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Types of Mortgages
Here is a useful guide to the different types of mortgages that are available.
A mortgage is a loan you take out to buy property. You can get a mortgage direct from the lender such as banks, building societies and specialist mortgage lenders.
Your mortgage is probably the biggest loan you will ever take out, so it is important to get a mortgage that suits you. This will depend on your personal circumstances and your plans for the future. Many mortgages have hidden drawbacks. Get independent advice before you choose a mortgage.
There are two basic types of mortgage, interest-only and repayment. The option you choose is determined by the way you want to repay your loan. There is no hard and fast rule about which is better. It is a matter of individual preference.
An interest-only mortgage allows you to repay just the interest on your loan, but you have to take out an investment that will mature to pay off the outstanding amount. If your investment performs well then you may have some money left over after paying back your mortgage. But there is also a risk that the investment will under-perform leaving you to make up any shortfall.
A repayment mortgage requires you to pay back both interest and loan capital, so at the end of your mortgage period there is no money owing. Early on you pay mostly interest, so it might seem that the outstanding balance never gets lower. But later on you will repay more capital, and the total will decrease more quickly.
Here is a selection of the different mortgages that are available:
This is where lenders offer a reduction on the standard variable rate for a fixed period. This type of mortgage is good for someone wanting to make savings in the early days of owning a property. But be aware that the rate can change as it is fixed to the standard variable rate.
With a fixed rate, your payments stay the same no matter what happens to the base rate. This is a sensible option for people who want to know exactly what they will be paying for a certain period. There is always a risk that, if interest rates fall, you might be left paying an uncompetitive rate. On the other hand, a rise in rates will leave you paying less than people on other schemes.
This type of mortgage follows the Bank of England base rate. It will usually stay a set margin above the base rate for the duration of the loan. They are suitable for people who think base rates might be on a downward trend.
These schemes are similar to fixed rate mortgages, but give you a get-out if rates fall sharply. They allow you to pay either the capped rate or the lender's standard variable rate, whichever is lower. They can initially be slightly more expensive than other deals, but if rates fall they can pay off.
They will link your current account and your mortgage. You pay your salary into an account and your mortgage payment is taken out as per usual. But any extra cash in the account is also used to offset against the amount you owe on the mortgage, so you pay less interest.
Another way of managing your mortgage is through a flexible arrangement. This allows you to pay more money off your mortgage when you have it, or take a payment holiday if things are a bit tight. Some lenders will allow you to overpay each month and withdraw the extra cash if you need it later. And if you have the money, you can pay off your mortgage early. Any money you can pay off early will save you interest payments.
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Reverse Mortgage ? Be Sure You Need It Before Applying For One
Reverse mortgages used to be considered the last resort of desperate retirees who needed to borrow against their home equity in order to pay for medical expenses. With home prices across the country rising at astonishing rates, more and more retirees, aged 62 and over, are taking out reverse mortgages to fund better retirement living. A reverse mortgage works more or less the opposite way from a conventional mortgage; the borrower receives payments from the lender in the form of a lump sum, a line of credit, or monthly payments. The amount borrowed constitutes a lien against the home must be repaid upon the death of the borrower, or when the home is resold. There are costs associated with a reverse mortgage, however, and potential borrowers should be aware of these when considering taking out such a loan, particularly if the borrower takes out a line of credit.All loans have fees associated with them. There are home appraisals, paperwork fees, mortgage insurance fees, and additional "points" added to the cost of the loan. In general, the costs of taking out a reverse mortgage are higher than those associated with a traditional mortgage. There are several reasons for this, including the fact that the time period for receiving repayment of the loan is indefinite, typically depending on how long the borrower lives. This uncertainty is added into the loan in the form of additional fees.Most people who take out a reverse mortgage opt to take their funds in the form of a line of credit, rather than a lump sum or monthly payments. There are advantages to a line of credit, which allows the borrower to use the funds by simply writing checks against the loan. The primary advantage is that the borrower only uses the funds when he or she needs them. Because of this, interest only accrues on the money if the borrower actually writes checks. Borrowers should be aware, however, that the costs of the loan, which can be substantial, apply even if the borrower doesn't write any checks against the loan. If the homeowner takes out a line of credit and decides to sell the home shortly thereafter without ever having written a check against the loan, the borrower will not owe the lender any interest or principal, but the borrower will lose the money paid for the cost of the loan, which is not refundable. If the borrower rolled the costs into the loan itself, they could owe payments even if they never wrote a check.In short, borrowers considering taking out a reverse mortgage should make sure that they plan to stay in their home for quite some time and that they actually need the money from such a loan. A reverse mortgage is a great idea for those who have a specific purpose or use in mind, but as an emergency source of "rainy day" funds, it can be an expensive choice.
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A brief list of some of the most common Mortgage terms.
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