A Beginner's Guide to Mortgages: Five Things You Need to Know

Are you interested in getting a mortgage for the first time? If so, you need to know how a mortgage works.

Basically, it’s a type of loan that is used to purchase a property.

Seeing as the average price for a house in the U.S. is around $375,000, most people can’t afford to buy a property outright, so that’s where a mortgage loan comes in very handy.

Once you have paid back the loan, you will completely own your home.

Mortgages are provided by lenders like banks and credit unions. When you take out a mortgage with a lender, you will sign a contract that details things like the amount of money you’re borrowing, the term length, and the interest rate.

Now you know the basics, let’s look at some other things every beginner needs to know about mortgages.

What Is a Down Payment?

Before you can get a mortgage, buy a home, and start considering things like the flooring and décor, you have to make a down payment on a property, which is a percentage of the overall loan that you need to pay upfront.

Most homebuyers pay down payments of between 3% and 20% of the total price of the property.

The precise amount will depend on various factors, such as the type of mortgage you apply for.

Obviously, the higher your down payment is, the less you will owe the lender and the sooner you can pay back the loan and own your home outright.

How Can You Calculate Your Estimated Monthly Payments?

Before you choose a home, you need to first work out how much you can afford to spend on a property.

That means you need to calculate how much you can afford to pay on a monthly basis and how much debt you are willing to take on. 

Thankfully, working out how much you can afford to pay each month is easy when you use an online mortgage calculator. For instance, when you calculate mortgage estimates at loanDepot, it’s easy to see how much you can afford, or how much you could potentially save.

What Is the Principal?

You need to understand basic mortgage terminology before you take out a home loan.

One thing you need to understand is the principal. That refers to the amount that you owe the lender.

 As you pay off your mortgage over time, your principal will decrease.

What Is Interest?

You need to understand what is meant by interest too. Interest on a mortgage is what the lender charges you in exchange for providing you with the loan.

Interest rates can be fixed, which means you pay the same amount throughout the duration of your loan, or they can be adjustable, which means your interest rate could change over the life of your mortgage.

What Is the Length of a Mortgage?

You can choose from different mortgage lengths. While most people take out mortgage loans for either fifteen or thirty years, you can take out a mortgage for other durations, such as five years or forty years.

When you work out how much you can afford to pay for your down payment and how much of the mortgage loan you can afford to pay back each month, you can better determine how long your mortgage should be.

If you have a shorter mortgage, you won’t pay as much interest over time, but your monthly loan repayment will be larger.

On the other hand, if you go for a longer duration for the term of your mortgage, you will make smaller monthly payments. 

Once you have determined how long you want the duration of your loan to be, you can buy your very own property, and start looking at things like adding central heating to your home.

We hope you found A Beginner’s Guide to Mortgages: Five Things You Need to Know useful. Make sure to read How to Avoid Two Mortgages After Buying a New Home for more helpful tips.


A Beginner's Guide to Mortgages: Five Things You Need to Know

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