Don’t let the joy of finding a new home be dampened by the thought of the mortgage. Shopping around and doing research on the variety of home loans that are available to buyers will help you make an informed decision on the mortgage terms that are right for you. Every feature of the mortgage you ultimately choose will affect how much the loan ends up costing you in the end and how long it will take to completely pay off. Selecting a suitable loan should be just as important as finding the perfect home. Here are some common considerations people have before making a final commitment to a home loan.
Fixed or Floating Rates
A fixed mortgage will keep your interest rate from changing for the duration of your loan agreement, so even as the market fluctuates, you enjoy the privilege of knowing exactly what you owe each month. Fixed interest rates can be easier to fit into a budget by giving the borrower a certain dollar amount to work with. However, keep in mind that fixed rates tend to be a bit higher than floating rates and will not allow the borrower to pay any less even if market percentages decrease. Borrowers also frequently opt for floating interest rates, which are cheaper than fixed home loans but are based on market conditions and will change accordingly. Some homeowners may not do well with the uncertainty of how much their monthly payments will be, throwing their budget off track. Either way, thorough research is essential in deciding on one option over the other.
Length of Loan
The length of time you want to be paying on your home loan is another significant factor to think about. Generally, borrowers will elect to go with a traditional 15 or 30-year payment schedule, but there are several others to choose from, including the more recently available 40-year plan. You must realistically figure out how much time you will need to finish paying off the loan while considering if slightly lower monthly payments are more important to you than the fact that you’ll be accruing more interest during that extra time. When selecting a loan length, look at the big picture of what you’re buying and what kind of emergency fund you have, and come to a conclusion that allows you to commit to the shortest term at a payment you can afford.
How Much to Borrow
Just because you may be approved for a large loan amount doesn’t necessarily mean you should take the whole thing. Presenting a larger down payment will actually give you an advantage when it comes to your approved interest rate as well as decrease the amount of overall interest you’ll end up paying in the long run. However, don’t short yourself on borrowing any extra money you’ll need for closing costs, improvement or remodeling expenses and other fees associated with buying a home. It may also be more beneficial for you to look at less expensive homes to bring down the amount of your home loan.
It can be very daunting to go through the process of securing a home loan and take on the responsibility of such a large investment, but exploring your options and each of the features above will help you make the best decision for your situation.