Home finance has blossomed into an incredibly diverse and complicated industry. This is good and bad. There are at least a hundred ways to borrow the money for your next home now. There are also dozens of ways for lenders to take advantage of you, from hidden charges to prepayment penalties and more. Let your lender explain all the various home loans and home finance options available. However, when you finally decide on a product you like, ask as many of the following as are relevant to your loan. These are the questions that will protect you.
Questions for The Lender
What is the interest rate?
What is the APR (annual percentage rate; includes fees, points and mortgage insurance) ?
What is the initial rate (if it is an ARM - adjustable rate mortgage) ?
What is the highest the rate can go to next year (ARM)?
What are the annual and lifetime caps on the interest rate and payment (ARM)?
How often is the rate or payment adjusted, and when (ARM)?
What index is the rate based on (ARM)?
What margin is added to the index (ARM - it might be the index plus 3%, for example)?
Is credit life insurance required (this pays off the loan if you die)?
How much would the payment be without it?
Can any of the fees or costs be waived?
Is there a prepayment penalty? If so, how much is the prepayment penalty?
For how long is the penalty in force?
Are extra principal payments allowed?
Is an interest rate lock-in available? (guarantees interest rate for a time)
Can I have the lock-in in writing?
Is the rate locked in at time of application or time of approval?
If rates drop, can I get a lower rate locked-in?
What inspections and/or surveys are required?
Is a title search and/or title insurance required, and what is the cost?
Can I get an estimate of prepaid amounts that I'll have to pay at closing?
Are there "points," and what will these cost (discount points to reduce interest rate)?
What state taxes, local taxes, stamp taxes and transfer taxes will I have to pay?
Will a flood determination be required (to see if the home needs flood insurance)?
What other costs will there be?
Is there anything else I should know?
HOW TO PICK YOUR LENDER FOR YOUR FIRST HOME OR REFINANCING
Your lender is one person that can make or break you with finances towards your home. Before you become involved with anyone that will involve your money, you need to make sure that they are going to offer you the best. Once you know some basic concepts, you can begin to find a lender that will fit your needs.
The first set of characteristics that you will want to look for with a lender is with the type of loans that they will offer and the policies that are set next to them. The loan that is offered to you should fit your individual financial needs and give you the benefit of the financial world. This doesn’t just include the loan types, it also includes the extra fees that are attached to loans and how these will differ with you. You should also ask about things such as pre-payment penalties and rate locks that may be attached to your loan.
You will also want to know how your lender will benefit you. Sometimes, you can get discount points added to your loan, as well as lender guarantees. These will help to lower the rate of your loan and will help you to gain credit. You want to make sure that no matter what the loan, that you are not going to be penalized for anything and that you benefit from what you are getting.
The main idea when finding a lender for your home or to refinance is to make sure that you will get exactly what you want from the loan. This includes everything from the type of loan that you will get to the timing and type of funding that will be offered to you. With any situation, go with your list of questions ready and be willing to listen to possibilities. However, if you aren’t satisfied, you can find a lender that will listen to you better.
Even if it is your first time buying a house or if you are trying to get a little extra money, you should always walk into a lenders office and know exactly what you are getting into. In the long run, this will make a difference in your abilities to stay in a place and benefit from what is being offered.