An Overview of Amortization: It Plays A Role In Monthly Mortgage Payments

An Overview of Amortization: It Plays A Role In Monthly Mortgage PaymentsEven though this may sound like a fancy word, amortization is simply a long word for a straightforward topic. Furthermore, it plays a significant role in the determination of monthly mortgage payments.

Before taking out a home loan, homeowners need to understand how their payment schedule works and what this means for the future of the home loan.

Amortization refers to the way monthly payments are calculated to make sure that homeowners pay the same amount every month throughout the life of the loan. Even if homeowners do not stay in the house for the life of the loan, amortization will still play a significant role in the amount of money they receive if they decide to sell the home.

Amortization Plays A Major Role In Calculating Monthly Payments

First, amortization plays a major role in calculating monthly payments because it ensures that homeowners pay the same amount of money over the life of the loan. Even though there is interest on the home loan, and inflation will play a role in the value of money during the life of the loan, the monthly payment is going to stay the same. This is particularly beneficial to homeowners who are still working and believe that their income is going to go up during the life of a 15 year or 30 year mortgage. Even if their income goes up, and even if inflation plays a role, their monthly mortgage payments will still stay the same thanks to amortization.

Amortization Divides Interest And Principal In Monthly Payments

On the other hand, amortization also plays a role in calculating interest versus principal in monthly mortgage payments. At the beginning of the loan, the majority of each monthly payment goes toward interest on the loan. At the end of the loan, the majority of each monthly payment goes toward principal. This also means that if homeowners decide to sell their home at some point during the loan, they might not get as much money as they think because most of their monthly payments have gone toward interest and haven’t built up any equity. This is another key factor homeowners should keep in mind when it comes to amortization.

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

What Do You Need To Know About Buying And Selling A Home During The COVID-19 Pandemic?

What Do You Need To Know About Buying And Selling A Home During The COVID-19 Pandemic?For those who are thinking about buying or selling a home during the pandemic, they may feel like this is a difficult task. Even though it is true that this is going to be a challenge, people are able to increase their success rate by adapting to a new environment. When it comes to buying or selling a home during the pandemic, there are a few tips that everyone should keep in mind.

Many Showings Are Going To Be Virtual

Make sure that everyone is ready to provide a virtual tour or go on one themselves. Of course, everyone is currently living in an era of social distancing. Therefore, everyone has to make sure that they do not unnecessarily expose themselves to anyone. Virtual tours are a great way to adapt to this measure while still purchasing or selling a home. For those who are thinking about providing a virtual tour to someone else, make sure to take the time to explore all of the options available. Some software programs are going to be better than others.

Ensure There Is A Safe Way To Buy And Sell A Home

It is critical to think about other safety measures that people can take as well. Everyone has to make sure that they endear themselves to as many buyers as possible. In addition to providing virtual tours, it may also be helpful to provide hand sanitizer. Or, people need to make sure that they bring hand sanitizer. Of course, make sure to wear a mask at all times when someone is going to be within 6 feet of someone else. This is another important safety measure that everyone should take.

There Is Help Available During The Pandemic

Finally, it is also a great idea to note that there is financial help available. Lots of people have struggled during the pandemic. That is why there are financial resources available. Be sure to speak with a trained professional and figure out if there are ways to make the process of buying or selling a home just a little bit easier. This could end up saving someone a lot of time and money during the process.

When Is The Best Time Of Year To Buy Things For A Home

When Is The Best Time Of Year To Buy Things For A HomeFor those who are trying to buy things for their home, it is important to think carefully. Nobody wants to overpay; however, reaching for something cheap may simply end up getting replaced quickly. There are a few highlights that everyone should consider purchasing for their home in January!

Purchase Some Furniture In January

First, everyone has to make sure they think about buying furniture either in January or July. A lot of furniture manufacturers provide retail stores with new pieces in February and August. Therefore, a lot of furniture will go on sale starting either in January or July.

Storage Items Go On Sale In January

Again, a lot of stores will roll out sales in January for storage essentials such as baskets, shelves, and organizing systems. There are a lot of student’s who are looking for inexpensive items before the start of the new semester and what’s leftover after Christmas will often go on sale in January.

