Mortgage Tips

Read these 14 Mortgage Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Mortgages tips and hundreds of other topics.

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How can I pay my mortgage loan off faster?

Paying Off Your Mortgage Loan Early

Most mortgage loans that are written today have very long terms. When you think that you will be paying on your home for 30 years before you truly own it, it is a tough pill to swallow. There are ways that you can pay off your mortgage loan early, and here are a few tips on how.

First, make sure that a good portion of your monthly payment goes towards your principle mortgage loan amount. Many current mortgages pay most of the money, if not all of it, towards the interest that is ever-accruing. The more principle you pay, the faster you will pay off your mortgage loan. Also, make at least one extra full payment a year.

When you think that an extra full payment will all go towards your principle, you can find that you quickly shave 5 years off a thirty year mortgage loan. If you can, make more than one extra payment a year and you will exponentially speed up the pace towards owning your home, outright. Get debt free as fast as you can without sacrificing your style of living. Small steps in paying off your mortgage loan will make for one great stride in the end.

   
What is an interest only mortgage?

Choosing an Interest Only Mortgage Option

There are so many types of mortgage programs available to home buyers that it can get difficult to keep them all separate. One of the latest types of programs that many people are taking advantage of is the Interest Only Mortgage option. An interest only mortgage is just as it sounds, you are only required to pay for the interest that is constantly accruing on your loan. As opposed to a typical mortgage you make both interest and principal payments.

The lower payment that you will see when only needing to pay the interest on your loan is great, but there are a few tradeoffs. First, as was previously stated, you are only making interest payments. This means that your monthly payments will not build actual home equity. People who use interest only mortgage options typically have the option to make extra payments each month which will go towards their principal balance, however, most find that they never do. If you are thinking of taking on an interest only mortgage loan, mandate that you make extra payments every month or two.

If you want to really build equity in your home, this is a must. Many brokers will offer discounted rates for an interest only mortgage loan. Be sure to check with the broker you are working with to find out what they can offer you. Interest only mortgage loans only remain interest only for a set number of years. So, don't forget that when that time runs out, you will start making interest and principal payments. Only now you have far less time in which to pay off the same amount that you started with.

   
Should I take a prepayment penalty on my adjustable rate mortgage?

Prepayment Penalties on Adjustable Rate Mortgages

An adjustable rate mortgage is a great way to get a very low rate, fixed, for the beginning of your life as a homeowner. These are especially great when you can refinance before your rate begins to adjust heavily. When you are looking at an adjustable rate mortgage, be sure to ask about the ‘prepayment' penalty that is associated with it.

A prepayment penalty usually prevents a homeowner from selling or refinancing their adjustable rate mortgage before it is too late. These prepayment penalties typically equal between 1-5% of your principle balance if you sell or refi too early. Many people assume these clauses due to the fact that you can often get a reduced rate for such a penalty clause. In an adjustable rate mortgage, because of the potential for high adjustments, it is extra important to avoid a restrictive prepayment penalty.

   
How do I know how long to finance my mortgage?

Choosing a Mortgage Term

If you are looking into getting a mortgage and are interested in the best investment for your future, the term, or length, of the mortgage you choose can be an important factor. Here are a few tips on how to choose the term of your loan. First, will you be living in the property or renting/leasing it? If you will be residing in the house, how long do you anticipate living there?

If you plan on sticking around for a while, do not be afraid to take on a longer term mortgage. You will have a lower payment because of the extra time that you have and you will still be building equity in the property. If you plan on leasing the property, determine what you will be able to charge and then translate that into a payment. Rental properties make the most for you when you quickly pay down your mortgage. If you can charge enough for rent to help you shorten the term of the mortgage, than do so.

In the end, the term of your loan depends on how comfortable you are with a higher payment. Shorter loans have larger monthly payments because there is less time to pay off the total principal. However, this is a tradeoff that lenders make because a shorter term loan will usually have a lower interest rate. If you have a stead income and can afford to make larger payments, get a shorter term mortgage and own your home, outright, as quickly as you can.

   
What are the risks of adjustable mortgages?

Adjustable Mortgages – Risk vs. Reward

Many people today are keeping their mortgage payments lower by getting adjustable rate mortgages. Adjustable mortgages are often fixed at a very low interest rate for anywhere from 6 months to 5 years. These very low rates can keep your payments low for a while, but what will happen once they begin to adjust? This is where the risk comes in.

Nobody knows how mortgages will be affected by future interest rate changes. If you are in an adjustable rate mortgage, you should keep your eyes peeled for changes to the interest rates. If you see a pattern of rate changes that may be bad for your adjustable mortgage, think about getting the loan refinanced before it begins to adjust.

