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Saturday, September 8, 2007

How To Shop for Low, Interest Only Mortgages

Where do you find low interest, interest only mortgages? Almost every store on the street offers these types of mortgage products, but who is the best, and who is the lowest? That’s going to take some work on your part, and maybe just a little luck.
What kind of information will you need in order to shop for and secure a great interest only mortgage, with a great low interest? Well, you’re definitely going to need a good credit rating, proof of income, an appraisal on the property, and a little bit of luck. There are several products out there in the interest only mortgage segment of the market, and a few are actually going to have a pretty low interest rate tied to them.
For example, the 3/1 ARM, or the 5/1 ARM, these mortgages should have great interest rates, and if you have great credit, you should be able to find financing to suit your budget, your desire for a low interest rate, and an interest only mortgage that you can live with. These types of adjustable rate mortgages offer the interest only feature for a very limited time, and this is what the average consumer should discipline him or herself to use for financing. Extending the interest only option out past these years, could put the consumer in a dire position, should the real estate market take a downward turn, they’re going to be left with a huge mortgage, and property that is no longer worth the original mortgage amount. Now, that’s not likely to happen since the value of the average home in America has seen a steady 5 to 6% growth for the last 10 years. But, it could happen. Take a look at the stock market after the tremendous growth spurt of the late nineties.
Other variables in your quest for a low interest rate will be determined by the type of lending institution you choose, the determination of any government program eligibility, and your geographical location.
Banks are traditionally a little higher with their down payment requirements, but their interest rates are usually lower than those of a mortgage company. The exception: online mortgage lending. Thanks to the fact that this is an area of growth that everyone and every company are promoting, they’re striving to compete with even the lowest interest rate lenders, in order to grow their market.
What kinds of government approved mortgage loan programs are available for the low interest-only mortgage shopper today? There are actually more programs available today than any other time in recorded mortgage history; and the ability to qualify for these programs is at an all-time high. Fannie Mae, or the Federal National Mortgage Association and Freddie Mac set guidelines and product availability for homeowners and residents that quality for low- to moderate income based mortgages. They also offer low-interest only mortgages in order to accommodate an ever broadening market. The graduated payment mortgage is an option for FHA homeowners who currently have low to moderate incomes but expect them to increase substantially over the next few years; this can be compared to a balloon note or the interest only products in use today.
Your location will play a key role in your ability to obtain the lowest interest rate using the interest-only mortgage option, also. Prospective homeowners looking to purchase a home in a high end, resort area will, of course, have more choices available, as there are more buyers and sellers competing, as well as lenders for business. The other geographical contributing factor is the real estate market in your area. If the market is great, prices are not suppressed, and there is moderate movement in the buy and sell market, it increases your chances of obtaining the low interest rate you’re seeking.
The interest only mortgage product and a low interest rate are not mutually exclusive. They can be paired, and under the right circumstances produce a winning mortgage product for the right consumers. The route to achieving this goal will take education on the part of the consumer, hard work, and a little luck in locating the right mortgage lender.

