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Trendmaker Homes Launches In-House Mortgage Services

Houston Business Journal | Paul Takahashi | May 5, 2015

A Houston luxury homebuilder has partnered with an Arizona-based mortgage company to offer in-house lending services to prospective homebuyers.

Trendmaker Homes recently launched TRI Pointe Connect, a joint venture between its parent company, TRI Pointe Group, and Scottsdale, Arizona-based iMortgage, a division of loanDepot LLC.

TRI Pointe Connect will make purchasing homes easier and more smooth by offering potential buyers an integrated team of homebuilding experts and mortgage loan consultants who will help design, build and finance a Trendmaker home, President Will Holder said.

Financing a home often is an arduous and complicated process, Holder said. Having a one-stop-shop service for both homebuilding and home financing helps ensure an open line of communication between the homebuilder, mortgage consultant and homebuyer and personalizes the homebuying process, he added.

“The advantage to the buyer is that they will have a more complete relationship with their builder,??? Holder said. “ Our job is really No. 1 to sell people a home they’re happy with and No. 2 to make it as easy and stress-free as we can from beginning to end.???

Several homebuilders offer mortgage services, particularly homebuilders who specialize in start homes. Entry-level homebuilders have integrated in-house mortgage services to ensure that prospective homebuyers are qualified to close on the home when they enter contract negotiations.

Clients of luxury homebuilders, like Trendmaker, don’t have many borrowing problems, Holder said. However, TRI Pointe Group and Trendmaker have decided to offer in-house mortgage services to ensure a high level of customer satisfaction, he said. Homebuyers can always choose to opt out of TRI Pointe Connect, and instead go with a mortgage company of their choice, he added.

“What has happened to builders is that we end up taking the blame for the problems associated with (the buyer’s) mortgage company,??? Holder said. “We have a lot of confidence in iMortgage to make sure the buyer meets all the closing deadlines.???

iMortgage will hire three or four mortgage specialists locally and work from an office in the same business complex as Trendmaker, Park Ten Place, in the Energy Corridor, Holder said. Prospective homebuyers can visit Trendmaker’s design center and then walk over to Imortgage to sort out their loan papers, he said.

TRI Pointe Group plans to launch in-house mortgage services to all of its homebuilders nationally by June. TRI Pointe Connect has started in Texas, Colorado, Arizona and Washington with services following in Maryland and Virginia branches in May and Nevada and California branches by the end of June.

TRI Pointe Group (NYSE: TPH) acquired Weyerhaeuser Real Estate Co.’s (NYSE: WY) homebuilding unit, which included Trendmaker, in one of the largest mergers in U.S. homebuilding history valued at about $2.8 billion. iMortgage is one of the nation’s largest non-bank retail mortgage lenders.

Read the full article here.

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