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Expert Advice on Mortgage Brokers

While hiring a mortgage broker is more advantageous for most new homebuyers than working directly with lenders, it still pays to screen them for professionalism. Taking a few minutes of your time to ask your broker some serious questions can you save you from experiencing problems when you are ready to buy your dream home. Following are 10 questions that you should ask your mortgage broker before committing to any terms.

1. Are you affiliated with any lenders?
Some mortgage brokers work with only a limited number of brokers, which places a limit on your available options and prices.

2. Are you licensed or certified by the state?
Nearly every state in the nation requires mortgage brokers to be licensed or certified to ensure that minimum standards have been met and consumers are protected from fraud. For example, an Alabama mortgage broker might need to know laws that relate specifically to Alabama, so whatever state you’re in, ask to make sure that your broker is certified there.

3. Is this the best possible interest rate?
Make sure you are getting the best interest rate possible, and ask whether there is anything you can do to get it lowered.

4. What are your fees?
The fees charged by mortgage brokers can vary widely, so it is important to understand what they are and the total amounts that will be due.

5. What type of mortgage is best for me?
Several types of mortgages are available, but the two most common are fixed-rate mortgages and adjustable-rate mortgages. The one that works best depends upon your specific situation and the economy.

7. How much are my monthly payments?
Once you understand the cost of the home, the interest rate and any associated fees, you must determine whether you will be able to comfortably afford your monthly payments.

8. When are payments due?
In addition to understanding when the down payment, fees and closing costs are due, be sure to ask when the monthly payments are due and whether there is a grace period.

6. Who is my lender?
Even though you are operating through a mortgage broker, you have to know who is originating the loan and what to expect when dealing with them.

9. Is there a prepayment penalty?
To save the most money, you will want to have an option to pay additional amounts on the principal without incurring extra fees.

10. How do I receive a copy of the closing documents in advance?
By law, you are entitled to a copy of your closing documents 24 hours before your closing date so that they can be reviewed for accuracy.

How to Save on Your Mortgage Payments in 2013

If you’re like most homeowners you probably spend about 30% of your net income on your mortgage.  That’s normal but bit still is a large chunk of your earnings and, if it can be lowered, why not lower it?  With that in mind we have an excellent list of the best ways to save on your mortgage this year so take a look and, if you see something that may help, by all means please use it and save some money.  Enjoy!

Use your tax refund to make a bigger payment on your mortgage or use the extra money from a windfall to do the same.  One big payment now will mean smaller payments for the rest of the year (if you want them), free up some of tour cash and help reduce your debt load.

Making bi-monthly payments can help you because you’ll pay off your mortgage faster but remember that many lenders charge a fee to do this.  Make sure that this fee, whatever it is, is less than the amount that you’re possibly saving before you sign up for the service.

If you want to shop around for lower rates by all means do so but keep in mind that many lenders will charge fees that may end up cancelling out your savings.  Take a hard look at these fees before you sign up for your new rate to make sure that the change is actually worth it. Having a high credit score and an excellent credit history will help you with this one and, since lenders want to keep your business, be prepared to negotiate.

If you want to free up some of your cash now and don’t mind paying more overall for your home than extending the life of your mortgage may be a good bet for you.  This should reduce your monthly payments but will mean that the house won’t be paid off as fast.  Once you can handle it you can always go back to making the regular payment and pay it off faster anyway if you want to.  Although I will say that if free cash flow is your true interest here, then consider for fast cash rather than extending your mortgage.

If your home falls below 80% of its appraised value you can ask the lender to cancel your private mortgage insurance (PMI) and save a bit every month. You may need to get an appraisal to do this but it may well be worth the trouble and expense.

Another factor to consider if your home is worth less than what you are currently paying on your mortgage is the PRA program.  This stands for principle reduction alternative  and, if your payments are more than 31% of your monthly income, you may be eligible for this program and start saving money on your mortgage right away.

Not bad right?  Hopefully some of these ideas have set off alarms in your little noggin and will enable you to save a bit (or more) this year on your home’s loan.  Good luck with them.

