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Mastering Mortgage Basics

August 20, 2023
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Whether you’re a first-time home buyer or you’ve purchased homes before, it’s a smart choice to make sure you understand the basics of getting a mortgage that best works for you. Purchasing one of our homes in Ridgefield WA is an important investment in your future, so you want to make sure you get the right home and the right mortgage or your needs and lifestyle.

A mortgage is a loan you acquire to purchase a home where the property acts as collateral. Should you fail to repay the loan, the lender can acquire the home through legal foreclosure proceedings.

The mortgage allows you to purchase the home but the principal amount and the interest determine your monthly payment. Typically, mortgages are set up for 15 or 30 years. It’s important to have a clear understanding of your finances to know how much you can afford to pay each month.

There are various types of home loans available. A fixed-rate mortgage has a fixed interest rate and a set payment amount each month. An adjusted rate mortgage (ARM) starts with a fixed rate, which may be lower than you would get with a standard mortgage, but after a set period, your interest will be determined by the current interest rate, which can fluctuate. There are also government loans, such as FHA and VA mortgage loans, as well as opportunities for first-time home buyers. A mortgage professional can help you determine which loan is the best for you.

Interest payments and loan amounts are determined by factors such as the borrower’s credit score, the length of the loan, the ratio of the loan to the value of the property, and market conditions at the time. The more financially stable you are, the more confident a lender will be in offering a loan. This is also why it’s important to get mortgage pre-approval, so that you know how much you can afford and it also gives sellers more comfort knowing that the deal is likely to go through.

You will need to make a downpayment toward the cost of the home at closing. The greater your downpayment, the lower your monthly payments will be. It also can affect the interest rate as well as whether you need private mortgage insurance (PMI), which protects the lender if you default on the loan. This insurance is usually required if you can’t put down 20% of the home’s value in your downpayment. You pay for this insurance until you’ve reached the point where you’ve put in 20% of the home’s value.

To apply for a mortgage, including pre-approval, you will need various financial documents for the lender to determine how much they are comfortable loaning. The documents include bank statements, proof of income, credit history, debt information, and employment verification.

The better the understanding you have about what your financial situation is, the better you can determine which homes in Ridgefield WA are in your price range. Contact us today to learn more about the homes we have available and the options available to you to find the right house in the right price range.

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This post was written by Pacific Lifestyle Homes

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