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Watermark Home Loans is an Irvine, California-based mortgage lender licensed to lend in 38 states. In addition to conventional, jumbo, and government loans, it also offers several niche products such as interest-only loans and reverse mortgages.
For any questions, customers should speak to a loan officer by calling or completing an online quote request form. We found it very easy to get in touch with a loan officer as we received a reminder from a loan officer within minutes of completing the online quote request.
Requesting a quote online is a bit awkward. It is possible, but there is no clear call to action to apply. It took some trial and error to figure out where to start this process.
Pros and Cons of Watermark Home Loans
Only create mortgages in 38 states
Prices and fees are not available online
The website has limited educational resources
Should contact a loan officer for details on loan programs
Non-intuitive website with application process
Filigree home loans: loan types and products
Watermark Home Loans offers mortgages to those looking to buy or refinance a home. Loans are available for primary residence, second homes, and investment homes, although some loan programs may have certain restrictions.
Here is a complete list of the types of mortgages offered by the lender:
Watermark provides very little information online about its loan programs. Jumbo loans are offered up to $ 3 million for loans that exceed county loan limits, but clients should speak to a loan officer for more information on rates, fees, loan terms. loan and loan requirements.
Watermark announces the availability of VA loans as a product for people with military training. These loans could allow eligible clients to purchase a home with certain flexibilities such as no down payment, no additional monthly mortgage insurance costs, and VA loan financing fee waivers.
Watermark on transparency of real estate loans
Watermark Home Loans does not provide any information on its website regarding rates and fees. With the exception of some brief information on VA loans, the lender does not provide minimum down payment, credit score requirements, or loan program details. There is also little educational content that clients can use to understand the lending process or basic mortgage terminology.
You can request a quote online in a roundabout way. At first glance, it would appear that there is no option to apply online, as clicking the ‘Apply Now’ button on the website leads clients to a form to provide contact information. for a reminder. However, by following the prompts to âLoginâ and then âRegisterâ, we found that it was possible to submit a request online. Despite this non-intuitive process, we received a call within minutes. However, talking to a loan officer over the phone is the only way to get a quote. The phone call experience was pleasant, which matches Watermark’s focus on providing quality customer service.
Filigree home loans: rates and fees
Watermark Home Loans only provides personalized quotes and customers should speak to a loan officer. However, a precise list of costs is not provided with the quote. To get a Loan Estimate (LE) with a list of fees, customers must submit a complete loan application and allow their credit to be withdrawn. Keep in mind that rates can change daily and third party fees depend on your specific loan scenario.
When reviewing your LE, make sure the rates do not include discount points so you can get the best apple-to-apple comparison with LEs from other lenders. When shopping, be aware that many lenders offer a variety of rate and fee combinations. Lower rates result in lower monthly payments over the life of the loan, but can result in higher upfront costs in the form of discount points. Higher interest rates can provide loans to lenders to cover your initial closing costs, but at the cost of higher monthly payments.
According to a loan officer we spoke with, minimum credit scores vary depending on the loan program. Compliant loans require at least a credit score of 620, while jumbo loans vary depending on the borrower.
Refinancing with watermarked home loans
Watermark allows clients to submit applications online, although their website is slightly confusing. By clicking the âApply Nowâ button on the website, you will only be taken to a form in which you request a reminder from one of their loan officers. Instead, you’ll want to click on the âLoginâ button and then âRegisterâ for the option to submit a request online.
After you apply, Watermark’s process is similar to that of many other lenders. A Loan Estimate (LE) will be provided with loan information, options to lock in a rate will be presented, and the lender will provide a list of items required by the client. Items needed may include a home appraisal inspection, income documents, and borrower’s explanations to address any discrepancies. Once everything is provided, Watermark’s subscription service will review the items. Then the final loan documents will be generated for signature.
Watermark charges an origination fee of $ 1,499 for its loans. Third party charges will also apply, but a full list of charges could not be provided. We were told that they can vary depending on a number of loan characteristics. For example, fees may vary depending on the location of the property, the amount of the loan, the appraised value of the house, the type of occupancy and the credit rating.
Filigree home loans compared to other mortgage lenders
|Filigree home loans||Carrington Mortgage Services||Wintrust mortgage|
|Minimum credit score||620 for conventional, other programs may vary||620 for conventional, 500 for FHA, VA and USDA||620 for FHA, 640 for conventional|
|Minimum deposit||0% to 3%, varies by loan program||0% to 3.5% depending on the loan program||0% for VA, other programs may vary|
|Where does the lender operate?||38 states||48 states and Washington, DC||The 50 states|
|Main types of loans||Purchase, Refinance, Conventional, Jumbo, FHA, VA, Interest Only, Reverse Mortgage, Fixed Rate, Adjustable Rate||Conventional, jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA, refinancing, variable rate, fixed rate||Conventional, jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA, construction, renovation, refinancing, HELOC|
How To Shop For The Best Mortgage Rate
When shopping for the best mortgage rate, it’s important to consider all LE fees and discount points as well. Lenders may offer a lower interest rate, but this may be due to discount points that lower the rate, but you must buy in advance at closing. Likewise, higher interest rates might be charged by lenders offering loan credits.
Before making a final decision, you should always request a loan estimate (LE). This step will often require the lender to withdraw your credit. The advantage of having an LE in hand is that you can make a real apple-to-apple comparison with other LEs. The fees may vary depending on the amount of the loan and the down payment. Therefore, if you are comparing loan estimates between lenders, you need to make sure that they all match the same loan scenario.
Watermark Home Loans offers standard products such as conventional, jumbo, and FHA / VA loans. Several niche products like reverse mortgages and interest only loans are also available. However, since the lender offers limited information online, this may be best suited to people who are knowledgeable or experienced with the mortgage process and who have shopped for rates with other lenders.