Dollars & Sense: Mortgage Shopping

May 14, 2008 7:49:40 AM PDT
With the housing market's down, most homebuyers are finding it difficult to qualify for conventional loans. Find out what you need to know when applying for a mortgage. MORTGAGE TRENDS
  • Rates down ½ % on 15 and 30-year fixed
  • Rise in # of foreclosures. 900,000 now.
  • Loss of 80,000 jobs in March
  • Intro teaser rates for ARMs went up a few points.
  • Home values have gone down; 2nd home values have gone down by almost 25%
APPLYING FOR A MORTGAGE NOW
  • More money down
  • Closing costs higher so banks can protect themselves
  • Prepayment penalties higher
  • Refinancing fees higher
  • 2nd home market harder to get mortgage for
MORTGAGE ADVICE
  • Get good appraiser
  • High credit scores-shop within 30 days to keep score higher
  • Put more money down to avoid private mortgage insurance (PMI) and to get a lower rate
  • Consider home equity lines can be used to pay for 2nd mortgage.
BEWARE
  • Shop online within same day to compare rates
  • Get written confirmation of a locked rate
  • Recognize that mortgage brokers charge higher fees
For more information visit www.jenniferlitwin.com.

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