How To Choose The Best Mortgage What Is Homestead Protection Refinancing Your House Mortgage 3 Reasons To Refinance While Rates Are Low Things I Learned When I Refinanced My Home
A mortgage is a financial investment which involves a large amount of money, and it is important for you to do your research before deciding which company you want to go with. While many mortgage professionals are honest, they are looking for a large commission in helping you obtain a loan, and will often look out for the best interests of their job rather than you. Because of this it is important to take the steps necessary to insure you get the best possible deal.
How Is Your Credit?
The first thing you should do before applying for a mortgage loan is to review your credit report. Errors on your credit history can lead to an increase on the interest rate and cost of the mortgage. This is something you want to avoid. It is also important to understand the terms used in the agreement.
Which Type Of Mortgage?
You should know what type of mortgage you are applying for and how it fits in with your financial goals. Do you want a mortgage with an interest rate which fluctuates, or would you rather have one that is fixed?
Which Mortgage Company?
This is one of the questions you will need to answer when choosing which mortgage company you want to use. You should also know how much money you need to borrow and how much you can afford to pay each month. If there are certain things you don’t understand, you should consult a professional. There are many counseling services which are available to assist you. Like any financial expense which involves large amounts of money, you should shop around to find the best service.
Adding Up All The Costs
Many different companies will have a variety of different closing costs and interest rates. Your goal should be to find the company which offers the best service for the lowest price. Some lenders will try to estimate the cost of the closing, and this is something you don’t want. You want the exact prices, not estimates. If the company can’t give you the exact cost of all the fees up front, it would probably best for you to take your business some place else.
You Can Always Walk Away
It is also important to make sure you aren’t pressured into signing any agreements. Be wary of any lenders who try to get you to borrow more money than you need. If they try to pressure into getting the loan, this generally means they are more concerned with making money than helping you get the best mortgage. Companies like this should be avoided. If you don’t understand certain terms of the agreement, ask that a copy be made of it so that it can be reviewed with a lawyer before choosing to sign it.
Honesty Is The Only Way
Never put false information on your loan application, even if the loan officer urges you to do so. Loan officers who do this should be reported to the FTC. It is also a good idea to avoid purchasing credit insurance which is not necessary. If you feel that you need insurance, contact other companies other than your lender to see what deals they offer. At the closing you should make sure you carefully read the document before signing it. Don’t let anyone rush you into signing it without reading.
If you find that the terms of the agreement have changed, you should have not problem terminating the deal. You don’t want to sign a document which will put you in a financial strain later on. A mortgage is one of the most important parts of your personal finance, and you can’t afford to deal with a unethical lender. Making a mistake when choosing a mortgage can lead to years of financial headaches if you work with a lender who doesn’t have your best interests in mind.
If you are sued in court and lose, the person who sued you may try to force the sale of your home to collect their money. A homestead makes it harder for them to do this.
A homestead protects some of the equity in your home. If your home is worth more money than you owe on it, you have equity. For example, if your home is worth $350,000 and you owe $300,000, you have $50,000 in equity. A homestead can protect the $50,000.
There are two types of homesteads, automatic and declared.
What is an automatic homestead?
If you live in the home you own, you already have one. It protects some of your home equity until you sell your home. You do not have to sign or file anything to have an automatic homestead
What is a declared homestead?
A declared homestead is a legal form that you record with the Registrar-Recorder’s office. A declared homestead protects some of your equity for six months after you sell your home if the following three conditions are all true:
You sell your home and buy another home within six months;
The protected amount is used to buy another home;
You record a homestead on the new home.
Only the home you live in, qualifies for a homestead.
Who needs a declared homestead?
If you’ve been sued in court, lost, and have a large money judgment against you, a declared homestead can help. If you sell your home, it protects some of the proceeds for six months. This gives you time to buy another home and record another declared homestead.
How much does a homestead protect?
