Below is a list of the most common questions people are asking regarding mortgages in general, how they work and other things you will have to think about when engaging a mortgage transaction. This list is updated as frequently so feel free to check back often. Thanks!
How much can I afford?
The typical and appropriate answer here is, "What would you like your monthly payment to be?" Please know this is not intended to be vague or elusive, but more so the proper way to gauge your comfort zone and therefore buying power. Our many years of experience with members and clients has taught us that the answer to this question is only based on your personal budget. The math behind this calculation is simple. Making sure you are comfortable, happy and satisfied are the priorities. If you would like to explore the math yourself, please do so by using our mortgage payment calculator. This calculator will help illustrate the relationship between purchase price, down payment and monthly payment.
How do I repair my credit?
This is a very loaded topic. Whether you are seeking to do it on your own or need assistance, we can help. The simple fact is, bad things happen to good people. If this is you, we are ready to assist you.
The process by which you can dispute or amend your credit report can be a daunting task. With coaching, research and some tenacity, it certainly can be done!
1st Mortgages employs a number of credit repair and counseling services to help you, should you need and want to ask for help. Although fixing your credit can be done for free, it is sometimes worth it to pay a reasonable fee for the help these services can provide.
How much do I have to put down?
The recent data collected on this topic suggests that most people believe you must come up with a minimum of 10%. If you are seeking to buy a $250,000 house, the number $25,000 can be very intimidating. Rest easy!! The truth is, you could buy a home for as little as $1000.00 out of pocket if you qualify for down payment assistance. If you do not qualify for down payment assistance, you could still qualify for a loan with as little as a 3% down payment. There are great programs available like FHA and Home ReadyTM. Call us today to find out what your options are.
Should I refinance my mortgage?
There are 3 main goals in choosing whether to refinance home loans or not. They are as follows:
(1) Reduce your monthly payment. - You will need to decide if the amount it will decrease is worth it or not. This is a personal decision that only you can determine.
(2) Reduce the length of your current loan term. - This is a solid choice if you would like to shorten the amount of time you have a monthly mortgage payment. Depending on what your current monthly payment is and what your new payment will be, it might be a good way to own your home outright faster.
(3) Use the equity you may have in your home to do home improvements, consolidate debt or finance something else like education, a new vehicle or a much needed vacation. - Please know that the 3 options described above can often be combined to maximize the benefit of your refinance transaction. Our Loan Officers are at the ready to crunch the numbers and present your options.
Can I qualify for a reverse mortgage?
The main thing to consider here is your age. Anyone over the age of 62 can qualify, even if their spouse is not yet of that age. A reverse mortgage can be used to refinance your home loan or to buy a new home. A reverse mortgage loan can have tremendous benefits that include eliminating a monthly mortgage payment, leveraging your home’s equity to consolidate debt, or supply monthly cash flow.
When should I "Lock" my interest rate?
Interest rate locks can be a very consuming question. Interest rates rise and fall frequently and can be unpredictable as a result of economic activity, political unrest or changes in the stack market. Trying to predict and consider the impact any of these factors may have on your interest rate can be overwhelming and very stressful. Rather than become a stock broker overnight, it may be easier to remember a few things.
1) We will always offer you the best rate that we are able to offer. Regardless of the loan type you've chosen, we will offer you the best rate possible based on the current market and the pricing we have available to us. We cannot guarantee it is the best rate EVER, but it will certainly be competitive.
2) If you are happy with the monthly payment amount, then go ahead and lock. For a $350,000 loan, your monthly payment will change approximately $25 for every .125% in rate.
3) Your Mortgage Loan Originator will advise you if locking is a good idea. We employ a great number of people that are well versed in market movements. We will watch the market for you and let you know if locking at any given time is a good idea, or if the market has a little more to give.