|Mortgage Refinance Information|
Mortgage Info You Can Actually Understand!
This is a great time to Refinance Your Home or Buy a New Home -- the Mortgage Rates are so low, these days! It's always worth a shot to find out what the costs of switching over to a new mortgage would be, to see if that's the right move for you.
Whether you are building your own house, buying a new property, gathering funds to do a renovation project, or Refinancing your current Mortgage at a much Lower Rate, you'll be looking for Funding -- Money, Money & More Money! Here are some commonly asked questions regarding funding for a Mortgage or a Home Improvement Loan.
Where should I go first to get a Mortgage?
You can go to the Loans Department of your regular bank, or you can go directly to a Mortgage Broker. (Click on the Mortgage Company Ads on www.buildyourownhouse.ca to see if that's the easiest way for you to get the money you need... At the very least, it'll tell you how much you're qualified for, and the on-line Lenders have Rates the Banks have a hard time competing with. It's all about Saving Money, so check into it all, first -- it's a big financial decision! You can always take your information you've gotten On-line to the Bank -- if they can't or won't match it, there's your decision right there! ha,ha!).
Keep in mind that it is generally easier to work with a Broker, since they have the ability to be a lot more flexible than a conventional bank. Also, their rates will often be considerably lower than what the banks are offering, too, so shop around ? this could save you a fair bit of money. Brokers can often get a mortgage for clients that a bank won't even touch, and they'll do it at your convenience, for the most part, so you can have a more relaxed meeting with them.
What questions will a Broker ask somebody who's looking for a Mortgage?
There are three main things you will be required to provide:
i.Verification of Income
ii.How much and where the Down Payment is coming from
iii.Personal information for Credit Checks (Birthday, Social Security Number, Address, Job Letters, Pay Stubs, 3 years worth of Tax Returns, 3 months worth of Bank Statements, any current Retirement Savings Funds?)
Your Banker or Broker will want to confirm your ability to qualify by doing a GDS Ratio (Gross Debt Ratio) and a TDS Ratio (Total Debt Ratio).
A Gross Debt Ratio is determined by taking the Mortgage Payment, the Property Taxes, and a Heat Component (really hot areas will be exempt from this, I'm guessing!), which is usually around $50.00. These numbers are added together. That number is multiplied by 12, then divided by your Gross Income Amount. This number can't exceed 32% of your Gross Income. Some banks &/or brokers may have different criteria, but this is a commonly used method to see if a client can qualify for a mortgage.
The Total Debt Ratio takes the above information (the GDS Ratio) along with all other debts and payments (whatever else you have to pay per month ? credit cards, support payments, etc.) to make sure that the Grand Total of all of your payments, including the new mortgage and taxes, won't exceed 40% of your Gross Income.
N.B. Don't get too hung up on the math ? that's the job of the banker or broker. This is just info to give you a good understanding of how they get their numbers.
What if someone has a job that is technically referred to as "Part-time", but they make a "Full-time" wage. Can they qualify for a Mortgage?
You can apply through a Mortgage Broker (probably your best bet) to see how much your Gross Income will allow you to qualify for. It is particularly beneficial if you have a solid work history (have been at the job for a few years, or more). A Broker will know how to present the documentation to help you get a mortgage. This is particularly important, now, since so many companies and Government Services hire 'Part-time' or 'Contract' employees. These can be career positions, and you can be there for fifteen years, and still be flatly turned down by the regular banks. Don't give up on your dream to own your own home because you're in a situation like this ? call a Mortgage Broker, and give it a shot. If that still doesn't work, try another one. What's the harm? At the very least, you can get an honest answer of what you need to do in order to become qualified. Either way, you'll be that much closer to owning your own place, and that's the goal!
Is there an easy way to calculate a Mortgage?