Major Appliances Go On Sale During January And The Holidays

One of the most expensive items that people purchase for their home is a new appliance. These tend to go on sale during the holidays and shortly after Christmas. With new versions coming out at the start of the new year, the prior year’s models need to be cleared out and retail stores will slash their prices in January.

Flooring And Paint Will Go On Sale In January

A lot of homeowners will take breaks from remodeling projects during the holiday season. Therefore, paint manufacturers and flooring specialists are often desperate for business during the winter. For this reason, a lot of paint and flooring essentials will go on sale during January, providing homeowners with a chance to save some significant money on their next renovation projects.

Linens And Towels Go On Sale In January

Finally, anyone who is looking for new linens and towels should try to wait for January. These are common gifts during Christmas so retail stores will be looking for ways to clear out the leftover inventory after the holidays. As a result, a lot of linens and towels will be marked for major discounts following Christmas.

Tips For Getting A Mortgage Application Approved

Tips For Getting A Mortgage Application ApprovedRight now, mortgage rates have fallen to rates that haven’t been seen in years. This opens the door for many people to apply for a mortgage that they previously may not have been able to afford. Sadly, not everyone who applies for a mortgage is going to be approved. There are a few steps that applicants can take to increase their chances of getting their mortgage application approved.

Increase The Credit Score

Applicants need to make sure that their credit scores are as high as possible when they apply for a mortgage. The greater the credit score is, the more trustworthy they look to lenders. In general, applicants are going to need a credit score of 620 or higher to qualify for a home loan; however, those who want to get the best interest rates possible need to make sure their credit score is as high as possible. Try to ask for a free copy of the credit report from one of the major credit bureaus and correct any inaccuracies that might be present. Then, pay down as much debt as possible before applying for a mortgage.

Add More To Savings

Those who want to qualify for the best interest rates will need to be willing to put more money down. The only way to make this happen is to increase the amount of money in the savings account. Lenders are more willing to provide people with a home loan if they know the potential homeowner is supplying some of the capital as well. Delaying the home search by a month or two to collect more money in a savings account can dramatically improve someone’s chances of getting approved.

Increase Employment History

The longer someone has been employed, the better the chances of the application being approved. Lenders want to make sure that the potential homeowner is going to be able to pay back the loan. The longer the applicant has been employed, the greater the chances that he or she is going to remain in that position. A longer employment history could help someone qualify for lower interest rates.

Get A Mortgage Application Approved

These are a few steps applicants can take to improve the strength of their application. That way, they can get the home of their dreams.

A Few Creative and Effective Ways to Save Money for a Down Payment

A Few Creative and Effective Ways to Save Money for a Down PaymentFor those who are looking to buy a home, they know that this is one of the most exciting experiences in the world. There is something special that comes with looking at a bunch of homes and envisioning a life there. On the other hand, the prospect of saving 20 percent of the home’s value to put down might seem overwhelming. Fortunately, there are a few creative ways that people can save up enough money to purchase their starter dream home.

Talk To The Seller

One of the first tips that people need to keep in mind involves talking to the seller. There are a bunch of items that need to be negotiated between the buyer and the seller. One of the most important is the closing costs. Ask the real estate agent to speak with the seller. Even if the seller is able to take half of the closing costs, this could amount to a few thousand extra dollars that could be put toward the down payment.

Crowdsource The Down Payment

Another creative option involves asking the crowd to help with the down payment. It is not unusual to see people try to go the crowdfunding route for everything from medical bills to student loans. Why not give it a shot with a down payment as well? First, anyone who has a wedding coming up should add “money for a down payment” to their wish list, as this is becoming more common. Second, think about exploring platforms like Feather the Nest to try to raise money for a down payment.

Check With The Employer

Finally, it is also critical to look at your Employer Assisted Housing Program(EAH). While not everyone is going to qualify, those who work for an employer who falls under this category might qualify for a substantial loan for the down payment and closing costs. The best part is that this loan comes without interest. 

Save For A Down Payment

These are a few of the top ways to save money for a down payment. Using these tips, everyone can get over that last hurdle and buy their home.