|Mortgage & Refinancing Information|
Selecting the Right Mortgage for You
A mortgage is a loan you take out to buy a home. This loan covers the "principal" (purchase price of the house minus your down payment) plus the "interest," which is the fee a lender charges you to borrow the money.
There are various types of mortgages, including Fixed-rate, Adjustable-rate, Balloon, VA, FHA, and FmHA. It is important to select the one that is right for you.
With a fixed-rate mortgage, your interest rate stays the same, or "fixed," throughout the term of the loan. Therefore, your mortgage payment stays predictably the same, making it easier to plan your spending each month. However, lenders typically charge a higher interest rate to make up for the lost income that could be gained from a rate increase. Charging a higher interest rate lowers the total amount you can borrow. And though you're protected from rising interest rates, you're also stuck with a certain rate even if the going rates fall.
The most common fixed-rate mortgages are 15-year and 30-year, which refer to the time you have to pay off the loans. The interest rate on a 15-year mortgage is usually lower than a 30-year mortgage, meaning you'll pay less over the life of the loan. But your monthly payments will be higher since you have half the time to pay off the mortgage.
Adjustable-rate mortgages are also called ARMs or adjustables. These mortgages typically start off with a lower "teaser" interest rate that stays fixed for a specified time, and then "adjusts" periodically depending on changes in the market interest rate. The risk to you is that the interest rate-tied to a money market index such as the one-year U.S. Treasury bill or certificates of deposit-will fluctuate, and so will your payment. Your lender can tell you the highest possible monthly payment you would owe if the interest rate hit its max, or cap. You must be sure you can afford it!
A good reason for considering an ARM is if you don't plan to stay in your home for very long; another is if you're sure your income will increase enough to cover the maximum payment possible. And, of course, if interest rates go down, so will your payments. With these loans, the lender is taking less risk since he or she gets to charge you more interest when the rates go up. As a result, you can typically borrow a larger amount, making it possible to buy a home you wouldn't otherwise be able to afford.
An example of an ARM is the 10/1 ARM. This loan has a fixed interest rate (and monthly payment) for the first 10 years, with an annual (that's what the "1" in "10/1" refers to) adjustment to the interest rate for the next 20 years of a 30-year loan. The lower the first number, (for example 7/1 ARM, 3/1 ARM or even 6-month ARM), the lower your initial interest rate. How often rates are adjusted is established at the time you apply for your loan.
Balloon loans have a lower interest rate than a fixed-rate mortgage. The interest rate stays stable for a specified time-such as five, seven or ten years. But when that time is up, you still have to pay off the entire balance of the loan. Borrowers consider balloon loans when they don't qualify for a traditional mortgage, or during periods of high interest rates. The idea is to refinance when the loan balance is due.
VA, FHA and FmHA mortgages
If you have less than 20% of the purchase price to apply to a down payment, you can ask your lender about loans guaranteed by the government organizations below. These mortgages offer competitive interest rates, with little to no money down, such as:
* Veteran's Administration (VA) mortgage: Qualifying veterans can get VA loans with no money down for houses valued at up to $203,000.
* Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage: Designed for people with modest income, these mortgages usually require a down payment of around 3% to 5% of the purchase price and offer competitive interest rates.
* Farmers Home Administration (FmHA) mortgage:. These no-money-down loans are for individuals with limited income who prefer to live in rural communities. Interest can be as low as 1%.
Here are some important questions to ask your lender to help determine which loan is right for you:
? Penalties. Can you pay off the loan early without prepayment penalties?
? Insurance and taxes. What are the provisions for homeowners insurance and property taxes? With some loans, lenders insist you pay these expenses directly to them on a prorated basis, while they hold the money in a separate escrow account. The insurance and tax bills come straight to the lender, who then pays them with your money.
? Loan limitations. Are there limitations on your right to borrow additional money from another source to facilitate your closing?
? Interest rates/mortgage balance. Will your mortgage balance increase if interest rates go up? This is called "negative amortization," and it's as bad as it sounds! It has to do with adjustable-rate mortgages that place limits on the increase in your monthly payment without capping the interest rate. The result is that if interest rates go way up, your payments don't cover all the interest on your loan, and so your mortgage balance increases. Your balance is supposed to amortize-or gradually decrease over time. With negative amortization, the reverse is true!
? Assumable mortgage. Is the mortgage assumable? When you sell your home, can the buyer take over what's left of your loan balance? Most assumable mortgages are adjustable-rate rather than fixed-rate mortgages.
? Second mortgage/home equity loan. Can you borrow additional money against the home with a second mortgage or a home equity loan at a later date?
