Monday, May 13, 2019 / by Amy McLeod
Applying for a mortgage these days can be accomplished entirely online—no need to schlep to a bank and suffer hand cramps filling out paperwork.
Instead, you can punch some basic info into an online mortgage site, and up pops a bunch of loan choices. An industry renowned for being slow and cumbersome is now wooing customers with the promise of ease, speed, and transparency. Rocket Mortgage, Quicken Loan's online platform, for example, promises qualified customers approval in as little as eight minutes.
But taking out a six-figure loan is one of the most complicated and substantial financial transactions most people will ever make. Does it really make sense to handle it by pushing a few buttons on your smartphone?
Maybe for those with a typical 9-to-5 job and good credit.
"If you are a salaried employee with no overtime, no bonus—no funky income, if you will—just a plain-vanilla borrowe ...
Wednesday, April 10, 2019 / by Amy McLeod
Mortgage interest rates are a mystery to many of us—whether you're a home buyer in need of a home loan for your first house or your fifth.
After all, what does “interest rate” even mean? Why do rates swing up and down? And, most important, how do you nab the best interest rate—the one that’s going to save you the most money over the life of your mortgage?
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Here, we outline what you need to know about interest rates before applying for a mortgage.
Why does my interest rate matter?
Mortgage lenders don't just loan you money because they’re good guys—they’re there to make a profit. “Interest” is the extra fee you pay your lender for loaning you the cash you need to buy a home.
Your interest payment is calculated as a percentage of your total loan amount. For example, let’s say you get a 30-year, $200,000 loan with a 4% interest rate. Over 3 ...
Wednesday, March 6, 2019 / by Amy McLeod
What are the best questions to ask a mortgage lender before you lock in a home loan? If you want to find the very best mortgage for your needs, it pays to not automatically go with the very first lender you see.
“You need to shop around to make sure you’re getting the best interest rate and loan terms,” says Peggy Yee, supervising broker at Frankly Realtors, in Vienna, VA, who recommends that home buyers meet with at least three lenders before they pick.
So how do you compare and contrast your options effectively? Ask these 10 questions below to get a sense of who's right for you.
1. What types of home loans do you offer?
Some lenders offer a wide range of mortgage products, while others specialize in only one or two types of home loans. Finding a lender that offers the type of mortgage you need is a must. These are the most common types of home mortgages:
Fixed-rate loan: True to its name, a fixed-rate mortgage means that t ...
Monday, January 14, 2019 / by Amy McLeod
In many markets across the country, the number of buyers searching for their dream homes outnumbers the number of homes for sale. This has led to a competitive marketplace where buyers often need to stand out. One way to show that you are serious about buying your dream home is to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage before starting your search.
Even if you are not in an incredibly competitive market, understanding your budget will give you the confidence of knowing whether or not your dream home is within your reach.
Freddie Mac lays out the advantages of pre-approval in the ‘My Home’ section of their website:
“It’s highly recommended that you work with your lender to get pre-approved before you begin house hunting. Pre-approval will tell you how much home you can afford and can help you move faster, and with greater confidence, in competitive markets.”
One of the many advantages of working with a local real ...
Monday, December 10, 2018 / by Amy McLeod
In 2017, MarketWatch documented many of the reasons there aren’t enough homes to buy. One of the most striking forces in the housing market right now is “rate lock,” the idea that homeowners with ultra-low mortgage rates can’t bear to give up those loans and, in buying a new home, get stuck with a mortgage with a much higher rate.
Real estate data provider Black Knight shared data that illustrated the phenomenon. Among all homes listed for sale at that time, those with a mortgage that had a “5-handle,” a rate between 5.00 and 5.99%, were far more likely to be listed for sale than those with a 3-handle.
?MarketWatch recently asked Black Knight for an update. The chart above shows the picture a year and a half later.
In its October Mortgage Monitor, Black Knight notes that homes purchased with the lowest interest rates in history, are also likely to have been bargains, since that was a particularly iffy moment just after the ...