Residential Mortgage Services Review: A Home Purchase-Focused Lender in the Northeast

Posted on February 4th, 2021
Residential Mortgage Services Review: A Home Purchase-Focused Lender in the Northeast

Today we’ll check out “Residential Mortgage Services Inc.,” or RMS for short, which refers to itself as a leading independent purchase-focused mortgage lender.

The retail direct-to-consumer mortgage lender primarily serves the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Eastern Seaboard markets.

RMS said purchase loans accounted for 58% of last year’s volume, compared to an estimated 40% industry average. The rest consisted of mortgage refinances for existing homeowners.

That made them the top purchase lender in both Maine and New Hampshire, the #2 purchase lender in Rhode Island, and the #3 in Massachusetts.

Clearly they’re doing something right if so many home buyers are turning to them for what is often their most important purchase. Let’s learn more.

Residential Mortgage Services Fast Facts

  • Direct-to-consumer retail mortgage lender
  • Calls itself a home purchase-focused company (but also does refis!)
  • Headquartered in South Portland, Maine, founded in 1991
  • Licensed in 23 states and the District of Columbia
  • Employs more than 850 workers, including about 250 loan officers
  • Funded a company record $8.5 billion in home loans during 2020
  • Most active in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire
  • Named #1 lender by MassHousing and received Top USDA Lender Award in Pennsylvania

As noted, Residential Mortgage Services is a retail mortgage lender that offers home purchase loans and mortgage refinances.

While they say they’re mostly focused on helping home buyers obtain financing, they do billions in refinance volume as well.

In fact, the company just had its best year on record, with $8.5 billion in origination volume last year, a whopping 70% increase compared to the $5 billion funded in 2019, and more than double the $3.9 billion in 2018.

At the moment, they are licensed in 23 states and the District of Columbia, and have a physical presence in 14 states nationwide.

Those states include Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and D.C.

They are most active in the state of Massachusetts, followed by Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Maine, and Maryland.

To summarize, they have a major presence in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, especially with home buyers.

How to Apply for a Home Loan with Residential Mortgage Services

  • You can go to a branch or visit their website and click on “Apply” to get started
  • You’ll be asked to select your state, followed by a branch location and a loan officer
  • From there simply create your account and you can apply for a mortgage from any device
  • Their digital home loan process allows you to link financial accounts, scan/upload docs, and eSign disclosures

Residential Mortgage Services makes it easy to apply for a home loan, and gives you multiple options to get it done.

To get started, simply visit their website and click on “Apply.” This will take you to list of states where they’re licensed to do business.

Once you select a state, it’ll show you branches that serve that particular state, and when you select a branch, you’ll be able to see which loan officers work there.

While you can get started on your own from an individual loan officer’s webpage, you may want to call them first to discuss loan options and pricing.

If you’re happy with what you hear, you can begin the digital application process from any device, including a smartphone.

They even offer a smartphone app called RMS Ready that lets you complete many tasks along the way.

Like other digital mortgage offerings, you can link financial accounts, scan/upload necessary paperwork, eSign disclosures, and check loan status 24/7 via the borrower portal.

Their Loan Center is powered by Encompass from fintech company Ellie Mae.

Alternatively, you can visit a local branch if one is located nearby and you prefer to do business face-to-face. At last glance, they’ve got brick-and-mortar branch offices in 14 states.

Loans Programs Available at Residential Mortgage Services

  • Home purchase loans
  • Refinance loans: rate and term, streamline, and cash out
  • Home renovation loans: FHA 203k and Fannie Mae HomeStyle
  • Conventional mortgages
  • Jumbo home loans
  • FHA, USDA, and VA loans
  • Interest-only mortgages
  • State housing agency mortgages
  • Piggyback second mortgages
  • Fixed-rate and adjustable-rate options

Residential Mortgage Services offers a ton of different home loan programs, including stuff you won’t find with other lenders.

Aside from home purchase loans and refinance loans, they also offer home renovation financing, including the FHA 203k loan and Fannie Mae HomeStyle programs.

Additionally, you can get a jumbo home loan or an interest-only mortgage, along with a piggyback second mortgage (a home equity line of credit) if you want to extend your financing and avoid PMI.

They also partake in the many state housing agency mortgage programs available, which are geared for first-time home buyers and those with limited incomes.

You can get any type of loan, whether it’s a conforming loan backed by Fannie/Freddie, an FHA loan, USDA loan, or VA loan.

In terms of loan programs, you can get a fixed-rate mortgage (30-year fixed or 15-year fixed), or an adjustable-rate mortgage such as a 5/1, 7/1, or 10/1 ARM.

All in all, you shouldn’t be limited when it comes to home loan choice, which is a big positive for borrowers who work with Residential Mortgage Services.

Residential Mortgage Services Rates

One area where they leave us in the dark is mortgage rates. They don’t post them online so I’ve got no idea where they stand pricing-wise.

In order to get a mortgage rate quote, you’ll need to speak with a loan officer, either at a local branch or over the phone.

When you do get pricing, be sure to ask about their lender fees as well, which you also won’t find on their website.

Taken together, this makes up the home loan’s APR and can be used to shop your mortgage with competitors.

Always take the time to gather several quotes to ensure you get a good deal.

The one hint we have about their rates comes from their Zillow reviews, where a good chunk of customers indicated that the rate received was lower than expected (and often the closing costs were too!).

Given their amazing level of customer service, my hope is they’re competitively priced as well.

Residential Mortgage Services Reviews

On Zillow, RMS has an astounding 4.98-star rating out of a possible 5 from nearly 4,000 customer reviews.

That’s truly impressive given the massive number of reviews and shows how consistent they’ve been over time.

One reviewer even referred to working with them as a “wonderful experience,” which you don’t hear too often in the mortgage world.

On LendingTree, they have a perfect 5-star rating from nearly 100 reviews, with every rating a 5 out of 5.

You can find various reviews online for their specific brick-and-mortar locations as well, with many also quite positive.

Lastly, Residential Mortgage Services is an accredited business (since 2010) and currently has an ‘A+’ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

Residential Mortgage Services Pros and Cons

The Good Stuff

  • Can apply for a mortgage on their website in minutes
  • Offer a digital and paperless home loan experience
  • Lots of different loan programs to choose from including jumbos, second mortgages, and interest-only options
  • Has brick-and-mortar retail branch offices in 14 states
  • Excellent customer reviews from past customers
  • A+ BBB rating, accredited company
  • Free smartphone app (RMS Ready)
  • Free mortgage calculators and knowledge center

The Maybe Not

  • Not licensed in all states
  • Do not list mortgage rates or lender fees on their website

(photo: Paul VanDerWerf)

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