Web Reviews: Take the Mystery Out of Mortgages

Home loan 101: Here’s a resource for clients who want to learn more about home financing.

November 1, 2004


When your clients—particularly first-time homebuyers—don’t understand the ins and outs of home loans, chances are greater they’ll face financing hurdles when they decide to buy. To solve that problem, direct knowledge-thirsty consumers to this Web site run by the Mortgage Bankers Association. They’ll find key information in an easy-to-understand and unbiased format, which will clear up confusion and eliminate the frustrations that often come with finding the right home loan. The site’s goal is to make the homebuying process move along more smoothly—a good thing for you and your buyers. Here are some features worth checking out:

  • The Process. Finding the right mortgage can be daunting if you’re not knowledgeable each step of the way. This online tool provides details for each phase, from determining how much you can afford to finding the right lender. You’ll find pros and cons of various loan options, a glossary of terms, guidelines for submitting the loan application, and a rundown of what really happens at a closing. It’s a valuable resource for first-time homebuyers and veteran owners alike.
  • Common Life Situations. Sometimes a major life situation, such as a wedding or an addition to the family, changes how you handle your mortgage. Your clients can find out what to consider if they’re going through a divorce, living together, or want to buy a summer home. Among other common life situations, they’ll also learn what happens to their mortgage after bankruptcy and how marriage can affect their credit scores.
  • Owning at Your Age. Whether your buyers are in their early 30s and still paying off college debt, or a retired couple looking to downsize, this section of the site will provide valuable information about what money issues they should consider for their stage of life. They’ll find out challenges they face, traps to avoid, and ways to get ahead financially.
  • Your Finances. Buyers can determine how much mortgage they can afford with easy-to-use financial calculators. The calculators on this site are better than others we’ve seen on the Web because they allow users to input your data and then instantly see the results on the same page. Other sites display a new Web page with the results, forcing you to hit the back button to try again and plug in new numbers. On this site, you can change the parameters and just refresh the results without ever leaving the page.
  • Ask an Expert. If you or your clients have questions about the lending process, e-mail one of the Web site’s three resident mortgage experts. Type your inquiry in the spaces provided on the home page and click the submit button. Individualized answers will follow, but be patient—it may take a few weeks.
Kelly Quigley

Kelly Quigley is the former managing editor of REALTOR® Magazine.

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