How Millennials Have Changed Mortgage Shopping in Seattle, WA

January 28, 2021
Last updated:
November 9, 2021
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Digitization of the mortgage industry has shifted the way people engage with the home buying process. Today’s mortgage market in Seattle has changed significantly from the landscape of just ten years ago. A large part of the change is the demographic of the current largest bloc of home buyers: millennials.

In This Article

As millennials continue to take over the mortgage market and become the biggest driver of home sales in Seattle, digital mortgages based on online engagement will continue to rise in demand.

Today’s Home Buyer: The Millennial

Millennials are the biggest global adult generation, and the approaches that worked with baby-boomers are next to useless with next-gen home buyers. Millions of millennials reach prime home-buying age each year, even adjusted for the later life purchases most in this demographic align with.

Millennials who have reached the home buying stage of their life generally fall into the birth years between 1981 and 1998. A full 72.1 million individuals strong in the USA, millennials may be living with their parents longer or settling for rental housing well into their thirties, but today this generation makes up 38% of home buyer demographics.

Even in the face of the pandemic, millennial home purchase loan originations jumped up to 53% from 49% from 2019 to 2020, and in Q2, millennials closed the most purchase loans of any generation.

As a result, lenders are having to rise to the dual challenge of meeting the needs of mortgage seekers. Millennials prefer a digital approach but also require deep-level personalization and real-time communication from their lender, and they aren’t afraid to shop around. They can be fiercely loyal, but their trust must first be earned.

Online Mortgage Shopping in Seattle

Mortgages in Seattle, like most of the rest of the country, have trended heavily to digital origination as home buyers have applied for preapprovals from the comfort of their homes. Millennials in particular prefer to begin the process online, often visiting multiple lender websites and comparing mortgage rates.

This is on-brand behavior for millennials, who also are more likely to comparison shop online for financial services and switch primary banks more than two and a half times as often as previous generations.

Seattle millennials or those hoping to move to Seattle for work are digital first creatures who want to find the best deal, not just the cheapest one. Buying a home is an even larger commitment for them than for previous generations, and they want to ensure their hard-earned cash is properly invested.

Mortgage lenders hoping to target millennials can benefit from online application and digital origination processes. Allowing mortgage preapprovals to be initiated online provides a seamless, partially, or mostly automated process, with a reduction in cycle time.

The results for customers include improved loan quality and better customer experience. Lender staff can enjoy increased productivity, thanks to consistent, defined workflows. Financial institutions gain lower-risk, preapproved customers, and reduced costs, plus more time to connect with millennials via their preferred channels and tailor products based on their unique personas.

Customer-facing user interfaces provide millennial borrowers the tools they need to work seamlessly with their loan officer and transaction coordinator. Apply for a mortgage preapproval online, securely upload important documents, track your Seattle home loan application status, and enjoy one-on-one personalized service from a dedicated loan officer during every step of the process.

Digital Mortgages and eNotes

Millennials are the original “Digital First” generation and are seeking mortgage options that are as seamless and hassle-free as possible. Streamlining mortgage applications and approvals by shifting as much of the process online as possible fits right in with busy schedules.

These home buyers don’t just prefer a digital mortgage or lending experience. They expect it. They are savvy with uploading and downloading documents, ready and willing to provide their data, and demanding when it comes to updates.

Millennial preferences coupled with pandemic constraints have driven exponential growth in the digital mortgage industry. According to Fannie Mae, electronic promissory notes (eNotes) jumped sharply from a mere 17,000 in October 2018 to more than 95,000 a year later. As of February 2020, the record high for eNotes registered in a single month came in at 19,240, with a reported 66% of borrowers leaning towards a fully digital process.

A whopping 95% of lenders use technology solution providers to deliver mortgages faster, cheaper, and more secure than traditional in-person lending. A digital mortgage can be completed on a single platform, with applications and required documents transmitted via a portal for a fully digitized process.

Digital is expected but millennials still want transparent communication and personalized service with their lenders.

Meeting Millennials Where They Are

Millennials shop for mortgages digitally over all other options, and it doesn’t stop at loan application. They find their homes online as well, with 78% of older millennials finding the home they will eventually buy through a mobile application. Millennial preferences for digital applications fuelled a shift to the digitization of the mortgage shopping process, and the pandemic simply accelerated the transformation.

Staying competitive hinges on the personal touch. Millennials use more financial apps than preceding or subsequent generations, with an average of four on their mobile device, and will happily switch to a new financial provider if they have a superior app.

Mortgage lending must stay up to date with the times and provide options for millennials that are both streamlined and personalized. It’s not enough to be digital enabled, it’s vital to provide the human touch. Full automation isn’t the goal, but highly augmented pathways for online mortgage shopping in Seattle are key.

Digital mortgages should make it easier, not harder to focus on borrowers. Mortgage seekers overall find the process disorienting and confusing, and by taking certain processes digital, lenders can free up time to provide real-time support from a human who is knowledgeable and capable.

Digital first is better than digital only in this industry, as millennials expect great customer service and often require multiple human touchpoints during the loan origination process.

At Sammamish, we understand how important it is to build trust and confidence in your loan agent. That’s why we streamline processes where we can but also provide real human support to make your Seattle home buying experience the best it can be. Shop for your mortgage today!

Today’s Mortgage Rates

Why Choose Sammamish Mortgage?

If you’re a millennial who is ready to start mortgage shopping in Seattle, you’re probably wondering what online mortgage shopping should look like and how to find the right lender. We understand how confusing it can be with so many options. That’s why we’ve made it easy to start your own mortgage preapproval process online.

Sammamish Mortgage has been in business since 1992 and has assisted many home buyers in the Pacific Northwest. If you are looking for mortgage financing in Washington State, we can help. Sammamish Mortgage offers mortgage programs in Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.

Contact us if you have any mortgage-related questions or concerns. If you are ready to move forward, you can view rates, obtain a customized instant rate quote, or apply instantly directly from our website.

Get an Instant Mortgage Rate Quote Today

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