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A mortgage is a loan in which your house functions as the collateral. The bank or mortgage lender loans you a large chunk of money (typically 80 percent of the price of the home), which you must pay back with interest over a set period of time. If you fail to pay back the loan, the lender can take your home through a legal process known as foreclosure.
Since buying a home is most people’s largest purchase, a mortgage is likely to be your biggest debt. Even if you make a 20% down payment, you’re still financing 80% of a home’s purchase price with a mortgage. According to researchs 78% of buyers used a mortgage to purchase a home and more than half (58%) of them used the mortgage to finance between 81% and 97% of the home purchase price.
7 things to look for in a mortgage
When you go to close on your mortgage, you’ll sign a promissory note, saying you promise to follow all the agreed-upon terms of the loan in order to keep the property. Make sure you understand the terms you’re agreeing to, such as:
What is a mortgage?
A mortgage is a loan in which your house is the collateral. The lender loans you a large amount of money to pay for the purchase of a home (minus your down payment), that you must pay back, with interest, over a set period of time.
How do you calculate monthly mortgage payments?
The larger your down payment, the lower your monthly mortgage payment will be. The easiest way to calculate this is use an online tool, such as Bankrate's Mortgage Calculator. If you are already working with a mortgage broker, they can also let you know how different unique factors will influence your monthly payment.
How is interest calculated on a mortgage?
Interest is a percentage of the amount of money borrowed that is generally calculated monthly. The lender takes the outstanding loan amount at the end of each month and multiplies it by your agreed upon interest rate, then divides that amount by 12 to get your monthly payment.
How do you know how much mortgage you'll qualify for?
The easiest way to determine this is to contact a broker and get pre-approved for a mortgage. They'll use indicators such as your debt-to-income-ratio, credit score, and down payment to determine exactly what size of mortgage you qualify for. There are several online estimators, though, that you can use beforehand.
What is a good interest rate for a mortgage?
Interest rates change over time, but are currently at historic lows. The rate you get will depend on several variables, including your credit score, but 30-year fixed rate mortgages are available with interest rates around 3 percent and are expected to stay there through 2021.
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