Shop Around For A Mortgage Getting A Mortgage For Your Dream Home Cheap Mortgage Rate Mortgage Problems And The Myth Of Foreclosure Help Basic Mortgage Terms

If you have decided to take the leap into home ownership or you are interested in refinancing your current mortgage, one of the first things you will need to do is track down a mortgage.

I honestly can’t tell you just how many mortgage companies there are in the United States, but I can tell you this, there are a lot of them.

Mortgage companies also come in a few different forms.

You might recognize one as your local bank, but there are also wholesale lenders who use not only there own loan officers to originate mortgages, they will also use mortgage brokers. Than you have your retail lenders, who use only their own employed loan officers.

Because there are so many mortgage companies out there, the industry has become highly competitive.

So before you commit to the first lender you approach and start filling out applications, look again, and consider shopping around. Like I said, the mortgage industry is highly competitive, so let them fight over you.

You don’t have to go crazy when shopping for a lender. No more than five inquiries should be your limit. Talk with them, find out what programs they have to offer, and at what rate. Ask about closing costs. Remember, closing costs should not exceed 5% of the total amount of the loan at the very most. (This does not include the down payment).

By shopping around, you will be able to get a feel for what is out there, and whatever lender offers you the best deal to fit your needs and your budget, should be your lender of choice.

The down fall to speaking with one lender is, you are limiting yourself too just their products and services, as well as their rates. How do you know you can’t get a better deal somewhere else? Most likely you can.

Shop around for a mortgage the way you would shop around for a car. Look at a few of them at different dealerships, test drive them, discuss pricing with the sales person, than once you and the selling party have come to an agreement, make the purchase.

Buying or refinancing a home is not something you want to rush into. So take your time and educate yourself. Talk to people within the industry, shop around, than make an educated decision based on what best fits your needs.

Owning a home is the American Dream. Of course, this requires you to first get a mortgage unless you have won the lottery or have a very wealthy uncle!

Getting a Mortgage for Your Dream Home

Once your mind has been made up that you want to buy a house and you will need a mortgage for that house, the next thing is to follow the steps of obtaining a mortgage. Obviously, the first step is to calculate the amount you will need from the mortgage. Figure out how much the desired house will cost and how much you are willing to put down on the house. These must be done first.

Next is to know which type of mortgage you want to go with. You can choose to go with either fixed or variable rate mortgages. Each of these mortgage types has its own advantages and disadvantages and you should look into the details of each type to pick out the one that will suit your needs best.

Once you know how much you will need and what sort of mortgage you are looking for, shop around. Set aside plenty of time for this. Shop around with as many banks and other lenders as possible. Try to get the best interest rate possible. Also, keep in mind your monthly income. Figure out how much in payments you will be able to handle. If you can handle higher payments every month, look for a shorter mortgage length. This will save you a lot of money in interest. Go for the shortest length possible no matter what based on what payments you can afford.

When you have everything sorted out and know what your payment plan will be, what the length of the loan will be, what the interest rate is, and what sort of loan you’re getting, then you will want to figure out the equity division. Based on how much you’ve put down on the house, that figure is the amount in equity you own versus the total value of the house. For now, the bank owns the rest of the equity. Over time, as the value of the home rises and you pay off the loan, your stake in the equity will rise, allowing you more options with that equity.

Getting a mortgage must be a careful, determined, and well thought out process. It takes time and patience, but you’ll thank yourself when you’ve gotten the right mortgage.

Must-Ask Questions When You Get Your Mortgage

Whether you’re buying a house or refinancing, there is more to a mortgage than the rate. Here are eight questions to ask while mortgage shopping. You’ll have to ask yourself some of these questions; others can only be answered by mortgage professionals and insurers.

How long do I plan to stay in the house?

That’s often a hard question to answer. Try anyway because a lot of your decisions depend on the answer.

The answer affects whether you would be better off paying points to lower your rate, whether you should get a fixed-rate or adjustable-rate loan, whether you should accept a prepayment penalty. If you’re thinking of refinancing, the answer helps you decide whether you should refinance at all.

If you have no idea how long you’ll live in the house, keep in mind that homeowners stay in one residence for a median duration of 8.2 years, according to census data. In other words, half of homeowners move within 8.2 years. The other half, naturally, stay in their homes longer. Do you feel “average”? If so, maybe it means you’ll stay home for about eight years or so. (FYI, with renters, the median stay in one residence is 2.1 years.)

How much are the costs of getting the loan?

When you apply for a loan, you’ll get a federally mandated document called the ‘Good Faith Estimate’ of closing costs. It estimates how much the lender will charge you for origination and discount fees, an appraisal, a credit report, document preparation, title insurance, a pest inspection and a myriad of other costs. Compare good faith estimates and especially take note of the line that reads “Estimated cash at closing.” That’s an educated guess of how much you’ll have to pay out of your checkbook to get the loan.

How long will it take to break even?

If you’re buying a home, how long will it take to break even if you pay discount points to get a lower rate? If you’re refinancing, how long will it take to recoup the closing costs from your monthly savings?

In either case, all you have to do is divide the upfront cost (of discount points if you’re buying a house and of all the closing costs if you’re refinancing) by the monthly savings you would get. That tells you how many months it will take to break even. If it’s going to take five years to break even but you expect to stay in the house four more years, it’s probably not worth it.

What makes me feel comfortable?

Bitton says some of her clients insist on paying zero discount points, while others want to pay a lot of points to get absolutely the lowest interest rate, “even if it takes four or five years to break even.”