There's a formula that I use that is relatively accurate, give or take a hundred dollars, or so. At the very least, you'll get a ballpark idea of your monthly payment (not including the Tax portion), and whether you can qualify for that amount. Remember that when you're qualifying for Mortgage money, if you're even $80.00 over what they think you can pay, you won't get the mortgage. It's best to Pre-Qualify for a mortgage, and ask how much you will qualify for before you go house-hunting. Keep in mind that as the Interest Rates get lower, the more you'll be able to qualify for. Don't go crazy, though, since all the costs go up as you increase in house size, and the monthly operating costs might end up being higher than you thought, then you've got a big house and a crappy lifestyle. Stay within your means; stay happy and comfortable.
The Formula ? remember, it's a ballpark number?
On a 25 year Term, you would take the Percentage Rate (say, 5%) and multiply that out by the number of thousand (say, $100,000.), which would give you a mortgage payment of about $500./month (5 X 100 = $500.), plus Taxes. So if you've found a house for $165,000.00, and the rate is 5%, (based on a 25 yr. Term), the payment would be around $825.00, plus taxes, per month. (5 X 165 = 825)
We use this formula all the time ? it's functional to see if you can even come close to being able to afford a particular property. If you always find yourself looking at the properties worth $300,000., when you can actually afford a $75,000. property, do the math, figure out what you can really buy, and get that. It's better to buy something already in your range, save your money, wait until your place has gained in equity, then make the move up. Have your Broker or Banker let you know how much you can spend, and have that up-dated every year, or so, depending on how long it takes you to find a place to purchase, especially when the rates are fluctuating so much. Also, your Broker will tell you the exact payment.
Can I qualify for a Mortgage based on the lowest rates out there?
Different Lending Institutions will have different rules, but you will generally have to qualify under their 3 Year Rate, which will be higher than the lowest rates available. Some institutions will use the 5 Year Rate (primarily regular banks).
What's the difference between an Open and a Variable Rate Mortgage?
An Open Mortgage is one that can be paid out at any time, but you will pay a higher Rate for this privilege. This is a good choice if you're not sure how long you'll be staying in the home. You'll save on the possible Penalty Payments you would have to pay if you had a Fixed Rate Mortgage, and had to move before the pre-chosen Time Period had elapsed.
A Variable Rate Mortgage (my favorite!) is not fully Open, but it can easily be converted into an Open Mortgage, so you would still save on any potential Penalty Payments. With this Mortgage, you'll usually get better than Prime Rates, and the flexibility to move if something better comes along?! The other thing I really like about this one is that you can usually make payments directly on the Principle, which will reduce your mortgage faster than almost any other method. Your monthly mortgage payment will be as low as possible, so with the extra money that you might have kicking around, put it in a Savings Account, then make the payments annually (or more ? ask you Broker how often and when you can pay off the Principle).
One thing about this type of Mortgage that might seem off-putting, initially, is the fact that the interest rates actually fluctuate within the mortgage. This is not necessarily a bad thing, especially if the rates go down after you've established the mortgage. The important thing to remember is that the amount you pay per month will always be the same ? the only thing that changes is the amount that will come off the Principle. If interest rates start to rise, make an extra effort to set aside some money to pay directly to the Principle.
My biggest Financial Pet Peeve is the whole notion of making two payments per month (or Bi-Weekly Payments) that are really high in an effort to pay off the Mortgage faster (usually a 15 year term). This drives me crazy, since it often puts a lot of unnecessary financial pressure on a family. That's a lot of money to come up with in a month, and if disaster strikes, they'll be in serious trouble very quickly. I always think that it's better to establish the lowest possible monthly expenditures, then if you still have a big wad of cash left over, great ? put that toward the mortgage. Using the Variable Rate Mortgage will give you the lowest mortgage payment.