How Real Estate Drives the Interest Only Mortgage Market

The real estate market and the mortgage market are great friends; they generally are seen hand in hand, wherever they may go! One fuels the other’s ambitions. Never a truer statement has been made and they (the real estate and the mortgage market) seem to feed off each other, as they both have continued to grow over these last few years.
If a potential buyer has the greater possibility of securing a mortgage, the greater the opportunity to sell a home or buy a home becomes; Whenever the opportunities increase for the buying and selling of real estate, then the prices for real estate increase. Can you clearly see the relationship now and how one drives the other? As the mortgage market has expanded, and the possibilities broadened, so have the prices of homes, the new home construction market, as well as the commercial development of real estate.
The potential for problems exist when this all happens too quickly, or when the growth in one area exceeds the average growth rate of other areas. This is the case with the real estate market and the interest only mortgage. Much of the growth in the mortgage market has been with interest only loans. Many analysts put the interest only segment of the mortgage market at almost 23%. That’s a huge hunk of the entire mortgage market and this segment has been responsible for most of the overall growth. It would also seem that it has played a tremendous role in fueling real estate prices. Is this a rollercoaster ride, waiting for the drop, if so, let’s hope we’re all buckled in!
Let’s take a moment to look at the four areas that contribute to this continued upward growth, and their impact on real estate.
The price of existing homes on the market is a pretty easy one to figure out; if you have your home for sale, quite naturally it will bring a comparable price to the other homes in your area. How does this serve to drive real estate prices? This concept works with a Domino effect, in that when one home increases in value, it also affects the homes around it driving the price, further upward.
The new home construction market is heavily reliant on building material prices to determine the building cost and the contractor's profitability. If building construction is on the increase quite naturally, the prices of building materials are on the increase; when you have an optimistic and growing economy, you will have increases in building material cost.
The other big drive in the real estate market comes from the development of commercial property. In resort areas, particularly the development of real estate property for commercial purposes tends to quickly affect the surrounding areas real estate prices. Many of today's commercial mortgages have reached loan limits well over $1 million; in fact, some of the residential mortgage loans in certain resort areas are approaching the have the million-dollar mark.
Now, when you combine all of these contribute factors, a mortgage market that is extremely optimistic with its lending capital, you have the makings of a market segment, with the potential for a bubble effect. What happens in a bubble effect economy? The bubble continues to grow until it bursts. This is what many analysts and economists fear: that too many consumers are betting the farm on a continual, optimistic spurt of growth. What could cause our booming economy to rupture? In reality, many conditions can contribute and provide the needed catalyst.
Well, what if there is a continual increase in pricing but there is generally a continual downward spiraling of the ride we’re on? Well, if there should be a tremendous downward turn in the investment market, if there is a continuing loss of jobs in this country, or if there are any natural occurrences that lead to disasters that are beyond governmental or company control, you could see a possibility for disaster. Does that mean it will happen? No. It just means that the potential exists. But in the defense of the housing and real estate market, if you’re going to be risky, that’s the place to be. It’s one of the safest risky businesses that exist.

How Does Fannie Mae Work

In 1938, Fannie Mae was established by the US Government to promote the growth of home ownership by providing a secondary mortgage market. What is a secondary mortgage market? Well, the secondary mortgage market exists in the buying and selling of a mortgage from one lender to another. The bank, or Mortgage Company that provided you with your loan, can turn around and seek to sell your mortgage to a company such as Fannie Mae. This frees up their cash to make another mortgage loan. And the cycle of growth is expanded and sustained in this manner. The idea and concept worked, and today, Fannie Mae has helped millions of Americans achieve the dream of home ownership. Until recently, Fannie Mae was a part of the US Government, and was overseen by the Housing and Urban Development branch of that government. Now, however, Fannie Mae is a privately held, stock ownership company that promotes the growth of the housing industry by making it possible for many low-to-middle income Americans to own homes. Investors just like you and I can purchase stock in the Fannie Mae Corporation, and not only increase our won wealth, but also help to fund the home ownership possibilities for a new generation of Americans.
In 1968, just thirty years after her government commissioned birth, Fannie Mae became a private company operating with private capital. She had outgrown her need for federal funding and supervision. That does not mean, however, that the government does not still closely work with the Fannie Mae Corporation. It does. The housing industry has continued to grow, and currently the entire mortgage market is experiencing phenomenal success. Fannie Mae’s focus, however, is still on the low to middle-income American.
Fannie Mae deals only in the secondary mortgage market, this way Fannie Mae Corporation can ensure that money for mortgages is available throughout the 50 states and that as many homeowners as possible can take advantage of home ownership.
How does Fannie Mae continue to fund the mortgages that she buys? Through the issuance of mortgage backed securities. These securities known as MBS are issued to investors. When Fannie Mae issues the MBS, she is guaranteeing the investors a return on their investment, and at the same time, providing a source of funding for issuing further mortgages. This provides the nation’s lenders with a steady stream of cash to continue to make mortgages available to the consumer.
How does all this relate to the home of your dreams? Well, stop just a moment to connect all the dots. Fannie Mae buys mortgages from your local lender. The lender receives the proceeds from that purchase, and can then offer a new mortgage to you. It’s a steady and continual circle of growth. Why? Well, Fannie Mae isn’t the only lender in the secondary market. Insurance companies, pension funds, securities dealers, and other financial institutions buy mortgages on the secondary market. Who invests in these insurance companies, pension funds and securities dealers? Where do they get their money? From taxpayers just like you. Mortgage holders just like you. Now can you see how Fannie Mae and other mortgage lenders in the secondary market, work to foster home ownership and community growth, all in one process?
The primary focus for Fannie Mae, operating under a government directive, is to provide the maximum amount of help to lenders in making mortgage loans to the low, to middle, to moderate income families across America. Fannie Mae is also involved in a nationwide effort to join with lenders and community partners to create even more home ownership possibilities.
Through this partnering, and the existence of FHA backed mortgage loans, the Fannie Mae Corporation and your local lender can offer a greater variety of loan products, and reach a much broader client base. This increases once again, the homeownership possibility for many, more Americans. Thanks to the expanding mortgage product line, the increase in real estate values, and the efforts of Fannie Mae, more Americans own their own home than ever before. Where will the future take Fannie Mae, and corporations like her? I think the Fannie Mae Corporation will continue to foster growth and the realization of the American Dream for many successful years to come.

