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Buying a Home. What is a Mortgage

In New Hampshire purchasing a home is pretty easy. All the forms are State approved forms. Once both parties sign the purchase and sale form it becomes a contract.  No back and forth really. Now the fun begins. 

As a first-time homebuyer, or even a buyer who hasn't bought a home in a while, you might be confused or even bewildered by the mortgage process and its many moving parts. I finally bought a new house after being in the real estate business for over 10 years and experienced what I was putting my buyers through. WOW. The information you are being asked to provide can seem insane. A loan processor's job is to collect all the info from you in order to be able to present everything to underwriters who will sometimes ask for even more documents 

Here's what you need to know about what a mortgage is and how it works for all parties  

Whether you are buying a house in the White Mountains, a waterfront in the Lakes Region or or a condo in Portsmouth, it is a big decision. From start to finish, Each type of property has its own set of needs. Is it seasonal camp or year round home.  DOes it include an association or on a private road with no formal road maintenance agreement. Is it. mobile home or a modular home.

It can take a year or more to plan, save for a downpayment, find a lender, and then to find and make an offer on the house you want to buy. In a market where inventory is so low, being prepared is more important than ever. 

  Mortgages for home sales. Buying Real Estate in NH  Buying a home in New Hampshire


Before you get ahead of yourself, first things first, understanding what a mortgage actually is and how it works i sso important. In short, a mortgage is a loan from a lending institution to cover a home's purchase. The bank or lending institution holds the note for the house as collateral for the loan. The mortgage is also called a "lien against property," or sometimes referred to as a "claim on property."
You can start by using an online mortgage calculator, or visit with your bank or another mortgage lender so you'll know what you can afford in terms of a mortgage payment. This will also help you understand how much you may need to save for a downpayment. 

A mortgage loan has three components:
Principal: The principle is the difference between the home's final purchase price and the amount of your down payment. For example, if you provide $20,000 as a downpayment for the home you plan to buy for $200,000, your principal loan amount would be $180,000. On an offer it would show as a 90%LTV or "90% Loan to Value"

Interest: The loan's interest is what you pay the bank or lender in exchange for providing and servicing the loan. This amount is based on the loan's interest rate, which will vary depending on the term (length of time) and type of loan. 
Downpayment: The downpayment is the amount you pay upfront, at the time of the purchase transaction, as your direct financial interest in the home.
As you make regular monthly mortgage payments, each payment includes the monthly interest on the outstanding loan balance and an amount that pays down the principal. When your principal amount is high at the beginning of your loan, most of your monthly payment goes to paying off interest. Pay additional money Toward Principal can save big time. I can't recommend enough to make payments toward principal every month. For instance making just one payment toward principal each year will cut payments from 30 years to 17 years.  The first 7 years is really mostly just interest. 

Additional costs first-time homebuyers often include in a mortgage payment. 
As a homeowner, you are responsible for costs in addition to your mortgage payment, such as property taxes, homeowner's insurance, and possibly private mortgage insurance. Some people choose to tie these payments into their mortgage, rather than make separate payments. The bank then makes an all-inclusive payment to ensure the homeowner stays current on these obligations.
Property taxes: Your county and municipal government assess property taxes on your home and land, which go to fund schools, roads, and other local government services. 
Homeowners Insurance: You can purchase homeowner's insurance through an insurance provider of your choice. This insurance covers most or all of the cost if you experience major property damage or a loss, such as roof damage from a storm or to repair or rebuild after a fire. Your lender will require you to have homeowners insurance and that you pay one years policy in advance, Then part of your mortgage payment will include a prorated amount so when the renewal comes up the money is there to pay. 
Private mortgage insurance (PMI): If your down payment is less than 20%, your lender may require you to have private mortgage insurance until you have acquired 20% equity in your home, usually meaning you’ll need to pay off 20% of the original home loan.. This insurance protects the lender in case you default on the loan. 
There are many types of mortgage lenders and many types of mortgages. 
Know that you have options. You can – and should – shop around for the best rates and payment plans. You may even be able to find programs that eliminate PMI requirements or allow you to purchase the home without a downpayment. 

Mortgages fall into two basic categories: Fixed-rate or adjustable-rate. 

Fixed-rate and adjustable mortgages are the basis for specific loan programs. 
A fixed-rate mortgage maintains the same payment of principal at an interest rate set for the loan term. Lenders offer these mortgages for either a 30-year term or 15-year term. On a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, you will pay more over the loan's lifetime because you will be paying interest for the life of the loan, but the monthly mortgage payment will remain the same as long as you have the loan. On a 15-year fixed-rate loan, your monthly payments will be higher, but more of each payment applies to the principal to pay off the home in 15 years. The total amount of interest you pay will be less.
An adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) has an interest rate that is subject to change over the loan term. An ARM usually carries a lower interest rate for the first few years but then adjusts after a set period, typically five years, to a new rate tied to market interest rates. A first-time homebuyer may benefit from a lower mortgage payment for the first few years, but faces the risk that the rate will increase when the adjustment date comes around.


Below are some government backed loan programs. 
For borrowers who qualify, a Federal Housing Administration loan or FHA loan allows for a low down payment, typically requiring only 3.5%. This can be a great option for many first time homebuyers or homebuyers that have little in terms of a downpayment. However, because you are not making a standard downpayment of 20%, your lender will require you to pay for PMI. (Private Mortgage Insurance) Know that if you have passed the 20% toward loan that a lender will never just stop charging it so it will be on you to make sure they do.  An increased value in a property could play into it as well. 

A Veterans Affairs or VA loan is offered to anyone who served or is currently serving in the U.S. military. You must have served 90 consecutive days during wartime, 180 consecutive days during peacetime, or six years in the reserves to qualify. These loans typically require no down payment and do not carry PMI requirements, and come with a reasonable interest rate. Know that 

Buyers in rural areas may qualify for a U.S. Department of Agriculture or USDA loan. These loans also do not require a downpayment. They have reasonable interest rates, and your income and location will determine if you qualify. 

What you should know is that any of the Government loans above have strict guidelines on the condition of the house being purchased. For instance the home being purchased has to have no peeling paint, the roof in good condition and structurally good shape. I have run into situations where the demand was made to paint any peeling paint even though it was in the middle of the winter--clearly not acceptable. 


Since the financial crisis of 2008 the appraisal process has dramatically changed--and I find sometimes astounding. When you apply fo rthe loan the lender will "order and appraisal".  That order goes to an appraisal service who will send out th ejob to a list of appraisers. However after that point the ONLY person who will have any contact is the listing agent waiting for a phone call to set up a meeting to show the property. Neither the lender, buyer, seller, realtors or can have any contact after and all are waiting for the appraisal to come in. I have experienced that deadlines are not adhered to especially the date stated for an approval for the financing. This can create all kinds of issues.  2020 and 2021 saw the highest number of sales and refis ever making it difficult to even get an appraisor. So be patient. 

A mortgage is a big commitment. When you understand how it works and what options are available to you, you are in a good position to start talking to lenders as you shop around to find the loan option that best suits your individual circumstances. I suggest using local lenders who also know the market. 

For some suggestions on lenders to contact Click Here



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