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Home Loan Comparison – Its Importance

One of the most complex things that every home buyer faces is the home loan comparison when deciding on the best variety available among the several options available in the market. Since purchasing a home is a costly as well as one of the most important decisions of life, it has to be done with proper research and information. In addition, this helps in choosing the one that offers the most affordable and cost effective deal.

What Is Loan Comparison?

A home loan comparison is not only putting together all the numbers available at one place and then comparing which one is better. It involves a lot of calculations that go beyond the scope of mathematics. Thus, it is important that one have the right information to make the correct decision. In order to have such accurate data, one needs to spend some time researching the various options available on the market. While doing so, one may also need the advice of some professionals as they are better equipped to deal with the different market fluctuations and the ever fluctuating market values.

Types Of Loans

Depending on the requirements of a home buyer and other property purchasers, there are a host of varieties of home loans available on the market. It is important to do a proper research regarding which one is beneficial for you and which is not. This will help you in knowing the advantages and disadvantages of every type of loan thus helping you in your final choice. The different common types are as follows:

* Fixed rate home loans
* Low rate home loans
* Split home loans
* Variable rate home loans
* Other professional packages

Do Systematic Research

Fortunately, today there are many avenues for people looking for a fast and easy comparison. One of the most accessible and easy sources of information is the Internet. One can get highly accurate and detailed information regarding any loan they wish to use. In addition, one can even access different loans providing company websites to research and compare the interest rates and other benefits offered by them. There are many sites where filling out a certain form gets you instant feedback thus helping you to know the suitability of the same loan. One should however, do a systematic market research regarding the comparison in order to find the best deal possible. This is because even a small difference in the interest rates such as a 0.20 percent difference can make a huge difference in the money. Instead of just accepting the first good quote coming your way, you should do a complete research and then decide, as even a slight difference can increase the convenience of monthly installments.

Thus, one should be very careful when looking for the comparison. On a careful and proper investigation, people can find good deals even in an unstable market condition. This will also help in getting competitive rates from the companies without any misgivings. Therefore, it is important to compare home loans in order to get the best deal available.

Understanding the Home Loan Application and Mortgage Approval – The Mortgage Lender Analysis

Do You Pass The Mortgage Lender Analysis? When a mortgage lender reviews a real estate loan application, the primary concern for both home loan applicant, the buyer, and the mortgage lender is to approve loan requests that show high probability of being repaid in full and on time, and to disapprove requests that are likely to result in default and eventual foreclose. How is the mortgage lenders decision made?

The mortgage lender begins the loan analysis procedure by looking at the property and the proposed financing. Using the property address and legal description, an appraiser is assigned to prepare an appraisal of the property and a title search is ordered. These steps are taken to determine the fair market value of the property and the condition of title. In the event of default, this is the collateral the lender must fall back upon to recover the loan. If the loan request is in connection with a purchase, rather than the refinancing of an existing property, the mortgage lender will know the purchase price. As a rule, home loans are made on the basis of the appraised value or purchase price, whichever is lower. If the appraised value is lower than the purchase price, the usual procedure is to require the buyer to make a larger cash down payment. The mortgage lender does not want to over-loan simply because the buyer overpaid for the property.

The year the home was built is useful in setting the loan’s maturity date. The idea is that the length of the home loan should not outlast the remaining economic life of the structure serving as collateral. Note however, chronological age is only part of this decision because age must be considered in light of the upkeep and repair of the structure and its construction quality.

Loan-to-Value Ratios

The mortgage lender next looks at the amount of down payment the borrower proposes to make, the size of the loan being requested and the amount of other financing the borrower plans to use. This information is then converted into loan-to-value ratios. As a rule, the more money the borrower places into the deal, the safer the loan is for the mortgage lender. On an uninsured home loan, the ideal loan-to-value ratio for a lender on owner-occupied residential property is 70% or less. This means the value of the property would have to fall more than 30% before the debt owed would exceed the property’s value, thus encouraging the borrower to stop making mortgage loan payments. Because of the nearly constant inflation in housing prices since the 40s, very few residential properties have fallen 30% or more in value.

Loan-to-value ratios from 70% through 80% are considered acceptable but do expose the mortgage lender to more risk. Lenders sometimes compensate by charging slightly higher interest rates. Loan-to-value ratios above 80% present even more risk of default to the lender, and the lender will either increase the interest rate charged on these home loans or require that an outside insurer, such as FHA or a private mortgage insurer, be supplied by the borrower.

Mortgage Closing Settlement Funds

The lender then wants to know if the borrower has adequate funds for settlement (the closing). Are these funds presently in a checking or savings account, or are they coming from the sale of the borrower’s present real estate property? In the latter case, the mortgage lender knows the present loan is contingent on another closing. If the down payment and settlement funds are to be borrowed, then the lender will want to be extra cautious as experience has shown that the less of his own money a borrower puts into a purchase, the higher the probability of default and foreclosure.

