What You Need to Know About a Mortgage
A mortgage is a loan that provides the money needed to buy a home. It is secured by the house itself, which means that if you don’t pay back your mortgage, the lender can repossess your home and sell it to recoup the money they lent you. When taking out a mortgage, it is important to understand the process and the terms involved.
The Mortgage process begins with submitting an application to a lender. The lender will then review the application with a fine tooth comb to make sure that you meet all the criteria for the mortgage. This review includes examining your credit history, income, debt-to-income ratio and more. The lender will also check to make sure that the property you are purchasing is free and clear of any liens or claims from other parties. If the lender approves your mortgage, you’ll then sign a legal document that gives the lender the right to claim and take ownership of your home should you fail to pay your monthly payments.
Your monthly mortgage payment will include a portion for principal and interest. The amount of principal you pay each month will decrease over time as you build equity in your home, and the amount of interest paid each month will decrease as well. A loan amortization schedule is a great tool to use to see how your principal and interest payments change over the course of your loan term.
The size of your down payment can also impact your monthly mortgage payment. It is recommended that you save a minimum of 20% of the purchase price of your home, although some lenders have programs available to allow buyers to put down as little as 3% to 5%. Additionally, the size of your down payment can have a significant impact on your mortgage rate and how much you will end up paying in total over the life of your mortgage.
Mortgage rates can fluctuate from one day to the next, depending on market conditions and other factors. It is a good idea to have a conversation with your mortgage broker or loan officer to get an understanding of the current market trends and how they may affect your loan. You should also keep track of weekly mortgage rate movements, which can be published by the Wall Street Journal’s market data section and by loan guarantors Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
The monthly mortgage payment is comprised of four components: principal, interest, taxes and insurance. The principal is the amount of the loan that is being paid down each month, and the interest is the percentage added to the principal that lenders charge for the privilege of borrowing money to purchase your home. Your monthly mortgage payment will also include property taxes, which are based on the assessed value of your home, and homeowners’ insurance, which protects against fire, theft and other hazards. You can find estimates for these costs online or through real estate listings.