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Mortgage Basics

When working with a loan officer, they will bring all of your options to the table and go through them with you. Still, it's always a good idea to know a little bit upfront, so here are a few of the basics on mortgages:

Fixed Rate
With a Fixed Rate mortgage, the interest rate remains the same for the life of a loan. This type of loan can help a family on a budget because you always know what your payment is going to be. Should interest rates drop, you can always contact your loan officer about a refinance to try and lower your monthly payments.

Second Mortgage
With a Second Mortgage, you are taking out a second lien on the property. Generally, these are fixed rate loans.

Home Equity Line of Credit
Like a Second Mortgage, the Home Equity Line of Credit offers borrowers money based on the equity in the home. Unlike a Second Mortgage, which provides the borrower with a lump sum of money, the Credit Line allows the borrower to access funds as they need them.

First Time Buyer
Certain borrowers can qualify for First Time Buyer programs that may offer lower down payment amounts and assistance. Always speak with a loan officer about these types of programs so you can be sure of what you can and can't qualify for and what will be expected of you afterwards (some programs require you to stay in the home for a set amount of time before you can sell or move - or they offer penalties for early sales).

Adjustable Rate Mortgage
This type of mortgage usually has a lower initial interest rate and then a set schedule of adjustments over a period of time. The interest rate changes to match the current interest rates - as rates go higher, this can be a problem for a family on a bugdet or a fixed income.

Jumbo Mortgage
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac set guidelines for loan limits - if a loan exceeds these limits, they are considered 'Jumbos'. These mortgages tend to have a higher interest rate due to the higher risk for the lender.

Balloon Mortgage
With a Balloon Mortgage, you have lower interest rates and payments for a set period of time. When that time ends, you have a 'balloon payment' where the balance of the loan is due.

Never be afraid to ask questions - purchasing a home is a huge financial commitment and you need to be fully informed.

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