Here's a quick example: If you have a mortgage of $100,000. @ 5% (using a 25 Year Term), using the Variable Rate Mortgage, your monthly payment would be about $500/month, plus taxes. If you have the same mortgage in a Fixed Rate Mortgage (also a 25 year term), @ 6%--remember that the Variable Rate is lower ? the monthly amount would be about $650, plus taxes. (Note that a Fixed Rate Mortgage is calculated differently from a Variable Rate Mortgage) If you were to sign up for the two-payment a month plan, that's $1300/month. The spread ($500/month to $1300/month) is $800. Multiplied out by a year is $9,600 ? that would be a huge Lump Sum Payment directly on your Principle.
Keep in mind that only a tiny amount of your regular monthly mortgage payment goes toward the Principle in a new mortgage ? have a good look at your Statement, the next time it comes in. Even if you were to put half that amount on the Principle, you would still be making a major dint in it. And your financial life won't be so stressful, which will make the rest of your life much nicer, too, since financial stress is one of the leading causes of divorce, but that's a whole other story?
What's a Fixed Rate Mortgage?
A Fixed Rate Mortgage is a mortgage that will have the same rate for the amount of years you have chosen to lock in at. Typically, there are 1 Year, 2 Year, 3 Year, 5 Year, 10 Year, 15 Year, and 25 Year time periods. If you choose to move before the time period is up, you will be required to pay a Pay Out Penalty, so keep that in mind if you're not completely sure how long you'll be there.
What's the best way to get money for a Home Renovation Project?
Check first with the Financial Institution that's carrying your Regular Mortgage. They may be able to provide the money you need to renovate. You could borrow on your Equity (the spread between how much you owe for the property and its current appraisal rate) in the form of a Home Improvement Loan or a Home Equity Loan. Keep in mind that you can use a Home Equity Loan for other stuff, as well. Your bank should be able to offer you a Blended Rate, and should waive the Pay Out Penalties. If they won't offer that, or give you any loan, call a Broker, and see what they can do. They're not miracle workers, but they can often help when the regular route won't come through for you.
The easiest way these days is to check out companies on the Internet. You'll get your response a lot faster, and probably get a better rate, too! I'll find some for you and post them here!
The bank wants to do an Appraisal on my house before they'll give me a Home Improvement Loan. Is that standard?
Yes. (You'll need this for the Home Equity Loan, too.) The financial institution needs to know the current value of your home to make sure that their backs are covered. Makes sense. You will probably have to get a 'Before and After Appraisal', quotes from the respective contractors to show proof of renovation, and a description of the type of renovations you're planning. It's much easier to borrow against the Equity, so try this route, first. Talk to your Lender before you get too involved to see what you can actually get, and when. If you have to pay for the whole job out of your own pocket first (as is often the case, which is craaaazy, since if you had the cash just sitting there, you wouldn't be at the bank, anyway?.ah, the joy of financing!), make sure that you find a source for material that will provide a payment plan (many home improvement stores will do this), and a contractor who doesn't mind being paid at the end of the job when you're money comes in.
N.B. Just a little aside ? I've seen some 'warnings' out there that you should nevah', evah' pay your contractor up front or in the middle of a job, or only pay them when you are 'completely satisfied'. Please. There are some people who are never satisfied with anything, even if they get exactly what they requested. This is such complete crap. You would never work for an employer for a year, then at the end of that year, he would sit back and decide whether he should pay you. That's crazy. Be smart about it, though. Get everything in writing, both of you agree to it, then sign the quote. You will often be required to pay for materials up-front, since the contractor doesn't know you anymore than you know him?Generally, you will make payments as the work progresses, which is easier than getting one big bill at the end, but if you have extenuating circumstances (like the bank won't give you the money until the end of the project), then tell your contractor that at the beginning. All projects work more smoothly when there's open and complete communication.
How do you get a Builder's Loan?
Apply for a Builder's Loan the same way you would apply for a regular mortgage. If you are a new Builder, you may require a 'New Home Warranty' on the property. That's pretty difficult, if it's your first house, so you may be calling a Broker right away! They're usually more flexible in getting you the capital you'll need to bring the house to fruition, but if you already have a good relationship with your banker, give them a crack at it. This might be easier in a rural area, where it is more common for people to build on their own, so the financial institution will already know how to manage this scenario.
