Factors That Affect Your Mortgage Rate

There are going to be many factors which affect your mortgage rate, some of which are under your control and others which you can do nothing about. You should be aware of all of the factors which might affect your mortgage rate and take them into consideration before applying for a mortgage loan. You can take steps to improve some of the factors which affect your mortgage rate and make decisions about when is best to apply based on basic knowledge about your mortgage.

What is a mortgage?

Most people understand the basic definition that the mortgage is a loan which is used to purchase a home. There is slightly more to the mortgage than this. The mortgage is a loan which uses the property itself as collateral. If you fail to make the payments on your mortgage, the property may be taken over by the lending institution who has given you the mortgage.

You want the best mortgage rates

The mortgage is a long-life loan meaning that it is not going to be fully repaid for many, many years. A standard home mortgage is often a fifteen or twenty year loan. This means that you want the best mortgage rate possible because you are going to be needing to pay this rate for a long, long time.

Factors affecting mortgage rates

Major factors affecting mortgage rates include:

o Amount of down payment on mortgage
o Consideration of closing costs
o Income of mortgage borrower
o Life of mortgage loan
o Life of mortgage rate
o Total mortgage loan amount
o Whether or not the mortgage rate is adjustable

Factors making up a desirable mortgage rate

The basic premise of the desirable mortgage rate is that it is within your budget, has a low interest rate and is paid back as quickly as possible. How all of this plays out in terms of each individual mortgage depends upon the independent factors of each borrower. For example, you might prefer a fifteen-year mortgage loan to one that is paid over thirty years. This will allow you to save money over time because you pay less in interest. However, if you can not afford the higher monthly payments and you default on the mortgage loan, you have not helped yourself out any.

Negotiating a desirable mortgage rate

The simplest method of achieving a desirable mortgage rate is to work with a mortgage broker. You will have to pay up front fees to the mortgage broker, usually at the time when all of the closing costs are paid on the home purchase, but you will save money and time in the long run. The mortgage broker plays the role of assessing your personal financial situation and working with lending institutions to negotiate the best possible mortgage rate for your situation. The mortgage broker has experience with all of the factors and terms used in the mortgage loan negotiation and can use this expertise to your benefit.

Repayment of the mortgage loan

When you are working out a plan of repayment for the mortgage loan, you should look at the amount of money available for down payment, the amount you can reasonably pay on the loan each month, the grace period of any adjustable mortgage loan interest rates and any fees owed for early repayment of the mortgage. Working with the mortgage broker, you should be able to develop a repayment plan for your mortgage which allows you to purchase and remain in your home through the life of the loan.

Fixed Versus Adjustable Mortgage Rates

Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions most people make in their lifetime. It is a huge investment and for many the idea of committing to a mortgage (one that could last up to 30 years to pay off) is a stressful experience. When buying a first home there are many factors to consider. What type of house do you want? How much can you afford? Will you be able to build equity in the current housing market? However, one of the biggest challenges for many new home buyers is understanding the various mortgage options and how the constantly fluctuating interest rates can affect them. Here’s how to understand the difference between fixed rate mortgages and adjustable rate mortgages.

Fixed Rate Mortgages
Fixed rate mortgages offer the buyer a consistent rate for the period assigned to the mortgage. For example, if you lock in at a 30 year mortgage your rate will not increase for the life of your loan. The benefit of this type of mortgage is that it makes it easier for the borrower to budget monthly expenses because payments remain the same every month. These types of mortgages are easy to understand for the new home buyer and are good for borrowers who are at the upper end of their budget and can’t afford any surprises. Fixed rate mortgages are also good for home buyers that plan to stay in their home for the duration of their mortgage. However, fixed rate mortgages don’t protect buyers if home values drop. In this scenario payments can become overvalued as equity falls behind.

Adjustable Rate (ARM) Mortgages
In comparison, monthly payments of adjustable rate mortgages go up and down each time the rate resets. Adjustable rate mortgages reflect short-term rates and are usually lower than the longer term mortgages. ARMs allow home buyers to purchase a larger more expensive home because interest rates are lower. The lower monthly payments are good for borrowers who want to take advantage of lower rates but have room in their budget if rates increase. However, many ARM loans begin with teaser rates that are below the indexed rate and in the long term may increase as rates reset to a market rate.

