Your only unbiased source for mortgage and credit information. I don't take applications or "harvest leads." I help people of all credit types avoid ripoffs and save money - since 1999. -- Carolyn Warren
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Low Rate Loans

  • Conventional Fixed Rate Loans
  • Adjustable Rate Loans with an introductory fixed rate period (such as 3 years or 5 years)
  • Government Loans (FHA and VA)

Advantages: With a fixed rate loan, you get the security of one rate and payment for the entire loan. No worry about future rate hikes. Should rates drastically reduce in the future, you can refinance into a lower rate. This is an excellent loan for people who plan to stay in the home for five years or more. Adjustable rate loans are not as attractive as they were in years past; still, an ARM may be to your advantage if you plan to keep the loan for only a few years. The FHA loan has both fixed and an adjustable rate programs to choose from. FHA loans are excellent for people whose credit score is not high enough to qualify for a conventional loan.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Loans: These two institutions provide money to banks and other lending companies. They are government-sponsored enterprises (GSE). Their mission is to increase home ownership in America, and currently, they own about 90 percent of home loans. They do not make loans directly to home buyers. You get a Fannie or Freddie loan through a mortgage lender.

Current Rate Watch: Although interest rates are no longer at rock bottom, they are still very good. The overall trend is rising rates. Economists are forecasting higher rates for mid-2014 and beyond. Since mortgage interest rates are cyclical, this seems logical. Therefore, the sooner you buy a house, the more likely it is that you will get the lowest rate.

Caution: The rate you get will depend on your credit, how large your down payment is, how many points you pay, and which day you choose to lock in your rate. Looking at numbers on websites is a practically meaningless way to compare. The interest rate posted may be only for a certain credit rating and down payment; in addition, it may assume discount points are being paid.

Because the mortgage business has slowed down, more meaningless junk fees with official-sounding names are popping up now than ever. The average home buyer pays an extra $1,225 in upfront fees, even if they have good credit. This is an outrage! See my list of "The Dirty Dozen," twelve junk fees that lenders will be happy to waive if you ask. Don't be shy; I give you the script of what to say to get your way. Only someone who has been behind closed doors in the wholesale sales office, as I have, is going to expose this information. It's all in Mortgage Ripoffs and Money Savers, the book that millionaire real estate investor Michael Masterson said, "I wish I'd read this before I started investing in real estate."

A Public Stance Against Over-pricing Loans: This is a big part of what is all about. If you are a new home buyer, your first step must be acquiring knowledge. A complete Home Buyer's Guide that covers all the bases of buying a house and getting a loan, and then goes "the extra mile" by exposing loan pricing tricks and explaining surefire ways to protect yourself and save thousands of dollars is available and highly recommended. This book, easy and interesting to read, contains information not available to the public anywhere else. Click Here

Ten Steps To Buying a Home

  1. Acquire knowledge. Buy a good book.
  2. Get pre-qualified for price range.
  3. Get pre-approved for guaranteed financing.
  4. Make an offer on a house and negotiate price and terms.
  5. Sign a Purchase and Sale Agreement.
  6. Work with your mortgage broker to meet all "conditions" required for loan closing.
  7. Get a home inspection.
  8. When the final review and approval is complete, sign the loan documents and make your down payment.
  9. Wait for the Deed of Trust to record with the county.
  10. Get keys from your real estate agent, move into your new home, and celebrate!

A True Loan Shopping Story

Mr. and Mrs. Anonymous got pre-approved for a home loan of $225,000 and went happily house-hunting. Shortly, they found a lovely two-story house that had everything they wanted, including an atrium.

When Mr. A. decided to do some loan shopping, he spotted a newspaper ad promoting an amazingly low interest rate. They met with the loan officer, who started an application and took a check for $400 for the appraisal. The appraisal was done right away, and then the loan officer called them with some disappointing news.

"I am so sorry," he said, "but you will not qualify for the low advertised interest rate due to your credit." Mystified, and knowing they had good credit, they asked what he meant.

"You had a couple late credit card payments in the past, and you recently had several inquiries on your credit report, which has lowered your score. You really do not have 'A' credit, so you will have to take a higher interest rate."

A higher rate meant higher monthly payments. They got worried. Their house was supposed to close soon, and now they were out $400 for the appraisal. Still, they didn't think their credit was all that bad. The late payments occurred years ago, and those accounts had been paid off. Something didn't feel right.

As it turned out, their credit was just fine, with scores over 700. By empowering themselves with knowledge, they were able to ascertain what was and wasn't true and fair.

They switched to an ethical mortgage broker who got them a low interest rate and saved them over $1,000 in closing costs. Their new broker had their appraisal transferred so they did not lose out on the $400.

You too can save yourself money and emotional grief by acquiring knowledge.

If you are buying a house, read Best Strategies for Buying a Home

If you are refinancing, read How to Get Your Best Refinance Ever

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