Every profession has its own language. Whether its taking your car in for repairs, or going to the dentist for a check-up, each job uses specialized words. The same is true in home buying, selling, especially when applying for a mortgage.
When researching mortgage companies and what they have to offer, knowing what to say and how to say it can have its advantages. Remember, choosing a mortgage plan is one of the more important decisions youll have to make when buying a home. Dont be afraid to shop around. Call several companies and find the plan that will work best for you now and in the future.
Take precautions when comparing possible lenders. Talk to several licensed Realtors, asking their opinions of different mortgage companies and recommendations for a quality lender. Take great caution if a lender gives you inconsistent answers, asks for money before your loan application interview, or offers you an interest rate significantly below market rates (lower rates are not questionable, but significant discounts may signal future trouble).
Be sure to get your chosen lenders promises in writing, and ask your loan officer for the name and phone number of the person who will process your loan. Check up with that person regularly to confirm the progress of your loan.
As a homebuyer, youll face a host of possibly confusing options, not to mention the mortgage terminology and wording. You may be familiar with the basic mortgage loan lingo, but here are some more mortgage terms that you might not be familiar with:
RESPA: An abbreviation for the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. RESPA is a federal law that allows consumers to review information on known or estimated settlement costs once after application and once prior to or at settlement. The law requires lenders to furnish the information after application only.
Reverse Mortgage: Also called “equity conversion mortgage,” these loans permit senior citizens to convert the equity in their homes to income. The lender makes monthly cash payments to the homeowner, and repayment is deferred for a set period or until the homeowner dies and the house is sold.
Servicing: All the steps and operations a lender performs to keep a loan in good standing, such as collection of payments, payment of taxes, insurance, property inspections and the like.
Survey: A drawing or map showing the precise legal boundaries of a property, the location of improvements, easements, rights of way, encroachment, and other physical features.
Title Underwriter: A company which issues insurance regarding title to real property.
Truth-in-Lending: Perhaps the most important phrase to remember is Truth-in-Lending. RESPA requires all lenders to provide consumers with a “Truth-in-Lending” form. This form takes into consideration all factors that will be paid over the life of the loan, including some closing costs. It also adjusts the actual interest rate quoted by the lender of broker in an Annual Percentage Rate (APR). Comparing the APR of each loan is a much more effective means of determining the real cost of any loan. The buyer signs this form after reviewing the estimates.
Loan Underwriting: The process of deciding whether to make a loan, based on a property appraisal, as well as a review of the borrowers credit history, income and ability and willingness to make timely payments.
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