Homebridge Financial Review: Lots of Niche Loan Programs

Posted on March 24th, 2020
Homebridge Financial Review: Lots of Niche Loan Programs

Homebridge Financial Quick Facts

    • Headquartered in Iselin, New Jersey
    • Founded in 1989
    • Top-10 privately held nonbank mortgage lender
    • Operates two wholesale mortgage divisions
    • Funded more than $11 billion in home loans in 2018
    • Has roughly 1,000 mortgage loan originators
    • Licensed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia

Today we’ll review Homebridge Financial, which through recent acquisitions has grown to be a top-20 mortgage lender in the United States.

In mid-2019, they acquired HomeStreet Bank’s home loan centers and its personnel, and two years earlier the operating assets of Prospect Mortgage.

They consider themselves one of the largest privately held, non-bank lenders in the United States (in the top-10).

Aside from being a direct-to-consumer retail mortgage lender, they also operate two wholesale mortgage operations.

They include Homebridge Wholesale and REMN Wholesale, so it’s possible you could get a home loan from Homebridge via a mortgage broker.

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For the record, REMN stands for Real Estate Mortgage Network.

How to Apply for a Mortgage with Homebridge Financial

When it comes to applying for a mortgage, you can visit a Homebridge branch if there’s one nearby or use their loan originator directory if you’ve been referred by someone.

Or you can simply input some basic information on their website and a loan originator will get back to you.

If you know the name of the individual you want to work with, you can also enter it via the short form on the Homebridge website to ensure you’re paired with the right person.

Homebridge has physical branches in the following states: AL, AZ, CA, CO, CT, FL, GA, HI, ID, IL, MA, MD, ME, MO, NC, NJ, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, TX, VA, VT, WA.

While many so-called digital lenders allow you to complete much of the loan process online without speaking to anyone (think Rocket Mortgage or Better Mortgage), Homebridge appears to be big on building relationships.

And they feel that “using an online mortgage lender just doesn’t provide the same kind of personalized service.”

Unfortunately, there’s no mention of a digital loan process. So for those who like convenience over all else, Homebridge might be lacking somewhat.

But for those interested in a human touch, they could be a good choice.

What Homebridge Financial Offers

  • Home purchase loans and refinance loans
  • Conforming, jumbo, government, and interest-only loans
  • Fixed-rate and adjustable-rate loan programs
  • Renovation loans including FHA 203k and Fannie Mae HomeStyle
  • Mortgages on second homes and investment properties
  • Reverse mortgages
  • Energy Efficient Mortgages
  • Mixed use and Commercial loans
  • VA 100% cash out
  • Non-warrantable condos

Homebridge allows you to purchase a home, renovate one, or refinance an existing mortgage, including the option to pull cash out.

They offer all the usual loan types, including conventional, FHA, USDA, and VA loans.

Loan programs include fixed-rate mortgages like the 30-year and 15-year, along with adjustable-rate mortgages such as the 5/1 ARM.

You can also get a jumbo and even a super jumbo loan with them, along with a interest-only home loan, reverse mortgage, or a renovation loan (FHA 203k or Fannie Mae HomeStyle).

In terms of niche offerings, you can get a VA 100% cash out loan, a construction-to-perm loan, an energy efficient mortgage, mixed use and commercial, and even financing on a non-warrantable condo.

They also have a builder division devoted to helping real estate agents and home builders sell more homes, with extended rate locks and a dedicated condo/co-op approval process.

Homebridge Financial Mortgage Rates

With regard to their mortgage rates, we’re in the dark here because they don’t openly advertise them on their website or elsewhere.

That’s not to say they’re bad or just average. In fact, they could be really good, we just don’t know because they don’t have a page on their website dedicated to them.

Additionally, we don’t know much about their lender fees because those are also nowhere to be seen.

Again, they could be in line with industry averages, lower, or higher. But they seem to keep this information to themselves.

So if you’ve gotten a mortgage quote from Homebridge, be sure to compare the rate and closing costs to those of other lenders. Otherwise you won’t know how competitive they are.

Homebridge Home Rewards

One perk offered by Homebridge is the “Homebridge Home Rewards” program, which provides customers with a gift card valued at up to $595.00 for taking out a home purchase loan or mortgage refinance loan.

You must make the gift card request prior to loan origination, and your mortgage must be either an FHA loan, VA loan, or a conventional conforming loan.

The following types of borrowers are eligible:

  • Members or employees of an approved Affinity company
  • Members, volunteers, donors or sponsors of an approved non-profit
  • Military
  • Law Enforcement
  • Teachers
  • Firefighters/Emergency Medical Technicians

For non-profits, eligible borrowers will receive a gift card for up to $250.00 and a $250.00 donation will be made in the borrower’s name to the non-profit.

The minimum loan amount in order to be eligible is $100,000. It is not available in the state of Utah.

Homebridge Financial Reviews

They have a 4.6 out of 5 star rating on Trustpilot, which is considered excellent. It’s based on over 1,650 reviews.

At Zillow, they have a 4.97 out of 5 star rating on nearly 3,000 reviews, which is pretty hard to beat.

Many of the reviews say both the interest rate and fees/closing costs were lower than expected.

They are not an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), not that it necessarily matters.

Homebridge Financial Pros and Cons

The Good

  • Excellent customer reviews
  • Free mortgage calculators
  • Licensed in all 50 states and D.C.
  • Tons of loan programs to choose from
  • Homebridge Home Rewards program
  • They service their loans

The Possible Bad

  • Can’t apply for a mortgage directly online
  • Do not advertise their mortgage rates
  • Do not disclose lender fees on their website
  • No digital mortgage process
  • No smartphone app

(photo: Andrew Kearns)

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