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Inspire Home Loans Review: You Might Be Able to Snag Major Savings When Buying a New Home

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It’s time to check out “Inspire Home Loans,” which is the lending partner of home builder Century Communities.

They pride themselves on knowing how their parent company’s construction timelines work so your home (and) loan remain on schedule.

In addition, they offer special financing deals that are reserved only for the buyers of properties in their communities.

This means you might be able to get your hands on a low mortgage rate that outside lenders just can’t beat.

Read on to learn more about them to determine if they could be a good fit for your mortgage needs.

Inspire Home Loans Offers Big Rate Buydowns

  • Direct-to-consumer mortgage lender
  • Offers home purchase loans
  • Founded in 2016, headquartered in Newport Beach, CA
  • A wholly owned subsidiary of Century Communities
  • Parent company is publicly traded (NYSE: CCS)
  • Licensed to lend in 18 states across the nation
  • Funded about $2 billion in home loans in 2022
  • Most active in California, Colorado, Georgia, and Texas
  • Also operates a title company and insurance agency
  • Known for offering big mortgage rate buydowns

Inspire Home Loans is a wholly owned subsidiary of Century Communities, which offers to-be-built and quick move-in homes in a handful of states nationwide.

Their parent company consider themselves a top-10 home builder nationally, and is publicly traded under the NYSE symbol CCS.

The lending division has been around since 2016 and is headquartered in Newport Beach, CA.

Their primary focus is providing home purchase loans to buyers of newly-built homes in the many communities they operate throughout the country.

They are licensed in 18 states, including Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Washington.

Per HMDA data, they are most active in the states of California, Colorado, Georgia, Nevada, and Texas.

They’ve currently got 63 sponsored mortgage loan originators (MLOs) on their staff per the NMLS.

Similar to other builder-affiliated lenders, Inspire Home Loans also operates a title insurance and settlement company called Parkway Title, and an insurance agency called IHL Home Insurance Agency.

This means you can do one-stop shopping for all your home loan needs, though it’s always prudent to shop around for these third-party services as well.

How to Get Started

You can either visit a Century Communities new home sales office to get paired up with a loan officer, or simply go online.

If you go to their website, you can click on “Pre-qualify Today” to access a loan officer directory that lists the many communities operated by their parent company.

After selecting a state, you’ll be able to select a community to see which loan officers serve that particular development.

From there, you’ll see contact info and you’ll have the ability to get pre-qualified for a mortgage or log in if you’ve already applied.

Their digital loan application is powered by fintech company nCino. It allows you to eSign disclosures, link financial accounts, and complete the app from any device.

Once you’ve applied and been approved, you can satisfy conditions electronically by uploading necessary documents 24/7.

You’ll receive automatic status updates as your loan makes it from underwriting to closing.

You can also lean on your dedicated, human loan team that is available to assist and provide answers whenever you have questions.

They appear to offer a good balance of both tech and human touch to get you to the finish line.

And because they are affiliated with the builder, they’ll be able to communicate freely and keep your loan on track based on construction status.

Loan Programs Offered

  • Conforming loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
  • Jumbo loans
  • FHA loans
  • VA loans
  • USDA loans
  • Fixed-rate and adjustable options available
  • Down Payment Assistance
  • Municipal Bond Programs

As noted, Inspire Home Loans exists to serve buyers of Century Communities properties.

Since that’s all they focus on, they should have a good handle on the process.

In terms of loan choice, they’ve got all the major loan programs a home buyer could need, including conforming loans, jumbo loans, and the full array of government-backed loans.

This includes FHA loans, VA loans, and even USDA loans if purchasing a property in a rural location.

Both fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgage options are available, including the 15-year fixed, 5/6 ARM, and 7/6 ARM.

Additionally, they’ve got access to numerous homebuyer assistance programs, including down payment assistance and municipal bond programs.

These can come in handy if you’re short on down payment funds and/or need help with closing costs.

The Ascent Club

Inspire Home Loans also offers free access to a program called “The Ascent Club.”

It provides financial insights and recommendations to help prospective customers reach their homeownership goals.

This could include learning how to save for a down payment, how to build asset reserves, how to boost credit scores, and even improve your DTI ratio.

The goal is put homeownership within reach if there are certain fixable barriers that are holding you back.

And whether you’re a first-time home buyer or seasoned pro, they conduct free webinars to answer any mortgage questions you may have.

Inspire Home Loans Rates and Fees

They don’t list their mortgage rates or lender fees online, which isn’t atypical. But I do give lenders kudos when they do. It’s a plus from a transparency standpoint.

So we don’t know how competitive they are relative to other lenders, nor do we know if they charge a loan origination fee, underwriting and processing fees, application fee, and so on.

Be sure to inquire about any and all fees when you first discuss loan pricing with a mortgage loan officer.

Once you get a rate quote, that along with the lender fees makes up your mortgage APR, which is a more effective way to compare loan costs from lender to lender.

Despite the lack of information, they do advertise mortgage rate buydowns on their home builder website.

And from what I saw, they were some of the biggest permanent and temporary mortgage rate buydowns around.

One example offered a 2/1 buydown to 3.5% for the first year, 4.5% in year two, and 5.5% fixed for the remaining 28 years.

That’s pretty tough to beat when mortgage rates are close to 7.5 today%. This is one of the main advantages of using the builder’s mortgage lender.

But as always, take the time to shop your rate with other lenders, credit unions, mortgage brokers, and so on.

Inspire Home Loans Reviews

Over at experience.com, Inspire Home Loans has an excellent 4.89/5-star rating from over 1,500 customer reviews.

However, they have a 1.8/5 on Yelp from about 30 reviews, though the sample size is obviously quite small. At Redfin they have a better 4.4/5 from 7 reviews, which again is a small sample.

You can also search their individual offices throughout the country on Google to see reviews by location. This could be more helpful if you work with a particular regional office.

Their parent company has an ‘A+’ rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website and has been accredited since 2015.

Despite the solid letter grade rating, they’ve got a poor 1.05/5-star rating based on over 100 customer reviews. This could have to do with their numerous complaints filed over the years.

Be sure to take the time to read through some of them to see how many pertain to their lending division versus their new home building unit.

Of course, chances are if you’re using Inspire Home Loans to get a mortgage, you’re also buying a Century Communities property.

To sum things up, Inspire Home Loans has the latest tech, a good array of loan programs, and may offer pricing specials that outside lenders can’t compete with.

They have some mixed reviews, but mostly positive ones, though your mileage may vary depending on who you work with.

But even if the process has hiccups, the savings from a big mortgage rate buydown could be worth it.

Still, take the time to shop third-party lenders, brokers, banks, etc. With other offers in hand, you can negotiate and potentially land an even better deal.

Inspire Home Loans Pros and Cons

The Good

  • Digital mortgage application (can apply for a home loan online)
  • Mostly paperless loan process powered by nCino
  • Lots of loan programs to choose from including homebuyer assistance
  • Mortgage rate specials for buyers of Century Communities homes
  • Lots of excellent customer reviews
  • Free access to The Ascent Club
  • A+ BBB rating
  • Free smartphone app

The Maybe Not

  • Aren’t licensed in all states
  • Do not list rates/fees online
  • Only offer home purchase loans
  • High number of customer complaints
  • May not service your loan after closing

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