Purpose Of Mortgage Loan

The lender is also interested in the proposed use of the property. Mortgage lenders feel most comfortable when a home loan is for the purchase or improvement of a property the loan applicant will actually occupy. This is because owner-occupants usually have pride-of-ownership in maintaining their property and even during bad economic conditions will continue to make the monthly payments. An owner-occupant also realizes that if he/she stops paying, they will have to vacate and pay for shelter elsewhere.

If the home loan applicant intends to purchase a dwelling to rent out as an investment, the lender will be more cautious. This is because during periods of high vacancy, the property may not generate enough income to meet the loan payments. At that point, a strapped-for-cash borrower is likely to default. Note too, that lenders generally avoid loans secured by purely speculative real estate. If the value of the property drops below the amount owed, the borrower may see no further logic in making the loan payments.

Lastly the mortgage lender assesses the borrower’s attitude toward the proposed loan. A casual attitude, such as “I’m buying because real estate always goes up,” or an applicant who does not appear to understand the obligation he is undertaking would bring low rating here. Much more welcome is the home loan applicant who shows a mature attitude and understanding of the mortgage loan obligation and who exhibits a strong and logical desire for ownership.

The Borrower Analysis

The next step is the mortgage lender to begin an analysis of the borrower, and if there is one, the co-borrower. At one time, age, sex and marital status played an important role in the lender’s decision to lend or not to lend. Often the young and the old had trouble getting home loans, as did women and persons who were single, divorced, or widowed. Today, the Federal Equal Credit Opportunity Act prohibits discrimination based on age, sex, race and marital status. Mortgage lenders are no longer permitted to discount income earned by women even if it is from part-time jobs or because the woman is of child-bearing age. Of the home applicant chooses to disclose it, alimony, separate maintenance, and child support must be counted in full. Young adults and single persons cannot be turned down because the lender feels they have not “put down roots.” Seniors cannot be turned down as long as life expectancy exceeds the early risk period of the loan and collateral is adequate. In other words, the emphasis in borrower analysis is now focused on job stability, income adequacy, net worth and credit rating.

Mortgage lenders will ask questions directed at how long the applicants have held their present jobs and the stability of those jobs themselves. The lender recognizes that loan repayment will be a regular monthly requirement and wishes to make certain the applicants have a regular monthly inflow of cash in a large enough quantity to meet the mortgage loan payment as well as their other living expenses. Thus, an applicant who possesses marketable job skills and has been regularly employed with a stable employer is considered the ideal risk. Persons whose income can rise and fall erratically, such as commissioned salespersons, present greater risk. Persons whose skills (or lack of skills) or lack of job seniority result in frequent unemployment are more likely to have difficulty repaying a home loan. The mortgage lender also inquires as to the number of dependents the applicant must support out of his or her income. This information provides some insight as to how much will be left for monthly house payments.

Home Loan Applicants’ Monthly Income

The lender looks at the amount and sources of the applicants’ income. Sheer quantity alone is not enough for home loan approval; the income sources must be stable too. Thus a lender will look carefully at overtime, bonus and commission income in order to estimate the levels at which these may reasonably be expected to continue. Interest, dividend and rental income would be considered in light of the stability of their sources also. Under the “other income” category, income from alimony, child support, social security, retirement pensions, public assistance, etc. is entered and added to the totals for the applicants.

The lender then compares what the applicants have been paying for housing with what they will be paying if the loan is approved. Included in the proposed housing expense total are principal, interest, taxes and insurance along with any assessments or homeowner association dues (such as in a condominium or townhomes). Some mortgage lenders add the monthly cost of utilities to this list.

A proposed monthly housing expense is compared to gross monthly income. A general rule of thumb is that monthly housing expense (PITI) should not exceed 25% to 30% of gross monthly income. A second guideline is that total fixed monthly expenses should not exceed 33% to 38% of income. This includes housing payments plus automobile payments, installment loan payments, alimony, child support, and investments with negative cash flows. These are general guidelines, but mortgage lenders recognize that food, health care, clothing, transportation, entertainment and income taxes must also come from the applicants’ income.

Liabilities and Assets

The lender is interested in the applicants’ sources of funds for closing and whether, once the loan is granted, the applicants have assets to fall back upon in the event of an income decrease (a job lay-off) or unexpected expenses such as hospital bills. Of particular interest is the portion of those assets that are in cash or are readily convertible into cash in a few days. These are called liquid assets. If income drops, they are much more useful in meeting living expenses and mortgage loan payments than assets that may require months to sell and convert to cash; that is, assets which are illiquid.

A mortgage lender also considers two values for life insurance holders. Cash value is the amount of money the policyholder would receive if he surrendered his/her policy or, alternatively, the amount he/she could borrow against the policy. Face amount is the amount that would be paid in the event of the insured’s death. Mortgage lenders feel most comfortable if the face amount of the policy equals or exceeds the amount of the proposed home loan. Less satisfactory are amounts less than the proposed loan or none at all. Obviously a borrower’s death is not anticipated before the loan is repaid, but lenders recognize that its possibility increases the probability of default. The likelihood of foreclosure is lessened considerably if the survivors receive life insurance benefits.

