Use A Mortgage Calculator To Help Choose The Best Home Loan

When a person wishes to purchase a home and wants a home loan to help finance this project, the first thing he must do is to decide on which kind of home loan will best suit his needs. In order to do this, an indispensable tool at his disposal is the mortgage calculator. There are different types of home loans, each with its own interest rates depending on the period of the loan. A mortgage calculator will help a borrower choose the right home loan for his needs.

The mortgage calculator is available at all websites of lending institutions dealing with home loans, real estate websites etc. Use this calculator, which is free, and enter a set of assumptions like loan amount and period of the loan. The following are some figures that are inputted into the mortgage calculator.

• Mortgage amount
• Loan period
• Interest rate
• Origination fees
• Closing costs
• Discount points

Apart from these assumptions, the mortgage calculator will also require details on whether the loan will be a fixed or adjustable one.

The more the information the mortgage calculator requires, the more accurate will be the information provided. Make sure that the figures you provide are accurate so that the comparison can be done properly. A mortgage calculator can be used to compare fees, cost and monthly payments of 2 types of mortgages. Using this comparison calculator, you can determine how much your liability will be over the years and decide which type of home loan to go with. Some people may feel that a comparison calculator is limited since it allows you to compare only 2 mortgages at a time.

However, a person can easily use a process of elimination in his choice. If there are say around 4 types of mortgages for him to choose from, he can first compare two, then choose the best and compare it to the third, choose the best from this and compare it to the fourth. By this process, he can arrive at the best home loan for his requirement. When you wish to compare between adjustable and fixed rate mortgages, you need to enter figures like margin, lifetime interest cap on ARM and index. If you do not know what any of these values are, seek the help of the lender or a mortgage broker.

In the same way that you can compare two mortgages, you can use the mortgage calculator to help you calculate rates between two or more lenders and choose one who has the best terms. While using a comparison calculator can help a borrower secure good lending rates, there are other ways that he can secure a good home loan. Apart from getting a home loan at low rates, he can also use many energy efficient products in his home to help him save money.

Many state governments give incentives and tax cuts to those who install green technology systems in their home like solar panels. First, get a professional to inspect and evaluate your home for its energy efficiency and suggest ways to improve. Areas where energy can be saved are by using better home insulation, replacing old water heaters, heating, and cooling systems. The government offers federal tax credits to those who use energy efficient products.

Some of these products that can be installed at home and given tax credits include solar water heaters, insulated roofs, heating and cooling systems. If you feel the cost of installing these energy efficient products is too high, you can try and make use of low home loan rates and get a home equity. When a line of credit loan or home equity is taken to install energy efficient products, the borrower will get loans at extremely attractive rates that could be tax deductible too.

The Energy Star helps consumers easily identify ‘green’ appliances that can help him save on fuel costs, heating and cooling bills. The number of stars indicates how efficient the system is. Other innovative green appliances include geothermal heat pumps and tank-less water heaters. A geothermal pump works from underground to heat or cool a house depending on the season. Adopting new home construction methods to improve energy efficiency like roof insulation will help a homeowner cut costs over the years. So, get a good home loan rate, combine it with green technology, and save big.

5 Benefits of the FHA Home Loan Program You Need to Know!

You will find many home loan programs available to finance your new home purchase. You need to research the different programs available and choose the one that best fits your needs. One of the best ones available is the FHA Home Loan Program.

Although the FHA Home Loan Program was designed for first time home buyers, anyone may apply for the program. Not only can a FHA Mortgage Loan be used to finance the purchase of a new primary residence but also you can use it to refinance your existing home mortgage loan.

There are many benefits to the FHA Home Loan Program.

1. Low Down Payment Requirement

A FHA home mortgage loan has a lower down payment than a conventional loan.

The down payment requirement currently is as low as 3.5% of the purchase price. And here is some more good news, the down payment funds can come from many different sources such as a gift from a member of your family, your church, or a withdrawal from your 401K. It could, of course, come from your own savings.

Because you can get the down payment funds from many different sources, it will make it a lot easier to purchase your home.

2. Seller Can Help Pay Your Closing Costs

The FHA Home Loan Program will allow the Seller to contribute up to 3% towards to your closing costs on your new home.

This will allow you to purchase a new home without any funds if you can get a gift from a family member for the down payment and ask the Seller to pay up to 3% of the closing costs. The closing costs that the Seller can pay include also the “prepaids” such as property taxes, home insurance, and interest.

3. The Interest Rates Are Low

The FHA mortgage interest rates are very competitive if not lower than most other home loan rates. Although in today’s mortgage market you will need around 620 credit score to get a FHA Mortgage Loan, the FHA interest rate is not tied to your credit scores.

If your credit score is 620 and another person’s credit score is 750 you both will get the same interest rate. On a conventional home loan, the person with the higher credit score would get lower interest rate.

4. No Limits On The Amount Of The Mortgage

There are not limits on the amount of FHA home loans, but there are limits on the property values you can purchase with a FHA loan. The limits on the property values are different throughout the country and you should check with a Realtor or lender in your area.

5. You Can Refinance With A FHA Streamline Mortgage Refinance Loan

If you already have a FHA mortgage loan one of the great benefits is you can refinance using a FHA Streamline Mortgage Refinance Loan.

This type of refinancing loan is when you already have an existing FHA mortgage and you want to refinance it into a new FHA mortgage. You can do this without limited paperwork and a lot less cost.

The FHA Home Loan Program is a great way to purchase your new home with a low down payment, low interest rate, and the opportunity to refinance it with limited paperwork and cost. The best place to get additional information is the Internet. You will find many websites with FHA Loans Information that will help you with the financing of your new home!

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.