Buying a Home? Here's What You Should Know About Interest Rates
If you're a home buyer planning to get a mortgage, you probably know that your interest rate will have a big impact on your monthly mortgage payment. Knowing how important interest rates are, you may have questions about how they work and what you can do to reduce the amount of money you spend on interest. If you're thinking about buying a home soon, here's what you need to know about mortgage interest.
What Is Interest?
Interest is an additional cost added to the repayment of any mortgage. It's calculated as a percentage of the principle balance. Interest rates are related to market rates; as the market fluctuates, interest goes up and down.
Is Interest a Fixed or Variable Cost?
Some loans are fixed rate, which means that the lender locks in the rate and pays the same amount over the life of the mortgage contract. Other loans are variable rate, which means that the interest rate on the loan can go up and down with market fluctuations.
Borrowers with variable rate mortgages must be prepared to make higher payments, depending on the activity of the market. Variable rate mortgages often start off at a lower rate than fixed rate mortgages, but that can change.
What Happens When the Mortgage Contract Expires?
Mortgage contracts can last a few months or for as long as five years. When a mortgage contract expires, the rates may change. Buyers who would like to renegotiate a better rate for their loan shortly after buying their house can get a short-term loan of a few months. Buyers who would like to keep their interest rate for as long as possible can do so by getting a long-term rate.
When Can You Find Out What Your Interest Rate Will Be?
Buyers are able to lock in their interest rate for a short period after being approved for a loan. This makes it easier for the buyer to create a home-buying budget and decide which home will be affordable. Creating a budget is very important. A buyer who does not create a budget may be at risk for buying a home that they can't afford.
How Does Interest Affect Quality of Life?
High interest rates mean higher payments. Buyers who purchase a house they can't afford at a high interest rate may be forced to change their lifestyle or even sell their house. This is why it's very important to work with a lender to ensure that the house being purchased is one the buyer can afford.
What Can You Do to Get a Lower Interest?
The best lenders, called A Lenders, often offer the best interest rates and therefore, the lowest payments. However, these lenders are known to have the strictest requirements when it comes to mortgage application approval. Borrowers who want to ensure they can get a loan from an A Lender can do so by getting their finances in order before they apply for a mortgage. If you're a buyer who would like to be approved for a loan from an A lender, here's what you can do:
- Review a copy of your credit report before applying for a mortgage.
- Make corrections to your credit report as needed.
- Gather documentation about your income and taxes for the last several years.
The best lenders also pay close attention to debt-to-income ratio. The lower your debt-to-income ratio, the easier it will be for you to get a loan. This may mean paying off your car loan, or credit card debt.
There may be other things you can do to get a loan from an A Lender. Talk to a financial advisor or a mortgage lender to find out more.
Work With Your Lender and Real Estate Professional
If you're a Beacon Hill home buyer who will be getting a mortgage to pay for your house, you may have a lot to learn about mortgages, interest, and the other aspects of buying a house. To ensure that the process goes smoothly, work with experienced professionals.
A good mortgage lender can answer your questions about getting a loan while also guiding you through the process of applying for a mortgage. Meanwhile, a good real estate professional can help you find a house that fits in your budget. Now is the time to build up a good team of people to help you. Contact lenders and real estate professionals to get started today.