? Selling limitations. Are there limitations on selling the property without paying off the loan?
? Total cost. What is the total cost of the loan, including service charges, appraisal fees, survey costs, escrow fees, etc.?
? What is a "point"?
Lenders make money on the interest they charge. "Points," (also known as "loan origination fees"), are up-front interest to compensate the lender for processing your mortgage. Each point equals 1% of the loan. For example, if you borrow $200,000, one point would equal $2000. Points are also referred to as "discount points" because usually the more points you pay, the lower the interest rate is, saving you money in the long haul. "Zero-point" loans exist, but the trade-off is you'll pay a higher interest rate, making for higher monthly payments over the life of the loan. Points, like interest rates, are negotiable; try to make them fit your situation.
Do your homework!
Since knowledge about the various options will affect your monthly mortgage payments for the next 30 years, it is important that you do your homework! Then consult your real estate attorney or another trusted source to discuss your options until you feel you can make the best choice for your situation.
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Key an Eye on Your Mortgage Payments
In previous decades, when a borrower missed a payment on a mortgage, the lender would often consider them one month behind until they eventually caught up. Most lenders would impose a late fee and other interest or penalties, tacking them onto the back end of the loan as long as the lender stayed current with the rest of their payments.
Should You Choose to Refinance?
Refinancing has become a valid option for many individuals with high interest rates on their mortgage. Refinancing is essentially a replacement loan, with a different lender and (hopefully) a lower interest rate.
Home Owner Loans Explained
How To Release Equity Locked Up In Your Home For Immediate Use.Free up the monetary worth tied up in your property by asking your financial advisor for information on a secured home owner loan.
Tips For First Home Buyers On Getting Home Loans
Buying your first home will likely be the biggest and most important purchase you will ever make. It can be a very stressful and may even leave you sleepless for nights on end wondering whether you are making the right decision - especially where choosing the right home loan is concerned.
Lesser Known Facts About Home Equity Loans
Refinancing your debt via a home equity loan shifts your debts loan to your home. The flip side to such a move is that your home is on the line.
Home Equity Loan - Good Choice for Luxury Purchases?
Home equity loans or lines of credit have increased dramatically in popularity in recent years. One of the reasons is that interest rates are at or near historic lows; borrowing money has rarely been more affordable.
Home Mortgages: Think Before You Borrow
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Is an ARM Right For You?
Let's start by taking a look at 7 key elements of an adjustable rate mortgage:1) ARM defined: While a fixed rate loan is constant and never changes throughout the life of the loan, an adjustable rate mortgage changes periodically. The interest rate of an ARM goes up and down based on whatever external index it is tied to.
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The Real Truth About Those: Online Get a Better Loan Web Sites - 6 Things to Look For
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Being a creature of habit can cost you plenty when it comes to applying for a commercial mortgage instead of going through an independent commercial mortgage broker. Let me tell you why.
Mortgage Sales Hit Problems
The housing market has been buoyant over the past few years, but mortgage providers and first-time buyers are both now facing a tough time. Following announcements from the Bank of England that there has been an overall decline in the total number of UK home-buyers, and a declaration from the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) that the number of disputes concerning mis-sold mortgage endowments has now hit record levels, it seems that mortgage lenders are facing a bleak time.
Refinancing Your Home Mortgage - Get Up To 125% Cash From Your Homes Value
With the low interest rates being offered by lenders today, now can be the perfect time to refinance your existing mortgage. Remember that you do not have to refinance your home through the same lender that provided your initial mortgage.
Types of Mortgages
Here is a useful guide to the different types of mortgages that are available.A mortgage is a loan you take out to buy property.
Reverse Mortgages - A Tax Free Income For Senior Citizens
I fully realize if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is and There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch (TANSTAAFL) immediately jumped into your head when you read the title of this article. However, if you are 62 or over, you may have just found the goose that laid the golden egg.
Homeowner Loans - Whats Available?
It isn't difficult to get a homeowner loan if you own your own home, hundreds of UK lenders will lend up to 95% Loan to Value of your property and some as much as 125% Loan to Value if you find you have little or no equity at all.Homeowner loans are available to those that own or pay a mortgage on their house, bungalow, flat or cottage.
Home Equity Loan - Beware of the lingering lien!
A problem that often arises when people try to refinance their home is the discovery of a pre-existing lien from a previous loan that was not removed by the lending company. The cost of removing a lien and returning the title to the homeowner, a process known as reconveyance, is usually included in fees associated with a home equity loan.
Home Loan Applications Made Easy
You have finally found the home of your dreams. You have searched all over and are ready to purchase it.
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