05 October 2017

Electronic mortgages are here to stay

  • Advances in technology can make obtaining a mortgage faster
  • Electronic mortgage services are expected to revolutionise the home-ownership industry
  • You can often manage your repayment and remortgaging agreements online

Few milestones are more significant than buying a home. Whether you're a first-time buyer or need more space as your family grows, the idea of buying a house inspires a sense of excitement and adventure.

But daydreams of cozy breakfast nooks, man caves and pastel nurseries can unravel once you begin the mortgage process. Trips to the bank, stacks of paperwork, and grueling approval requirements can start to dull those dreams before you've even painted those imaginary walls.

At least, that's how it was in the pre-fintech era. But those days could soon be a thing of the past. Thanks to advances in technology, obtaining a mortgage may soon be faster and easier than ever.

Rather than muddle through pages of legal jargon, home buyers can now learn about and initiate the mortgage process through simple, streamlined digital platforms. Indeed, electronic mortgage services are expected to revolutionise the home-ownership industry.

PropTech to the rescue

UK property technology or 'PropTech' companies now offer 24/7 mortgage advice, market updates, and property listings at the swipe of a smartphone. Some of these lightning-quick algorithms analyse data on mortgage products and house prices within seconds to recommend deals suited to your circumstances.

Digital mortgage calculators like those we offer at Nationwide enable you to gauge what type of mortgage you'll qualify for, and therefore what types of homes you'll be able to afford.

While you won't know the specifics until you maybe speak to a broker or apply directly with a lender, knowing the range of mortgage options you can expect will help focus your search. The more information you have, the faster you'll identify which neighbourhoods and properties are in your price range - and the sooner you'll be able to move into that dream home.

The human touch in home ownership

Of course, as helpful as internet banking services are, some decisions are made easier by in-person relationships. Borrowers who have bought and sold multiple homes see the mortgage process as old hat, and they often prefer to conduct the entire transaction online. But taking out a mortgage for the first time is a big deal.

New buyers might find the process daunting, or they might get cold feet as homeownership becomes a reality. That's when it's important to turn to a qualified mortgage advisor, such as those at Nationwide, who can walk you through the details. Yes, buying a house is a thrilling experience. But getting ready to take on the responsibility of a mortgage can also bring up feelings of fear or uncertainty. Having a qualified expert look you in the eyes and answer your questions is a far more reassuring experience than even the friendliest chatbot can offer.

Once you've built a relationship with your mortgage advisor, they can help you with other big decisions, like buying a second property, remortgaging, or deciding whether to secure debt against your home. Again, you can get things moving faster by starting them online. But when financial decisions seem overwhelming, as they sometimes do, a trusted mortgage advisor can provide both counsel and comfort as you determine your next steps.

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About the author

Casey Hynes

Casey Hynes is a freelance journalist writing about fintech, AI, economic development and personal finance. She's written for the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post.

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