10 Things to Consider to Help You Find that Perfect Mortgage

Hello Hampton Roads,
We know how exciting it is to buy a home, but we also understand the important choices that come with it, especially when it comes to getting a mortgage. Don't worry, though! In this blog post, we'll walk you through the top 10 things to consider to help you find that perfect mortgage! So, grab a cup of coffee and let's chat about making the right choices!

Top 10 Factors to Help Find The Perfect Mortgage

#1:  Interest Rate: The Money-Saving Champion
Alright, let's talk numbers! The interest rate plays a big role in how much you'll end up paying for your mortgage and can have a big impact on affordability. Rates change daily, so  keep an eye out for those lower rates that can save you a bundle over the long haul. If it makes sense, you may also want to consider paying some points to buy down the rate and if you're fortunate enough to get any closing costs assistance from the seller, you can consider using a portion to pay for points.

#2 Loan Term: Balancing Payments and Savings
Now, here's a decision you'll need to make: Do you prefer shorter or longer loan terms? Shorter terms mean higher monthly payments, but they also mean less interest paid in the end. Longer term loans like 30 yrs fixed rate options allow for smaller, more affordable payments but overall greater interest paid. For most folks, it's about the affordability in terms of being able to pay the mortgage and bills while still have money left over to live your life so the longer term loan makes the most sense in this case.

#3 Loan Type: Finding the Right Fit
Ready for some mortgage lingo? There are different types of mortgages out there, like conventional, FHA , VA and USDA.   Each has its own perks and quirks, so it's important to understand which one suits your needs. Here's a short description of each of these types of loans:
  • Conventional loans can be 30 yr fixed rate, or adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs). ARMs offer a fixed rate for a certain period of time and then adjust after that. Do you prefer a steady interest rate or are you comfortable with a little flexibility? The choice is yours!
  • An FHA  loan is a loan backed by the Federal Housing Administration and is attractive for first time buyers becuase of the loan down payment requirement and flexible qualification guidelines. 
  • A VA loan is available to eligible veterans and military service members, providing them with the opportunity to purchase a home with no down payment and attractive interest rates, as a token of gratitude for their service.
  • A USDA loan like a helping hand from the United States Department of Agriculture, supports rural communities by offering zero down payment and competitive interest rates for qualified buyers in eligible areas.

#4 Down Payment: Opening Doors to Savings
For most people, the down payment is a big hurdle to home ownership but it doesn't have to be! Ther's a misconception that 20% down is required to buy a house but that's not true. There are many low down payment and even no down payment loan options available especially for first time buyers. To learn more about these program you can visit:  https://www.1sttimehomebuyergrants.com
Of course, the larger down payment you can contribute, the lower your monthly payments may be, and it could even help you snag a better interest rate. It's like getting a head start on saving money from day one. 

#5 Closing Costs: Unveiling the Hidden Expenses
Just when you thought you had it all figured out, there are some sneaky closing costs to consider. These expenses cover things like appraisals, title insurance, and legal fees. It's important to be aware of them upfront, so you won't be caught off guard when it's time to seal the deal. When you find a house you like, ask your lender for a fee sheet which shows not only your antipcated monthly payment but also the closing costs needed for the purchase. This way there will be no surprises here!

#6 Monthly Payments: Ensuring a Comfortable Fit
When getting qualified for a loan, ask your lender to give you an estimate of your montly payment based on your loan approval amount and the current rate.  It's crucial to make sure these payments fit within your budget comfortably. After all, you want to enjoy your new home without stressing over the bills.

#7 Prepayment Penalties: Planning for the Future
Picture this: you're doing great financially and want to pay off your mortgage early. But wait, are there any prepayment penalties lurking in the fine print? Take a moment to find out if there are any fees associated with paying off your mortgage ahead of schedule. It's always good to plan for the future, right?

#8 Lender Reputation: Your Partner in the Journey
Let's talk about trust! It's essential to do your homework on potential lenders. Read reviews, ask for recommendations, and choose a lender with a solid reputation for excellent customer service. You want someone reliable and supportive to guide you through the mortgage process and be available for any questions you have.

#9 Pre-approval: Gaining a Competitive Edge
Before you start home hunting make sure you have a pre-approval letter.  This not only gives you a clear idea of your budget; it also shows sellers that you have the financial backing to buy their home and you mean business. It's like having a golden ticket that makes your offer shine brighter in a competitive market. Go, you!

#10 Additional Fees: The Full Picture
Last but not least, let's talk about those extra costs. Ask about any other fees or charges tied to your mortgage, such as origination fees or private mortgage insurance (PMI). These expenses can affect your overall affordability, so it's important to have the full picture before making any decisions. No surprises, remember?

In conclusion, remember to keep an eye on that interest rate, choose a loan term that suits your goals, and explore the different loan types available. Factor in your down payment, closing costs, and monthly payments, and don't forget to consider prepayment penalties. Work with a lender with a great reputation who you are comfortable with, get pre-approved, and be aware of any additional fees. With these tips, you'll be well-equipped to make informed decisions and find the perfect mortgage for your new home.
If you have questions and would like ot talk about your specific home buying plans, you can book a free buyer consultation here: https://calendly.com/liz-schuyler 

 Happy house hunting!

Thanks for Reading,


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