The risks involved in adjustable mortgages can be high if you are not prepared. However, if you are prepared to quickly get your loan refinanced before it begins to adjust, you can move it into a fixed rate or into a longer adjustable period. Either way, don't let your mortgages adjust to the point where you are paying a high premium just to have a roof over your head.

   
How should I choose a mortgage broker for my home loan?

Choosing a Mortgage Broker

Buying a home is one of the biggest financial moves that people make in their lives. Don't you want to be sure you are doing the right thing? Most of the time, getting the best mortgage for you is all about having the right mortgage broker. Today, a mortgage broker doesn't have to be someone down the road whose office you can walk into.

With the advances on the Internet, you can meet mortgage brokers from across the country that can help with your loan. When choosing the mortgage broker for you, make sure you are comfortable. Ask yourself if the person you are dealing with really understands what your needs are in a mortgage loan. Do they ask you the right questions? Are you sure that you understand the terms of your mortgage fully? These are the important things that should build confidence in your mortgage broker.

Take advantage of the advances in the lending industry by looking for the right mortgage broker for your situation. Use the web to get some of the lowest mortgage quotes available and then, if you know a broker, just see if they can beat it. Most of the time, they can't, but you can get some needed answers from them about what mortgage you have been proposed.

   
What are the main things to pay attention to when shopping mortgages?

Mortgages – 3 Important Factors

Understanding mortgages is not as difficult as many people believe. When you talk about the ‘bottom line', there are really only a few factors that go into most people choice of mortgages; Rate, Term, & Cost. Here is some info on each of these factors.

  • Rate – The rates of mortgages can be fixed or adjustable. The rate is termed as a percentage and, obviously, the lower the percentage, the better the rate. Rate is often determined by credit worthiness, income, or home value. Look out for adjustable rate mortgages and be sure to understand the adjustments clearly. With rates as low as they are today, most people are choosing fixed mortgages for their homes.
  • Term – How long will you be paying off your mortgage? This is the ‘Term'. Most mortgages today are offered over terms of 10, 15, 20, or 30 years. The longer your term, the lower your monthly payment will be. Rates will often go lower with a shorter term mortgage, so decide what matters most to you and then decide on the best term mortgage.
  • Cost – There are closing costs on almost all mortgages. These costs can vary greatly depending on the lending institution and title company. Get a clear picture of your closing costs and what each means. There are choices to be made regarding taxes, escrows, and insurance, premiums, so be sure to compare apples to apples when looking at different mortgages and options.

   
What does an ‘adjustment’ mean in an adjustable rate mortgage?

Things to Know About Your Adjustable Rate Mortgage

Too many people get themselves into situations that they do not fully understand. Sometimes, this can be a huge detriment. For many homeowners, the adjustable rate mortgage that they signed when they bought their home was not explained well enough. These people soon find that they are facing a change in their payments that they never expected. If you have or are looking to obtain an adjustable rate mortgage, here are a few of the important things to know.

First, when will your loan adjust? The adjustment periods vary greatly with adjustable rate mortgages. They can be as short as 1 month or as drawn out as 7 years. Many people sign an adjustable rate mortgage with an ‘introductory rate' that is extremely low. Most of the time, this rate is so low because in a month or six month's time, you will be paying the adjusted rate which can be several points higher than the ‘introductory rate' that convinced you to get the loan. Be sure to know the first adjustment of the loan.

An adjustable rate mortgage does not adjust just that once. There will be periodic adjustments after the initial adjustment takes place. Future changes to your rate will be determined by either the US Treasury or the LIBOR Index. Know which will determine your rate adjustments so you can follow each on your own. Get well acquainted with when and how often your mortgage rate will adjust after the initial adjustment. Don't get caught by surprise. Getting an adjustable rate mortgage is a great way to start off as a homeowner… if you know what you are getting into. Be sure to know your rate adjustments and either refinance or sell as necessary to not get stuck with what could be very high rates in the future.

   
What is a ‘flex’ interest only mortgage?

Getting a ‘Flexible' Interest Only Mortgage

For home buyers looking for the lowest required monthly payment, an interest only mortgage is a great option. However, many of these people see financial advancements at their work and can afford to make larger payments soon after they acquire their loan. For people with this likelihood, getting a flexible interest only mortgage is the best option. By ‘flexible' interest only mortgage, I mean that the payments come with options.

For most, you are still only required to make the interest only payment. However, when you get your coupon book or payment stubs, you will see that a flexible interest only mortgage provides you with pre-calculated options for other payments. You can then choose to make a pre-set principal payment, an interest only payment, or other type of payment. These types of interest only mortgage loans are great for people who want to not be burdened by a high required payment but also want to start building their equity as soon as possible. Look for one of these ‘flex' options at mortgage companies and websites today while rates are so low.

