Mortgage Talk – Which Mortgage Should I Choose?

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The following is from an issue of Canada Realty News released a few months ago. I have edited it sllightly by removing a couple of sentences though.

Ryan Coffey

Choosing the right mortgage is as important a decision as choosing the right home. Getting the best deal on a mortgage loan can minimize your monthly payments and maximize the value of the investment you have made in your home. There are many different types of mortgage loans available to home buyers today, and it is important to understand the differences, advantages and disadvantages of each type of mortgage loan.

There are several elements of a loan that should be analyzed. While one of these elements may suggest one type of loan, another may call for a different type. You must weigh each ingredient separately and collectively. You will find that your answers to the questions below will ultimately determine the type of mortgage that best fits your needs.

How much risk are you willing to accept?
If you are the type of buyer that needs to know exactly what you will be paying each month for the term of the mortgage, a fixed rate mortgage will fulfill this need. The fixed rate loan, however, will also net a higher interest rate. If you are willing to take some risk of fluctuations in the interest rate, you may be able to receive a lower interest rate.

How much can you afford?
Most lenders set lending ratios that ensure mortgage payments never exceeds more than a third of a person’s income. However, this may still be too much of a stretch for you, especially if your have other expenses, potential future income changes or simply a lifestyle to uphold. Once you find a home you love, start crunching numbers. Can you really afford the mortgage payments, and are you willing to cut your expenses and save every month? Make sure you select a mortgage plan with a monthly payment that is within your means.

How much cash do you have available for upfront costs?
If you have the resources, you may want to make a larger down payment to lower your monthly payment. By keeping a higher monthly payment however, you might be able to shorten the term of the loan to a 15-year loan in order to pay it off quicker.

Keep in mind that you’ll have closing costs and fees to pay in addition to your down payment. If you don’t have much cash saved for your upfront costs, don’t despair. You may need to accept a higher monthly payment or even lower your monthly obligation by choosing an adjustable rate mortgage.

In addition to choosing a type of loan, you must also consider which lender to use. Once again, several factors will influence your decision.

Annual Percentage Rate
This is most likely the best way to make an “apples-to-apples” comparison of lenders. The Annual Percentage Rate reflects the cost of credit on a yearly rate and includes any points and fees in addition to the interest rate.

Interest Rate
Find out the rate the lender will commit and how long the lender will guarantee it. Get any commitments in writing. As with any transaction, if it isn’t in writing it doesn’t exist.

Points and Fees
These factors will vary greatly. Look out for hidden fees. Make sure the lenders disclose all fees; ask what they charge and what is included and what is not.

Loan Approval
Both approval and funding time should be considered. You don’t want to lose a prospective home because your lender takes weeks to fund your loan. A lender should be able to fund the loan within ten days.


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