With the numerous mortgage options being offered by mortgage lenders today, newcomers to the arena may find the scenery just plain confusing. If you’re planning to get a mortgage loan, and you don’t know where to start, here is a list of the basics that you need to know about.
A lot of people tend to use mortgage to mean a mortgage loan. A mortgage refers to the document that you, as a borrower, sign and entrust to a mortgage lender in return for a mortgage loan. If you default on your mortgage payments, the mortgage lender, through the document called mortgage, has the right to take possession of your property. The borrower, the one who applies for a mortgage loan, is referred to as the mortgagor since it is the borrower who hands the mortgage over to the mortgage lender.
The basic premise of a mortgage loan is that it is a type of loan used to pay the difference between the purchase price and the cash available for a down payment. When mortgage lenders let you use their money, they will charge you a fee for it. The biggest fee is called the interest, which is expressed as an annual percentage of the loan. Usually, it is in the range of a low 5% and a high 12%. When you apply for a mortgage loan at one of these financial institutions, they will also charge you with an origination fee, which may include application fees, credit report fees and appraisal fees. The annual percentage rate (APR) consists of the base interest rate with points and other fees.
Mortgage Loan Rates
The mortgage loan comes in a fixed rate and adjustable rate. A fixed rate mortgage loan refers to a loan that features a fixed interest rate and fixed monthly payments for the entire life of a loan. Mortgage lenders typically offer 15- and 30-year fixed rate mortgage loans. An adjustable rate mortgage loan features lower initial rates, which may change as frequently as every six months. Borrowers who prefer going the least expensive way can opt for the 15-year mortgage loan. However, this type of loan is suitable for those who can afford the higher monthly mortgage payments. For people who plan on moving to another home in less than eight years, may find it more appropriate to settle for a 30-year mortgage loan, with its lower monthly mortgage payments.
Mortgage Loan and Down Payment
The down payment made on a house is usually in the range of five to 20 percent. The down payment precedes the mortgage loan, or the amount borrowed on the residual cost of the house. Thus a house that’s worth $450,000, you will require a down payment of $90,000 and a mortgage of $360,000.
Basic Mortgage Interest
Interest rates are prone to fluctuations, which make them highly unpredictable. There are two popular indices of short-term interest rates. The first one is the rate banks offer for six-month certificates of deposits (CDs). The second one is the interest on Treasury Bills, or T-bills. Mortgage lenders operate by charging around 2.5% over the publicly quoted interest rate. Compared to short-term rates, long-term rates are higher since they expose lenders to greater risk when lending money for a long time.