Debt Consolidation Mortgage: A Slippery Slope Indeed

Have you ever heard of a debt consolidation mortgage? Do you know how it works? I guess you have already heard a lot about debt consolidation because of the growing advertisements everywhere. However, a debt consolidation mortgage is a complete different concept. In a debt consolidation mortgage, you use your home mortgage or a refinancing (second mortgage) on your home as collateral for the mortgage loan. Here, you can use the equity of your home to pay off other debts as credit card debt.

A debt consolidation mortgage may be an efficient instrument to resolve debt. However, it is actually a medication with many risks and side effects. In a debt consolidation mortgage, your monthly payments quickly decrease through consolidating several debts into a single security against the value of your home. Simply, debt consolidation mortgage is a new mortgage that combines many high interest debts (credit card, car loans etc.) and the balance of your mortgage.

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Don’t Let Your Mortgage Control Your Life

With the current mortgage crisis gripping the whole world, and foreclosures still going on at an alarming rate, your mortgage may be at the top of the list. The stress is affecting people everywhere, but you can’t let your loan control your life.

The Crisis Isn’t Over Yet

Though economies around the world are showing signs of recovering, that does not mean we’re out of the crisis yet. Foreclosures are still continuing at an alarming rate, and the stress of keeping up the bills is affecting many people around the world. Here are eight tips to help you beat the heat:

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Home Loans for the Self Employed

Getting a mortgage while being self employed in some cases is more difficult but there are definite methods of receiving a home loan when it is required. It can be, however, quite different to when a person is employed by another company.

The Process of Getting a Mortgage while Self Employed

When a person is running their own home business, but they need a mortgage, the process is very different compared to a regularly employed person. The way that a person assesses their income can be complex. Many times as a result of this difficult process, individuals who are self employed have a hard time receiving the mortgage that they need using their tax returns.
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Take Control of Your Home Loan

Owning a home today is one thing many people strive for but aren’t aware of the burden a mortgage can become.  It is one of those payments that is necessary but you dread making it month after month for years on end.

When homeowners think about reducing their debt they typically do not include a mortgage as part of their bad debt. We are more concerned with the credit cards and personal loans that tend to acquire over a lifetime.

Though seeking a debt consolidation will greatly reduce your debt and the interest you pay by combining your additional debts within your home loan, focusing on reducing your home loan can also save you thousands.
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Bridging Finance – The Good and Bad

Buying your first home is a great feeling – but what about when you want to upsize or even downsize to another property? Many people find all of their cash for a down payment is tied into the equity of their existing home.

This poses the problem when you find your next dream home and are unable to make a down payment because you have to wait for your current home to settle to secure the funds you need. Often people feel they have been locked into a catch 22 situation. There is a solution to this problem commonly known as bridging finance.
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Save Money on Your Home Loan

Possibly one of the biggest accomplishments anyone experiences is the day a home is purchased. Once you have built up your finances and are ready to put a down payment and settle into a homeowner’s lifestyle, the next steps are critical in actually obtaining that excellent property.

To assist you in making the best choice, here are a few steps to follow that should guide you through the process and make you aware of what to look for.
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Refinancing Rules of Thumbs

I toyed with the idea of using the title, “If You Don’t Refinance with These Ridiculously Low Interest Rates, well, I Don’t Know How to Help You.” But then that just makes my title wrap around and nobody can read it anyway.

In all seriousness, the same details and research apply to your refinancing as did to your first mortgage. And to help with that, the Motley Fool came up with a few questions to ask before you rush out to the bank for a refi.
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The $100,000 Home Discount

I have a friend who will only buy foreclosed homes. He gets awesome deals because, unlike me, he’s not afraid to put in a little elbow grease (I shudder).

Shuddering aside, sometimes the deals are so good that even a fixer upper neophyte like myself can be tempted to buy. However, no matter how hard I’ve tried to bribe him, he’s never revealed his sources for finding these homes.

Well, now I can stop bugging him. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, now ubiquitous names in the American housing meltdown, are unloading foreclosed properties as fast as possible.
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