Serving all of Delaware 


When it comes to getting a mortgage, it’s easy to focus on the interest rate.  But, if you only focus on the interest rate, you might be missing some “hidden” fees that makes getting that interest rate more expensive.

That sounds counterproductive but it isn’t. Several factors will help create the best mortgage and interest rate available to each of us.

As a homebuyer, you need to make sure you are looking at the entire loan picture and how each factor can influence each other:

  • the time period you plan to own the home,
  • the loan product, and
  • the terms of the loan

Points — Should You or Shouldnt You Pay

As a buyer you’ll come across a mortgage chart with examples of interest rates next to “points” or “discount points.” This is usually for 30-year fixed rate loans.

As a first-time buyer you may be confused. You’re told if you pay one point, you’re interest rate will be lower than if you pay zero points, and if you pay two points even lower.

You may ask yourself what exactly are these points and should I pay them to get a lower rate? A point is equal to 1% of your mortgage amount (or $1,000 for every $100,000). So points are basically an “upfront payment of interest” at closing. Rather than pay it over the life of your loan, you can pay a large chunk when you get the loan.

If interest rates are pretty low and if you’re not planning to stay in your home for more than 5 years or more, then paying points doesn’t make sense. Why? You’ll never recoup the costs of your upfront payment over the life of the loan even if lower monthly payments may seem tempting.

However, if you plan to live in your home for many years or interest rates go up, then the benefit of the lower rate will kick in and save you money in the long run. However, you’ll need to determine if you can afford to pay an extra couple thousand or more at the time of your closing for those points.

As a buyer, you will need to weigh the pros and cons in getting the lower rate and paying for points upfront. Does it work with your long-term goals as a homeowner?

Fees Beware of Hidden Ones

Don’t be fooled by advertised rates! Behind that rate could be a long list of fees, points, or closing costs. Ask the lender to break down the fees and give you the total amount for closing the loan.

Avoid penalties for lock-in extensions. Some lenders will increase your interest rate slightly if you need to lock in your loan for 60 days or more. Make sure you know any requirements before signing any paperwork. It’s another reason to get all of your finances and paperwork in order before you apply for a loan.

Review fees for FHA loans. Don’t always assume a FHA loan will be cheaper or better. Not only do you pay an upfront premium for mortgage insurance (1.75% of the loan amount), but you’ll also pay a recurring annual cost of up to 1.35% of the outstanding loan amount (added to the monthly payment) for the life of the loan. Review the pros and cons of these loans carefully.

Take advantage of the mortgage disclosure forms. There is no excuse for buyers not to know about “hidden fees” with these disclosure forms that show the loan’s terms and cost to borrowers —  the Loan Estimate, given three business days after application, and the Closing Disclosure, given three business days before closing.

As you can see, there are many factors or “puzzle pieces” that go into getting the best interest rate for your mortgage. Carefully consider all the factors covered above and play out different scenarios.  Remember, I and my lenders are here to help you make all of this less confusing.  We can help make sense of all the mortgage options you have and help you get the very best interest rate for YOU. 

Please email me with any questions! Also, if anyone you know could benefit from these newsletters please add them here or forward this link to them. BUYER NEWSLETTER

What You Need to Know Before Buying Your Home in Delaware

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I'm Doreen and I love helping people
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