If you’re in the market for a home in America, there’s a good chance that you’ve heard of Zillow. This company is one of America’s largest online real estate platforms. While they are best-known for providing access to online real estate listings, Zillow recently purchased a mortgage business to open its own lending platform.
Zillow only purchased its home loan department in early 2019. However, it has grown into a massive platform because of its access to online listings. The original name of its mortgage company was Mortgage Lenders of America. Zillow itself first opened its doors in 2004 and is headquartered in Seattle, Washington.
Our Review of Zillow Home Loans
While Zillow Home Loans is a relatively new company, there seems to be a lot of promise for the platform. Not only is it backed by an extremely reputable real estate website, it also benefits from extensive data that its parent company has collected for more than 15 years.
You’ll find most major types of mortgages at Zillow Home Loans, and you’ll also benefit from a wide array of calculators and other resources.
Zillow operates a mortgage marketplace for those who are looking to buy a property via the company’s website. And this new mortgage endeavor is a bold move to increase the company’s footprint in the real estate industry.
So, should you trust this new lender to provide you with financing for your next property purchase? Let’s dive deep into the details about Zillow’s home loan company.
Zillow’s Mortgage Process
If you want to apply for a loan from Zillow Home Loans, head to the company’s website and select ‘Get Started.’ Next, you’ll be asked to answer questions about your desired home price, income, credit history, name, contact information, and more.
It might feel like you’re filling out an application. But you’re actually just inputting necessary information to help the Zillow Home Loans team contact you to complete your application. You will need to enter your phone number and email so the company can get in touch with you about your loan.
In reality, this is slightly disappointing. While many lenders have similar processes, it’s deceptive that Zillow Home Loans appears to offer an online application that is just a glorified contact form.
Either way, if you want a better understanding of mortgages and their related costs, it’s also a good idea to play with the company’s mortgage calculators before you get started.
Zillow’s Pros & Cons
There are advantages and disadvantages associated with any lender. So, what are the strengths and weaknesses of Zillow Home Loans? Let’s find out below:
Need to learn how to buy a house? Read our guide here. (October 10, 2020)
What States Does Zillow Offer Mortgage Services?
As with any financial product, mortgages are heavily regulated. This means that a lender will need to apply for individual licenses in each state if it wants to offer loan services to clients. Unfortunately, Zillow Home Loans does not have licensing in all 50 states.
At present, there are seven states where you can’t use Zillow Home Loans:
- New Jersey
- New York
- West Virginia
Make sure to check regularly to see if Zillow Home Loans updates their licenses. They keep a list of eligible states on their website.
Zillow’s Available Mortgage Types & Programs
You can find both home mortgages and refinancing products via Zillow Home Loans. In terms of mortgages, the product offering is quite simple. You have a choice between four different types of loans: conventional, VA, USDA, and FHA.
In terms of conventional loans, the company only appears to offer fixed-rate mortgages to its clients. One of the primary benefits of Zillow Home Loans is its government-backed loan features. You can access low down payments, flexible terms, and the possibility of avoiding private insurance.
Have a house to sell before moving? Read our guide here. (October 10, 2020)
Zillow’s Mortgage Fees & Rates
Unfortunately, Zillow Home Loans doesn’t offer extensive information about its rates or fees. This lack of transparency is actually unusual for mortgage lenders. Most lenders prefer to advertise their best rates for different loan types.
The lack of information about rates and fees is likely due to how new the Zillow Home Loans platform is. Hopefully, the lender will rectify this in the future.
Zillow’s Customer Service
You have a lot riding on your mortgage, so it’s critical to work with a lender that you can get in touch with quickly. Fortunately, Zillow Home Loans has a phone number (888-852-2212) you can call if you have any questions or need any assistance with the company’s loans.
Alternatively, you can fill in an online contact form for assistance, or send written correspondence to the listed address.
Zillow’s Borrower Qualifications & Requirements
Regrettably, there is not a lot of information available about Zillow Home Loans’ qualifications or requirements. Because this is a new lender, it doesn’t appear to have determined its parameters.
It’s often a good idea to clarify basic requirements with a lender before you submit an application. You don’t want to damage your credit score for a mortgage application that you’re not eligible for. Fortunately, because Zillow Home Loans has to call you to complete your application, you can ask about minimum credit scores on the phone.
One loan feature that Zillow Home Loans is extremely clear about is its low down payments. If you obtain a VA loan, you can apply for a 0% down payment. Additionally, you can source conventional loans with as little as 3% down. This is one of the lowest conventional down payments in the industry.
Zillow’s Online Reputation
While Zillow Home Loans hasn’t been around for ages, it has been reviewed by some of the country’s leading consumer watchdog groups. Take advantage of this information. It’s always a good idea to determine if a lender has a good reputation before you make a commitment.
Zillow Home Loans currently has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Considering that this is the highest rating that the BBB provides, it’s safe to say that the lender is a reputable company.
More From ISoldMyHouse.com: Be sure to check out our other mortgage company reviews!
About the Author: Kris Lippi is the owner of ISoldMyHouse.com, the broker of Get LISTED Realty and an official member of the Forbes Real Estate Council. He actively writes about real estate related topics such as buying and selling homes, how-to guides for around the house and home product recommendations. He has been featured in Inman, Readers Digest, Fox News, American Express, Fit Small Business, Policy Genius, Lending Tree, GoDaddy, Manta as well as other major websites. Read more about us here.