Both automatic and declared homesteads protect the same amounts:
$50,000 for an individual;
$75,000 if the homeowner lives with at least one family member who has no interest in the house;
$150,000 if the homeowner is 65 years of age or older, or is physically or mentally disabled;
$150,000 if the homeowner is 55 years of age or older and single with an annual income of $15,000 or less;
$150,000 for a married couple with a combined annual income of $20,000 or less;
A homestead does not protect you against:
Foreclosure of your home by mortgage lender if you are behind on payments.
The enforcement of a mechanic’s lien;
A judgment for child or spousal support.
How do I file a declared homestead?
You can file a declared homestead by taking these steps:
Buy a declared homestead form from a stationery store or search for a generic form online.
Fill out the form.
Sign the form and have it notarized.
Contact the Registrar-Recorder’s office where the property is located for fees and filing addresses.
Companies offering to help you file a declared homestead cannot charge more than $25.
Before mortgage interest rates begin to rise, homeowners should consider the advantages of refinancing now. Although we’re witnessing record low rates, these rates will not last forever. Unfortunately, many homeowners will delay refinancing and miss out on the savings. There are many reasons to refinance. Here are the top three reasons to refinance while rates are low.
Reduce Your Monthly Mortgage Payment
Interest rates greatly effect mortgage payments. Individuals with poor credit can get approved for home loans. However, the lender will charge higher fees or interest. If you receive a high interest rate, you may pay a couple of hundred dollars more than a good credit applicant who applied for the same mortgage amount.
If you purchased your existing home with poor credit, refinancing for a lower rate may decrease your monthly payments, especially if your credit has improved. Obtaining a home loan is a great way to boost your credit rating. In fact, many homeowners notice an increase in their credit score after establishing a good payment history with their mortgage lender. Thus, if you received a bad credit mortgage, make an effort to better your credit, and then refinance for a low rate.
Get a Fixed Rate Mortgage Loan
Furthermore, many homeowners choose to refinance their existing mortgage to take advantage of a low fixed rate. When interest rates were higher, many home buyers opted for adjustable rate mortgages because they carried lower rates. Although homeowners with an adjustable rate mortgage also benefit from decreases in interest rates, these low rates are not promised.
Every so often, mortgage rates rise and fall. If rates begin to climb, so do the rates for an adjustable mortgage. Hence, mortgage payments will increase. To avoid increased payments, refinance and secure a low fixed rate that will remain the same throughout the duration of the loan.
Take Advantage of Cash-Out Refinancing
Cash-out refinancing is a very attractive feature to refinancing your current home loan. With this option, you can refinance for a better rate, and borrow from your home’s equity. At closing, you will be given a lump sum of cash. Funds may be used to consolidate debts, remodel your home, take a nice vacation, or pay for a child’s education expense.
Some days I feel like a home refinancing expert. I’ve refinanced my home twice in the last three years to take advantage of attractive interest rates. Although interest rates have been rising lately, refinancing may still be an attractive option if you’re paying a high interest rate on a mortgage. When my husband and I built a new home in 2000, we felt interest rates were a little high so we opted for a three year mortgage with an 8 percent mortgage rate instead of locking into a 15 or 30 year mortgage with a slightly higher rate.
We were counting on interest rates going down before our mortgage was up for renewal and they did. When the rates went down to 5.5 percent two years later we refinanced. To find the best rate I could, I called my local banks, credit unions, and savings and loan companies. I also checked interest rates on the Internet.
One year later, while checking on the Internet I found a rate of 4.375 percent. (I looked up interest rates because someone told me they had just gotten their mortgage refinanced at 4.5 percent). I ended up refinancing again but not before calculating how much I was going to save in interest versus how much the additional closing costs were going to be. My calculations showed it would take approximately 18 months of payments at the lower rate to recoup the money it cost to refinance. Although my husband and I now have a very attractive mortgage rate, our payment is slightly higher than it was when we were paying 8 percent interest. But instead of having a 30 year mortgage we have a 15 year mortgage. The low interest rate is allowing us to pay our house off in half the time we thought it would! https://www.coolwebtips.com interest rates have been rising lately they are still reasonable, especially compared to the interest rates on many credit cards. In addition to looking for a lower interest rate, people may be considering refinancing to take some of the equity out of their home for things like: paying off high rate credit cards; to fund a home remodeling project; or pay for a child’s college education.
