Owning a home is a dream for many people. And it’s completely achievable. The way it’s done is different in many countries, but most Americans choose to take out a mortgage or a home loan.
What is a Mortgage?
A mortgage is a type of loan taken out on any property. It works like this — the lender loans an individual or group a certain amount; enough or almost enough to buy a specified property. This person doesn’t have to pay up the full sum of the loan all at once. Instead, they can make small installments payments over months or years. The types of expenses will vary based on who is taking out the loan, their income, the kind of property loaned out, and the loaner (usually a bank or other financial institution).
Home loans are a prevalent debt amongst Americans. Most home loans are paid over decades. If the payments aren’t made, the lender can foreclose on the property, driving the occupants out. They can then sell the house to make back the money lost by the defaulted payments.
There are several types of home loans, but only two are commonly used.
- Fixed-Rate Mortgage
A fixed-rate mortgage allows the borrower to pay back the loan periodically at a fixed rate. The sum that the individual is to pay does not change until the loan is fully paid up. This type of mortgage has been around almost since mortgages came into existence. The monthly principal and interest rate never change despite inflation or rising market prices, making this type of mortgage popular to date. Fixed-rate mortgages can be any length, but they’re usually around 15 to 30 years.
- Adjustable-Rate Mortgage
This sort of mortgage is a high-stakes gamble. Here, the interest rate is fixed for an agreed initial term. After that period is over, the rate fluctuates with market rates. The initial rate is usually relatively low, especially compared to fixed rates from even the best home loan lenders. But the rate can rise sharply if the market so dictates, which can make it unaffordable.
While mortgage payments can seem like a problem, getting approved for a mortgage might be an even more significant challenge.
Requirements to Get a Loan Approved:
- Your repayment ability: Your debt-to-income ratio defines this. It’s a series of calculations that determine how easily you can repay your mortgage with your current income. Typically, financial institutions prefer a number lower than 36%.
- If you’re willing to repay the loan: Your credit score determines this. The higher, the better.
- The funds available for the down payment, closing costs, and future payments: Depending on the type of real estate loans you’ve taken out, you might be required to have enough reserves for one or two regular payments. If your down payment is less than 20% of the property value, you may have to pay Private Mortgage Insurance, which requires you to spend more on your monthly payments.
- The Property Value: The value of your home will be appraised to see whether it meets or exceeds the purchase price. This is to determine whether the loan-to-value ratio fits the loan program guidelines.
There’s your quick run-down on all things mortgage. These are just the basics, but it’s enough to make you understand what home loans are, the options you have, and what you need to get one. You can use a mortgage calculator to calculate your costs and get a rough overview but contacting a top of the line mortgage company is still the best option. If you have any inquiries about the best housing loans or customized mortgage packages, contact Amerifund to get rates: (800) 570-5626.