01. What types of documentation do I need for the application?Answer was helpful
Based on the loan program you choose, the exact documents required will vary. In general, you should bring the following:
02. How do I know which type of mortgage is best for me?Answer was helpful
There is no simple answer to this question. The right type of mortgage for you depends on many different factors:
We can help you decide which loan program is best for you. Give us a call and we’ll review your situation with you and show you what programs you might like.
03. What is escrow?Answer was helpful
In addition to the principal and interest portion of your monthly payment, the terms of your loan agreement allow the lender to collect funds from you for the payment of your real estate taxes, insurance bills, and sometimes other items. These additional funds are referred to as the escrow portion of your payment. They are collected throughout the year and paid on your behalf.
04. What is the difference between the mortgage rate and the APR?Answer was helpful
The APR (Annual Percentage Rate) of a loan is supposed to be an overall interest rate with all the applicable closing costs factored in. Unfortunately, not all lenders include the same costs so not all APRs are created equally. Use the APR as a general guide to the overall cost of the loan but keep in mind that you have to look at the details of what’s included to be sure.
05. What is the difference between discount points and loan origination points?Answer was helpful
You purchase discount points to lower your interest rate. Origination points are a fee paid to the originating lender which are part of the profit margin for the services that they provide. Both are measured as percentage of the loan amount and both are factored into the loan’s APR. Generally, points are deductible as long as the seller didn’t pay for them and origination fees are tax deductible provided they are expressed as a percentage.
06. What are discount points?Answer was helpful
Discount points enable you to lower your loan’s interest rate. They are basically prepaid interest, with each point equaling 1% of the total loan amount. By and large, when you pay a point on a 30 year mortgage, you can lower your interest rate by 1/8 (or.125) of a percentage point. When comparing loan rates, ask lenders for an interest rate with 0 points and then see how much the rate decreases with each point paid. Discount points are a good idea if you plan to stay in your home for some time since they will lower your monthly loan payment. Points are tax deductible when purchasing a home and sometimes you can negotiate with the seller to pay for some of them.
07. What is loan-to-value and how does it determine the size of the loan?Answer was helpful
The loan to value ratio is the amount of money you borrow compared with the appraised value of the home you are purchasing. Each loan has a specific LTV limit. For example: With a 95% LTV loan on a home priced at $100,000, you could borrow up to $95,000. The higher the LTV, the less cash homebuyers are required to pay out of their own funds. So, to protect lenders against potential loss in case of default, the higher LTV loans (over 80%) usually require a mortgage insurance policy.
08. Do I really need homeowners insurance?Answer was helpful
Yes. Proof of a paid homeowner’s insurance policy is required at closing, so arrangements will have to be made before then. Plus, involving the insurance agent early on in the home buying process can save you money. Insurance agents are a great for tips on how to keep insurance premiums low and information on home safety.
09. How does the lender decide the maximum loan amount that I can afford?Answer was helpful
The lender considers your debt-to-income ratio, which is a comparison of your gross (pre-tax) income to housing and non-housing debts. Non-housing expenses include such long-term debts as car or student loan payments, alimony, or child support. Typically, mortgage payments should be no more than 29% of gross income, while the mortgage payment, combined with non-housing expenses, should be no more than 41% of income. The lender also considers your cash available for a down payment and closing costs, credit history, and employment history when determining your maximum loan amount.
10. Will my monthly payment always stay the same?Answer was helpful
No, your monthly payment can change for the following reasons:
· Escrow Analysis – At least once a year, your lender will analyze your escrow account, and adjust the portion of your monthly payment collected for real estate taxes, insurance, and other escrow items. Your new monthly payment amount shown on the analysis will typically be effective on the anniversary of your first payment due date.
· ARM Adjustments – If you have an adjustable rate loan, the interest rate and principal and interest (P & I) portion of your payment will change on a scheduled basis based on its index. To determine when your new payment will become effective, please refer to your loan agreement. If you have an escrow account, the escrow portion of your payment may change as well.
11. What is amortization?Answer was helpful
This is the lifetime of your loan. For example, most mortgages have an amortization of 30 years, meaning your mortgage will be paid off after 30 years.
12. How much of a down payment will I need?Answer was helpful
Quite probably, less than you think. Many first-time buyers are surprised to learn there is no fixed answer to this question. Usually, down payments range anywhere from three to twenty percent of the property’s value.
Did You Know?
63% of renters say that owning a home is a priority in the future. 40% say it is one of their highest priorities and 25% are thinking more about buying a home today than they were just a year ago.
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