The choices that you have facing you when it comes to picking the right mortgage does not make it easy to get a good one. To make it worse, there are possibly so many different options with each one that you would almost think it was made to deliberately confuse. In order to make your selection easier, here are a few things you need to know.
Before you actually start looking, you should sit down and think some things through. One of these important things to consider is how long do you want to take to pay on your mortgage. You receive much greater savings for fewer years. A standard mortgage is 30 years, but you can also get 15, 20, 40 and even 50 years.
The next thing you want to do is to become a watcher of market interest rates for a while. By watching them go up and down, you will know when it is a good time to get an excellent rate. It will also indicate to you (don't just take the lenders word for it), whether you should get an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) or a fixed rate mortgage. Of course, if you should make a mistake, or the economy changes significantly, you can always refinance down the road.
A fixed rate mortgage is the way to go when the interest rates are either on the way up, or if you simply want something that is stable and cannot cause you problems later. With an FRM, you always know what your payments will be. An adjustable rate mortgage, however, will give you lower rates when the interest rates are down, but can cause a problem if that changes.
Sometimes, lenders encourage people to get an ARM because it would allow you to buy a larger house. While this is true, it does not mean that you will be able to make the payments once the adjustable interest rate part of the mortgage becomes activated. It is a good idea to stick to the general rule of 36% total indebtedness (required by prime lenders) as a wise guideline for healthy finances.
Watch out for those mortgages that promise a lot. While they may deliver up front - it is what you do not see that can cause problems. It is a real good idea to familiarize yourself with the types of mortgages out there so you can be a careful consumer. There are some real traps when it comes to some mortgages and some lenders.
You also want to get several quotes from more than one lender so you have something to compare. Look at the various fees, the total cost, the interest rate, and more. You will quickly discover that not all lenders give the same deal. It will not take you long to find one or two that will stand out – then make your choice for the best deal.
Then you want to see if there might be some ways to get a greater savings. This can be done be reducing your indebtedness, and raising your credit score. You should check on this before you apply. It is also possible to reduce your interest rate even more by possibly buying points, or by making a larger down payment. Be sure that you at least consider these money saving options.
Joe Kenny writes for Rebuild.org, offering mortgage loans
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