An Overview Of Mortgage Points On Home Loans

An Overview Of Mortgage Points On Home LoansUnless someone works in the real estate or mortgage industry, there is a high likelihood that they are going to run into unfamiliar terms. Appraisals, underwriting, and private mortgage insurance are a few of the examples. One of the most common terms that people might run into is termed mortgage points. Even though the term “points” might sound positive, this is not always the case. What do people need to know about mortgage points? 

Mortgage Points Refer To Payments Due At Signing

When someone is negotiating for a home loan, they want to get the lowest interest rate possible. There are several ways that potential homeowners can get the interest rate reduced on their home loan. One option might be to increase the down payment. Another option might be to pay a percentage of the loan amount at signing.

Usually, mortgage points refer to a certain percentage of the loan amount that is due at signing. For example, someone who is being charged one mortgage point will pay 1 percent of the loan amount at signing. Why would someone want to pay a percentage of their loan early? 

Mortgage Points Are Usually Paid In Exchange For A Lower Interest Rate

The most common reason why someone might pay mortgage points upfront is that they can bargain for a lower interest rate. For example, someone might be able to pay one mortgage point in exchange for having the interest rate on the rest of the loan dropped by 0.25 percent. Therefore, points go both ways. It is nice that someone can pay mortgage points to have the interest rate lowered on their loan; however, is this the correct decision? 

Borrowers Have To Do Some Math

Ultimately, this comes down to a math equation. If a potential homeowner is forking over more money at signing, they are not going to be able to earn interest on that money in their bank account or the stock market. On the other hand, they will save money over the life of the loan because the interest rate will be reduced. Therefore, homeowners have to do some math and compare the interest they are losing by paying money upfront compared to the interest they are saving on the home loan.

 

The Top Tips For Impressing A Potential Buyer At Showings

The Top Tips For Impressing A Potential Buyer At ShowingsFor those who are getting ready to put their home on the market, they want to make sure they get as much money as possible for their home. This means making a positive first impression. There is never a second chance to make a first impression. Therefore, homeowners need to make sure they do everything possible to “wow” potential buyers at open houses and showings. What are a few of the top tips that homeowners should keep in mind?

Listen To The Agent

Homeowners know their home the best. Therefore, they feel like they are able to show their home in the best manner possible. Even though they should have some input, homeowners are ultimately selling a building. They are not selling their memories.It is a prudent idea to listen to the agent. For example, the real estate agent may recommend staging the home in a certain way. The real estate agent may even recommend that he or she hosts the open house personally. Homeowners will need to listen to the experience of their real estate agent in order to have the best showing possible. 

Clean The Home Thoroughly

Homeowners also need to make sure they clean the home thoroughly. There is a high chance that the real estate agent may even recommend a cleaning service to scrub the house from top to bottom. Even though a potential buyer is probably going to clean the home after he or she buys it, nobody likes to see a dirty house. If there are any children or pets living in the home, try to eliminate all traces of them. 

Put Away Family Photos And Memories

Finally, homeowners also need to put away any family photos or personal items they have left out. When someone is looking for a new home, they want to envision what their life might be like in that home. This is going to be challenging if the current homeowner has family photos all over the walls. Remember, selling a home does not mean selling the memories in it. As a result, homeowners should try to put away their family photos and trinkets before the open house or showing. This will increase the chances of getting a great offer.

 

The Top Tricks For Updating A Home On A Tight Budget

The Top Tricks For Updating A Home On A Tight BudgetThere are a lot of people who are looking for ways to get the most money out of their property when they put it on the market. One of the tricks to doing this is to update the home before it goes on the market. Unfortunately, this can also be expensive.

Even though it is true that many homeowners will be able to recoup the price of the renovations when they list the home on the market, we still need to pay for these updates out-of-pocket. This can be incredibly expensive and could take money from other important areas, such as a car or someone’s education. Fortunately, there is a way for people to update their home without spending any money out of pocket. 

Refinance The Home And Free Up Some Cash

The first option the people need to consider is the opportunity to refinance the home while also freeing up some cash. Those who have been in their home for several years might have some equity built up in the home. They may be able to refinance their home, reducing their monthly payment while also getting a little bit of cash they can use to complete the renovation without paying anything out of pocket. Those who are interested in this option should speak with their lender about some of the ways they might be able to finance their renovation project.

