What is a Mortgage?
A mortgage is a lien on a property/house that secures a loan and is paid in installments over a set period of time. The mortgage secures your promise that you’ll repay the money you’ve borrowed to buy your home. Mortgages come in many different shapes and sizes, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Make sure you select the mortgage that is right for you, your future plans, and your financial situation.
Responsibilities that come with a mortgage
Buying a home is a big step and assuming a mortgage for that home is a big responsibility. Make sure you are ready for a financial commitment that could last several decades.
- Are you currently in a financial position to comfortably make the monthly mortgage payment?
- Do you have a financial cushion in case you have sudden financial difficulties (for example losing your job)?
- Are you prepared to take on a long-term financial debt?
- Do you know the risks if you cannot pay your mortgage in the future?
Owning a home has many benefits but it also has responsibilities. Be sure you are in a position to handle those responsibilities. If you don’t think you are in the position to take on such a large financial debt, this may not be the time to buy a home. Instead, focus on getting your affairs in order and building a financial cushion so you can buy a home in the future. Taking the time before buying a home to make sure you are set up for success can alleviate much stress and many problems later.
Choosing the right mortgage
Once you decide on the mortgage you want, do your homework. Different lenders offer different rates, points, and fees. Ask around and compare. Understanding the benefits of different mortgage offerings can be a complex process. How do you figure it all out?
- Evaluate the pros and cons of a fixed-rate mortgage.
- Know all the parts of an adjustable-rate mortgage.
- Learn about balloon/reset mortgages.
- Understand how a reverse mortgage works.
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