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Answers to Top Three Mortgage Questions

I answer scores of questions in the course of a day, but these three come up time and time again:

1. What's the rate?
This is a seemingly simple question with a very complicated answer. Advertised rates are based on a best case scenario. Actual rates are influenced by a variety of factors including your credit score, loan-to-value ratios, and whether you are taking cash out in a refinancing. These days, the biggest issue in refinancing is the loan-to-value ratio. Before providing a preliminary rate quote, I try to accurately estimate the true value of a home to make sure you can qualify for the best rates.

2. Will it be easier if I refinance with my current lender?
Unfortunately, your current lender cannot simply update your documents and streamline the process. Whether you are starting fresh with a new lender or staying with your current one, you are going to have to go through the same steps and complete the same amount of paperwork. If you current loan is with a big lender, chances are good that you won't even be working with the same people as on your previous loan.

3. What term offers me the best deal on a fixed rate loan?
There are 10, 15, 20 and 30-year terms on fixed rate mortgages. The shorter the term, the lower the interest rates, but the higher the monthly payments. The best "deal" for you depends upon your cash flow, how long you plan to stay in your home, and how important it is to you to be mortgage-free. If you can afford the high monthly payments, a 10-year mortgage will slash interest and quickly let you own your home free and clear. However, 30-year mortgages are still most popular simply because many people have difficulty handling the higher payments of a shorter term.

If you have questions about the best mortgage for you, please give me a call at 888-524-1183.

July's Home Value Improver

Splurge or Save on Windows?

According to Consumer Reports, new windows cost from $7,000 to $20,000 for an average house. The $13,000 spread depends partially on the number of windows in your home, but the brand you choose can also play a big role. Are expensive, top-of-the-line brands worth it?

If you can afford to splurge, architects and builders say to go with top-quality windows because:

  • They are available in more configurations and can be easily customized
  • They incorporate the latest technology to maximize energy savings
  • They use higher quality materials for greater durability
  • They maintain resale value if you want to sell your home
Just keep in mind that even the best quality window will fail if not installed properly. That's why many top-of-the-line windows insist on certified installers. If you splurge on top quality windows, plan to spend a little more on a qualified installer as well.

Westchester Mortgage

July 2012

Wouldn't it be nice if getting a new mortgage were as straightforward as buying a new TV? You'd know the price you saw advertised is the price that you would get. Unfortunately, mortgages are far more complex. You might get the rate you saw advertised if you have perfect credit and the stars align on a host of other factors.

The mortgage process is confusing, but I work hard to provide clear explanations so it is a little less stressful. In this month's issue of the newsletter, I answer three of the questions that I am asked most frequently. If you have questions that are not answered here, please give me a call and I'd be happy to help you out.

Best regards,
Debbie Siegel
Westchester Mortgage

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