Set Up A Payment Plan With The Contractor

Another option that homeowners might want to consider a set up a payment plan with the contractor. A lot of contractors are willing to provide homeowners with very low interest rates, or 0 percent interest rates, on the home renovation project. Most contractors understand that a lot of families are operating on a budget and might not have money to pay for the project in its entirety up front. This is another topic that homeowners should discuss.

Finance A Home Improvement Project On A Budget

These are just a few of the many ways that homeowners can finance a home renovation project without spending an exorbitant amount of money out-of-pocket. Think about these options ahead of time and make that next home improvement project more affordable.

 

An Overview Of Private Mortgage Insurance

An Overview Of Private Mortgage InsuranceWhen you are going through the process of looking for a new home, you are probably focused on the sticker price of that home. Even though it is important to think about your down payment, your monthly mortgage payment, and the total amount of the loan, there are other expenses that you might need to cover as well. If you do not put down enough money, there is a chance that the lender could ask you to pay for something called private mortgage insurance. What is private mortgage insurance and how much do you have to pay? There are several important points that you should keep in mind.

Why You Might Purchase PMI

Private mortgage insurance is something that the lender may ask you to purchase as a way to reduce their risk. If you do not make a sizable down payment, then the lender is responsible for funding most of the cost of your home. If you end up defaulting on the cost of that loan, the lender will lose a major amount of money. With PMI, the lender will be able to get his or her money back in the event that you default. Even though the exact cost of PMI will vary, you should expect to pay somewhere between 0.5 percent and 2 percent of the loan. You might be able to ask the lender to check with multiple options to find the least expensive policy possible for you. Once the PMI policy is instituted, this is something that you will have to pay on top of your monthly mortgage payment.

Avoiding PMI Payments

Importantly, there are ways that you can avoid PMI. You might be able to avoid this insurance policy altogether if you are able to increase the size of your down payment. If you cannot do that, the PMI policy will usually be canceled when you reach a certain threshold in equity. This is something that you should negotiate with the lender before you sign on the dotted line. In some cases, the PMI policy as waved when you reach 10 percent of the loan amount paid back. Even though you should check with a professional accountant, PMI is likely tax-deductible, similar to mortgage insurance.

 

What Homeowners Must Do When Behind On Mortgage Payments

What Homeowners Must Do When Behind On Mortgage PaymentsThere are lots of homeowners who fall on rough times from time to time. For example, some people may be in the midst of changing jobs. Other people might be going back to school. When this happens, it can be hard for homeowners to keep up with their mortgage payments. Even though they might be thinking about waiting for the bank to do something, this would be the ultimate mistake.

There are ways to handle late mortgage payments as long as homeowners reach out to the lender to discuss their options. What should homeowners do if they start falling behind on their mortgage payments?

Let The Lender Know Why They Are Falling Behind

If lenders do not hear anything from the homeowners, they are not going to know what is going on. Therefore, they may end up taking drastic action. The first thing that homeowners need to do is to let the lender know that they are falling behind on their mortgage payments. That way, the lender understands that the homeowner knows he or she is behind on the mortgage. Then, let the lender know why the mortgage payments will be coming in late. For example, there might be an unexpected medical expense that took the mortgage payment that month. Or, the homeowner might be looking for a new job. These are all understandable reasons why the mortgage payments might be late. 

Ask The Lender To Go Over The Options

Next, the homeowner also should discuss with the lender all of the options when it comes to late mortgage payments. There are lots of options available. If there is a one-time unexpected expense, the lender might simply break up that payment and spread it out over the upcoming payments without charging any extra interest. Or, the lender might be willing to simply add a few months to the mortgage in exchange for not charging a late fee. These are a few of the many options the lender has at his or her disposal.

Do Not Ignore Late Mortgage Payments

The only mistake that homeowners can make with late mortgage payments is not communicating with the lender. As long as the lender understands what is going on, homeowners should have options at their disposal.

 

The Top Ways To Upgrade The Exterior Of Your Home On A Budget

The Top Ways To Upgrade The Exterior Of The Home On A BudgetThere are a lot of people who are spending more time at home these days. As the temperature starts to warm up once again, there are some homeowners who are looking for ways to upgrade the outside of their home. Even though there are some people who are looking at installing a brand new patio or deck, this can be extremely expensive. Fortunately, there are ways that homeowners can completely transform the exterior of their home without breaking the bank. Take a look at a few of the top ideas below.

