Website Review – Manhattan Mortgage

“Interested in a particular transaction? A potential customer can input parameters such as property type, loan amount, and loan type.”

Manhattan Mortgage Company’s is all business and everything about it is accurate, functional and “on time.” It is money- oriented. The theme colors are black and white. The ambiance is sophisticated. What else would you expect from a New York mortgage company? And, in addition to its many functions, the main screen is something of an online Wall Street Journal.

After taking in the bond market headlines, most likely to grab your attention is “NY Metro Area Rates.” It is a scrolling frame displaying an array of mortgage programs and interest rates. A click on the scrolling frame loads more detailed information on their loan programs into the body of the website. “Rate Finder,” an express search for specific programs, replaces “Area Rates.” Rate Finder will bring up a matrix of all their programs sorted by loan type and loan amount. Something I found interesting is their default property type, Condo, with Co-op as the second selection. If you don’t know the difference between a Condo and a Co-op, you can read about it by clicking on their static header bar. You can also learn about Negative Pledge Financing. I did.

Rate Watch
Interested in a particular transaction? A potential customer can input parameters such as a property type, loan amount, and loan type. Then they can submit a request for a daily or weekly e-mail response for a matching loan. This is an inexhaustible scheme for generating leads. With the abundant array of programs now available, a creative loan originator can take almost any motivated homebuyer and find something for them

Apply Online
There are two selections: Express Application and Full Application. The site gives you the estimated time to complete each (5 to 10 minutes or 20 minutes), which I consider highly courteous. If you opt for the express application, one of their loan officers will call you for a preliminary discussion, if you have good credit. Be ready to spend some time filling out a loan application.

Something that you might find interesting is that, depending on your screen resolution, the website display may not fill your screen. My resolution is 1024 X 768 pixels, which is a large screen display. The standard is 800 X 600.

There is something that I like and don’t like about the design. What I like is that the designers of departed from the over-adhered to layout of placing large action buttons on the left, while duplicating the options with hypertext links in the header of the screen. Instead, they used the left side of the screen for something interesting and useful. (Scrolling rates, program info, etc.) In the year 2000, the average web surfer, especially one shopping for mortgage rates on the Internet, does not need big, ever-present footholds in a repetitive template.

The thing that I did not care for in the design is that the entire screen reloads as you navigate through the website. To a cable/DSL user, the extra loading time is not a big deal, but it does slow things down with a dial-up connection. The technique is to create the illusion of a constant section by making certain portions of each screen identical. The site changes the colors with different activities, which is a nice effect, but this could be done also in a static frame.

I rate this site as a good site because it has a great way of grabbing your attention with the news theme. Then it leads you into application functions in an easy fashion. The theme colors, starting with green and black, look money-like and fit in with the general theme of the product. Everything is organized and coherent. And, as I mentioned, it has a sophisticated appearance.

by Thor Skonnord