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What You Need To Know About Second Mortgages

Mar 2, 2008
So many home owners think about getting a second mortgage. Others don't even know what it means. Today I will raise a few points to explain what second mortgages are and what you need to consider when youre taking that route.

What is a second mortgage?

A second mortgage is basically taking out a second loan on top of the existing loan on your home. This loan is secured with the property for collateral. If for example the value of your home is $200 000, but you still owe $140 000 on the loan, then the $60 000 difference is known as your equity. When borrowing against the $60 000, you would then be taking out a second mortgage.

Why take out a second mortgage?

People take out a second mortgage for various reasons. They want to finance home improvements, purchase a second home, consolidate other debt for a lower interest rate, purchase a new car or pay for university tuition. Whatever the reason may be for taking out a second mortgage, first make sure there is a way of recouping the money. It is especially not wise to spend a vast amount of money on a car when it already starts losing value the moment you drive out of the dealership. It makes more sense investing in a business.

Refinance is an option

Before you decide to apply for a second mortgage, first consider refinancing. Firstly, taking out a second mortgage usually implies a higher interest rate. Rather keep your current rate or try and refinance for a lower one. Secondly, sales people get a lot of commission out of second mortgage transaction. Lastly, when choosing to refinance, you keep some equity in your home. And if there is really an emergency you, still have an exit door. But, if the prices of houses fall the value of your house is down, you could end up with negative equity and even more debt.

What to look out for

The interest rate of a second mortgage tends to be higher than the primary mortgage, due to the fact that if any problems occur, payment would first be made to the first mortgage.

Companies also charge a lending fee, also known as points. One point is equal to one percent. For example, if you are borrowing $500 000 with a lending fee of 10 points, you will pay $50 000 in points. The points differ from one company to another; therefore I recommend shopping around before making a final decision.

Be aware of balloon payments where payment starts low, but increases very quickly. Rather take the fixed rate option.

Lastly, dont forget the additional closing costs such as, appraisal fees, application costs etc. If you arent capable of paying these fees, you may not be able to take out that second mortgage on your property.

If you are considering applying for a second mortgage, please think it through very carefully and consider all your options before making a final decision on taking out a second mortgage application.
About the Author
Peter Owen owns a number of properties and helps new home owners and investors reach their property goals. You are welcome to follow these links to apply for a second mortgage. Its free. Second Mortgage or Property Refinance
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