If you are new to borrowing and are just looking for your first home, then you probably are unsure about how mortgages work, and what the various types of mortgages are. If you are about to get your first mortgage, then you need to know the basics of what mortgages are and their various features. Here is some useful advice on the basics of mortgage lending:
What is a mortgage?
A mortgage is the loan that you take out to pay for a property. The loan is split into the capital and interest. The capital is the amount you have actually borrowed to buy the property, and the interest is the amount the lender charges you for the privilege of borrowing. There are various types of mortgages, but in general the two main types are repayment mortgages and interest only mortgages. Repayment mortgages are ones that require you to pay back the capital and interest each month. Interest only mortgages require you to pay just the interest each month and then the final capital amount at the end of the mortgage term. Whatever type of mortgage you are looking for, there are a number of features you should consider:
The interest rate of the mortgage is very important, because the lower the interest rate, the less you will pay back over the loan term. Mortgage rates are lower than most other types of loans, at around 5 or 6%. However, you should shop around for the best interest rate, as even .5% difference can mean a lot more to pay back over 20 or 30 years.
When you take out a mortgage, you agree a length of time over which you will repay the loan, known as the mortgage term. Mortgage terms usually range from 15-25 years. However, during this long period of time you might find a better deal or want to change your mortgage terms. If you leave during the mortgage term to use another lender, then the current lender will often charge exit fees to allow you to leave. This amount can be quite high, and is usually a percentage of the amount you still owe. You want a mortgage with low interest rates, but also make sure that you are fairly free to change lenders if required.
As with all loans, you will be offered insurance on your mortgage, in case you are ill, out of work or die and cannot make the payments on the mortgage. If you die, then having insurance will allow your family to continue to pay the mortgage even without your income. When getting mortgage insurance, make sure that you are not paying too much for it and that your other insurance policies do not already cover you. If you aren't covered, then getting mortgage insurance is a good idea.
How do you get a mortgage?
Mortgages can be obtained from banks, specialist mortgage lenders and online lenders. If you are looking for a mortgage, you should shop around for the best deals before committing to one lender. In order to get the mortgage, you need to show proof of income, and how much the property you want to buy is worth. The lender will then determine how much they can afford to lend you. It is often a good idea to discuss the amount you can borrow before looking at property, because then you will have a maximum budget when looking for your new home.