Buying a home is a positive step towards settling down. However, availing a home loan or mortgage in order to buy a home involves discipline, dedication, and long term commitment. You will need to ensure that you earn a steady income to pay the monthly installments and interest payments, plan your finances carefully so that you do not default on payments, and live a lifestyle of prudence.
No unplanned shopping sprees, binges, or travel to exotic destinations until you get a handle on your finances. The primary focus will be to pay back the loan quickly and not incur any additional loan burdens.
The world of home loans or mortgages can be confusing. It is a maze that needs to be understood and solved. The ABCs of a home loan are:
o Before you even look for a loan you need to figure out how much you can pay each month towards a housing loan after taking care of other living expenses. On the World Wide Web there are many finance and real estate sites that have home loan or mortgage calculators. If you fill in your details you will be able to find out what you can avail as a loan, see http://www.bankrate.com/ where you can make a comparison of mortgage rates in your area. The other alternative is to discuss your needs with a loan officer of a bank or home loan institution.
o You will be able to get an idea of how many years you will need to pay back the loan by working out the cost of the house, your personal finances, and the home loan amount. Most mortgages are for 15-30 years. The longer the term the more you will pay for your home. Try and pay higher amounts each month so that you clear the loan in the shortest possible period.
o Find out what the different kinds of mortgages are and determine which will be most suited for you. Fixed rate mortgages are loans where the rate of interest is fixed and does not vary for the term of the loan. In this case you will not be troubled by climbing interest rates. A variable rate mortgage is based on interest rates of Treasury bill notes. In this case the interest rate is often low to begin with but will rise with t-bill rate changes. Private mortgage insurance helps protect the lender and covers the down payment of 20% of home cost that a buyer is required to pay upfront. The insurance premiums will have to be paid until the 20% equity of the home cost is covered.
o There are Federal Housing Loans for those who cannot afford to buy a home. These have a higher interest rate than conventional home loans but enable those who cannot afford a down payment to buy a home.
o According to experts in the real estate business it is important to consider getting a pre-approved home loan before you start looking for a home. This way you will have completed all the procedures that are required to get a home loan. Once you have an approval you will also know how much you can spend on buying a home and restrict your search to that price range.
o Know in advance what documents are required in order to apply for a home loan. Print out a check list from the internet and ready a file with all essential documents.
Buying a home entails:
o Deciding where you want to live.
o How much you can afford to pay for a loan.
o Financial planning and change of lifestyle.
Buying a home is an important decision which must be done with care. It is important to buy a home that you can afford and not get neck deep into debt because a home in a magazine takes your fancy.
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