Consider Adding An Outdoor Rug

First, homeowners should consider adding an outdoor runner or rug to the exterior of their home. Because this run is going to be outside, try to go with bright colors. Furthermore, there are also specific runners and rugs that have been designed specifically to stand up to the wear and tear of the outdoors. Consider adding a rug that leads from the patio door to the deck. Or, think about placing an area rug underneath the table outside. This can completely change the look of the patio.

Think About Installing A Swinging Chair

For those who are looking for a way to relax outside, consider installing a few swinging chairs. In some situations, homeowners might be able to attach a swinging chair directly to the awning outside. In other situations, it might be a smart idea to install a swinging chair that hangs from a tree in the yard. It is important to make sure the awning or the tree is able to support the chair before it is installed. Then, add a bright cushion to the chair and relax outside with a great book! 

Use Citronella Candles

Anyone who likes to spend evenings outside under the stars should consider using candles. Specifically, think not using citronella candles. Citronella candles will help keep the mosquitoes away in addition to adding a majestic fuel to the outdoors. Think about using them on top of poles that line the walkway. This is a great way to add a little bit of ambiance to an evening party.

Consider a few of these ideas to completely change the exterior of the home in a budget-friendly way.

 

How To Stretch Home Improvement Dollars The Most

How To Stretch Home Improvement Dollars The MostThere are lots of homeowners who are looking for a way to improve the quality of their home while also increasing the value of their property. Unfortunately, a lot of home improvement ideas can be prohibitively expensive. It is not unusual for homeowners to spend six figures on a renovation project. On the other hand, there are also home improvement ideas that will not break the bank.

What are a few of the top ideas that homeowners should consider? 

Start With A Few Quality Ceiling Fans

First, homeowners should consider starting with a few quality ceiling fans. Because a lot of homeowners do not look up at the ceiling on a regular basis, they may not realize just how old their ceiling fans are. Therefore, homeowners should consider updating their ceiling fans. Ceiling fans should be hung between 7 and 8 feet above the floor. Now, there are advanced Energy Star ceiling fans that will help homeowners lower their utility bills while also increasing the value of their property. Finally, even advanced ceiling fans are not that expensive. 

Consider Planting Some Trees In The Yard

Another idea that homeowners need to consider involves planting trees. Planting trees will not only prevent erosion from the property but can also lower energy costs. Trees can protect the property from rain, wind, and the sun. Furthermore, as trees grow over time, they also increase the curb appeal of a property, driving up the value of the home. Even though a lot of people say that money does not grow on trees, planting a few trees in the yard can help homeowners save a lot of money while also boosting their home’s value. Fortunately, planting trees are also not that expensive. 

Increase The Quality Of The Insulation In The Home

Finally, a lot of homeowners neglect the quality of the insulation in the home. Even though this might not be as attractive as a complete kitchen or bathroom remodel, upgrading the insulation of the home reduce its utility bills. Furthermore, upgrading the installation is not that expensive. Homeowners should consider taking a closer look at the insulation of their homes every few years. There may be ways to save a significant amount of money.

 

Planning On Getting A Mortgage in 2021, Take These Steps

Planning On Getting A Mortgage in 2021, Take These StepsAs we move into 2021, there are a lot of people who are thinking about getting a mortgage. Even though it is a great time to look for a home loan right now, it is also important for everyone to make sure they place themselves in the best position possible to be successful. It is important to take the following steps for those who are interested in applying for a new home loan this year. 

Calculate Your Budget Carefully

First, it is important to take a look at the budget carefully and find a mortgage that is affordable. Remember that the mortgage payment isn’t the only expense that comes with owning a home. It is also critical to think about real estate taxes and homeowners’ insurance, which is often included in the monthly payment that goes back to the lender. Then, do not overlook the importance of utilities. Some of the most common utilities include electricity, water, gas, cable, and internet. Before looking for a home loan, make sure to calculate the budget carefully. 