Let’s look at an example. Monthly payments on a $400,000 loan for a 30 year fixed rate mortgage at 4.31 percent would be $1981.84 compared to a 1 year adjustable rate mortgage at 3.00 percent, which would be $1686.00 resulting in a savings of approximately $300 per month.

Most first time home buyers rush into the housing market when rates are low without really understanding what they are getting into. Mortgage rates are important but borrowers have to consider the overall cost of home ownership including things such as the amortizaton period, payment options, and how the different types of mortgages can effect payments over time.

Often many people think that taking on a longer mortgage keeps repayments low. However, there is significantly less total interest repayable on a 15 year term than a 30 year mortgage.

Buying a first home can be exciting but it is also very scary. Especially for first time buyers who don’t have a clear understanding of interest rates and various mortgage products. Although there is a lot of stress that comes with purchasing a first home, it is a great investment and one that you will rarely regret as long as you ensure you know what you are getting into.

Tips For Getting the Lowest Mortgage Rate

If you are in the market for a mortgage, getting the best mortgage rate is essential to your financial security and well-being. You absolutely must do your research before settling on a mortgage, as there may be a lower rate out there. If you do not research the lowest mortgage rates and go with the first mortgage company and rate you come across, you may deeply regret your decision later on down the road. Here are some tips that will help you research the lowest mortgage rates out there.

Check Mortgage Rates Daily

Regardless of industry, interest rates fluctuate frequently, sometimes on a daily basis. Because of this fluctuation, it is wise to check the mortgage rates on a daily basis. If you want just a day or two before locking in your mortgage, you may end up saving yourself a ton of money in interest each month. The less interest you pay on your mortgage the less you end up paying annually; this is money that can be put into savings accounts, investments, or household maintenance.

Check Mortgage Company Policy

Some mortgage companies will allow you to lock in a lower interest rate once you have already committed to working with them. For example, if the interest rates drop more than half a point within thirty days of locking in your rate, some companies will allow for the lower rate on your mortgage. Other mortgage companies are not so lenient. Therefore, research the company policy before you commit to working with them.

Shop Around

There are plenty of lenders and mortgage brokers out there, so do your homework and shop around. Comparing loan offers from these different companies will help you find the most competitive rates, and the best option for your finances. When shopping around, be sure to look at more than just one Annual Percentage Rate (APR) or interest rate. And remember, you will need to compare all aspects of the mortgage offers, including closing costs, lender fees, and any other hidden charges.

Avoid Paying Points

Try to avoid paying points on your mortgage. Initially, paying points may seem appealing, but can end up costing you more in the long run. Remember, paying points means that you are just paying more upfront on your mortgage, which reduces the amount of your down payment. Avoid points if you are planning to stay in your home for only a short amount of time as well. Talk to your mortgage broker about this upfront.

Fixed vs. Adjustable Mortgage Rates

Make sure that you look into the options you have when it comes to fixed versus adjustable mortgage rates. You should not automatically expect your mortgage rate and payment to go up in a few years. Stick with a fixed rate mortgage and you will not only save money, but you will also be able to plan for your budget long-term.

Improve Your Credit Score

Your credit score will directly affect the mortgage rate you will end up getting, so be aware of what your credit rating and score is. The better your score the lower the mortgage rate will be because you are less of a risk to the lender. If you have some negative marks on your credit report, you should repair that before buying a home, if possible. This may delay your purchase, but will help you in the long run.

Put More Money Down

As you research mortgage rates and fees, you will quickly pick up on the idea that if you put more money into the down payment of your home, the less your monthly payment will be. Now, this will not necessarily help your mortgage rate become lower, but it will help your monthly payment. The ideal amount for a down payment is at least 20% and if you don’t have that, you may be forced to pay Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). This is an additional fee that goes right to the bank.

Buy a Home During Economic Turmoil

During times of economic turmoil, mortgage rates tend to drop. This is a great time to buy a home, if you are able to, because the real estate industry is struggling. The lower your mortgage rate is, the less interest you will pay and the lower your monthly payments will be. This may be an ideal time to buy a first home, if you can afford it.

Buying a home is an exciting adventure, but should only be taken on if you can actually afford it. If you cannot afford the home, or purchase one outside of your means, you may quickly find yourself in a downward spiral of debt and uncertainty. Always do a bit of research before choosing a mortgage company and settling on a particular interest rate.