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Mortgages 101: Basic Terminology for Home Buyers to Understand

First Things First…

Before setting out to purchase real estate in Green Bay and N.E. Wisconsin, potential homebuyers are probably going to need some help to navigate their way through the process.

When it comes to enjoying the peace of mind of knowing that the entire experience will be handled professionally and properly, it is always best to choose to work with professional Green Bay and N.E. Wisconsin realtors who are not only familiar with the ins and outs of the local market but also have the know-how and experience to walk their clients through the complexities of the process, not to mention help them to lock down the best deal possible.

It also bears noting that property game tends to be bogged down with a lot of complex and conflated jargon that can make everything feel a lot more overwhelming and confusing than it has to, and the world of Green Bay and N.E. Wisconsin’s real estate is no exception to this rule. The good news is that working with realtors in Green Bay and N.E. Wisconsin will go a long way to demystify all those convoluted terms, forms and legalities so that buyers have a lot less to worry about.

After all, those on the lookout for Green Bay and N.E. Wisconsin real estate already has enough on their plates without having to worry about becoming experts in the field while they are at it. That said, there is still some basic terminology that potential homebuyers will definitely want to take some time to familiarize themselves with before diving in, and this article is going to break down the basics so that anybody interested in purchasing their home can get a broad idea of what to expect.

Breaking Down the Mortgage Process

While people start thinking about buying a home, the first thing that they will have to determine is just how much a mortgage lender is willing to give them. This way, they will have a clear picture of their operating budget before heading into the home viewing stage.

To start at square one, a mortgage is basically just a loan that is designed to help buyers finance and cover the cost of their home. Different buyers will be eligible to take out more or less on their mortgage depending on a multitude of factors including their current income, their level of job security, how much existing debt they have and their overall credit history.

At this stage, buyers will need to also decide how much a down payment they can afford to pay upfront against the purchase of the home. The larger the amount of money that buyers have set aside for their down payment, the less they will need to take out on the mortgage. Generally speaking, it is preferable to make a larger down payment since buyers will not be subject to interest on the money they are able to put down upfront.

Eligible borrowers will also be able to choose from a range of amortization periods. They may choose to pay off more in a shorter period or less over a longer period, but the longer the amortization period they choose to go with, the higher interest rates they will pay on their loan. The amount that borrowers can afford to pay on a monthly basis is calculated using a formula called the Principle, Interest, Taxes and Heating (PITH) Tool, which helps the lender get a reasonable idea of a fair monthly rate.

Any mortgage holder must grant the lender a lien on their property while the mortgage is in effect, or for the duration of the mortgage term. This essentially means that in the event that a borrower is not able to make their mortgage payments, the bank has the right to seize the property.

Understanding the Different Types of Mortgages

In addition to understanding the basics in terms of what mortgages are and how they work, buyers will want to be sure to get an idea of the different types of mortgages available to them so that they can choose the most suitable option to complement their individual circumstances.

Conventional Mortgages

When buyers opt for a conventional mortgage, they will be required to put down payment that is equivalent to at least 20% of the total property value. However, one of the perks of a conventional mortgage is that buyers are free to opt out of the default mortgage insurance if they so choose.

Open Mortgages

When buyers opt for an open mortgage, they are free to make prepayments on the mortgage or pay it off completely before the full term is up without having to worry about incurring extra charges for doing so. However, the trade-off is that the interest rate might be higher for an open mortgage than it would for a closed mortgage.

Closed Mortgages

When buyers opt for a closed mortgage, they must stick to the prescribed payment schedule. While they are technically free to put down pre-payments on the mortgage or pay it off before the full term is up, they will also incur extra charges for doing so. However, they can benefit from enjoying lower interest rates than they might have to pay if they were to choose an open mortgage for the same value a term length.

Fixed-Rate Mortgages

Fixed-rate mortgages come with a pre-determined interest rate that is locked in for the term of the mortgage. This choice can be a good one for buyers to make if they want to secure a predictable interest rate or if they suspect that the interest rate might climb over time.

Variable-Rate Mortgages

With variable-rate mortgages, the interest that buyers pay on their mortgage is subject to fluctuations. However, they may periodically benefit from enjoying lower interest rates from time to time.

Keep in mind that the best way to secure the best mortgage option for a buyer is to work with professional realtors in Green Bay and N.E. Wisconsin. As such, anybody considering purchasing a property should reach out to learn more.

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