Founded in 1921, the Seattle-based HomeStreet Bank provides banking and financing options to those living on, near or just off the West Coast. The regional lender provides a variety of mortgage types to homebuyers in its native Washington, as well as Oregon, Arizona, Hawaii and, as of 2013, California.
HomeStreet Bank Overview
Continental Mortgage and Loan Company was founded in 1921 and managed to survive the Great Depression in part by becoming one of Fannie Mae’s first customers in 1938. Over the decades, Continental eventually emerged as one of the Pacific Northwest’s most significant independent sources of mortgage funds.
Today, Continental is known as HomeStreet Bank, a Seattle-based lender with more than 110 branches spread across the western United States and Hawaii.
The institution’s assets have grown to $7 billion as of 2018, and it now employs over 1,200 mortgage employees, while continuing the impressive growth that has allowed it to continue expanding for nearly a century.
HomeStreet Bank offers an extensive portfolio of loan options to borrowers of differing financial abilities, including fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages of varying terms. Government-backed FHA, VA, and USDA loans are also offered to qualifying borrowers.
In addition to conventional loans, HomeStreet Bank offers jumbo loans that cover up to $3 million.
Despite receiving several regional awards, HomeStreet Bank is not featured on our list of the best mortgage rates of 2018.
Current HomeStreet Bank Mortgage Rates
HomeStreet Bank Mortgage Options
HomeStreet Bank provides borrowers with a relatively comprehensive list of loan options to choose from, including conventional, jumbo and government-backed mortgages.
With a fixed-rate mortgage, the interest rate remains the same throughout the entire term of the loan, rather than adjusting over time. It allows borrowers to choose between 10-, 15-, 20- and 30-year fixed-rate mortgages.
The shorter loan terms require more substantial payments but typically carry smaller interest rates, making them a good choice for those who can afford to pay off their mortgage quickly or expect to sell the property relatively quickly. Conversely, longer loan terms make sense for those who expect to live in their new home for many years to come.
An adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) carries a lower interest rate at the start of the loan term, then eventually adjusts to higher rates after a set number of years.
HomeStreet Bank provides 5/1, 7/1, 10/1, and in select cases, 15/1 ARMs, meaning the interest rate is fixed for the first five, seven, ten, or fifteen years of the mortgage, then fluctuates annually according to the market. Borrowers who can pay off the loan before the rate begins to adjust can benefit from an ARM loan.
The maximum value that can be assigned to a conventional loan is $453,100, according to the limit set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2018. Loans that exceed that maximum require jumbo mortgages, which HomeStreet Bank provides in the form of both fixed-rate and adjustable loans.
The lender will cover loans of up to $3 million, requiring as little as five percent down for loan amounts up to $625,500 and ten percent down for loans up to $850,000.
Borrowers with a credit score of 580 or higher can potentially qualify for loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration, which can be obtained with as little as 3.5 percent down. The relatively low credit minimum and down payment requirements make FHA loans very popular with first-time homebuyers.
If you are a veteran, active service member, or surviving military spouse, you may qualify for a VA loan, which requires no down payment and no mortgage insurance. The Department of Veterans Affairs guarantees VA loans issued by HomeStreet Bank.
USDA loans, like FHA and VA loans, are government-backed mortgages that HomeStreet Bank Mortgage offers to qualified candidates. These are designed to provide more affordable financing options to low- or moderate-income homebuyers purchasing property in rural areas.
HomeStreet Bank Application
Though HomeStreet Bank has a history that dates back to the early twentieth century, the financial institution’s mortgage application process has clearly entered the twenty-first.
Borrowers can fill out an application online and will be provided with a quote upon completion, though a Social Security Number is required as part of the process. HomeStreet Bank’s website is also easy to navigate, with thorough explanations of each loan type, along with links to homebuyer assistance programs and resources for first-time homebuyers.
It even offers a mobile mortgage app that allows you to calculate monthly mortgage payments, scan documents to your loan officer and keep track of the loan process.
However, those who prefer the old-fashioned approach can also speak with a loan officer on the phone, or at any of the bank’s branches in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Hawaii or California.
HomeStreet Bank is a long-running regional lender that has won many awards for its community involvement, including a 2013 Innovative Community Banks of the Year Award, a 2014 Community Spirit Award, and a 2015 Community Commitment Award.
HomeStreet Bank Lender Grades
After nearly a century in business, HomeStreet Bank has built up a solid reputation, and has been profiled for its “honest, practical and diverse mortgage lending services.” Additionally, the company’s Seattle headquarters has received an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
HomeStreet Bank is also a BBB accredited business and has only had eight customer complaints, which were closed in the past three years.
- Information collected on Dec. 26, 2018
HomeStreet Bank Mortgage Qualifications
|Non-traditional credit history considered?||Debt-to-income requirements?||Minimum down payment requirements?||Gift funds or down payment programs accepted?||Minimum credit scores?|
|Yes||Varies for different loan products||As low as 0% for VA and USDA loans, 3% for some conventional loans, and 5% for certain jumbo loans||Gift funds accepted for some loan products and several down payment programs available||580 for FHA loans, no minimum for HARP refinance loans|
Government-backed VA and USDA loans are available with no money down for qualified applicants. Some conventional loans can be acquired for as little as 3 percent down, depending on the borrower’s credit status.
For jumbo loans, five percent down is required for loan amounts up to $625,500 and ten percent down for amounts up to $850,000.HomeStreet Bank advertises itself as a flexible lender willing to work with borrowers of limited means.
As such, it will consider non-traditional credit history mortgage applications, as well as gift funds and several state-specific down payment assistance programs, many of which are grants that don’t require taking on extra debt.
Minimum credit scores vary by loan product, with FHA loans only requiring a score of 580. Additionally, there is no credit minimum for Home Affordable Refinance Program loans.