Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Choosing the best mortgage

Selecting the mortgage term that’s right for you can be a challenging proposition for even the savviest of homebuyers, as terms typically range from six months up to 10 years.

By understanding mortgage terms and what they mean in dollars and sense, you can save the most money and choose the term that is best suited to your specific needs.

The first consideration when comparing various mortgage terms is to understand that a longer term generally means a higher corresponding interest rate. And, a shorter term generally means a lower corresponding interest rate. While this generalization may lead you to believe that a shorter term is always the preferred option, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes there are other factors – either in the financial markets or in your own life – that you will also have to take into consideration when selecting the length of your mortgage term.

If paying your mortgage each month places you close to the financial edge of your comfort zone, you may want to opt for a longer mortgage term, such as five or 10 years, so that you can ensure that you will be able to afford your mortgage payments should interest rates increase.

By the end of a five- or 10-year mortgage term, most buyers are in a better financial situation, have a lower outstanding principal balance and, should interest rates have risen throughout the course of your term, will be able to afford higher mortgage payments.

If you’re shopping for a mortgage for an investment property, you will likely want to consider choosing a longer mortgage term – depending, of course, on your overall plan. This will allow you to know that the mortgage payments on the property will be steady for a long time and enable you to more accurately project your future income from the property.

As well, if you know you will not be staying in the same home for the next five or 10 years, opting for a shorter term can save you significant fees when it comes to early payout penalties.

Choosing the right mortgage term is a unique decision for each individual. By understanding your personal financial situation and your tolerance for risk, your mortgage broker or lender can assist you in choosing the mortgage term that will work best for your situation.

Avoid overpricing your home

It’s essential that you price your home as accurately as possible in any market to help ensure it sells at a reasonable price within your desired timeframe.

Sellers can often be reluctant to price their home in line with the marketplace as they feel they may be giving away too much of their home equity. The reality is, however, that pricing your home correctly from the start will benefit any seller in the long run.

Here are some of the reasons why pricing your home at the current market value is extremely important:

• Potential buyers may not look at your home if they believe it’s out of their price range.

Buyers comparison shop when considering a home purchase. When a buyer compares an overpriced home versus one that is priced at market value, it will likely convince them to place an offer on the well-priced property instead of yours.

• Properties that have been on the market for extended periods often come under scrutiny from buyers who question why the properties have yet to sell. Perception is a key factor in how a seller’s home is viewed by the average homebuyer.

• Real estate agents may skip over showing an over-priced home as they may believe the seller has little motivation to actually sell the property. Buyers’ agents are always keen on getting their clients through the doors of a well-priced home first in order to give their clients first crack at getting the home of their dreams.

• The longer a listing stagnates on the market, the more likely it will sell for less than had it been priced right in the first place.

The key to pricing your home to sell for the most amount of money in the shortest period of time is to work with a local real estate professional. We know how to do an accurate market comparison and arrive at an asking price that will offer some room for negotiation, but not scare off potential buyers.

As always, if you have any questions about buying or selling a home, your answers are just a phone call or e-mail away!