See If Extra Payments Are Possible

When people first take out a home loan, the majority of the monthly payment is going to go towards interest. Then, at the end of the loan, the majority of the payment is going to go towards the principal. Those who are able to afford to make extra monthly payments will be able to attack the principal directly. The faster homeowners are able to pay off their home loans, the less they are going to pay in interest over the life of the loan. Any homeowner that is able to make extra payments should consider doing so. 

Don’t Forget To Deduct Mortgage Interest From Taxes

Anyone who is looking for a way to reduce their tax liability should consider taking out a home loan. There are lots of tax breaks that are available to people who own a home; however, for many homeowners, the biggest deduction is going to come in the form of mortgage interest. This can significantly reduce the amount of money that homeowners have to pay in taxes. Be sure to speak with the lender to learn more about the relationship between mortgage interest and tax deductions.

 

Understanding The Role Of A Mortgage Prepayment Penalty Fee

Understanding The Role Of A Mortgage Prepayment Penalty FeeWhen people take out a home loan, it is important to think carefully about how the home loan works. At first, the majority of the monthly payment is going to go towards interest. For example, it is not unusual for 90 percent of the monthly mortgage payments go toward interest during the first year. Then, during the latter part of the loan, most of the payment is going to go towards paying off the principal.

Therefore, it should come as no surprise that a lot of homeowners are looking for ways to reduce the amount of Interest they pay on a home loan. 

For example, some homeowners consider putting a larger down payment on the home in order to reduce the amount of money they have to pay in the form of interest. Another possibility involves paying off the mortgage early; however, a mortgage prepayment fee may apply. 

What Is A Mortgage Prepayment Fee?

A mortgage prepayment fee is exactly what it sounds like. This is a fee that some homeowners have to pay if they end up paying off their mortgage early. For lenders, they know that a lot of the money they are going to make comes in the form of interest. Therefore, they also understand that if their home loan gets paid off early, they are going to lose a significant amount of money. Therefore, as a way to disincentivize homeowners from paying off their home loan early and posting them interest, they apply a mortgage prepayment fee. 

When Will A Mortgage Prepayment Fee Apply?

Of course, it is also important for homeowners to take a look at the contract carefully and see when a mortgage prepayment fee applies. For example, if homeowners are paying one extra monthly payment per year, then it is highly unlikely that a mortgage prepayment fee is going to apply when the home loan gets paid off early. On the other hand, if a homeowner is looking to pay off an entire home loan in 3 years, then there is a high chance that a prepayment fee is going to apply. In order to avoid this mortgage prepayment fee, every homeowner has to take a look at their contract carefully.

 

4 Steps to a Smooth Mortgage Refinance at a Rock-Bottom Rate

4 Steps to a Smooth Mortgage Refinance at a Rock-Bottom RateRight now is the best time to look at refinancing your home. Even if your current mortgage is as young as a year old, you might find that a refinance is in your best interest.

Be Sure That A Refinance Makes Sense

With today’s rates, refinancing makes sense for many homeowners, but it might not be the right move for you. Depending upon your mortgage, you may pay a penalty if you prepay early. Also, if you’ve paid heavily into your mortgage, refinancing into a new 20 or 30 year mortgage could cost you money over the long-term. The bottom line is to carefully read through your loan documents or even call your loan company to find out the details of the impact of a refinance.

Consult With A Professional

Once you’ve determined that a refinance makes sense in theory, it’s time to talk with an objective professional, i.e., not your loan rep. Seek out a fiduciary, who has receives no gain whether or not you refinance. Have the professional run the numbers so you can see in black and white where you will stand financially after a refinance.

Compare Rates

If you and your financial professional decide that a refinance is the way to go, now it’s time to compare rates. Even with rates at rock bottom prices right now, you’ll find that you might save even more money just by shopping around. Also, remember that if your credit is excellent, you have more negotiating power. If you have a preference with working with a certain company, ask them to match the interest rate you’ve been offered by a competitor. 

Protect Your Investment

Now that you’ve improved your mortgage situation with a refinance, it’s time to consider what your heirs will be left with when you’re no longer here to provide for them. Make sure that your loved ones can reap the benefit of your savvy financial planning by taking out a life insurance policy. There are many variations on life insurance policies, so by sure to compare and contrast benefits, terms and rates.

As a homeowner, you should always be on the lookout for ways to maximize your investment. Use these refinancing tips to get the most out of your home’s value.