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Show HN: Hack Your Mortgage (mortgagehippo.com)
51 points by jafridi 370 days ago | 47 comments



I greatly appreciate that you let me go through the whole interview without giving any personal information other than property address. It would be even nicer if I didn't have to give that. Would a zip code be sufficient?

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I was able to enter just "Portland, OR" and move on. If that is sufficient, maybe the labeling could be clearer?

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Yeah we only really need your city and state to give accurate results. We will try to clarify the labeling.

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Does county matter? It didn't seem to work with New York City (which is composed of 5 different counties). I had to type in New York, NY; it didn't recognize either my zip code or Brooklyn, NY.

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Sorry about that, looks like we need to work on that functionality a bit. It actually lets you type just brooklyn, but not brooklyn, ny. Don't ask me why... we'll try to improve that.

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I might give a fake address in the same zip code.

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Zip code is enough

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I ran through this for real. Here are two major issues that made this not really work for me:

The mobile experience on an iPhone left a bit to be desired. It was responsive, but not totally and I found myself panning incorrectly because of the use of modals (I.e. The phone was panning the background and not the modal). I can't emphasize enough how clunky it was. I was technically able to do everything but it was not a polished experience.

Also, it fails to ask if I have a home equity line of credit. I happen to have done an 80/10/10 when I bought my house. That makes it look as though I've got way more equity than I really do based on the questions. There is also no way to indicate if I want to consolidate said line of credit into a single mortgage as part of a refinance.

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Thanks very much for your constructive feedback. We are currently working on significantly improving the mobile experience. We are also improving our interview for customers looking to refinance (since we've been primarily focused on purchases) and will take your comment into account. Your suggestions were right on point. I hope you will give us another chance in the future. Thanks again.

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You're quite welcome! Definitely would love to try again in the future. Best of luck to you guys!

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A quick follow up: we just made a push to make the interview fully responsive and optimized for mobile. Would love to have you check it out and see what you think. Thanks!

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I really like the interview process, and I feel like the questions are smart and relevant, while not repeating the same boring questions every mortgage calculator has. Very well done.

Why Hippo?

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Why not? Well actually it started because hippoteca in spanish / latin means mortgage and we were building this for the spanish speaking market at first (and called Hippoteq). We pivoted to the broader market but the hippo remains.

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I just bought a home a few months ago, so I went through your process to see what results I got. It offered a 30-year loan at 4.0%. Is that really possible? It also quoted me $2900 in closing costs. I think my actual closing costs were more like $10k! If so, I wish your app had been around 6 months ago. But I'm skeptical you could actually deliver on that.

Also, as a self-employed freelancer, the paperwork to qualify for a loan was immense. If you can reduce that, that'd be awesome too.

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Sorry you had to go through the hassle when you went through the process. The rates that you see on the site are 100% real, and we do our best to quote the most precise fees – however, fees do vary from area to area. We also don't charge a percentage of the loan amount, since it doesn't make much sense to charge more for a $300,000 loan than for a $100,000 loan. Also, as a result of our technology and automation, we're able to pass the savings on to customers.

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Okay, I was curious enough I got out my paperwork. Looks like my origination fee was a lot higher. But my closing costs also included lots of escrow for property taxes and homeowners insurance, and I guess it makes sense to leave that out. So I don't feel too bad. :-) Congrats on a great tool!

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Ok yeah that makes sense. Thanks again for the comment. Let us know when you're looking to refi :)

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It would be nice if I could put in my information and my current fixed rate and when at any point in the future it would be able to get me a cheaper loan or a loan at X rate it would notify me. In the past I have simply spoken to a mortgage seller and told him to contact me if he could ever get me a rate X, it took a while, but when he finally could he gave me a ring and I locked it in before the rate went up again. Systematizing that would have value.

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Very good point and currently in the works!

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As you complete each "stage" it brings you back to the map and the user then has to take an undirected action. Honestly what was going through my head each time was "should I continue or close the window" rather than automatically going to the next window and continuing. Check your logs to see where users are abandoning your funnel. If it is between stages that is probably where you want to make a tweak.

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This is a good comment. When we put this together we thought that answering too many questions in a row can start to feel boring, so we can add some variety by letting you find your way to the next question. But a fair point that this is a good time to think about leaving. We'll have to ponder that one and maybe run an A/B test to see the impact. Thanks!

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Interesting. This is something to look into further and possibly tweak, so thank you for the insight!

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"Brooklyn, ny" and variants thereof not found, including "New York, NY" and "New York, New York", and plain zip code

Also my payment doesn't include escrow for taxes and insurance, so asking for that monthly number requires back of the envelope math to continue, as well as seeming like a distraction to me, since taxes and insurance likely won't be affected by a refinance.

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This is great. The only immediate UX thing I can think of right now is to make the popup for the loans a little easier to dismiss (like clicking anywhere outside of the lightbox should dismiss it).

The only other thing I can think of is being able to tweak numbers after seeing the proposed loans. But then again it's great for not even creating an account.

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Thanks!

Great feedback on making it easier to dismiss the popups.

You can actually change some of the main numbers when you hit the loan results page. Did you not see the expandable section near the top? If not, that's great feedback and we'll make it clearer.

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Actually you can tweak some of the numbers if you click "show filters". We are working on adding more advanced tweaking functionality there.

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The interview UX is well done. Definitely didn't feel intimidated or bored answering those questions.

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Awesome! That's exactly what we're going for.

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This does not take into account real estate taxes.

For the house I'm about to buy, it says the mortgage would be 1730$. That would be extremely nice, except that I have 830$ of monthly taxes.

So it's actually no where near that.

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Thanks for your comment. We do provide an estimate of real estate taxes once you go into the loan details page for a loan. Real estate taxes vary widely by area, so what you see is an estimate. Please let us know if you have additional comments. This is all great feedback and we highly appreciate it.

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It seems this is highly misleading, or even illegal. Your NMLS license only shows you can originate in Illinois, yet you are showing me information for another state (California).

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Thanks for your comment. We're currently waiting on our CA license. Nonetheless, we're not taking mortgage applications or getting paid in any way in states where we're not licensed. There's nothing wrong with simply showing rates.

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Is this is a US only offering? I don't want to register if it is.

Also it failed at the first hurdle for me. I don't rent or own. (I am deposit saving with in-laws)

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Thanks for your feedback. This is passed on to our dev team to take into account other living arrangements like yours. And yes, t is a US-only offering at the moment. Thanks again.

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I went through with 20% downpayment, a 740+ score and a loan amount of about $500k, and it didn't return any results. I find this level of scrutiny a bit hard to swallow.

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Care to share what you entered for debts or if you had any derogatory events in the past two years?

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In the input fields that start with $0, hitting backspace makes the $0 disappear then reappear. I quickly realized you could just type, but it was a bit jarring.

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The overall experience was pretty nice, but yeah, this kind of kept throwing me. I also didn't like how the pop-up window I was typing in kept resizing all over the place.

But still, pretty cool.

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Your system doesn't seem to take into account the different "high cost area" definition of "jumbo loan"...

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Thanks for your comment. We're in the process of adjusting jumbo loan limits for different regions.

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> When are you looking to buy a home?

I said, "refinance", so maybe "When are you looking to refinance?".

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Thank you for catching this!

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Interesting. One suggestion - the page should scroll as you progress along to keep the current waypoint in view

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Great suggestion that we'll definitely take into consideration. Thanks for the comment!

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[deleted]

We have your info. Now quick, delete this message before your employer sees it :)

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The server is currently painfully slow at this time.

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Juicing up the server as we speak. Thanks!

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