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Reali Loans mortgage review

This lender charges no lender fees or commissions, but availability is severely limited.

finder.com’s rating: 2.1 / 5.0

★★★★★

Previously known as Lenda before being acquired by real-estate broker Reali, Reali Loans offers a paperless approach to mortgages and a cash offer option that can better position homebuyers in a competitive market. But its product range, customer service options and state availability are limited.

Details

Loan products offeredConventional, Refinance
Minimum credit scoreConventional: 620
Minimum down payment (Conventional)3%
State availabilityOnly available in: AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, IL, MD, MI, OR, PA, TN, TX, VA, WA
NMLS #991397

Our take on Reali Loans

Reali’s loan products for new homebuyers are only available in select markets in California — San Francisco Bay, Orange County, Sacramento and Long Beach — so its availability is severely limited. And with only a few mortgage options to choose from, Reali is likely best suited for borrowers with good credit who want a fully online experience.

If you happen to be looking to purchase a home in one of these four California markets, Reali Loans could be worthwhile. It offers a fully digital mortgage experience, but you also have access to a human loan officer in case you need assistance.

It doesn’t charge lender fees, which can normally run a couple of thousand dollars. And it also offers a cash rebate up to 1% on new home purchases over $249,999, helping you save even more money on your mortgage.

Everything considered, if you like the idea of a tech-driven mortgage process at a lower cost compared to many other lenders, Reali is worth considering. But it being limited only to California means all other homebuyers will have to look elsewhere.

Reali Loans requirements

As of September 2021, Reali Loans is only servicing California for new home purchases. However, its refinance loans are currently available in 14 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Washington.

To qualify for a loan with this provider, you’ll need to be a US citizen, permanent resident or nonpermanent resident.

Documentation

Though required documents can vary, gather the following information before you apply:

  • W2s and 1099s from the past two years
  • Personal tax returns from the past two years
  • Current monthly housing expenses such as rent or mortgage payments
  • Driver’s license, state ID or passport
  • Bank statements from the past two months
  • Business tax returns from the past two years, if self-employed

Costs and fees

Reali doesn’t charge lender fees or commissions. However, you may be required to pay an origination fee depending on the home loan you choose. Rather than a lender fee, it’s the mortgage points you’re required to pay in exchange for choosing a mortgage with a lower rate.

On the other hand, Reali also offers a lender credit for choosing a loan option with a higher interest rate.

And like with any home purchase, you’ll have to pay common third-party fees. Reali offers an estimate of the third-party fees you can expect to pay, which you can find in the details of each loan option you qualify for.

Keep in mind that these fees are only for the loan. If you decide to use Reali real estate agents to help you find and purchase a house, those fees will be separate.

How to apply for a mortgage with Reali Loans

Although Reali offers a fully online application process, it’s a bit cumbersome at times, and there are some redundancies that could be eliminated to streamline the process. In any case, here’s how to apply for a mortgage with Reali Loans.

  1. Go to Reali’s website and select Loans from the navigation menu.
  2. Choose I’m Buying A House and provide details about where you are in the homebuying process and details about the property itself.
  3. Enter your credit score range, provide the estimated purchase price and down payment, then select Save Progress.
  4. Sign up for an account. Once finished and logged in, hit Get Rates.
  5. Choose a loan option and select Get Pre-Approved.
  6. Provide more details about where you are in the homebuying process, agree to the terms and conditions and select Continue.
  7. Enter personal information such as name, phone number, marital status and current address. Hit Continue when finished.
  8. Provide additional information about the property you would like to purchase, additional personal information such as your Social Security number and date of birth, information about your assets and income and information about any real estate you own.
  9. Fill out disclosure forms, enter your US citizenship status and provide demographic information.
  10. Answer any additional questions and review your application, then hit Submit.

After submitting your application, you’ll need to upload any relevant documents so Reali can verify your information as your application moves through processing and underwriting. Provided certain underwriting requirements are met, you’ll receive a conditional approval. If all the details of the loan are correct, you’ll then move on to a final approval, at which point you can close on your new home.

What types of mortgages can I get through Reali?

  • Conventional
  • FHA
  • VA
  • USDA
  • Jumbo
This company accepts mortgage refinance applications.

Other mortgage products offered by Reali Loans

  • High-Balance loans. These types of loans are designed for mortgages that exceed the Federal conforming loan limits but don’t exceed the loan limit for the high-cost area where the property is located.
  • Reali Trade-In. Move into your new home before your old one sells. Reali will clean, prep, stage and list your old home for you.
  • Reali Invest. Consult with a Reali Invest pro on your next real estate investment.
  • Reali Cash Offer. Reali places a cash offer on your behalf, and you purchase the home from Reali.
  • Reali Cash Back. For new homes over $249,999, up to 1% of the purchase price comes back to you as a cash rebate after closing.

