First Time Buyers Mortgage Application Checklist

If you have a dream about owning your own home and applying for a mortgage then you may be a bit nervous at the present moment. While having your own home is the American dream the high prices involved can be overwhelming. In addition to this, many lenders will be more concerned with earning a profit than with helping you find a home that matches your income. Below are some steps you can take to properly apply for your first mortgage.

Applying for a mortgage used to be simple. People would compare the prices and rates on houses they wanted, and once the found a lender they were comfortable with, they would make a large down payment and then move in. Today things have changed, and going through the number of options available can be very stressful. One thing you should do before shopping for a house is to educate yourself.

First Mortgage Application Steps

The first thing you will want to do is look at your current income. How much do you make per year? How secure is your job? Remember, if you go about getting a mortgage the traditional way, it could take 15 to 30 years to pay it off, and if you get behind on your payments, you could lose your home and have your credit ruined. If you can’t afford a home, it is best not to move into one until you can. This will keep you from taking on debt you can’t afford.

How Much Can You Afford?

If you feel that you can afford a mortgage the next thing you should decide is how much you can afford. Lenders have a tendency to offer you mortgages which are more than you can afford, and this is important to remember. In addition to the cost of the mortgage itself, you will have to pay taxes, insurance and other expenses as well. These costs should be included in your monthly expenses.

Apply Directly Or Via A Broker?

When you begin looking for a mortgage you will encounter two types of lenders; mortgage brokers and direct lenders. The direct lenders are the people who have the money to lend you. They are ultimately the individuals who decide if you will be approved for a home. The mortgage broker acts as a middleman, going out and finding direct lenders who can give you the best deal.

While the lenders may have a limited number of loans available, a mortgage broker will often have access to multiple lenders simultaneously. If you are looking for a specific type of mortgage, a mortgage broker may be better to use than a direct lender. However, a mortgage broker will charge you for their services, and this could be a certain percentage of the mortgage loan you end up with. With the rise of the internet, online mortgage brokers can help you save money.

Get The Paper Work In Order

Once you have found a loan through a direct lender or mortgage broker the next step is to fill out an application. There are a number of things you will need to fill out on the application and it will help if you have some supporting documents. You will need to provide information about your income, length of employment, and your assets. They will also want to know what other loans or credit cards you have.

Once this information has been provided, the lender will look at your credit report. In addition to this, they will want to see your bank statements and check stubs from your job. You may also need to show them tax information and data about your insurance. If your credit is good, an appraiser will be hired to make sure the house is valued at the loan amount that will be given to you.

Adjustable Rate Mortgage Refinancing Simplified

If you are refinancing your home loan and are considering an Adjustable Rate Mortgage there are a number of things that can go wrong. Doing your homework before refinancing will help you recognize and avoid these pitfalls. Here are several tips to help you avoid paying too much when refinancing with an Adjustable Rate Mortgage loan.

Adjustable Rate Mortgages (also known as ARM loans) became popular in early 80s. These loans featured lower interest rates than traditional mortgages and easier qualification. The problem with adjustable Rate Mortgages is that many homeowners use these loans to purchase homes they cannot afford with traditional fixed rate mortgage loans.

As the name implies, the interest rate changes over time; your lender adjusts the loan at regular intervals to the index your loan is tied plus their margin. Margin is the markup your lender adds to cover their “expenses.” The index your loan is tied to varies from one lender to the next and there is no one “ideal” index. Your loan may be tied to the Treasury Bill Index or even the London Inter-Bank Offered Rate or LIBOR index. The LIBOR index is popular with mortgage lenders that sell their loans to European investors.

Adjustable Rate Mortgage Safety Features

There are safety features available to homeowners that choose this riskier variety of mortgage loan. These features are known as “caps” and limit how much the lender can raise your interest rate or payment amount during any adjustment period. It is important to structure the caps on your loan properly; homeowners who neglect choosing both periodic and payment caps can experience negative amortization with their loans. Mortgage loans that are negatively amortized actually grow over time.

Adjustable Rate Mortgage Benefits

Depending on the economy and the going interest rate, the introductory offer of your Adjustable Rate Mortgage could save you a lot of money. This introductory rate, often called a “teaser rate” is usually much lower than fixed rate loans. It is important to understand that this introductory rate is not your contract rate; at the end of the introductory period the lender will adjust the loan and your payment will go up.

You can learn more about the risks of mortgage refinancing with an adjustable rate loan by registering for a free mortgage tutorial.