   
Should I consult a mortgage broker for my new home purchase?

Advantages to Using Mortgage Brokers

For new homebuyers, too many think that once they find the house that they want, the hard part is over. The truth is that getting your mortgage financed can be as daunting a task as finding your home. If you are buying a home and need to get a mortgage based on your specific set of circumstances, you should consult a licensed mortgage broker to get your questions answered.

Licensed mortgage brokers have the ability to look at your specific situation and find multiple mortgage options that would work. Let them know what is important to you in terms of payments, years, and more. Armed with this information, your mortgage broker can often shop your loan around to find the best rates and programs available. Mortgage websites are good, but often do not offer the hands-on assistance of a live mortgage broker.

These websites can often beat the lowest rate a mortgage broker can find, so here is the smart thing to do. Speak with a mortgage broker and get the absolute best deal they can find. Then take your information to one of the popular mortgage websites and see if they can beat it. If so, you know where to go for your mortgage loan.

   
What are the costs of a reverse mortgage?

Funding the Costs of Your Reverse Mortgage

Homeowners who have paid their original mortgage loans in full are taking advantage of their home equity by drawing it out through a reverse mortgage. A reverse mortgage is much like a typical mortgage. A lending institution will provide the funding based on the value of the home, however, lenders in reverse mortgages will be more interested in repayment than many typical mortgage lenders.

The beauty of the reverse mortgage is the ability to do it for little to no cost. There are costs involved with any large financial transaction. Land and homes are subject to more than most. However, with a reverse mortgage you are drawing equity from your home. This money can be put right in your pocket or bank account, and some can be pre-designated to pay for the closing and other costs of the loan. Be sure that if you are looking into a reverse mortgage, you ask that your closing costs be paid out of the loan proceeds. For people who are ‘house-rich' but a little strapped for cash, a reverse mortgage is a low cost, long term solution.

   

Be Prepared With the Answers When Looking for a Home Mortgage Loan

If you want to buy a house, chances are good you are going to need a home mortgage loan. In the past, excellent credit meant the best home loan rates. Today’s economic environment demands sparkling clean credit to even be considered for a home mortgage loan.

When you begin to apply for a home mortgage loan, don’t walk blindly into your lender’s office. Know what your credit score is, what each of the three main credit reports say about you, and be prepared to explain the reasons for problem areas. Home mortgage loan bankers are people just like you and want to give you what you dream of. However, they are also in a business that is only successful if the loans are paid back.

More serious credit issues will completely bar you from getting a loan, but if the problems are short-term payment problems evidenced by a few late payment entries, and you have a legitimate reason for falling behind, prepare a written statement that can be included with the loan application to explain it. That can help your chances of obtaining a home mortgage loan, and getting the best home loan rates. It only works if your current credit situation shows that you have resolved issues and are current and in good standing with creditors.

   

Getting a mortgage to buy a home

Getting a mortgage to buy a home for you and your family is exciting and also a bit terrifying. So much to think about and do and the seemingly endless paperwork you have to fill out and sign, but it's worth it, you will have your home.

To get the best mortgage rate that you can, do your homework. See what you can do to bring up your credit rating. Get your credit report, if anything on there is wrong, dispute and get it taken off. See if you can pay off any negative items on the report, get in touch with the company, see if you can work something out with them, to pay and have it removed. Get it in writing and have the agreement sent to you so you have it. Save as much money as you can for the down payment, a bigger down payment now, the less you owe later.

After a couple of years, keep working on keeping working on keeping your credit good so . if you see rates going down you can look around for the best refinancing mortgage rates.

Do your homework and use your head and you will be able to get the best mortgage rate for your dream home.

   
How can I get a mortgage loan for a fast closing?

The Fastest Way to Obtain a Mortgage Loan

Getting a mortgage loan has not always been the easiest of processes. When you borrow that much money, lenders want to examine you and your history with a super fine tooth comb. However, today there are ways to get a mortgage loan quickly and with no sacrifice in the quality of your rate, term, or closing costs.

The Internet has opened up new doors to mortgage loans that many lending institutions are taking advantage of. Because much of the lending process has been automated – credit checks, income verifications, applications – online lenders can take you from application to closing an online mortgage loan in as little as a few days. If you have a short closing date and want to get the fastest funding of a mortgage loan that is available, you should be checking online lenders and their websites. Start at search engines and look around for online mortgage loan providers.

Make sure that the site you choose can provide mortgage loans in your state. Most Internet lenders have multi-state capabilities, but many are limited. Filling out an online mortgage loan application takes almost no time and a representative from the site will get back to you quickly. Fill out a few from different sites so that you can compare the service you receive and the quality of the mortgage loan quotes that they provide.

   
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