Today we’ll take a hard look at “HomeAmerican Mortgage,” yet another home builder affiliated mortgage lender.
They offer home purchase financing to Richmond American Homes customers, which is a top-10 home builder nationally.
Because they are operated by the same parent company, they can offer a streamlined process and home buying experience.
And perhaps more importantly, extend special financing offers like big mortgage rate buydowns.
Read on to see if you should use their in-house lender or look elsewhere for a better deal.
HomeAmerican Mortgage Fast Facts
- The affiliated mortgage lender of Richmond American Homes
- Offers home purchase financing on newly-built homes
- Founded in 1983, headquartered in Denver, Colorado
- Licensed to do business in 16 states and Washington D.C.
- Funded $2.75B in home loans last year
- Most active in Arizona, California, and Colorado
- Also operate a title/escrow company and insurance agency
HomeAmerican Mortgage is a full-service, direct lender based out of Denver, Colorado.
They got their start way back in 1983 and are a subsidiary of MDC Holdings, Inc., which is a publicly-traded company (NYSE: MDC).
MDC also owns Richmond American Homes, which builds single-family residences in more than a dozen states throughout the country.
Simply put, HomeAmerican Mortgage exists to serve these home buyers, offering purchase loans only (no refinances).
They are currently licensed to do business in 16 states and D.C., including Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Maryland, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Washington.
These are also the states where their new home communities are located.
At last glance, they have about 50 sponsored mortgage loan officers working at the company, per the NMLS.
And like many other builder-affiliated lenders, they also operate related subsidiaries to control the entire home buying process.
This includes a title and escrow company, American Home Title and Escrow Co., along with an insurance agency, American Home Insurance Agency, Inc.
Last year, HomeAmerican Mortgage funded about $2.75 billion in home loans, per HMDA data.
They are most active in their home state of Colorado and in California, with the two states accounting for nearly half of total loan production.
The company also does a lot of lending in Arizona, Florida, and Nevada.
How to Apply
To get started, you can visit a new home sales office at one of their communities or simply head to their website and click on “Apply.”
Before you apply, you may want to discuss pricing and loan options with a licensed loan officer.
Their digital mortgage application is powered by fintech company Blend. It allows you to complete the app from any device, whether it’s a computer, tablet, or smartphone.
And you can link financial accounts to save time, upload necessary documents, and eSign disclosures.
Once your loan is submitted, you’ll be asked to provide supporting documentation to generate a commitment letter, which may be subject to final underwriting approval.
You’ll be able to check loan status 24/7 and get in touch with your loan team if and when you have questions.
It’s also possible to generate a mortgage pre-approval letter via their online application, though if buying a new home via their parent company this may not be necessary.
Loan Programs Offered by HomeAmerican Mortgage
- Home purchase loans
- Conforming loans backed by Fannie/Freddie
- FHA loans
- VA loans
- Homebuyer assistance
- Fixed-rate and adjustable-rate options
As noted, HomeAmerican Mortgage is a purchase-only mortgage lender. So they’re entirely focused on getting home buyers into new homes.
There are no mortgage refinances offered, but they have a wide array of available loan programs to suit different preferences and needs.
Of course, their new homes may not be located in rural areas anyway, so this is moot.
They also mention the availability of bond loans and rural housing loans, which sounds like homebuyer assistance via state, city, and municipal housing agencies.
HomeAmerican Mortgage Rates
While they don’t list their daily mortgage rates online, they do say they offer competitive rates
This is apparently because they don’t rely on brokers or a middleman.
Of course, the real reason they might be able to beat the competition is because home builders often offer huge incentives if you use their affiliated lender.
The Richmond Homes website typically features special financing offers if you get under contract and close your loan by a certain date.
At last glance, I saw rates as low as 4.875% on select adjustable-rate mortgages, and 5.75% for 30-year fixed rates.
These deals are often hard to beat because the builder can offer a large amount of closing cost assistance that can be toward a permanent interest rate buydown.
However, be sure to pay attention to all lender fees and the mortgage APR, which takes into account all (or most) of the loan costs.
And put in the time to gather other quotes from third-party lenders and independent mortgage brokers as well.
Aside from potentially finding a better deal, having other quotes can help you negotiate more effectively.
HomeAmerican Mortgage Reviews
While they appear to have the latest technology, a good selection of loan programs, and low mortgage rates, their reviews are a little less convincing.
They’ve got a poor 1.4/5-star rating from about 120 Google reviews, which obviously is questionable.
A similarly low score of 1.5/5 can be found at Yelp, though it’s from a smaller sample size of about 30 reviews.
Ultimately, they don’t have a ton of reviews online. So take the time to read through them to see what the issues were.
But they do hold an ‘A+’ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and have been an accredited business since 2009.
And there are only seven customer complaints over the past three years on the BBB website, with just one in the last 12 months.
To summarize, HomeAmerican Mortgage could be a good option if you’re buying a Richmond American Home because they offer below-market mortgage rates.
But it sounds like the service can sometimes experience some hiccups. Still, if you can stomach it, the savings might be worth it.
Just be sure to gather outside mortgage rate quotes as well to see what else is out there, and to give yourself leverage when negotiating.
HomeAmerican Mortgage Pros and Cons
The Good Stuff
- Digital mortgage application powered by Blend
- Can apply for a home loan online via their website
- Special mortgage rate deals for Richmond American Homes customers
- A+ BBB rating and few customer complaints
- Mortgage checklist and glossary on their website
- Affiliated title/escrow/insurance companies for one-stop shopping
The Perhaps Not
- Do not list rates and fees online
- Aren’t licensed in all states
- Only offer home purchase loans
- Poor customer reviews