First time home buyers are faced with a lot of confusion when seeking loans. Their inexperience could lead to them taking several wrong decisions which could become disastrous in the long run. Thus it is necessary to be well-informed on how the home mortgage market operates before entering into it.
Things to consider at the onset are the interest rates. That must be one of the prime deciding factors of the person seeking a home mortgage loan for the first time. After all, it is the rate of interest that will decide the amount of payment to make every month for a long period of time. The homebuyer must take time out and compare the rates of interest of different lenders.
However a low rate of interest is not just the only thing to be considered. Every mortgage has several other fees to be paid, such as appraisal costs, application fees, lawyers’ fees, closing costs, etc. All these must be found out in advance so that they do not hit hard later.
One more thing to consider is how much mortgage can really be afforded. This would determine how much payment the homebuyer would be making per month. The payments should not go beyond the budget of the borrower. When all these decisions are made, only then should a meeting be scheduled with the lender. The lender would make a careful study of the borrower’s credit history and then only decide how much mortgage they would give, and at what terms. This is where the borrower must decide whether the payments could be afforded or not.
Rents must not be taken as a parameter to decide how much loan payments can be afforded per month. Rents are for a short term, while mortgages tend to go on for as much as thirty years. Hence, the borrower must think on a broader perspective. Also, the person will have to pay taxes such as property taxes, which were not involved when living as a renter. Renters get several utilities for free, but the homebuyer would need to pay for them. Examples could be water, gas and electricity bills. With homes bought on mortgages, the resident would also need to conduct repairs and maintenance, which were not the responsibility while renting out a house.
An often neglected part of the mortgage is mortgage insurance. All lenders make it mandatory for borrowers to purchase mortgage insurance in case of any eventuality. If the mortgage is a high-ratio mortgage, then this amount could be very high.
So, the first time homebuyer should not just take the rent to compare with how much payments he/she could afford, but consider all other expenses as well. Only then would he/she not feel the pinch of the mortgage payments month after month.
The lender should also be sympathetic with first time homebuyers. You could find this out in the way they carry the preliminary discussions itself. If they are too highbrow to condescend to first-timers, then you are well off with another lender. Talk to them in detail about the packages they offer, and the features of the loan, so that there are no misunderstandings later. It is wisest to take copies of everything that is related to the loan.