How Reali Loans mortgage products compare to other lenders

Reali offers a select few common mortgage products, including conventional, conforming and refinance loans. The limited offering is pretty standard for an emerging digital lender. However, by not offering FHA, VA or USDA government-backed loans, Reali trails most traditional lenders and the variety of mortgage products they typically offer their customers.

Reali Loans reviews and complaints

Reali has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is fully accredited as of October 2021. With only one customer review, Reali is rated 1 out of 5 stars. The solitary customer review complained mostly about the company’s disorganization.

Over on Trustpilot, Reali is rated 4.7 out of 5 stars with a total of 332 customer reviews. Satisfied customers describe a smooth homebuying process and prompt responses and service from loan officers.

Customers on Zillow have a similar sentiment as those on Trustpilot, rating the lender 4.49 out of 5 stars based on a total of 102 reviews.

Pros and cons of Reali Loans

Reali offers homebuyers several perks, but be mindful of where the company falls a bit short.

Pros

  • Fully online process. From supporting documentation to signing off on your loan, Reali’s mortgage application takes place entirely online.
  • No lender fees. Thanks to its online lending model, Reali can offer its fixed-rate home loans without any lender fees or commissions.
  • Speedy funding. Get a mortgage in as few as 21 days. However, the timeline can take up to 45 days, depending on your situation and the type of loan.
  • Cash rebate. For home purchase prices over $249,999, Reali will give you a 1% cash rebate after close.
  • Quick loan decision. After you submit your application, a Reali loan officer contacts you within one business day.
  • Reali Cash Offer. Reali places a cash offer for you, strengthening your position as a buyer, and you purchase the home from Reali after closing.

Cons

  • Limited availability. Reali is currently only servicing California for new home purchases.
  • Limited support. Reali is an online lender, which means support is limited to email and phone inquiries weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT.
  • Can’t use your own agent. Customers already working with an agent are not able to buy their home through the Reali App.
  • Appraisal deposit. Though refundable in most cases, it means needing more cash up front. The deposit varies depending on your location but is usually between $400 and $750. If your mortgage application is denied or you decide not to move forward with your loan, Reali will refund your deposit less any appraisal costs already incurred.

What is Reali Loans?

Reali is a real estate technology platform that enables home buying and selling transactions. The company was founded in 2016 and is headquartered in San Mateo, California.

In April 2019, Reali acquired online lender Lenda and rebranded it as Reali Loans. This allowed the company to reposition itself as a direct lender in addition to its real estate services, making it a one-stop shop for homebuyers.

Although Reali is a direct lender, the company doesn’t originate mortgages. Once your loan is finalized, Reali will send it to another company to service.

Alternatives to Reali Loans

If you like the Reali model — fully digital with low fees — but live outside California, there are some other comparable lenders to consider.

Better is another digital lender that doesn’t charge lender fees, but it’s available in most states across the country. It also offers FHA loans in addition to conventional, jumbo and refinance loans.

PennyMac is also a highly rated digital lender and is currently waiving origination fees through December 31, 2021. It’s available in even more states throughout the country and offers VA and USDA loans in addition to conventional, FHA and refinance home loans.

Also, compare these lenders and lender marketplaces by the type of home loan you’re searching for, state availability and minimum credit score (for a conventional loan). Select See rates to provide the company with basic property and financial details for personalized rates.

Name Product Loan products offered State availability Min. credit score
SoFi
(NMLS #1121636)
SoFi
Conventional, Home equity, Refinance
Not available in: HI, MO, NM, NY, WV
620
No hidden fees, multiple loan terms, and member discounts available.
Rocket Mortgage
(NMLS #3030)
Rocket Mortgage
Conventional, Jumbo, FHA, VA, Refinance
Available in all states
620
Streamline your mortgage from quote to final payment — all from your computer or phone.
Better
(NMLS #330511)
Better
Conventional, Jumbo, FHA, Refinance
Not available in: HI, MA, MN, NV, NH, VT, VA
620
Online preapproval in minutes and no origination fees with this direct lender.
LendingTree
(NMLS #1136)
LendingTree
Conventional, Jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA, Home Equity, HELOC, Reverse, Refinance
Available in all states
620
Connect with vetted home loan lenders quickly through this online marketplace.
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