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Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question? Don’t sweat! Look no further than our resourceful FAQ page for answers to any of your questions regarding refinance, purchase, home equity, cash out or home improvement loans. When you feel you are ready to shop for a new mortgage use our free service to have lenders compete for your business.

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General Mortgage FAQs

The mortgage calculator is a dynamic tool designed to adapt to different stages of your homebuying journey. Whether you're exploring potential mortgage payments before house hunting or fine-tuning your budget during negotiations, the calculator remains a valuable companion. We recommend revisiting the calculator whenever there are changes in your financial situation or when you're contemplating adjustments to your mortgage terms. Regular use ensures that you stay well-informed and control your financial decisions throughout the process.

Absolutely. Our home mortgage calculator allows you to experiment with different interest rates, providing real-time scenario analysis. By adjusting the interest rate, you can observe how it influences your monthly payments, empowering you to make critical decisions based on the ever-changing landscape of interest rates.

A residential mortgage is a type of loan that individuals use to purchase a home. The property must meet basic safety requirements to allow someone to occupy it. This does not include property like open land, that is a different type of loan. When you take out a mortgage you borrow money from a lender and commit to making payments over an extended period of time commonly ranging from 15 to 30 years. These loans come with either a fixed or variable interest rate. These payments include both the loan amount (known as the principal) and the interest charged by the lender. If you fail to make payments on your mortgage the lender has the right to foreclose and take possession of the property. Upon repaying the loan in full the lien is removed from the deed.

Yes there are government programs. Incentives available to assist with funding home improvement projects. Some examples include;

  • Energy Efficiency Tax Credits: You may be eligible for tax credits depending on the state you live in for implementing energy upgrades in your home such as installing solar panels or upgrading windows to energy efficient ones.
  • FHA 203(k) Loan: This loan program from the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) allows you to combine the costs of buying a home and making renovations into a loan. So you can turn your fixer-upper into a dream home with the same loan!
  • USDA Home Repair Loans and Grants: The U.S. Department of Agriculture offers loans and grants to homeowners in rural areas for making repairs and enhancements.
  • VA Home Improvement Grants: Veterans and active duty service members may qualify for grants through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to make improvements to their homes.
  • PACE Financing: Similar to Energy Efficiency Tax Credits, Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing allows homeowners to finance energy efficient upgrades and renewable energy installations with repayments included in property tax bills.
  • Local Government Programs: Many local governments provide grants, loans or rebates specifically designed for home improvement projects, particularly those related to energy efficiency.
  • Weatherization Assistance Program: Low income households may be eligible for reduced cost weatherization services aimed at enhancing energy efficiency. This program can also be used for protecting the health and safety of you and loved ones living within a property that needs serious repairs.
Please keep in mind that these programs and incentives might have eligibility criteria and requirements. Therefore it is crucial to conduct research and verify the details with the appropriate authorities before submitting your application.

There are various ways to finance home related expenses, including home improvement loans, home equity loans and home equity lines of credit (HELOCs). However each option works differently;

  • Home Improvement Loan: This loan is specifically designed for funding home improvement projects. You borrow an amount of money and repay it gradually with fixed monthly payments. The interest rates may vary. The loan term is typically fixed.
  • Home Equity Loan: Also known as a mortgage this type of loan allows you to borrow a lump sum of money based on the equity you've built in your home. You receive the entire amount upfront and make fixed payments over a specified period.
  • HELOC (Home Equity Line of Credit): A HELOC is a line of credit that utilizes your home's equity as collateral. During the draw period usually lasting around 10 years you can borrow up to a limit. The interest rates for this type of loan are variable. You have the flexibility to access funds as needed and repay them over time.
Ultimately choosing the option depends on factors such, as your specific needs, financial situation and personal preferences.

You can usually use a home improvement loan for DIY projects and professional work. Keep in mind that lenders might have specific rules for DIY projects, and it's crucial to follow building codes and safety standards. While professional work might have smoother approval and documentation, DIY projects can qualify if they boost your home's value and safety. Remember to consult your lender and local regulations before using a loan for any home improvement project.

In order to be eligible for a home improvement loan you generally need to have an adequate income, a favorable credit rating and equity in your home. Lenders evaluate your circumstances and the worth of your property to determine if you qualify.

A home improvement loan can fund various projects like renovations, repairs, expansions, remodeling, appliance upgrades, landscaping, energy-efficient improvements, and more. It's meant to boost your home's comfort, value, and appearance. Just make sure the changes fit your long-term goals and increase your property's value.

In a cash out refinance the interest rate is typically comparable to that of a regular refinance. Nonetheless since you're borrowing additional funds lenders might make slight adjustments to the rate. It's crucial to compare rates and terms in order to understand the variations between these two types of refinancing and make an informed choice.

With a cash-out refinance loan, you replace your current mortgage with a new, larger one. This lets you borrow extra money in cash. The new mortgage pays off your old one and gives you the additional funds to spend. The interest rate and terms apply to both your existing balance and the extra amount you're borrowing.

The amount you can borrow through a cash-out refinance is usually limited to around 80% to 85% of your home's current value.

