What are mortgage loan closing costs, and why do I pay them?

Home buyers, especially first time home buyers, commonly fail to understand all the costs involved in buying a home.  Everyone understands down payment, so no issues there. But mortgage loan closing costs are a whole different story.

I often hear potential home buyer comment that they thought they had saved enough for a down payment, only to be blind sided with mortgage loan closing costs.

WHAT ARE MORTGAGE CLOSING COSTS?

All mortgage loans have closing costs. They include appraisal, credit report, state taxes, title company fees, loan origination fees, state deed taxes, and more.  You also have what is known as pre-paid items, which include pro-rated property taxes on the house you are buying, and paying for the first years home owners insurance up-front.

Actual closing costs and pre-paid items can easily range from about 2% to 8% of the sale price of a home, depending on where you live, and the purchase price of the home.

Your Loan Officer will provide you with a detailed estimate of these closing costs based on the actual home once you pick it out, and can give you a good ballpark number during your initial loan review.

TIP: Anyone telling you closing costs are always a certain percentage is flat out simply wrong.

HOW TO PAY CLOSING COSTS

Yes, closing costs can really add up.  If you were planning on a 10% down payment, this means you really need 12% to 18% of the purchase price of the home.  Yikes.

The good news is, the mortgage industry understands this, and allows you to pay closing costs multiple ways.

Option 1) Pay cash out of pocket. Always the best move, but incredibly burdensome for most home buyer.

Option 2) Seller paid closing costs. You simply ask the seller to pay your closing costs for you when making your offer. Depending on the loan program you are using, the seller can pay between 2% and 6% of the purchase price in closing costs on your behalf. While this sounds free, because the ‘seller’ is paying them for you, the reality is the seller isn’t paying anything. Rather, this is a method of you rolling the closing costs into the loan itself.

For example, the seller is asking $200,000 for the home.  You offer $200,000 – but also ask the seller to pay $6,000 of your closing costs. If the seller agrees, many people think they just got free money.  The reality is the seller has accepted $194,000 in their pocket. So you could have bought the house for $194,000, and paid your own closing costs.  Instead you are buying the house for $200,000, and paying closing costs over time, versus out-of-pocket today.

It is a little more obvious to buyers that they are paying over time, when the same seller who wanted $200,000 refuses to budge, but you need closing costs rolled in to lessen your out-of-pocket burden. In this case, you’d restructure your offer to $206,000, and have the seller pay the $6,000 of closing costs.  The seller gets what they wanted, and you rolled closing costs into the loan, again paying over time instead of out-of-pocket today.

Option 3) Lender Paid Closing Costs (also known as Lender Credits). Under this option, the lender will reduce your actual real closing costs by increasing your interest rate. You can choose to increase your interest rate a tiny amount, for a tiny reduction in closing costs, all the way to completely eliminating all of your closing costs with a much higher interest rate.

This isn’t a good or bad option, rather it is a depends option. How much reduction do you need? Do you have all the closing costs money today? How much higher will the payment be?  How long will you live in the home?

TIP: ALL LENDERS HAVE ESSENTIALLY THE SAME TRUE CLOSING COSTS. When shopping lenders, many people will receive a closing cost quote lower than someone else, giving the illusion of a better deal. Many banks and lenders claims things like they give free appraisals, or never charge loan origination fees. No closing cost loans were all the rage a few years ago.

Little do many people realize that all these lenders are doing is increasing your loans interest rate to cover these items, but not telling you they are doing it. They don’t work for free, and someone has to pay the appraiser.  This lower closing cost ploy makes unsuspecting home buyers potentially pick a lender based on a perceived better deal, when in fact, it isn’t. You pay, you always pay. How do you choose to pay? Lower rate = higher costs.  Higher costs = lower rates.

Option 4) Any Combination. This is actually the most common way people pay closing costs. Many ask the seller to pay some, maybe increase the rate 1/8 or 1/4% to pay some, and maybe a little bit out-of-pocket to pay the rest.

CLOSING COSTS – THE BOTTOM LINE

It is very common for many home buyers through these options, to completely eliminate closing costs as an out-of-pocket expense, leaving them with just needing their down payment to buy the house.

So don’t ever let the fear of closing costs keep you from buying your dream home.

 


Millennials are not buying homes. Is this true or myth?

There has been a lot of talk that millennials are not buying homes. Is this true or myth?

First, while the purchase numbers for millennials are down, millions of people buy homes every year, including millennials.

Most of the talk about millennials centers around the inability to purchase a home because of student loan debt. Studies after study does show that tuition costs are up, and that student loan debt has roughly doubled in the past 10-years. There is also a noticeable decline in homeownership rates among millennials the past decade.

Too much debt reduces the maximum amount of home lenders will allow someone to purchase. This is known as debt-to-income ratios.  Less that 30% of your income spend on just the home is considered as a safe house payment, while under 45% of income should be spent on the house, plus car loans, credit cards, student loans, etc.

But is is all really student loan debt, or are there other factors involved.

Estimates suggest that around 35% of the decline in homeownership in the past 10-years is simply due to student loan debt. That leaves  whopping 65% to other factors.

Assuming these numbers are accurate, and many suggest the student loan blame is not nearly as high as believed, I as an actual Mortgage Loan Officer, can attest that yes, student loan debt is a factor in some cases. But I see many other factors on a daily basis, the biggest being simply a low desire to own. This primarily resulting from observing their parents, friends, neighbors, and relatives suffer through the housing bust that started in 2007.

