5 Tips to Get the Best Deal on a Mortgage
Home mortgage shopping is not an innate skill; it is not taught in school and is definitely not second nature to the majority of Americans. It is, however, a very important skill to have — especially if you’re buying a home and want the best possible deal on your home mortgage. And the good news is, it’s easy to learn.
A survey commissioned last year by Zillow.com and Harris Interactive found that borrowers spend twice as much time researching a car purchase than they do their home loan — 5 and 10 hours, respectively, yet the average home costs five times more than the average car. This disparity can cost a borrower thousands of dollars in the long run.
To avoid losing out on your hard-earned dollars, here are a few tips to help you take control of the mortgage shopping process:
- Be prepared. Before you even start mortgage shopping, take a deep look into your finances. Determine what you can afford. As a rule of thumb, the total cost of your mortgage payment — including any taxes and insurance — should not exceed 30% of your take-home pay. You’ll also want to get a good ballpark estimate of your credit score. Your credit score impacts your interest rate as well as your eligibility to get any loan. Currently, one-third of Americans cannot get a home loan because their credit score is below 620.
- Know what mortgage type is right for you. There two main types of mortgages: Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARM) and fixed-rate mortgages. Adjustable-rate mortgages have fixed rates for a short period (usually 3, 5 or 7 years) and then readjust. These loans are generally considered riskier because the interest rate and payments can increase when the loan adjusts. However, if you are only planning on living in your house for a shorter period, these loans may make sense for you, especially because you’re likely to obtain lower rates. A fixed-rate mortgage is just that — fixed. The interest rate stays constant throughout the period of the loan. With both fixed and adjustable-rate loans you can select various repayment periods. The most common term is 30 years, but if you can afford the higher monthly payments of a 20- or 15-year term loan, you will save money with the lower rate and quicker payoff period. The most important factors in selecting your loan type is the length of time you plan on staying in your home and your risk tolerance.
- Remember your 30-day window. There is no such thing as too many loan quotes. Borrowers may shy away from getting multiple loan quotes, fearing their credit will be impacted when multiple parties check their credit within a short period of time. However, you have 30 consecutive days in which multiple pulls of your credit score, or “rate shopping,” won’t affect your credit. With that in mind, take advantage of the 30-day window and get as many loan quotes as possible to get the best rates and terms. Note that in order to compare quotes apples-to-apples, it is important to get quotes from lenders around the same time as rates can change daily. You can shop anonymously online on sites like Zillow Mortgage Marketplace where you can receive multiple quotes instantly using an estimated credit score. It is always wise to double-check the rate you get from a single broker or bank to make sure you really are getting a good rate and that you find a lender that you trust.
- Use your time wisely: Getting loan quotes from multiple sources and comparing those quotes to choose the best loan seems time-consuming. But it doesn’t have to be. Much like what Kayak.com does for travel, there are many websites that allow you to enter your loan request information once and get loan multiple quotes back from unrelated parties, increasing the number of quotes you can get with just a click of a mouse.
- Check the reputation of lenders and brokers you are interested in working with. Whether you have already received loan quotes or are researching lenders to contact, do your homework by checking their background. Have they been in the business a long time? If found online, are they accessible? Do they have any third-party reviews and ratings? Reviews and ratings can be an invaluable resource because you can get unbiased feedback from people who have worked directly with the lender. Zillow Mortgage Marketplace was the first mortgage website to allow borrowers to provide public feedback of lenders in the form of ratings and reviews. To date, there are nearly 7,000 reviews and ratings of lenders on Zillow Mortgage Marketplace.
Good luck and remember that shopping for a mortgage could save you thousands of dollars. And, who wouldn’t want to do that?
By Alison Paoli
See the original article here: https://www.zillow.com/blog/5-tips-to-get-the-best-deal-on-a-mortgage-33731/