Home and Mortgage
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When you’re buying a home, mortgage lenders don’t look just at your income, assets, and the down payment you have. They look at all of your liabilities and obligations as well, including auto loans, credit card debt, child support, potential property taxes and insurance, and your overall credit rating.
It is a difficult decision to decide between a fixed and an adjustable-rate mortgage. Factors such as loan duration, the index used by the lender, the number and timing of rate adjustments, and your assumption about the increase/decrease of future interest rates all have an impact.
Unlike fixed rate mortgages, the payments on an adjustable rate mortgage will vary as interest rates change.
If you choose to finance your closing costs, the monthly loan payments will be higher than if you had paid the closing costs out-of-pocket. In order to help borrowers compare loans, lenders use a standard calculation called annual percentage rates (APR) which takes into account the closing costs.
An interest-only mortgage may be enticing due to lower initial payments than a traditional mortgage. However, when the interest-only loan begins to amortize after 5, 10 or 20 years then your monthly payments will be higher.
Depending upon the market value of your home, outstanding mortgage balance, credit history and other factors, you may qualify for a home equity line of credit. Monthly payments on a HELOC are variable as they fluctuate with interest rate changes.
Over the last couple of years with interest rates at a 40-year low, many people refinanced their mortgages. Even though rates have crept up over the last couple of months, refinancing may make sense for you.
The loan amount, the interest rate, and the term of the mortgage can have a dramatic effect on the total amount you will eventually pay for the property. Further, mortgage payments typically will include monthly allocations of property taxes, hazard insurance, and (if applicable) private mortgage insurance (PMI).
Different mortgage terms and rates can make the loan selection process confusing, especially if you don’t plan on keeping the loan for the full term.
In some cases, it may benefit you to ‘buy down the interest rate’ by paying extra money up front in the form of discount points.
With interest rates near 40-year lows, the decision to rent versus buy becomes difficult.
It may surprise you that most banks and mortgage companies collect two to three dollars for every dollar that you borrow! However, there is a way to accelerate mortgage payoff using a method called Bi-Weekly Mortgage Payments.
Many lenders will offer a ‘no-cost’ loan in lieu of a traditional mortgage. ‘No-cost’ loans are generally priced at a higher interest rate than a traditional mortgage. The higher rate allows the lender to make enough money on the interest rate spread from the underwriter to pay for all your closing costs and provide them with their profit.
With the interest on a mortgage being deductible when you itemize deductions, it may surprise you how much you can save in taxes.