Homebuyers: there are five big mortgage misconceptions that could lead you astray if you believe them. Today I’ll name them and discuss the actual truth behind them:
1. You’ll get the best rate with your current bank. Some banks offer discounts to their clients, but that’s not usually the case. You’re always better off shopping around and talking to different lenders so you can compare both the best rates and overall cost.
2. You can’t get a mortgage loan for less than 20% down. In reality, there are several mortgage loans you can get for less than 20% down. The FHA first-time homebuyer program, for instance, allows you to secure a loan for just 3.5% down. Additionally, conventional loans allow you to put down any amount less than 20%. Keep in mind, though, that if you put down less than 20%, you’ll have to pay mortgage insurance.
3. You can only refinance your home loan once every 12 months. Actually, you can refinance your home loan whenever you want. As a rule of thumb, though, you should only refinance when you can recover the cost of that refinance within two years or you can lower your rate by 1%.
4. You need excellent credit to buy a house. There are programs you can use that allow you to buy a home with a FICO score as low as 580. Remember, the beauty of credit is you can fix it right away. Our team offers free credit counseling, so if your credit score isn’t where you’d like it to be, we’d be happy to sit down with you and talk about what you need to do to raise it.
5. You can’t buy a house if you had a bankruptcy, short sale, or foreclosure. Again, there are several programs that allow you to do just that. An FHA loan, for example, will allow you to buy a home within two years of your bankruptcy discharge, and conventional loans allow you to buy within four years after a foreclosure.
No matter what your situation, your best course of action is to talk to a mortgage professional such as myself so we can go over what you need to do to buy a home.
As always, if you have any other mortgage questions or there’s anything else I can help you with, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d be glad to help you.