A lender is interested in the applicants’ existing debts and liabilities for two reasons. First, these items will compete each month against housing expenses for available monthly income. Thus high monthly payments may reduce the size of the loan the lender calculates that the applicants will be able to repay. The presence of monthly liabilities is not all negative: it can also show the mortgage lender that the applicants are capable of repaying their debts. Second, the mortgage applicants’ total debts are subtracted from their total assets to obtain their net worth. If the result is negative (more owed than owned), the mortgage loan request will probably be turned down as too risky. In contrast, a substantial net worth can often offset weaknesses elsewhere in the application, such as too little monthly income in relation to monthly housing expense.

Past Credit Record

Lenders examine the applicants’ past record of debt repayment as an indicator of the future. A credit report that shows no derogatory information is most desirable. Applicants with no previous credit experience will have more weight placed on income and employment history. Applicants with a history of collections, adverse judgments or bankruptcy within the past three years will have to convince the lender that this mortgage loan will be repaid on time. Additionally, the applicants may be considered poorer risks if they have guaranteed the repayment of someone else’s debt by acting as a co-maker or endorser. Lastly, the lender may take into consideration whether the applicants have adequate insurance protection in the event of major medical expenses or a disability that prevents returning to work.

When a mortgage lender will not provide a loan on a property, one must seek alternative sources of financing or lose the right to purchase the home.

Follow A Few Simple Steps To Make Shopping For Your New Home Loan A Little Easier

It is likely to be one of the largest purchases of your life, and it can be extremely nerve racking and overwhelming. Buying a new home! Whether you are buying your first home, or moving to a new home; purchasing a home and shopping for home loans is a major decision that requires a lot of time and energy.

Where Do I Start?

If you are shopping for a new home and a home loan for the very first time then you may become very overwhelmed very quickly if you do not take it slowly. The first thing that you should do is start researching your options. Collect all of the financial information that you have and approach your bank.

A good place to start is with the financial institution that you do most of your banking with. You have likely built up a reputation and perhaps a relationship with your bank and that will help when you are trying to get a loan. You will have to gather together all of your financial information including:

* Pay stubs

* Proof of other income sources

* Car payment records

* Other debt information

* Savings and investment information

Your financial institution should be able to determine from the information that you bring in what type of a mortgage you qualify for. The bank or financial institution will also pull a credit report for you to see how your credit looks.

Should I Only Visit One Bank?

No, definitely do not stop shopping for a mortgage after visiting only one financial institution. It is definitely a good idea to shop around for the best mortgage rate. Different institutions may offer you different payment options and lower interest rates. If you have poor credit, then you may want to talk to a mortgage broker who will likely be able to offer you some options that you can afford.

Get Pre-Approved From Your Bank

Before you even go out house hunting it is a good idea to get a pre-approval from your bank or financial institution. This process will take a little bit longer, but it will pay off in the end because you will know exactly what price range to look at when you are house shopping.

Another benefit to being pre-approved is that when you find a home that you are interested in, if the seller is in a hurry to sell, they will often go with a buyer who has been pre-approved because it is a sure thing.

What About The Interest Rate?

It can be overwhelming when you go to get your home loan; there are so many decisions that have to be made. Do you want a variable interest rate or a fixed interest rate? How do you decide?

Your decision will likely depend on a number of factors in the market place, most importantly, what the interest rate is at the time that you get your home loan. In the past few years, the market has seen a sharp decrease in interest rates. In fact, some of the lowest rates in history have been experienced in the last few years.

If the interest rate is quite low relative to the last few months when you apply for your home loan, than you may want to consider locking into a fixed rate mortgage. That way, even if the interest rate climbs in the future, you will be guaranteed the same low rate that you signed on.

However, if you think that the interest rates are still likely to fall then you may want to sign in on a variable interest rate home loan. That way if the interest rate falls, you can still take advantage of the new lower rate. You will want to check with your lending institution on the variable rate home loans that they offer, as they do differ greatly.

What Term Length Should I Choose?

Another big decision when you apply for and sign onto a home loan is the term of the loan. This is a very important decision because the length of the loan will determine how much interest you will pay over the term of the loan. There are a few ways to look at this problem. If you require low monthly payments than you may want to choose a longer term loan, such as a 25 year or a 30 year term instead of a 15 year term. If you extend the term of your loan, then your monthly payments will be lower, however in the long term you will be paying more interest.

If you are in a situation where you are able to handle slightly larger monthly payments, then you will be paying off the principal of your home loan much faster, and not paying as much interest.

Are There Other Ways Of Paying My Loan Off Faster?

Most types of loans will allow you to make balloon payments at least once a year. A balloon payment is where you can pay directly on the principal of the loan, so you are not paying any interest. This is an excellent way to reduce the principal of your loan. And if you are able to make balloon payments, they are worth it.

So Now What?

When you are ready to start shopping for a home loan, whether it is your first or your second, remember to do your research. A good place to start is with a mortgage calculator. You can find a mortgage calculator on the internet. This is an excellent tool to help you make some of the tougher decisions about your mortgage. But there is no replacement for discussing your individual case with a financial institution. Just remember to shop around before you decide which home loan is right for you.

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