Well done, you have made the decision to purchase a home. Now, what next? A good number of home buyers, particularly for first-time house buyers, the next big step is getting a mortgage. They hunt for a mortgage based utterly on the rates.
To be specific, people are usually attracted to the mortgage that has the lowest rate.
This can end up being a big mistake because the lowest mortgage rate does not usually translate to being the best. It is like purchasing or shopping for a condo based entirely on the price without reflecting on other factors such as nearby amenities, location, condo rules, etc. Depending on your financial position, it may be better choosing a fairly higher mortgage rate but with reasonable terms.
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A lower rate can cost you more; how is that possible?
The lowest interest rates are normally low since they come with constraints, and limit your flexibility. Actually, the mortgage companies may present you a low, fixed rate; however, they well know how to possibly make back more gains down the road, with fines or penalties for sudden changes or adjustments to your mortgage.
It is not a rare occurrence with other businesses to mirror this type of scenario (low rates translating to more costs). For instance, you may pay less for insurance, yet have a larger deductible in case something goes wrong. The same may apply to interest rates; the more flexible options or features you prefer can cost you a little more than a fixed, low-interest mortgage. However, in paying a bit more in terms of rate, you can easily fall in a good position financially if, or when, something unforeseen happens and you are abruptly in need of making an adjustment to your mortgage. Basically, without that flexibility, you may end up bearing grave consequences for your last minute mortgage changes.
Major considerations when shopping for mortgage rates
Just like all other features of your mortgage, when bargaining for your interest rate, you need to clearly lay down your options. Here are a few issues to reflect on when locking in your next mortgage.
- Are my closing dates flexible? If they aren’t, what are the consequences?
- What happens if I move and put up my house for sale before the mortgage is up?
- What if I want to refinance as a result of an unanticipated job loss, home repairs, break-u etc.?
- Is it possible to put some extra money down and pay off the mortgage? If it is doable, how much and when?
- Will you get any kind of bonuses over the period of mortgage repayment?
What then is the best rate for you?
Life is unpredictable; we might not anticipate an illness, a move, break-up or other life changes when we initially secure a mortgage. Obviously, a no-frills, low-interest mortgage which can end up fining you for breaking or adjusting your mortgage can be upsetting. You do not wish to reflect back and find out that, even though you saved a little on interest, you eventually ended up paying thousands of dollars extra for unexpected charges. Make a wise decision and live knowing you won’t be caught unaware by penalties down the mortgage repayment road.
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