What Is a Mortgage?
Mortgage is a type of loan that allows homebuyers to purchase homes without providing all the funds up front. The loan is secured by a lien on the property, which means the lender can take the property if the borrower defaults on the financial obligation. This security makes mortgage loans relatively safe for lenders, so it is the most common form of financing to buy a home.
Mortgages can be obtained from banks, savings and loans, credit unions or private mortgage lending firms such as Better, LoanDepot and Rocket Mortgage. The process of getting a mortgage involves extensive financial and credit checks. The lender will also require the property to be appraised and inspected so they know they are lending money on a sound asset. Borrowers may be required to provide tax returns, bank and investment account statements and employment verification information as part of the application.
The specific details of a mortgage will vary from country to country, but the fundamentals are generally similar. Those details include the amount of money borrowed, the length of the term and the interest rate charged. The lender may also add in other fees and costs such as a loan origination fee, an appraisal fee, credit report fee, title insurance and other applicable closing fees.
Typically, the lender will require the borrower to have homeowner’s insurance coverage to protect the property against fire or other perils. This insurance is typically a separate monthly payment in addition to the mortgage. Lenders will also require a down payment from the borrower in order to approve the loan.
As the borrower makes payments on a regular basis, the principal balance of the mortgage will gradually decrease. The borrower will often receive an amortization schedule that shows how the principal and interest are paid over time. This schedule will help the borrower to visualize the long-term impact of their mortgage payments and to understand that they are building equity in their home as the principal balance decreases over time.
When the borrower’s loan term expires, they will usually have the option to renew the mortgage or sell it on the open market. If the loan is refinanced, the mortgage deed will be amended to reflect the new term. The new terms and conditions will typically be more restrictive than the original terms of the mortgage.
Many people make the mistake of assuming that a mortgage is just one big payment made to a single lender. This couldn’t be more wrong. In reality, every mortgage payment is broken into four distinct parts: the principal, the interest, the taxes and insurance. This structure helps to prevent borrowers from paying too much in interest and ensures that the loan is paid off at the end of its term. This is why most mortgages are structured with a fixed amount of payments for a set number of years. Mortgages are a vital component of the housing market, and they allow a large segment of the population to purchase property that would otherwise be out of their price range.