Buying a home is a major life goal for most of us, and we're not always clear on how to achieve this goal. The mortgage and home buying process can be long, stressful and complicated without the right information to get you started.
If you're not sure how mortgages work, getting approved for one is the first step. Read on to find out how to get approved for a home mortgage, what a mortgage rate is, and the options for second mortgages and reverse mortgages.
Mortgages are a way people can buy real estate without having to pay the full dollar value of the home up front from their own funds. With the average housing property estimates sitting at more than $150,000, it would be hard for most of us to afford to buy our own homes. A mortgage is essentially a loan from the bank to help you purchase your home, and the home itself is the security or equity for the loan. Put simply, this means that the bank will lend you the money to buy your home, and you agree to repay it with interest over an understood period of time.
Mortgages rates are usually based on 10 year, 20 year or 30 year terms, which is a long time to owe the bank money. If you are unable to pay your mortgage to the terms you agreed to the bank gets their money back through the value or sale of your home. This is how mortgage lenders make their money, waiting for people to default on payments.
Having your mortgage approved is the first step to owning your own home, so look around for institutions that focus on mortgages for new home buyers. Visit your community's banks, mortgage centers, and talk to your personal financial institution or bank to find out what mortgage options they can offer you. Get a credit report and make sure your credit is in good standing – if it's not, you will have trouble finding an institution willing to offer you a mortgage, though there are alternatives for bad credit mortgages, you may end up paying more for your home over the long run.
Whether you need to pay off debt, make home repairs or make a major purchase, second mortgages let you borrow money against the equity of your home. This is in fact a mortgage loan on top of your existing home mortgage, and it takes the same process as securing your first mortgage to get a second mortgage. If you choose to take your second mortgage with the same lender as your first mortgage, you stand to get a better deal. Talk to your mortgage lender about their rates, as you will likely get a deal on your second mortgage. If you're looking at refinancing your home, there are some benefits. You can keep your payments low, lower your interest rate, get money from your home's equity and consolidate debt.