The equity requirement for a cash-out refinance can vary, but lenders generally look for at least 20% equity in your home to be eligible for this type of refinance.

A home equity loan can serve purposes such as making improvements to your home, consolidating debts, covering education expenses, paying medical bills, starting a business or addressing other significant financial needs. It is crucial to carefully evaluate the potential consequences, on your overall financial position.

Getting a home equity loan can provide benefits like access to funds for big expenses, lower interest rates compared to some loans, and the chance of interest being tax deductible (consult a tax expert).

In order to qualify for a home mortgage it's crucial to have an adequate income, a good credit rating, and sufficient funds for both the down payment and closing expenses. Lenders assess these criteria to determine your eligibility for obtaining a mortgage for your home.

To get your finances ready for a seamless mortgage application and home purchase, work on boosting your credit score, save up a solid down payment, cut down on existing debt, and collect all required financial documents. Also, set up a budget to handle closing costs and ongoing homeowner expenses.

Mortgages are available for various terms with both fixed and adjustable rates. Most will have a 15-year or 30-year term, but some lenders offer 10, 20 and even 40-year terms. Interest rates can vary between companies, and customer service can vary between loan officers. The right loan for you depends on several factors, including how long you expect to live in the house, whether you or your spouse have been in the military, your credit history, etc… Let help you find a loan officer that will work with your personal needs and objectives.

Having a good credit score is vital for getting a mortgage. A higher score improves your chances of approval, helps you snag lower interest rates, and leads to better loan terms.

The loan to value (LTV) ratio in mortgage refinancing indicates the amount you are borrowing compared to the value of your home. It has an impact on your eligibility for a loan and the interest rates you may receive. Depending on the LTV ratio, there is a possibility that you might need private mortgage insurance (PMI).

It's definitely possible to refinance your mortgage even if your credit score has changed since you first obtained it. Keep in mind it's important to remember that the updated credit score will have an effect on the conditions of the refinancing process especially when it comes to determining the interest rate that you qualify for.

Fees associated with mortgage refinancing can include application fees, appraisal fees, origination fees, title search and insurance, credit report fees, points, and potential prepayment penalties.

Refinancing a mortgage offers benefits such as the chance to obtain a lower interest rate, decrease your monthly payments, save money, access your home equity, consolidate debt and have the flexibility to modify loan types or adjust loan terms.

A cash out refinance is a mortgage loan that is used to pay off an existing mortgage but with a new larger loan amount allowing the homeowner to receive cash back. This extra money can be used for almost any purpose, like home improvements, debt consolidation, or college funding.

To get a home equity loan, you will need to be qualified by a lender. Potential lenders will consider and examine your equity, credit score, and debt-to-income ratio before deciding whether or not you qualify. These elements will also influence the specifics of the loan – like how much money the lender will let you borrow and the interest rate.

  • Equity: Equity is the portion of the value of your home that is left after repaying any loans collateralized by that home. A lender will often want to have your home appraised to know how much it is worth.
  • Debt-to-income ratio: This is calculated by dividing your total monthly debt payments by your gross monthly income. Typically, you cannot qualify for a home equity loan if your debt-to-income ratio is above 45%.
  • Credit score: The strength of your credit score is a big factor in determining whether or not a lender deems you qualified for a home equity loan. A higher credit score will translate into a better rate and term.
The best way to find the right loan for you is to speak with a knowledgeable loan officer who can discuss your situation and give you options that will fit your needs.

A home equity loan is any loan that uses your home as collateral. It can be a first or second mortgage, it can be a fixed rate or an adjustable rate, or it can be a home equity line of credit that can be borrowed from as needed, repaid, and borrowed again.

Different mortgage programs have different waiting periods before you can refinance your loan. Waiting periods can be anywhere from 0 to 12 months. The most important point to consider before refinancing is what is the benefit to you. A loan officer can help you determine if a refinance is right for you.

To refinance any kind of home loan, you will need either a licensed or registered loan officer. This loan officer will look at your personal financial situation and provide you with options that fit your needs. can help you locate a loan officer that can help you.

Yes, Home Equity Loans can be refinanced. Homeowners will choose to refinance their home equity loan when they can also secure a better interest rate, need to fund a new project, or just want to change to a more favorable payment method.

A purchase loan is a mortgage used to buy a real estate property like a home. It is provided by a financial institution such as a bank or mortgage broker or lender. The loan amount is typically based on the appraised value of the home or property and the buyer's creditworthiness. The loan is secured against the property and is repaid over a period of time.

Current Mortgage rates are determined by market forces, inflation, and economic stability. Your personal rate will also be affected by your credit history and job stability. Finding the right loan officer will help you find the best rate available to you in any given market.

A fifteen-year mortgage is ideal for a homeowner who would prefer to make higher payments to pay off their mortgage faster. The amount of interest paid over a 15-year term is much less than what is paid over a 30-year term, however, the monthly payments are higher. This rate is also based on economic conditions, including future inflation expectations and the risk of a recession.

A 30-year fixed mortgage is the most common mortgage used by homeowners. While the rate is typically higher than a 15-year fixed, the monthly payment is lower because of the long amortization period. The rate is based on economic conditions, including future inflation expectations and the risk of a recession.