Below is a list of some of some things I learned during the two times I refinanced in the past few years.
1) The lowest interest rate is not always the best deal. Some companies may offer a very low interest rate but may charge several “points.” A point is 1 percent of the amount you are borrowing. As an example, if you want to borrow $200,000 and three points are being charged it will cost you $6,000 to borrow the money in addition to other closing costs.
2) Closing costs vary with lender. The U.S. government requires lenders to provide what is called a “Good Faith Estimate” of what your closing costs will be. Closing costs typically include things such as: credit report fees, title company service fees; title search fees; loan origination fees; appraisal fees; and documentation fees. Your lender will give you an honest estimate of what your closing costs will be. Your actual cost may vary slightly because the lender does not always know what the exact cost of a certain fee will be such as the appraisal fee because they probably work with several appraisal companies who likely all charge different rates. One additional thing to keep in mind about closing costs: you may see advertisements that proclaim their company does not have any closing costs. That may be true. The lender may pay the closing costs for you but the tradeoff for you will likely be paying a higher interest rate.
3) There may be other fees involved when you refinance. For example, the first company we refinanced with required that 12 months worth of property tax money be kept in escrow with them. The credit union we took out our original loan with didn’t require any property tax money in escrow. We had to come up with a big chunk of money that we hadn’t planned on for that tax escrow account. The second time we refinanced I was smarter and asked how much money needed to be kept in tax escrow. It was only 6 months of property tax money so we ended up getting part of our tax escrow money back.
4) Ask if your homeowners insurance will be paid by you or if the lender will require you to pay money into an escrow account each month so they can pay it for you. Many lenders require you to pay into an escrow account to ensure the homeowner’s insurance will be paid.
5) Ask if the loan you plan on taking out can be sold to other lending institutions. The possibility of your loan being sold may or may not be an issue for you. It’s not uncommon for loans to be sold. It’s even likely your local bank sells some of its mortgages. I don’t happen to mind if my mortgage is sold to another lending company. It’s happened to me once and it was an almost seamless process on my end. I only had to do one thing and that was set up a new automatic payment from my checking account because I prefer to have my mortgage payment taken out of my checking account automatically each month. That way I don’t have to worry about forgetting to pay it on time and possibly incurring late fees.
6) An online bank might be a good place to do business with. A good way to find out if the bank is a real financial institution, check to see if it is insured with the FDIC. You can do an online search with the phrase “banks insured with FDIC” or a similar phrase to find the current link to check. When I found the 4.375 percent interest rate it was with an online bank whose workforce was located in the Eastern part of the United States. I live in the Midwest. Thanks to the technology of the Internet I was able to easily do business with the bank. Any documentation I needed to fill out was either e-mailed, faxed, or posted on a secure Internet site that I accessed with my own personal id and password. The secure Internet site was associated with a nationally known lending company. For the final signing the lender contracted with a lending company in my area and that’s where my husband and I went to sign the final papers and close the loan.
7) Get everything in writing and pay attention to deadlines. For example, if you are quoted a specific interest rate, get it in writing. Be aware though that the interest rate you are given will only be guaranteed or locked in for a specific amount of time, usually 30 days. If interest rates go up during that 30 day period you will still get the lower rate you were guaranteed in writing. If rates go down, some lenders will automatically give you the lower rate. It is possible that the rate guarantee period may be extended. When we were in the process of our second refinancing, a lot of other people around the U.S. were refinancing because rates were really attractive. As a result our lender had a difficult time getting an appraisal scheduled. Even though we didn’t close until nearly 2 weeks after our 30 day deadline our lender honored the rate they had guaranteed us even though rates had gone up.
The above items are things I learned during the two times I refinanced. I’ve done my best to include everything I learned but your experience with refinancing may be a little different and you may find out things I didn’t. The best advice I can offer if you are thinking of refinancing is to take time to do research, compare lenders, find out what your total costs will be, and ask questions about anything you don’t understand or are not sure of. This will help make the process easier for you and help eliminate any unpleasant surprises that cost you more money than you were planning on spending for refinancing..
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