HomeLoans Program

You have found that dream home, now which of the home loan programs is right for you? There is no simple answer to that question; home loan programs need to be studied to choose what is best. This all depends upon your individual family preferences and financial circumstances.
Some factors to consider when choosing from the different home loan programs. Your current financial situation, do you expect this situation to change? How comfortable are you with a changing mortgage payment? A fixed rate mortgage can save you thousands in interest over the period of the loan, but it will also give you higher monthly mortgage rates. An adjustable rate will start you out with lower monthly payments but you could face higher monthly payments if the rates change.
You have decided which type of loan is best for you, now you need to choose which of the more popular home loan programs, is the best one for you.
Conventional loans are secured by government sponsored lenders. They are also known as government sponsored entities (GSE’s). They can be used to purchase or to refinance single family or 4 plex homes with a first or a second mortgage. There are limits that are adjusted annually if needed based on the national average of new homes. You would need to check what the current year’s limits are for an accurate amount if you were to choose this type of home loan program.
FHA loans are programs to helping low income families become home owners. By protecting a mortgage company from default they encourage companies to make loans to families that many not meet normal credit guidelines. Some of the highlights of these loans are. Lower down payments can be as low a 3% versus the normal 10% requirements. Closing costs of up to 2 or 3 per cent of the home value can be financed, this reduces the up front money needed. The FHA also imposes limits on the fees from the mortgage company such as the loan origination fee can not be more than 1% of the amount of the mortgage.
VA loans are available to military veterans who served on active duty and were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable. The dates for eligibility are WWII and later. World War II (September 16, 1940 to July 25, 1947), Korean conflict (June 27, 1950 to January 31, 1955), and Vietnam era (August 5, 1964 to May 7, 1975) veterans must have at least 90 days service. Veterans with service only during peacetime periods and active duty military personnel must have had more than 180 day’s active service. There are other eligibility requirements. If you think you may be eligible contact your local or state veterans’ administration representative.
The biggest factor in a VA loan is that no down payment is required in most cases. There is no mortgage insurance payments needed, closing costs to the buyer are also limited. You can negotiate rates with the lender and you then have a choice of payment plans with up to a 30 year loan.
The last loan program we will mention is called a subprime loan. This is a loan for people with poor credit who would not qualify for a conventional loan or a VA or FHA guaranteed loan. These loans normally will require a higher down payment and have a larger interest rate. This is because of the risk involved to the mortgage company. These loans should normally be considered for a limited amount of time such as 2 to 4 years. It is a good way to improve your credit situation and then refinance with more favorable terms.
We have shown finding or planning that new dream house is just the beginning of the journey into your new home. The right answer to the question, which of the home loan programs is for you, takes research and a honest look at your personal situation.