HomePlus Mortgage Review: Unparalleled Customer Service?

Posted on January 20th, 2021
HomePlus Mortgage Review: Unparalleled Customer Service?

Today we’ll check out “HomePlus Mortgage,” a San Diego-based direct lender that strives to provide the highest level of customer service along with the most competitive mortgage rates out there.

You may have come across them on a mortgage comparison website as they’re quite an active advertiser with Bankrate, LendingTree, and Zillow.

The company appears to be living up to their goal of providing exceptional customer service, with numerous awards, accolades, and countless 5-star reviews over their 20-year history.

Let’s learn more about them to determine if they could be a good choice for your home loan needs.

HomePlus Mortgage Fast Facts

  • Direct-to-consumer mortgage lender
  • Established in 1999, headquartered in San Diego, CA
  • Offers home purchase financing and mortgage refinance loans
  • Currently licensed in nine states
  • Do not charge an application or rate lock fee
  • Branch locations in AZ, CA, and TX

HomePlus Mortgage was founded back in 1999 in current CEO Phil Pizzino’s home office. Since then, they have become a billion-dollar loan originator.

They are a direct-to-consumer mortgage lender, meaning they operate call centers staffed with loan officers, processors, and underwriters who work remotely with homeowners.

Like most lenders, they offer both home purchase loans and refinance loans, with the latter likely their specialty.

At the moment, they are only licensed in nine states nationwide, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Texas, and Washington.

It’s not clear if they plan to expand to additional states, or if they’re happy with the areas they serve currently.

Aside from their corporate headquarters in San Diego, they’ve also got branches in Carlsbad, CA, Dana Point, CA, Mission Viejo, CA, Lake Forest, CA, Phoenix, AZ, and Dallas, TX.

How to Apply with HomePlus Mortgage

  • They say they’ve got a proprietary online mortgage application
  • But first you’ll need to request a free mortgage rate quote on their website or call them up to discuss pricing
  • They’ll begin with a one-on-one consultation to determine your mortgage needs
  • Then you can apply for a home loan online via their secure borrower portal

To get started, you can either request a free mortgage rate quote via their website, or call them up for a one-on-one consultation with a loan officer.

In either case, you’re going to need to speak with a loan officer before you apply for a mortgage, as there doesn’t seem to be an option to do so on your own.

While I do favor mortgage lenders that let you go it alone, it’s probably wise to discuss loan pricing before you commit to a loan application.

So your first move will likely be a telephone call – if you like what you hear, they will probably provide you with a link to the application.

While it’s unclear what technology they utilize, they say they’ve got a proprietary online mortgage application.

This means you should be able to apply online and manage your loan via their secure loan portal from there on in.

Ideally, you’ll be able to complete most tasks paperlessly, including scanning/uploading documents, eSigning disclosures, and so on.

I assume they make it easy to apply and manage your loan given their exceptional customer feedback.

Loan Options Available at HomePlus Mortgage

  • Home purchase loans
  • Refinance loans: rate and term, cash out, and streamline
  • Conforming loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
  • FHA loans
  • VA loans
  • Fixed-rate mortgages: 30-year fixed, 15-year fixed
  • Adjustable-rate mortgages: 5/1 ARM, 7/1 ARM

HomePlus Mortgage appears to offer most of the major loan types out there, including home purchase loans and refinance loans.

So they could be suitable for both first-time home buyers and existing owner looking for a rate and term refinance, cash out refinance, or a streamline refinance.

You can get a conventional loan backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, or a government-backed mortgage such as an FHA loan or VA loan.

They don’t appear to offer USDA loans or jumbo loans, which is a slight negative if you want/need either of those.

In terms of loan programs, you can get a fixed-rate mortgage such as a 30-year or 15-year fixed, or an adjustable-rate mortgage, including a 5/1 and 7/1 ARM.

HomePlus Mortgage Rates

One slight drawback to HomePlus Mortgage is the fact that they don’t publicize their mortgage rates.

So if you visit their website, you won’t see daily rates, nor will you be able to compare them online.

However, because they do advertise quite a bit on many mortgage comparison websites, you might come across them if you’re actively shopping your home loan.

I’ve seen their rates at times in comparison tables and they appeared to be pretty competitive relative to other lenders listed.

And it appears they often structure their loans with limited fees, or as a no cost refinance.

But because they don’t let you see rates without speaking to a loan officer first, it’s probably best to call them and get pricing before you apply.

Also be sure to ask about all lender fees charged, such as a loan origination fee – they say they don’t charge an application fee or rate lock fee, which many other lenders do.

However, they could still charge an appraisal fee upfront, which typically works the same way in it being a quasi-deposit from the customer.

Your best move is probably to call them to get pricing, then shop around, and if they offer the best combination of rates and fees, you can proceed to apply online.

HomePlus Mortgage Reviews

On LendingTree, HomePlus Mortgage has an excellent 4.9 out of 5-star rating from more than 1,500 customer reviews. They’ve also got a coveted 100% recommended rating.

Both interest rates and fees/closing costs were rated “excellent” by their customers, as was responsiveness and customer service.

In the past, the lender has earned accolades such as landing in the top-10 for customer service on the LendingTree platform, and was rated the #1 multi-national lending provider.

On Zillow, they have a 4.95-star rating out of 5 from almost 900 reviews – you can filter reviews by loan officer, so take advantage of that if you’re looking for someone specific to work with at the company.

On Bankrate, the company has a perfect 5.0-rating from nearly 300 customer reviews, with 99% saying they’d recommend this lender. They also earned a “Select Lender” distinction in 2020.

Over at Yelp, they have a slightly less favorable 4.5-star rating out of 5, which is obviously still a good score.

Lastly, they are an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau (since 2001), and currently have an ‘A’ rating.

In closing, HomePlus Mortgage sounds like a good option for existing homeowners looking to refinance since they appear to be a low-cost online mortgage lender, and their customer service is top-notch.

Since they have limited branch locations, they may not be the best for home purchase loans as you might need more hands-on attention, but they do have a real estate agent division as well.

HomePlus Mortgage Pros and Cons

The Pluses

  • They have a proprietary online mortgage application
  • Offer most major loan programs
  • Do not charge an application fee or rate lock fee
  • Say they can close loans in as little as 21 days
  • Incredible customer reviews across all ratings websites
  • Have won awards for exceptional customer service
  • Work nights and weekends for their clients
  • BBB accredited company with an ‘A’ rating

The Minuses

  • Not licensed to do business in all states
  • Do not publicize mortgage rates or lender fees
  • May not offer jumbo loans or USDA loans

(photo: Alan Levine)

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