Citywide Home Loans Review: A Major Mortgage Player in Utah

Posted on September 14th, 2020

Today we’ll take a good look at Citywide Home Loans, a Utah-based direct-to-consumer mortgage lender whose motto is “Your Mortgage Matters.”

Aside from your home loan mattering, they also say they “don’t take any loans for granted,” meaning customer service seems to be paramount at the firm.

The company began as a small brokerage consisting of just five employees back in 1998, and today has more than 800 employees across 55 branches nationwide.

In late 2018, Stearns Lending, LLC, agreed to acquire an equity interest in Citywide Home Loans to leverage their industry-leading technology and capital markets expertise.

So they’ve got a big name behind them, which could spell growth in the years to come.

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Citywide Home Loans Quick Facts

  • Retail nonbank mortgage lender located in Sandy, Utah
  • Founded on December 7th, 1998 by Steven J. Goorman
  • Originated roughly $2.5 billion in home loans during 2019
  • About half of their business came from their home state of Utah
  • Employ nearly 800 workers with branch locations in 10 states including Hawaii
  • Licensed to do business in 37 states

Citywide Home Loans is still led by their founder Steven J. Goorman, despite growing into a national mortgage lender with a presence in 37 states.

Last year, the mortgage company did roughly $2.5 billion in home loans via its retail platform, with nearly half of its volume in its home state of Utah.

In other words, if you reside in Utah, you’ve likely heard of Citywide Home Loans, and there’s a decent chance they closed your loan too.

They also do quite a bit of lending in Arizona, California, Colorado, and Nevada, so it’s clear their footprint is the Southwest and West Coast.

Much of their business in 2019 was tied to home purchase loans, covering about 72% of total volume. The remainder was split between rate and term refis, cash out refis, and HELOCs.

About two-thirds of their loan volume was conventional loans, with 20% FHA loans and the rest mixed between jumbos, VA loans, and so on.

Aside from being a retail mortgage lender, they also form joint ventures with home builders, and partnerships with independent mortgage bankers and mortgage brokers via their correspondent lending channel.

How to Apply with Citywide Home Loans

  • Can apply via their website or free smartphone app
  • They offer a digital mortgage experience known as Citywide Digital Customer
  • Those referred to a specific loan officer can get started right away
  • Otherwise you can send their online mortgage team a message and you’ll be matched up

To get started, you simply click on the “Apply Now” button on their website, at which point you’ll be asked if you’re working with a loan officer.

If you are, they’ll ask you to locate that individual using their loan officer directory. You can search by loan officer name, state, or select an office.

Those who haven’t been referred will be prompted to fill out a short form on their website, at which point someone from the online mortgage team will call you right away to match you up with a loan officer.

Once you create an account, you can apply for a home loan via their website or smartphone app using their digital process known as “Citywide Digital Customer.”

It allows you to take photos with your phone and then upload key documents, link financial accounts, and check your loan details at any time.

They provide you with a To-Do list so you can knock out your loan conditions with ease, the ability to eSign documents and disclosures, check loan status, and message your loan originator or loan processor if you have questions along the way.

You’re also able to view your tentative closing date via the smartphone app or loan portal.

All in all, they aim to make applying for a mortgage easy and mostly paperless.

Mortgage Programs Offered by Citywide Home Loans

  • Conventional home loans backed by Fannie/Freddie
  • Government loans: FHA, USDA, and VA
  • Home renovation loans and construction loans
  • Jumbo home loans
  • State bond loans and down payment assistance
  • Piggyback loans
  • Interest-only loans
  • Reverse mortgages

One great thing about Citywide Home Loans is the breadth of their loan program offerings.

They offer home purchase loans, refinance loans (rate and term and cash out), construction loans, and renovation loans (Fannie Mae HomeStyle or FHA 203k).

You can get anything from an interest-only home loan to a VA loan to a jumbo loan or even a reverse mortgage (HECM).

And of course, they’ve got conventional loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, along with FHA loans and USDA loans.

They’ve also got loan programs geared toward first-time home buyers, including state bond loans that allow for 100% financing, and a piggyback mortgage that helps borrowers avoid costly PMI.

With regard to loan type, you can get a fixed-rate mortgage with the term of your choice, or an adjustable-rate mortgage, such as a 5/1 ARM.

Ultimately, you shouldn’t be limited when it comes to loan choice with Citywide Home Loans.

Citywide Home Loans Mortgage Rates

At this time, Citywide Home Loans does not advertise mortgage rates on its website. As such, we can’t give you any information regarding pricing.

The same goes for any lender fees, such as a loan origination fee, the company may charge.

This is quite common, as many lenders choose to keep their rates and pricing private, and instead focus on customer service.

That doesn’t mean their interest rates aren’t low, it’s just that they don’t lead with them like some other lenders.

Be sure to gather quotes from multiple mortgage lenders to compare pricing to Citywide Home Loans to see where they stand.

While pricing isn’t everything, your mortgage could be with you for years to come, so it can make a big impact.

Citywide Home Loans Reviews

They’ve got the most customer reviews over at Trustpilot, where they enjoy a 4.8-star rating out of 5 based on nearly 3,500 reviews.

Citywide Home Loans is currently ranked third out of 14 mortgage lenders on Trustpilot based on their TrustScore, behind Gateway Mortgage and Accurate Mortgage Group.

On Zillow, they have a stellar 4.96-star rating out of 5, with some 1,250 reviews at last count.

The majority of reviews I saw indicated that both the mortgage rate and closing costs were lower than expected, which is a great sign.

Those looking to dig a little deeper can click on individual loan officer’s names to see all their customer reviews for a more complete picture.

While they are not accredited with the Better Business Bureau, they do have an A+ BBB rating based on transparency and customer complaint history.

Overall, they are a highly-rated mortgage lender on all the major review sites.

Citywide Home Loans Pros and Cons

The Good Stuff

  • Can apply for a home loan directly from their website or app
  • They offer a digital mortgage application
  • Free smartphone app for Apple or Android
  • Tons of loan programs to choose from
  • Excellent reviews from past customers
  • Free mortgage calculator on site
  • Offer bilingual lending services

The Potential Not-so-Good Stuff

  • Not licensed in all states at the moment
  • Do not advertise their mortgage interest rates
  • Do not list their lender fees on website

Published at Mon, 14 Sep 2020 15:33:42 +0000

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