When will we get our money?
The money is separated into 3 or 4 sections, or 'Draws'. Generally, you will get the funding in Three Stages:
Can we get money to get to the Sub-floor Stage?
This is where careful and creative financing comes in? hopefully, you'll have that swack of cash in the bank (at least twenty thousand), and a fair bit of equity in your home. You'll probably need to sell your current property before you start building your new house, so you can use the equity spread from that sale to get the new house started. If your land is already paid for, you'll find this stage easier. Some Developers will allow a new builder to put 5% down on the land, then they can pay the balance when the mortgage money comes in. This is relatively rare, so if you find this deal and like the location, go for it.
Talk to your Excavator, Foundation Contractor and Framer to see if you can make partial payments until the First Draw comes through. They're in the business, so they'll understand your situation. A lot will depend on how busy they are and the relationship you establish with them. Some Suppliers (lumber, ICF Blocks, etc.) may have a payment schedule, too, so it doesn't hurt to ask if you need to.
A Personal Line of Credit from the bank, along with your regular credit cards (again, if you have an Air Miles credit card, now is the time to use it -- you'll really rack up the points, then you can take a well deserved trip at the end of your house-building adventure!), personal loans, etc. will all come into play, now. You might want to make sure you have an alternate source of funds for a 'just in case' scenario. It's best to plan out all the possibilities before you get started so that nothing will catch you off-guard.
What kind of Appraisals will the Bank do?
First, the Appraiser will inspect the Land, the House Plans, and your Proposed Budget. The amount of money provided for the Builder's Loan will be based on the Cost to Complete the house, not including the value of the land. The Land will be included with the final appraisal for the Completion Mortgage (Take Out Mortgage).
The Appraiser will come out to your property to do Progress Inspections at the Three Stages ? Sub-floor, Lock-up and Completion. You should anticipate a one to two week waiting period for the Draw Money to come through. During that time, the bank will most likely have a lawyer check the Title each time.
It's an involved process, but it does work, so stick with it and figure it out! Remember that if one institution can't get you the money, try a Broker or two?eventually, it'll all work out!
One more thing -- What is Escrow??? I know, you hear that all the time! It's that seemingly very long period that your Lawyer holds onto your money while all the conditions are met on the House Deal. Make sure you ask your Lawyer for a good idea of the time-frame you might expect, and be sure not to leave yourself too tight (moneywise!) during this annoyink period!
Just so you know, a Real Estate Lawyer will be very pleasant to deal with ... they don't seem to deal with a lot of animosity, like many other types of Lawyers, and that probably accounts for their serene expressions! ha,ha,ha! They're there to help you get into or out of your home, so don't worry -- it won't hurt a bit!
Ailsa Forshaw is a Writer, Builder, Website Owner & Manager, Teacher, Mother... all in Alberta, Canada. She is Married with Two Lovely Children, and one gorgeous wee dog. Her Website, http://www.buildyourownhouse.ca, is chock full of all sorts of useful & fun information to help anyone become Financially Successful, Slim, Trim, and Happy... what more could you want?? Pop in for a wee visit!
Taking the Time to Find the Best Home Improvement Loans
The best home improvement loans usually aren't going to be the first loans that you encounter, but if you're in the market for a loan to pay for repairs, expansions, or improvements to your home or other real estate then it might be worth your time to shop around before you decide on one loan or another.
What is a Capped Mortgage?
A capped mortgage is a variable rate mortgage with a capped limit beyond which the rate paid will not exceed.
Refinancing Online - Get The Best Refinance Home Loan You Can Get
When going to refinance or get a mortgage loan quote, the internet can be a useful tool to shop around for the best interest rate. The reason the internet is a good place to start applying, is because most mortgage applications online do not typically pull your credit with the first application. Most of the time, the application will ask you to describe your credit. Once you have received an initial offer, then, the mortgage loan consultant who contacts you will ask you if they can pull your credit.
Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)
If your down payment on a home is less than 20 percent of the appraised value or sale price, you must obtain private mortgage insurance, known as PMI, with your lender. This will enable you to obtain a mortgage with a lower down payment because your lender is now protected against any default on the loan.
Bad Credit Home Loan - Apply Online and Keep Your Credit Score as High as Possible
If you have a poor or bad credit history with something in your past like a bankruptcy or a foreclosure, you know how difficult it can be when you try to get financing for a home mortgage purchase, refinance, home equity or second mortgage loan. Its important to be persistant in looking because there are home mortgage loans out there for people with bad credit.
Desperately Seeking Good Leads, The Adventure Driven Loan Officer
As loan officers, the word "lead" is by far one of the most common words we use during the day, it is the topic of many of our conversations, it is praised and cursed, it is good and it is bad, it is loved and it is hated, on bad days it is hard to find, and on good days it falls right into our lap.
Home Loan Applications Made Easy
You have finally found the home of your dreams. You have searched all over and are ready to purchase it. Before you even make your offer you should seek out the financing first. In some cases, it is easier to have a pre-approval in hand before making any financial commitment through a contract. Why get your hopes up after you purchase the home when you can buy with assurance and wait by the settlement table. Before you can buy anything, you will need to get accepted by a reputable lender. There is much you will need to know, as this will be the largest purchase you will ever make. You will need to fill out a mortgage application first.
Home Equity Loan or Home Equity Line of Credit ? Which is right for you?
The most common type of home equity loan is the term loan. This loan is set for a fixed amount of time, anywhere from five to fifteen years. Such loans are typically granted for up to 80% of the value of the home, but some lenders will lend up to 125% of the home's value.Is this type of loan right for you? The term loan works best for those who need to borrow a fixed amount of money for a specific purpose ? paying for a wedding, a home remodeling project, a fixed educational expense, or debt consolidation. This would give the borrower a fixed repayment schedule, where he or she would pay a set amount of money each month for a specific period of time. An increasingly popular alternative to the home equity loan is a line of credit. This type of loan works like a credit card, and has a revolving line of credit, in which the borrower may borrow against the principal more than once over the life of the loan. The borrower is usually given special checks that he or she may use to write checks against the loan amount. The borrower may borrow a little at a time, or borrow all of the loan amount at once. Unlike the term loan, the interest rate on lines of credit tends to be variable. This type of loan works best for recurring expenses ? a complicated remodeling project accomplished in several stages, or a recurring educational expense such as annual tuition. Each type of loan has its advantages and disadvantages; you simply need to decide if you want a fixed interest rate and fixed payments, or more flexibility in terms of when and how you pay. Your needs will determine which type of loan is best for you. Either way, under current Federal law, the interest on a second mortgage is deductible from your income taxes up to $100,000.
Florida Refinance - Refinancing in Florida
The decision to buy a home in Florida can be one of the best you will ever make. If you own a home in Florida you may be considering refinancing. Refinancing now can potentially save you thousands of dollars over the length of your mortgage. Florida lenders are offering low interest rates and could save you thousands of dollars over the length of your loan. Mortgage companies serving Florida and the United States are able to offer loan packages that make refinancing your home a wise decision. Compare your current interest rate to the rates being offered now and see how much money you can save by refinancing your home.
Types of Mortgages
Here is a useful guide to the different types of mortgages that are available.
Home Equity Loan Information - How to Use One Wisely
Using a home equity loan to get out of debt or make improvements to your home is usually a smart move. You have earned the equity, so it only makes sense that you put it to good use. Usually this type of loan offers a lower interest rate than credit cards or traditional loans, so it is a wise move for many circumstances. Perhaps one of the smartest uses of a home equity loan is for home improvements. You can take a $10,000 dollar loan, put it towards a new kitchen, and then turn around and sell your home for a profit. There are a few tips to getting the most out of your home equity loan. Use your head and ask questions, and you should have no trouble making the right decision.
