Finding a mortgage that's right for you should be easy. There are hundreds of options to choose from, including Fixed Rate, Adjustable Rate, Hybrids, Interest Only, Monthly Option ARMs, and Pay Select Mortgages, to name a few. Mortgages are available at rates ranging from an introductory rate of 1.00% to well over 10.00%. You can finance up to 100% of your home's value and, in some cases, your closing costs as well.
Because of the many options available, you will want to seek advice from an experienced mortgage professional who will look out for you. The first step in determining which program is right for you is to ask yourself the important questions below. These questions can also help you confirm that you've chosen the right mortgage professional, because he or she should be asking you the same questions before trying to put any mortgage in place:
How long do you anticipate being in your home?
Do you expect any changes over the next few years, such as increasing your family size or having children head to college or even move away?
Do you expect any changes in income due to relocations, retirement, promotions, inheritance, or pensions?
Are you expecting a change in your investments?
When it comes to investment strategies, are you conservative, aggressive, or somewhere in between? The reason these questions are so important is that different loan programs will offer specific benefits that will appeal to borrowers at different stages of life. What one homeowner might find appealing might cause another to reach for the Tums.
In the end, be sure you are given a complete picture of exactly how much your mortgage will cost you over the period of time you anticipate having the loan in place. This is the single most important factor you should consider when shopping for a mortgage. Not only does this data illustrate your overall financial goals, it allows for changes should things change a little sooner than expected. A good timeframe for this projection is anywhere from three, five, or even up to seven years.
When shopping for a mortgage, you should always evaluate your choices carefully and consider how they will fit in with your long-term financial plan.