Sunday, May 13, 2001

What's the Buzz?


More home buyers are using Web to shop

By Jeff McKinney
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Refinancing a mortgage? Looking for a home? Trying to find the best interest rate? Click here.

        More than 86 percent of online consumers who bought a home or secured a mortgage or refinanced last year tapped into the Internet, according to a study by the Mortgage Bankers Association of America, one of the real estate finance industry's largest trade groups.

        The survey of 1,005 Internet users who bought or obtained a new mortgage in 2000 also found that 82 percent used the Web to shop for a home, 75 percent clicked for the best interest rate and 66 percent searched for details on the home-buying process.

        Moreover, 56 percent went online to get information about getting a loan, 32 percent found a broker or lender on the Internet and 17.1 percent applied for a mortgage electronically.

        The trend is being played out in the Tristate as well.

        Greater Cincinnati real estate experts say more consumers locally are using the Web to help make home-buying or mortgage-related decisions.

        “The Internet is being used by more and more people for everything, and real estate searches is a popular area for that,” said Eugene Snavley, executive director of the Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors. He said the group's Web site has had more than 4 million visitors since it was launched five years ago.

        Dan Brady, owner of Tristate Mortgage in Montgomery and a 20-year mortgage executive, said many people are using the Internet as an information source before meeting with their lender.

        “In some cases, they're using it to see if they pre-qualify for a mortgage, to see how much they could borrow or just see what different mortgage programs or options are available,” Mr. Brady said.

        Have a tip about a Tristate company that should be included in our Buzz? E-mail business@enquirer.com.

       



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