Buying a Home when Rates go Up
Many people fret the rising tide of interest rates. You'll hear things like, "Did I miss the boat? Is it too expensive now to buy a home? How can I afford the house of my dreams? Maybe I should wait! Maybe I should just rent for a while! Maybe the rates will go down in a few weeks. "
Kings Bay Georgia Mortgage Information
When choosing the right mortgage company for your home purchase or refinancing, there are a few things to consider.
Home Equity Increases $1 Trillion in Five Years ? Is the Market Peaking?
A new survey reveals that in the last five years, the equity in the California real estate market has increased by more than one trillion dollars. A trillion dollars is a large number to ponder, but put in concrete terms, it can be represented by a stack of one hundred dollar bills that is six hundred thirty one miles high! This astronomical increase in California home values isn't all that unique, however. Prices on the East Coast, particularly in the Washington, D.C. area, are increasing just as rapidly. There are areas on both coasts where home prices have tripled during the last five years. This, along with the dramatic increase in interest-only mortgages among homebuyers, suggests that home prices may be peaking.
Home Loans and Mortgages ? Beware of New ?Mortgage Elimination? Scam
The booming real estate market has allowed many Americans to become "equity rich." They may not have a lot of cash on hand, but they might have equity in their homes worth several hundred thousand dollars or more. Unfortunately, this increase in home wealth has spawned an equally booming business in equity theft, as more and more thieves find increasingly clever ways to con homeowners out of their equity, their homes, or both. One clever new scam involves companies that promise to completely "eliminate" a homeowner's mortgage. For a fee of a few thousand dollars, these companies claim that a homeowner can have a free and clear title to their home without paying off the remaining debt. How does this scam work?
Adverse Credit Mortgage Loan - Persistence is the Key to Getting Approved
People with bad credit that are looking to get a home mortgage loan or to refinance their existing home mortgage loan, know how difficult of a job it can be to try and get approved. Adverse credit history can mean a little more legwork to get an approval for a mortgage loan, and especially to get a decent interest rate.
Mortgage Basics for First Time Home Buyers
Anyone planning to take out a mortgage for the first time will most likely find the job a little daunting, not least because the financial jargon can often be very difficult to make sense of. As with any major financial decision, it is essential to fully understand every aspect of a mortgage plan before making a commitment. It's also vital to simply do the math, to calculate exactly how much each type of mortgage will cost for the overall life of the loan, how long it will take to repay, and what the monthly repayments will be. Buyers would be wise to make the financial calculations before choosing a home, to get a clear picture of exactly how much home they can really afford to buy. More information is available at http://www.money-smash.com
Bad Credit Mortgage Refinance - Should I, Shouldnt I?
It is a common financial scenario across households in the Western world. Multiple debts have started to build up: a car loan here, a department store loan there; a bank loan here and several credit cards there. While all may have seemed manageable on the optimistic day you took them out, or spent on them, suddenly you realise that you cannot keep up with the monthly payments. You miss out on a payment or two, and suddenly you have a bad credit record. A few more missed payments and you start to feel the pressure, so start thinking about refinance.
Home Mortgages: Does It Ever Make Sense to Pay Points?
Interest rates on home mortgages are often quoted with and without points. A point equals one percent of the amount you are financing. This means that on a $150,000 mortgage, one point is $1500.00 and two points would be $3,000. These points are in addition to whatever other closing costs you might have.
What On Earth are Home Equity Loans?
Home equity loans are one of the most common types of financing for doing improvements on your house. These loans are not necessary used for home improvements but can also be used to simply obtain extra cash. It is essentially a standard loan, based on the equity you have in your house. This is as opposed to mortgage loans which are the loans used to purchase a home. Equity is the value that you have paid on your mortgage loan.
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