll take a hard look at AmeriHome Mortgage Company, LLC, which is a direct mortgage lender based out of Southern California.

Their current company headquarters are in Thousand Oaks, CA, just north of Los Angeles.

You might recognize the name from Designing Spaces on Lifetime TV, where they are featured.

They have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and a 4.2/5 score with Trustpilot. But first a little background.

AmeriHome History

  • Launched in 1988 as a Michigan-based corporation
  • Later acquired by Impac Mortgage Holdings in 2010
  • Sold to Aris Mortgage Holding Company LLC in 2014
  • Now led by CEO Jim Farush, an ex-Countrywide and PennyMac executive

The company was started way back in 1988 as a Michigan-based corporation, but has changed hands several times since then.

It was later sold by Impac Mortgage Holdings in 2014 to Aris Mortgage Holding Company LLC, after becoming a redundant mortgage platform for the company.

AmeriHome is now led by Jim Farush, who is also the current CEO of the company.

His experience includes working as CEO for Countrywide Bank, which was the banking business that backed former #1 mortgage lender Countrywide Financial.

He also helped launch PennyMac, which began as a purchaser of distressed mortgage assets, and later become a full-scale lender.

Clearly he’s got a strong mortgage pedigree, so we’ll assume AmeriHome has ambitions to be one of the top mortgage lenders in the country.

Now let’s dig into the details of what the company offers to its mortgage customers.

AmeriHome Quick Facts

  • AmeriHome derives much of its volume by purchasing residential mortgage loans from correspondent sellers
  • They service and purchase loans in 49 states and the District of Columbia
  • But only offers mortgages via the retail channel in 30 states at the moment
  • Originated about $1 billion directly in 2019 with most volume coming from the states of California and Texas
  • Announced intention to go public (IPO) in October 2020

What AmeriHome Mortgage Offers

  • Home purchase and refinance loans
  • Conventional loans (Fannie/Freddie)
  • Government loans (FHA and VA)
  • Fixed mortgages and ARMs

Like most other mortgage lenders, they offer both home purchase loans and refinance loans.

So both existing homeowners and prospective home buyers can get a home loan from AmeriHome.

With regard to loan type, they offer conventional loans, such as those backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, along with government loans, including FHA loans and VA Loans.

It’s unclear what individual loan programs they offer other than the 30-year fixed and 15-year fixed, though my guess is you can get a variety of adjustable-rate mortgages as well.

AmeriHome Mortgage Rates

I always appreciate it when a mortgage lender lists their mortgage rates on their website.

Sure, they should be taken with a grain of salt because they make a lot of assumptions, such as low LTV and high credit score.

Don't let today's rates get away.

But it shows they’re perhaps a little more transparent than the next guy.

Anyway, based on the rates displayed at the time of this writing, they appeared to be pretty competitive.

The APRs were similarly low, which tells me they may not charge too many fees.

Of course, these are just baseline rates and individual loan scenarios will vary.

Certainly take the time to shop around as you would any other product to ensure you obtain the best pricing.

What States Does AmeriHome Originate Mortgages In?

At the moment, AmeriHome isn’t nationwide, which is one of the potential negatives.

In fact, they only lend in 30 states, and do not originate mortgages in DC either.

They work with home buyers and owners in the following states: AL, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KY, LA, MD, ME, MI, MN, NC, NH, NJ, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, and WA.

So make sure your state is listed before you consider getting a mortgage from AmeriHome.

Applying for a Mortgage with AmeriHome

  • You can call directly or use the rate quote engine on their website
  • Can get a pre-qualification in minutes and a pre-approval in 24 hours
  • A loan officer will help you submit a loan application
  • Unclear how fully digital their loan process is beyond document upload

To get started, you can call them directly or visit their website and request a rate quote. They do not have any physical branches or a loan officer directory.

Once you fill out some basic questions, like loan amount and credit score, it will populate loan options and rates, without the need for a credit pull.

From there, a loan officer will help you submit a loan application, assuming you want to move forward.

You can also get a pre-qualification in minutes and a pre-approval in 24 hours by the next business day.

They say a “next generation digital platform” powers AmeriHome’s mortgage origination process, but it’s unclear exactly what that entails.

You’re able to submit documents via their secure web portal, but whether you can link financial accounts like other lenders, such as Rocket Mortgage or Better Mortgage, is another question.

In any case, AmeriHome claims its “sophisticated information management tools” allow it to be a direct-to-consumer mortgage lender, which lowers costs that can then be passed onto its customers.

AmeriHome Rewards Program

Once you get a mortgage from AmeriHome, you’ll save $1,095 on origination costs for subsequent loans financed via the company.

In other words, if you wish you refinance your existing home loan with AmeriHome, they’ll give you a discount.

This is very similar to the loanDepot Lifetime Guarantee offered by that company.

To be eligible, AmeriHome Mortgage Company, LLC should appear on the Promissory Note for the loan and you must be listed as a borrower on the note.
As always with these deals, it’s best to shop around beyond your current lender to see what competitors may offer.

Loyalty doesn’t always pay, especially in the mortgage business.

The AmeriHome Rewards Program doesn’t apply to FHA streamline refinances or the VA IRRRL loan.

AmeriHome’s Correspondent Lending Division

Whether you realize it or not, you might get a mortgage from AmeriHome via one of their clients thanks to their sizable correspondent lending division.

They act as a sponsor for independent mortgage bankers, community and regional banks, and credit unions throughout the country.

In other words, these institutions both big and small can offer mortgage products backed by AmeriHome.

They offer all types of loan via this channel, including conforming, FHA, VA, USDA, jumbo, and even non-QM loans.

As such, they refer to themselves as the nation’s 4th largest correspondent investor.

In 2017, they were the first correspondent investor in the country to be endorsed by the American Bankers Association (ABA).

AmeriHome Reviews

As noted, AmeriHome does a lot of its business via the correspondent lending channel, meaning other banks originate loans on behalf of the company.

So many customers may not actually know their mortgage came from AmeriHome.

But they still have roughly 1,300 customer reviews on Trustpilot with a 4.5-star rating out of 5, which is considered excellent.

Per Trustpilot, they typically respond to negative reviews within a week and have replied to 95% of their negative reviews.

In other words, if you have a problem, they will likely respond to it, which is a plus.

They also have an A+ BBB rating and have been accredited since 2018.

Additionally, they have a ~4-star rating out of 5 on the BBB based on customer reviews, which is pretty good relative to most other mortgage companies.

AmeriHome Pros and Cons

The Good

  • Mortgage rates are listed on their website
  • Transparent pricing
  • Clear explanation of loan fees
  • AmeriHome Rewards Program
  • Customer focused
  • Highly rated on Trustpilot
  • A+ Better Business Bureau rating
  • They service home loans

The Possible Bad

  • Not offered in all states (only 30 at the moment)
  • Need a loan officer to submit a loan application
  • Do not seem to offer a fully digital loan process
  • No physical branch locations
  • No USDA loans or home equity products available

One Comment

  1. Robert Clift October 30, 2020 at 11:21 am -

    AmeriHome Mortgage is the most screwed up and inefficient mortgage company I have ever dealt with in my fifty years of mortgages.
    Their idea of customer service is a cruel joke.
    I have spent hours and hours on the phone with them over eight months just trying to get a current monthly statement.
    Also, they filed a claim against the credit reporting companies for something that is clearly their problem not mine.
    They have been telling me they will correct that for a couple months and nothing, nothing, ever happens.
    This company is absolutely worthless.

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