Finding the Right Monthly Payment
Homeownership involves expenses beyond the cost of your loan. From property tax to mortgage insurance, your monthly payment can include several additional expenses. Use our monthly payment calculator to get an idea of what you can expect to pay every month based on a number of variables, including loan amount, additional expenses, loan term and interest rate.
How Much Can I Afford?
When you're buying a home, mortgage lenders don't look just at your income, assets, and the down payment you have. They look at all of your liabilities and obligations as well, including auto loans, credit card debt, child support, potential property taxes and insurance, and your overall credit rating. Use our income and debt obligations calculator to determine how much of a mortgage you may be able to obtain based on your unique financial situation and debt-to-income ratio.
What Type of Loan is Best for Me?
Did you know that there’s more than one type of mortgage? For example, there are special loan programs for veterans, first-time buyers and those who live in rural areas. No two of our clients are exactly alike, and we need to look at the full picture of who you are in order to match you with the right type of mortgage. If you’re eager to get started, you can use this tool to explore different options for financing the purchase of a new house or property.
Should I Refinance My Mortgage?
Depending on when you bought your home, your mortgage interest rate may be higher than what’s available today. This means you may be paying more than you need to every month! Refinancing gives homeowners the opportunity to update their mortgage terms and take advantage of lower rates. Whether through market changes or changes in your credit score, you could qualify for a lower rate and end up saving a significant amount of money on mortgage payments over time. Use our refinance calculator to analyze your situation today!
HELOC vs. Cash-Out Refinance
Looking for a source of cash to renovate your home, finance a vacation or cover other expenses? If you’ve owned your home and made mortgage payments for long enough to have built up equity, you have a few different options available to you. As with any major financial decision, it’s important to choose based on which solution fits best with your unique financial situation. Contact your local mortgage specialist to determine whether a home equity line of credit vs cash out refi is better for your needs or use our HELOC calculator to estimate how much you might be able to borrow from your home equity.
Comparing Mortgage Terms
In the mortgage world, “term” doesn’t mean what it does in most other contexts. When you see the word “term” used to describe something relating to mortgages, it refers to the total duration of the loan. For example, a 30-year mortgage term means that your payments will be split up over the course of 30 years. Different mortgage terms and rates can make the loan selection process confusing, especially if you don't plan on keeping the loan for the full term. Use our mortgage terms calculator to calculate how long it will take you to pay off your mortgage for your unique situation.
Rent or Buy?
Should I Rent or Buy a Home?
Everyone’s financial situation is unique, but for many people, renting a home seems like a better financial option than buying. However, that may be a conclusion based on assumptions rather than facts. Homeownership is generally a very good financial decision because it may present opportunities for investment that renting does not. Check out our future home value calculator to see what a home’s future predicted value could be if you chose to buy instead of rent.
Tax Savings with Homeownership
What Tax Savings Does My Mortgage Generate?
Did you know that if you itemize your deductions, you can deduct the interest on your mortgage for tax savings? Make sure to consult your tax advisor regarding the deductibility of interest.
Fixed or ARM?
Which is Better: Fixed- or Adjustable-Rate Mortgage?
Which is better: fixed- or adjustable-rate mortgage? There’s no single right answer to this question. Factors such as loan term, the index used by the lender, the number and timing of rate adjustments, and your assumption about the increase/decrease of future interest rates all have an impact. Use our fixed or adjustable rate mortgage calculator to explore your options.
The mortgage process doesn’t stop with your application. In fact, borrowers can make certain mistakes that can complicate the homebuying process.
To avoid these pitfalls, keep these simple tips and tricks in mind.
Advise your Mortgage Specialist if any information you initially provided has changed. This can include address, job, marital status or contact info.
Keep records of all bank transactions, especially if you transfer large amounts of money from one account to another.
Protect your credit score. Pay all your bills on time, including loans, utilities and mortgage payments.
Talk with your Mortgage Specialist about any questions or concerns you may have about the process.
Share any pertinent information regarding income changes, whether that means a significant raise or a slight pay cut.
Make any significant purchases using credit or loans during the mortgage process. Doing so could negatively affect your debt-to-income ratio, which would adversely impact your credit score.
Pay off collections or charge-offs without talking to your Mortgage Specialist. Doing so can actually cause your credit score to drop – strange, but true!
Feel like you need to hide anything relating to your finances from your Mortgage Specialist. We’re not here to judge! The more we know, the more we can help find a solution and keep things on track.
Co-sign on a loan for another borrower. This will show up as additional debt and could affect your credit.
Change your overall asset structure. This could include changing investments, opening/closing accounts or making large deposits without documentation.
Transfer any money from one account to another.