June Is Homeownership Month!
For most of us, owning a home means paying a mortgage. You may not think much of it as you write a check each month. But, whether you have just started searching for your first house, are 10 years in or moved a few times, a few questions have probably popped up along the way about mortgages. Here are a few frequently asked mortgage questions:
- Should I lock my mortgage rate? There are several factors you should consider before considering locking your loan rate. First, according to Mortgage News Daily, is to ask your loan officer about the market forces that cause mortgage rates to change. That person can help you decide what’s best for your loan. You can also check out this daily rate commentary on recent rate changes, to see if you should lock in a current low rate.
- Should I refinance my home? By refinancing your mortgage, you may be able to save money through paying less interest, lowering your monthly payment or shortening the length of your loan. Check out a refinance calculator to see how much you could save. Because everyone’s situation is different, be sure to speak with your lender for more specific information.
- Are mortgage rates negotiable? Yes! There are a few ways to get a lower rate, in addition to negotiating with your loan officer. You can put more money down or take less money out (if it is a cash-out refinance). Mortgage News Daily says to make sure you’re working with a mortgage professional, and consider locking in a good rate right away.
- What steps can I take to avoid foreclosure? The US Department of Housing and Urban Development says the first thing to do if you receive a notice from your lender is to NOT ignore it. The longer you avoid the issue, the harder it will likely be to reinstate your loan, and keep your house. It is also a good idea to contact your lender right away, and try to come up with a plan to make your payments. There are often services and programs available, depending on your situation.
- What is a reverse mortgage? A reverse mortgage tends to be popular with older people who have equity in their homes. Each lender has their own regulations, so be sure to get the specifics before signing one for your home. There are reverse mortgages insured by the U.S. Government, called Home Equity Conversion Mortgages. These are available through an FHA approved lender.
Be sure to always check with your lender and state’s regulations regarding your specific situation. For more on national guidelines, visit the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s website.