January 2017 - The World's Local Bank

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

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54 | TH E M R EP O RT O R I G I NAT I O N S E R V I C I N G DATA G O V E R N M E N T S E C O N DA R Y M A R K E T THE LATEST DATA Consumers Spend More Time Shopping for TVs Than Mortgages Many consumers are interested in purchasing a home but lack the financial education and know-how to shop for a mortgage. A substantial number of would-be homebuy- ers lack the financial education to navigate the homebuying process, accord- ing to a recent survey from Sente Mortgage. And according to Sente Mortgage CEO Tom Rhodes, it's up to the industry to step in and provide potential homebuyers with the education they need. In fact, the survey found that consumers are more likely to spend more time buying a TV than a mortgage. "The homebuying process is complex, and it's clear that for many of today's consumers, gaps in financial education are leading to some risky purchase behaviors," said Rhodes. "Unfortunately, many of the most valuable resources available to buyers go grossly under utilized, but with the right guidance and support, owning a home can be one of the biggest contributing factors to long-term financial success. Our goal is to help bridge that education gap to enable confident, lower-risk home- purchase decisions and ultimately, give everyone that chance." Nearly half of the 300 survey respondents (44 percent) said that buying a home was so stressful and intimidating that choosing a career or the next president was less stressful. While 92 percent of respondents said they believe own - ing a home is a better long-term financial decision than renting, only 30 percent said they knew where to start the homebuying process. Approximately 59 percent said they had financial education, but 20 percent said they did not feel like they were prepared to make the decision. "We have customers who get that owning a home is a better decision, but after that, they have no clue," Rhodes said. "In many senses, this is a bit of a wakeup call. We have customers that have basic needs that we're not taking care of. Our marketing messages may be very transactional, and what this is saying to me is that people want something more than that. They want education, they want a relationship, they need to be taught what they don't know. I think consumers don't want to play in sandboxes that they don't know anything about. It's uncomfortable and they're wor - ried about being taken advantage of. To me, one of the background challenges is that people want to buy a home, they don't want a mortgage. We have a product that helps facilitate the big thing. The thing that people want. But it's not something they're seeking out, and further, we haven't done a good job of educating them on how to be prepared for it." In order to better educate po - tential or future homebuyers, one of the things Rhodes believes the industry can do is support financial education programs in schools so that kids are better prepared when they graduate. Another possibility is a standardized education process. "American consumers aren't going to spend a lot of time wor - rying about getting a mortgage

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