One of the first steps before you start looking for your dream home is to ask yourself what you can afford to spend on a monthly house payment. Real estate financing has its secrets and you'll gradually learn them by continuing to research everything you can find online and offline about home mortgages, mortgage loans, commercial mortgages or investment mortgages, current interest rates; get quotes too. If you have monthly obligations such as car payments, credit card payments, personal loan payments, student loan payments, etc. , make sure to take all these into account when you're determining your bottom-line affordability figure.
A fixed-rate mortgage means the interest rate and principal payments remain the same for the life of the loan but the taxes may change. Most adjustable rate mortgage programs offer “rate cap" protection, which limits the amount the rate can be increased, both each year and over the life of the loan; all adjustable rate mortgages are amortized over 30 years. 30-year fixed-rate mortgages offer consistent monthly payments for all of the 30 years you have the mortgage; if the market is good, you can benefit from locking in a lower rate for the full term of the loan.
15-year mortgages are an ideal option if you think you can handle the higher monthly payments and if you'd like to have the loan paid off in a shorter period of time, for example, if you plan to retire. Loan programs for down payments of 20% or less require you to buy Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). The disadvantages of a fixed-rate mortgage include a possibly higher cost; these loans are usually priced higher than an adjustable-rate mortgage.
If you're buying a second home or property, you will need to identify the sources for your down payment, since you'll not be selling your current house and using the proceeds, and you'll need to expect larger monthly payments for housing or any other expenses too. Check with your CPA or accounting professional, you may be able to deduct the interest you pay on the mortgage loan and some of the financing costs of the home, such as points on your income tax return. The interest rate for an adjustable rate mortgage may be adjusted up or down at predetermined times; the monthly payments will then increase or decrease.
15-year fixed-rate mortgages mean consistent monthly payments for all 15 years that you have the mortgage; you build equity even more quickly than with a 30-year or 20-year loan, and paying less in interest, you save money in the long run. The 30-year loan is your best choice if you're looking for a long-term stable loan; for instance, if you're planning to stay in your house for a long time. A mortgage application can be resubmitted several times; it's not uncommon for this to happen either, I've seen it many times.
Be careful when working on your real estate financing; if you make too many loan inquiries, with applications, it may look like you're shopping for credit; this can be a glaring red flag for many lenders. Borrowers can submit information about income, assets and equity to determine how much a down payment should be, which is usually processed through an automated underwriting system. The real estate financing situation for each buyer is unique.
If you're a first-time home-buyer it's possible that you may qualify for a lower down payment or lower interest rate; check with mortgage brokers, online mortgage companies, your county housing department or your employer to see if they know of any programs available. Advantages of adjustable rate mortgages include: lower costs - because they are usually priced lower than fixed-rate mortgages so you can increase your buying power and lower your initial monthly payments and if the interest rates go down, you'll have lower payments.
You have to be careful to not assume you can cut back on your expenses and stretch yourself into a house payment; you don't want to be cutting into good, healthy eating habits by eating fast food or junk food for a house that you may not be well enough to live in for a long time; make sure to consider this when you first start out searching for the best real estate financing. You also have to feel comfortable with the reality of the amount of the monthly payment on your house or other real estate. Try not to get overwhelmed with all the different investment, commercial and home loan and mortgage choices available.
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