Archive for the ‘Mortgages’ Category

Understanding Jumbo Mortgages

Jumbo Mortgages

A jumbo mortgages is a home loan that exceeds the limits set by FannieMae and Freddie Mac.How are jumbo loans different?

What differentiates jumbo mortgage loans is the loan amount. At present, loan amounts that are higher than $417,000 are usually deemed jumbo mortgages. This determination is made by comparing industry standards for average housing loans as governed by the two biggest secondary mortgage lenders, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac set industry standards for ‘conforming loans’; Home loans beyond those maximums are regarded as jumbo mortgages. These two agencies cap the dollar figure for loans that they will buy (that’s where the $417,000 figure comes from). Larger loan amounts are funded by other investors such as banks and insurance companies. Note that the dollar figure set to qualify jumbo mortgages differs by locale, so the limit is higher in Hawaii and Alaska (and in some other states). In the majority of the U.S., jumbo mortgages are those larger than $417K.

Available Terms – 15 Year Fixed, 30 Year Fixed, or Variable 30 Year

Jumbo Mortgage

The terms for jumbo mortgages vary similarly to other types of housing loans. Buyers can choose between variable rates, like 3/1 or 5/1 ARMs, for a 15-30 year jumbo mortgage, or a 15 or 30 year fixed jumbo mortgagerate.

Whether a 15 or 30 year fixed jumbo mortgage or an adjustable rate is best for you will depend on your plans and situation.

A 30 year fixed jumbo mortgage is better for those whole plan to own the home for a very long time. With this type of mortgage, the rate will not go up but it will never go down, either – it stays the same for the life of the loan. This is good because the payment is predictable, and cannot rise sharply if interest rates do. On the downside, the 30 year fixed jumbo mortgage rate is higher since lenders know they can never charge more than the original rate.

The lowest jumbo mortgage rate is usually an adjustable 30 year jumbo mortgage rate. Lenders understand their potential to benefit from increases in rates over time, so they are willing to lend at a lower rate in the beginning. Although, the lower rate won’t last. A variable 30 year jumbo mortgage rate will be fixed for 3 to 5 years, and then will adjust annually according to an index. Even small increases could mean significantly larger monthly mortgage payments.

Going with an adjustable 30 year jumbo mortgage rate works well when a buyer plans to move within the 3 to 5 year fixed period. For a buyer more concerned with smaller initial payments, or who will likely refinance in the near future, the variable 30 year jumbo mortgage rate is better than the 30 year fixed jumbo mortgage. Why pay the higher fixed rate when the buyer knows this isn’t their long-term plan?

All jumbo mortgage products – 15 year, variable 30 year, or the 30 year fixed jumbo mortgage – have their benefits. A trustworthy mortgage lender with experience financing jumbo mortgages is a buyer’s best resource for determining which product is right for them.

Your Mortgage Could be a Goldmine of Potential Savings

“A penny saved is a penny earned”… or so the old proverb goes. Of course, the value of a penny has changed somewhat from the time when your mother offered her wisdom on the value of keeping what you earn. Today, you could save thousands of dollars by simply making the right mortgage decision. If you’re like most Canadian homeowners, your mortgage is a goldmine of potential savings.

In the past few articles, we’ve talked about the importance of your mortgage as one of your most significant financial decisions. We’ve explored the value of seeking the advice of a mortgage professional -whether you’re buying a home or renewing an existing mortgage.

Today, let’s take a look at the bottom line: the savings you can enjoy by making the right mortgage decisions.

It is the primary role of a mortgage broker to find you the right product for your personal situation. A mortgage broker is a financial professional and – like your investment advisor – he or she will want to understand your personal situation and payment preferences. Your mortgage broker has access to a broad spectrum of lending institutions, so you can do some valuable comparison shopping for the right combination of features, rates and mortgage options.

All these choices offer you substantial opportunities to save money over the life of your mortgage.

If you are like most homeowners, you are focused -for good reason – on finding the best possible rate for your mortgage. Your mortgage broker can offer you the best range of rate options and terms. If a mortgage broker can get you one per cent off the posted rate, that could translate into more than $13,000 in interest per $100,000 borrowed over a 25-year amortization schedule. If, however, you believe that most mortgage rates are basically the same from one institution to the next, then consider the fact that even an eighth of a point difference in the rate can offer significant savings over the duration of your mortgage.

But it’s also important to look beyond the rate. There are other ways to find savings in your mortgage. Your mortgage broker is up-to-date on market trends and new opportunities… as well as some of the tried-and-true ways to save money in a mortgage.

Do you get an annual bonus in your job? You may want to use that bonus to pay down the principal of your mortgage. If you pursue this strategy consistently over the life of your mortgage, you could save thousands of dollars in interest by paying your mortgage off sooner.

Are you paid bi-weekly or bi-monthly? Consider a change from the usual monthly mortgage payment. Set up your mortgage payment schedule to coincide with your pay period. Again, you can shave years off your mortgage, and enjoy thousands of dollars in savings.

In the coming weeks, we’ll look at some of these savings opportunities in more detail. In the meantime, consider the old penny proverb again. How much is your time worth? Time savings is one of the key, unexpected benefits that clients say they have enjoyed when they choose to work with a mortgage broker. Above all, a mortgage broker is an expert in customer service, and that means that your broker looks after every detail of your mortgage research and negotiations on your behalf.

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