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Utah Mortgage Help

Jul 19, 2008
If you're new to buying a home and don't have the time to read an encyclopedia on mortgages, this is the article for you. We'll go over some basic mortgage terms and concepts to get you started.

Deciding to buy a home and obtain a mortgage is a serious decision with significant responsibilities. Not only must you spend money upfront to obtain your loan, you'll be entering (or increasing) your debt. You'll also be responsible to pay a large monthly payment. Hence it is important that you choose wisely what loan to get and where to get it.

You're mortgage education should start with some basic explanations that will help you understand and pick your loan: closing costs, APR, rate, monthly payment, ARM, fixed, and of course, mortgage.

First, what is a mortgage? A mortgage is a loan used to either purchase a property or to pay off an existing mortgage loan. The property itself becomes the collateral. In other words, if the borrower defaults on the mortgage, then the mortgage owner has legal claim to the house and can take possession of it.

The rate is the percentage that is used to determine the amount of interest you'll pay over the life of the loan. Interest is basically your cost for borrowing money. The interest rate can remain constant throughout the loan term. In this case, the loan is considered "fixed rate". If the rate can change after a specified period (such as after one year or after five years), then the loan is considered an adjustable rate mortgage or ARM.

Besides interest, there are additional costs associated with obtaining a home loan. These could include fees for underwriting, the application, checking your credit history and scores, having the property's value appraised, loan origination, title search and insurance, etc. Together, these fees are called "closing costs".

Using the interest rate by itself an ineffective way of deciding where to buy a loan because two lenders with the same rate can charge different closing costs, making one loan more expensive than the other. That's why you should always look at the APR, or Annual Percentage Rate. The APR takes into account closing costs and provides a more equalized measurement for comparing mortgages.

Besides looking at the APR, you'll want to pay attention to the total monthly payment that you will owe. Besides including principal and interest, this amount includes property taxes, hazard or homeowner's insurance, mortgage insurance, and HOA dues. Mortgage insurance is independent of interest rate, and when factored into your monthly costs, could result in a loan program with a higher interest rate having a lower monthly payment than a loan with a lower interest rate.
About the Author
If you're wanting a Utah mortgage or a Salt Lake City mortgage, visit us at www.directhouse.com.
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