As far as Bitton is concerned, there often is no right or wrong answer when people ask whether they should pay discount points or choose a 15-year or 30-year mortgage. “There’s not just an objective, dollars-and-cents number,” Bitton says. “There’s also the psychological factor: What are you going to feel comfortable with?”

She has clients in their 70s and 80s who get 30-year mortgages because that’s what makes them feel comfortable. Some homeowners would rather refinance once and never have to bother with refinancing again, so they pay a lot of points for a rock-bottom rate. As a bonus, they have something to boast about at cocktail parties. Other clients simply want the lowest possible payments, so they snag an interest-only, five-year ARM. All understand what they’re getting into and have found their comfort zones.

For a number of reasons, the rate of home foreclosures is rising in the United States. In fact, the rate is up some 70% over a year ago. Part of this is due to rising interest rates that are making payments unaffordable to homeowners who bought their homes three or four years ago with adjustable rate mortgages. Many of these mortgages were set to adjust after three years, and the resulting increases in payments have left the homes unaffordable for their owners. With little recourse, thousands of owners have had to walk away from their homes. This unfortunate situation may be avoidable in some cases, particularly if the owners discuss their troubles with their lenders. Instead, many owners have answered ads posted by companies offering “foreclosure help”, hoping to find a way to keep their houses despite their financial troubles. In many cases, the owners not only fail to get the help they need, but they often end up literally giving their houses away to the companies they thought would help them keep them.

The scam is a common one that takes advantage of people in desperate situations. Mortgage companies that intend to foreclose on delinquent customers file notice with the counties in which the homeowner resides. The county posts those notices and investors make note of the addresses. With a bit of research, they determine the value of the property and the amount owed on the mortgage. The investors seek properties with large amounts of equity. They then approach the owner with an offer to “help” them with their financial troubles. The offers vary, but the deal usually involves an offer to make good on the delinquent amounts while renting the home back to the owner for a set period of time. At the conclusion of that time period, the investors say they will offer the owner-turned-tenant the opportunity to repay and take their home back. For desperate homeowners who want to keep their houses, these offers seem like a Godsend.

Unfortunately, the deals rarely work out to the benefit of the owner. More often than not the paperwork provided with the offer includes a quitclaim deed, which, once signed by the owner, essentially gives the property to the investor. The investor, now the owner of the property, then demands an unreasonable amount of rent from the owner-turned-tenant. When he or she cannot pay, the investor evicts the tenant and sells the house, pocketing the profits. In some cases, investors have pocketed several hundred thousand dollars from a single property, all for the minimum investment of a few months’ of delinquent mortgage payments. The former owner is left with nothing.

Some states, such as Minnesota, have passed laws that severely restrict this practice, but others, such as Florida, have so far been unable to overcome large opposition from business interests. In the states with few restrictions, flyers offering foreclosure help can be found on telephone poles in just about every city. Unfortunately for homeowners who have financial trouble, the last thing they will receive if they respond to these flyers is help. Homeowners who are in financial trouble should call their lender first. The last thing lenders want to do is foreclose, so buyers would be better off calling their lender rather than trusting their home to a stranger who advertises on telephone poles.

If it is your first time applying for a mortgage, there are a number of terms you should know. Educating yourself on the various mortgage terms you will run into will help you make better decisions when deciding which home you want to purchase. When you sign a mortgage contract, your home is used for collateral and it is your responsibility to make sure your payments are made on time each month.

The first term you should know is principal. The principal is basically defined as the amount of money you borrow for your home. Before the principal is provided you will need to make a down payment. A down payment is the percentage you will put towards the principal. The amount of the down payment will often depend on the cost of the home. Once you pay off the principal, the home is yours.

The next term you will need to know is interest. Interest is a percentage that you are charged to borrow a certain amount of money. Along with the interest rate, lenders may also charge you points. A point is a portion of the total funds financed. The principal and interest makes up the majority of your monthly payments, and this is a method that is called amortization. Amortization is the method by which your loan is reduced over a given period of time. Your payments for the first few years will cover the interest, while payments made later will be applied towards the principal.

A portion of your mortgage payments can be placed in an escrow account in order to go towards insurance, taxes, or other expenses. The next term you will hear a lot is taxes. Taxes are the amount of money that you have to pay to your state or government. When it comes to your home, these are known as property taxes. These taxes are used to build roads, schools, and other public projects. All homeowners must pay property taxes.

Insurance is another important term that you will hear in the real estate community. You will not be allowed to close on your mortgage if you don’t have insurance for your home. Home insurance covers your home against floods, fire, theft, or other problems. Unless you can afford to repair your home if it is damaged, it is usually a good idea to get insurance for your home. If your home is located within a zone that is known for having floods, federal laws may require you to have flood insurance.

If the down payment you put towards your home is less than 20% of the total value, you will often be charged additional premiums on your insurance by the lender. This is done to protect you in the event that you default on your loans and fail to make payments. Without this, many people would not be able to afford a house. Once you have paid off about 78% of the home, the lender will stop charging you insurance premiums.

These are the basic terms you will need to know before your purchase a home. Understanding these things will allow you to avoid many of the pitfalls that exist in the real estate field. You want an interest rate that is low, and you should always try to get a fixed interest rate if possible. This will allow you to focus your income on making payments towards the principal, and this will help you pay off the loan faster. A mortgage is an important part of your financial picture, and you want to make sure you pick a home that you can afford. If you fail to make your payments, you may lose your house.

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