Deciding to undertake a mortgage can be a life-changing decision, and actually going through the process of paying your mortgage will change your life – for better or for worse. Given that a mortgage may more or less be the largest debt you will have to pay for your lifetime, you may be looking towards a few major lifestyle adjustments to make sure you’re able to pay for your mortgage as soon as you could. In an ideal world, paying for mortgages should last for only a couple of years. Unfortunately, given that financial stability is an ever-volatile concept, these time frames can extend or shorten for a couple more years. The worst that could happen is doing something you thought was good but actually made your mortgage last longer.
Given the tricky nature of finances, it’s normal to feel a bit overwhelmed with a mortgage. This is the case especially after carefully making calculations as to just how long your mortgage will last. Avoiding the top mistakes below that people make to make a mortgage last longer can be of great assistance if you finally want to call a house your own without worry.
According to Interest, the odds are high that a mortgage can be the largest debt most people will ever carry, as a house is perhaps the biggest purchase one would make in their entire lifetime. This makes it quite an important investment, as choosing the wrong way to tackle a mortgage can make it last far longer than usual. It appears that these mistakes generally have more to do with mentality (that should be stopped) and less about direct actions. For instance:
Don’t Haphazardly Make Mortgage Payments
The usual strategy people have towards a mortgage is that the more money you invest into paying its fees, the faster you would be free of its financial burden. This is perhaps the same approach one would take into paying other loans. Since a mortgage is a loan in itself, then this approach should more or less work, right? Turns out, not necessarily.
- It’s an important thing to take note that if you commit too much of your income to expenses on the mortgage, you may have very little left for other relevant investments. For instance, you may not be able to build an education fund, save for retirement, or replace your old car.
- Interest recommends investing only 28 percent of your pretax income to these payments. While this is small, it leaves a lot more of your income open for spending for other parts of you and your family’s life as well.
Don’t Start Your Mortgage Recklessly
When the idea of applying for a mortgage comes to you and your family, it can be a pretty exciting notion. With the idea of having a stable income, you can more or less just find what you think can be the best option available and go with that. However, the selection and planning processes are perhaps key components in ensuring your mortgage is smooth sailing, and as such you shouldn’t begin a mortgage recklessly.
- Perhaps another important component here is to make sure you are able to get your credit reports from TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax and compare them with one another. Sites such as annualcreditreport.com, Quizzle, and Credit Karma can help give quick access to your current reports. You have to make sure data in your credit report isn’t only accurate, but easily understood as well. This is because your credit rating can affect the chances of being accepted or rejected into having a mortgage.
- This means you need to be able to shop for the best loan available based on your current situation. It appears some are still intimidated by the idea of negotiating mortgages, which can lead to some people only dealing with a single lender. However, checking out mortgage rates across different areas, and negotiating based on your needs, can greatly land you on a deal you can manage. A financial professional might be able to help you with this endeavor.
- In the same token, be wary of the parts of your mortgage that may increase over time. For instance, while some lenders do claim to have low interest rates, this is usually compensated with higher fees. Try to check annual percentage rates, or APR, from the lenders you’re considering, as these usually get to dictate the real cost of your mortgage. Always remember to backtrack when calculating costs, and look at the long term when considering for the best deals.
Don’t Forget Other Costs
Haphazardly getting into a mortgage can potentially stall other important financial aspects of your family’s life. This much is true. Knowing your full capacity to pay and how much you’re willing to compromise is important in paying off a mortgage, because owning a home has other costs as well.
- Most lenders may actually require down payment in order to secure their best deals, and this is partly because of mortgage insurance. This adds more or less a few hundred dollars into your monthly payments. However, mortgage insurance actually protects the lender and not the buyer, as this can help cover costs should you fail to make the payments. As such, it’s always helpful to be able to cover more than your supposed monthly costs in order to be ready for extra payments like these.
- If you get yourself a mortgage loan, chances are you will have to also prepare for other costs outside the loan itself. For instance, old appliances and utilities may have to be replaced with models and updated versions you would want your new home to have. A rule of thumb is that you may spend more in repairs if your home is large and old.
- Aside from “decorative” fees, you may also have to pay property tax, which depend on the community you’re in. These taxes can increase depending on numerous factors. Another payment you may have to consider is some form of disaster insurance, especially if the home you chose is in an especially disaster prone area.
A mortgage is a heavy undertaking that involves a lot of planning and compromise, especially when it comes to your income, debt, and savings. The journey to clear a mortgage is a lengthy one, and it can involve a lot of sacrifices and adjustments along the way. Your financial plan now may have to change depending on circumstances, which makes every move towards your mortgage a vital one. Avoiding the top mistakes people make may help your mortgage avoid longer years for payment. If you’re looking to learn more about the legal implications of this subject, please click here.
Danielle Grate is a professional writer in the law industry. She currently writes pieces on various law topics for the common reader. In her spare time she spends quality time with her family and friends.