While many great deals exist in today’s real estate market, securing the optimal mortgage is a critical part of your home purchase decision.
As a Member of the Top 5 in Real Estate Network®, I have worked with many home buyers over the years and am well versed on the factors in every mortgage loan package that will determine whether or not you can afford the house you want to buy. The most important things to take into consideration are: interest rate, points, mortgage type, closing costs and fees, and down payment and mortgage insurance. Here’s a closer look at each:
- Interest Rate: The interest rate determines the amount of your monthly payment. Keep in mind that different lenders offer different interest rates, so it is important to shop around. Generally, a short-term or adjustable-rate loan will offer a lower interest rate because you agree to repay the lender more quickly or to pay fluctuating rates.
- Points: Points are fees charged by the lender to originate your loan. A point equals one percent of the total mortgage amount. Lenders will charge different numbers of points for different loans, so it is important to understand how many points a lender will be charging. For example, in some cases, lenders may advertise very low interest rates, but build a high point charge into the cost of issuing the loan, making the deal less valuable than a loan at a higher interest rate.
- Types of Mortgage Options:
- Fixed Rate. On a fixed-rate mortgage, the interest rate does not change for the entire life of the loan.
- Adjustable Rate. Adjustable rates, on the other hand, are interest rates that fluctuate based on market conditions. Since no one knows how the market will behave, they are riskier than fixed-rate loans. Over the life of the mortgage, you could end up paying more or less than you would have with a fixed-rate loan.
- Balloon. The next common type of mortgage is a balloon payment loan. A balloon payment loan allows you to make relatively small monthly payments for an initial period, but requires a lump-sum payment toward the end of the term. These are risky to consider unless you are confident that you can either refinance the loan or sell the home at the end of the initial loan period.
- Closing Costs: Closing costs and fees are additional amounts that the buyer and seller must cover during the course of the mortgage loan transaction. They include items like credit report fees, appraisal fees, title search fees and title insurance.
- Down Payment and Mortgage Insurance: When searching for the right type of mortgage for you, the amount of your down payment, the need for private mortgage insurance (PMI) and other factors, such as whether you are a first-time home buyer, a teacher or a peace officer, will also affect your monthly mortgage payment.
A professional real estate agent, such as a member of the Top 5 in Real Estate Network®, or a trusted mortgage broker can help you decide what makes the best financial sense for you. Please e-mail me for more information and be sure to pass this email on to others who might be in the market for a mortgage.