Other items I see include very poor credit, and a lack of knowledge on how credit and credit score work. Lack of down payment, and a lack of willingness to purchase a starter home. Many of the millennials believe they should jump right into a big, beautiful, white picket fence dream home as their first home.

Lack of Starter Homes?

I, like many people started with an old small home, in a not so perfect neighborhood.  As I got older, got married, and increased our family income, I moved up into bigger and nicer homes, until now currently being in my existing “big beautiful home” for 19-years.

The me me me, now now now, pay for it later attitude really crept into society over the past 20-years.  Having champagne taste for homes on a beer budget has held back more potential first time buyers from purchasing a home than most other items I see everyday. They simply refuse to buy a starter home.

Granted, a starter home today tends to have a heftier price then years back.  As a percentage of income, low end starter homes suck up more of the owners paycheck than ever before. This too has a huge effect on first time home buyers, regardless if they have a college degree, and student loan debt or not.

Poor Credit

Another major issue I see is simply poor credit. As the days go by, it would appear to me that the population has become dumber and dumber about simple concepts, like paying your bills on time. It is very common for me to see potential home buyers in the 25 to 30-year old range have horrible credit. Then when they realize the poor credit prevents them from buying a home, it may take them a few years to improve their credit.

More than just student loan debt

The New York Fed recently reported that an estimated 360,000 people would have bought a in 2015 had tuition costs remained the same as they were in 2001. There is no doubt student loan debt has been a factor.

As an actual Loan Officer, active in the business currently, and having been so for more than 20-years, I am simply saying there are a multitude of reasons why people don’t buy homes.

The constant banter of it being student loan debt preventing ownership is heard by potential home buyers who have student loan debt. Many clients I speak to start out the conversation saying the don’t think they can buy a home because of student loan debt, and are very pleasantly surprised when I issue them a Pre-Approval Letter.

Of course every person and every situation is different.

Don’t Assume

If you want to buy a home, regardless of age, income, or student loan debt. DO NOT ASSUME. Contact a local mortgage broker in your area (I lend in MN, WI, and SD). Give them a full mortgage loan application so they can zero in on your individual situation.  You too may be pleasantly surprised, and enjoying the benefits of home ownership next month.

 


MN, WI, and SD Homeowners Urged To Switch To A 15-Year Fixed Mortgage

MN, WI, and SD Homeowners Urged To Switch To A 15-Year Fixed Mortgage

If you still owe on your MN, WI, or SD home, you really need to consider switching to a 15-year fixed. Here at Mortgages Unlimited, many of our Loan Officers, including myself **, have made the switch to 15-year mortgages because we’re obsessed with getting the right mortgage and we know all the advantages 15-year mortgages provide.

Using a sample $200,000 home loan, homeowners with a 15-year mortgage can save over $113,000* over the life of their loan. We also help homeowners lock in historically low rates that will never rise. At Mortgages Unlimited,  it’s all about helping homeowners find a mortgage they can be confident in, and what better mortgage to offer than the one our own Loan Officers, including myself have.

Get A Mortgage Review Today And See How Much You Can Save With A 15-Year Fixed

15-Year Mortgages Help Homeowners Pay Off Their Homes In As Little As Half The Time And Save Up To $113,000 OR MORE In Interest Payments *

The reason for this is pretty simple. To pay off your house, you have to pay off the principal. In a 30-year mortgage your first 10 years of payments go mostly towards paying interest on the loan – meaning for 10 years you aren’t making a lot of headway towards paying down the principal. In a 15-year mortgage you attack the principal you owe on your home and depending on what your current 30-year mortgage rate is you could actually do so for about the same monthly payment. Think about that, homeowners who switch to 15-year mortgages:

1) chop up to 15 years off their mortgages,
2) save up to $113,000* OR MORE in interest payments, and
3) may be able to do so while keeping their monthly mortgage payments pretty much the same, depending on your current loan and interest rate

How To Switch To A 15-Year Fixed?

It is easy. Start by completing an online application, or call our mortgage experts at (651) 552-3681. We’ve streamlined the refinance process and our team of fully licensed Loan Officers can tell you how much you can save by switching to a 15-year fixed. It only takes about five minutes to use the easy online form to get connected to mortgage experts, and our radically simple mortgage experience can help you see very quickly if you’re in the right mortgage or not. It can’t hurt to look. Rates for 15-year fixed mortgages could be on the rise soon so now is the time to check your eligibility.

Probably because the 15-year payment will be a bit higher than your 30-year payment. While true, most people can easily afford it, and take advantage of the huge savings. We also think it’s probably because homeowners don’t realize the crazy amount they pay in interest payments to have a 30-year mortgage. If homeowners knew they’d have to pay up to an extra $113,000* in interest payments to have a 30-year mortgage instead of a 15-year, we’re guessing most homeowners would make the switch. What we do know for sure is that Mortgages Unlimited delivers a simpler mortgage experience, and that we can quickly help homeowners calculate how much they could save by switching to a 15-year fixed.

Apply Online
No Obligation to apply, and see what YOU qualify for.

Start your savings today!

* Savings based on sample $200,000 loan between current 30-yr rates at 4.00% versus 15-yr rates at 3.25%.

Your savings may be much greater or smaller depending on your loan size. Not an offer to enter into an interest rate lock agreement per MN Statute. Not everyone will qualify. Rates subject to qualifications, and can change daily. A full application is required to lock a rate. Equal Housing Lender. NMLS 274132.  ** Joe Metzler